Beauty From Within
Exploring the connection between food and beauty
No matter what our society claims, it is true that people are concerned with their appearance.
The media puts a lot of pressure on people to use their products in order to look a certain way. The beauty industry makes billions of dollars putting out new products and marketing them with high-paid celebrities to raise their sales. However, we should not completely buy into this as there is a much more rational and affordable way to look beautiful and healthy.
Good health and good-looking skin and hair depend on good nutrition. There is tons of evidence to prove this. Outer beauty does not just come from a certain moisturizer or cleanser; it starts from each and every cell in your body.
Beauty from within connotes that the nutrients we consume could affect the way we look and the link between beauty and diet is strong and growing even stronger. Consumers are increasingly looking for antioxidant foods and supplements that support an overall healthy lifestyle as well as a healthy physical appearance.
In recent years, the beauty market has tapped into this idea and has begun to develop the “food-meets-cosmetics” category of nutraceuticals. Today’s beauty-food formulas are generally aimed at four specific areas: skin, hair, nails and general overall wellness. In skin care, the main benefits are to rebuild, repair, protect against the sun and to keep the skin firm and its pigment looking strong and vibrant. For hair, the benefits include manageability, growth, restoration and volumizing. For nails, the key benefit is strengthening.
Below are some general beauty-food tips that correlate certain vitamins, minerals and foods with different actions. By following these, one could literally wean out all unnatural beauty products and utilize what nature has to offer.
-Damaged skin may be repaired with vitamins C and E, which are found in kiwi, citrus fruits, wheat germ oil, nuts, leafy greens and broccoli. These two vitamins are very powerful together. Vitamin E helps to hydrate the skin and also protects against free radicals, while vitamin C stimulates collagen production. Together, they repair damaged skin cells.
-Foods such as walnuts, flaxseeds and salmon help to relieve dry skin issues. All of these add hydration and moisture to skin cells from within. These foods are all high in omega-3 fatty acids.
-Eating cucumbers, almonds, chickpeas and shellfish, which are all high in silica and zinc, are known to be helpful for reducing skin redness.
-People with oily skin or acne should eat foods high in vitamin A and zinc, which help reduce oil production and the swelling associated with blemishes. Less oil production contributes to less pore clogging.
-Cucumbers also are known to reduce fine wrinkles as they penetrate cells better than water alone by helping them strengthen the membrane, which plums skin cells.
-Fruits like apples, goji berries and grape-seed extract may improve tone and texture of the skin.
-Sun damage may be prevented with resveratrol, which slows the breakdown of collagen.
-Nails and hair can be strengthened with biotin, which is found in eggs, peanut butter, oats and liver. A biotin deficiency causes hair to become dry and brittle, which could contribute to hair loos or thinning hair.
-Vitamin A is essential for healthy hair and eyes. It can be found in cod liver oil, eggs, carrots, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and melon.
-B vitamins are vital for clear, luminous skin, youthful looks and for delaying greying of hair. They are essential for healthy skin, hair, and eyes
Generally fruits and vegetables represent an ideal source of antioxidants, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids and other important anti-aging actives. The long-term regular use of these antioxidants prevents oxidation and deterioration at the cellular level. Out of hundreds of fruits and vegetables that have been shown to have beauty effects, I chose to highlight nine here as I feel they are most powerful in terms of having specific beauty-food connections:
- Artichoke is high in antioxidants, which can help protect skin DNA and collagen. Artichoke extract is also a cleansing detoxifier that helps promote liver health.
- Pomegranate peel decreases blemishes, regenerates the skin and protects from UV exposure.
- Avocado is packed with properties that naturally help the skin in its own collagen production.
- Goji Berry extract is wonderful for topical skin health and protection. It is a very powerful antioxidant and helps increase collagen production.
- Tomatoes are rich in powerful antioxidants. They support skin smoothness and help maintain healthy skin during sun exposure.
- Red Chili Pepper contains capsaicin which can be used improve microcirculation and create a warming effect.
- Black currants are a rich source of vitamin C, GLA, magnesium and calcium and are an elastase inhibitor, which increases the elastin in the skin and supports a healthy immune response.
- Cucumbers have long been known to help in the reduction of dark circles underneath the eyes.
- Kiwifruit extract has a cell metabolism renewal effect and promotes increased collagen synthesis.
As you can see, there’s no coincidence here between vitamins and their natural beauty effects. As nutrition and health become more and more on the forefront of the health industry, consumers are making health and wellness a top priority, approaching it from all directions. Growing consumer interest in the concept of 'beauty from within' is helping this market to grow and become an independent category. The point essentially is, we should consume a large variety of fruits and vegetables for beautiful skin and optimal health. Simple and delicious, these gems from nature form the foundation of a healthy, glowing complexion and a long healthy life.
Some of my favorite natural beauty companies include: Arbonne and Draco Natural Products. For more information please visit their websites.