At Mukti, we like to think of skin as a reflection of what’s happening internally within the body. If all of our bodily systems are functioning smoothly, and our cellular health is optimal, the chances of skin looking and functioning beautifully are much greater.
However, if physiological systems are not functioning optimally, or the body is depleted in one way or another, the skin is likely to demonstrate this on the surface. For example, gut health impairment can manifest on the skin by way of sluggishness and dullness, or breakouts, or barrier impairment leading to sensitivity. Another example is inflammatory conditions - if there is systemic or organ-specific inflammation, the skin often presents with inflammation too, also leading to barrier impairment but also other inflammatory conditions like rosacea or eczema. So how can we address this and set our skin up for success from the inside out?
The best way to improve your body’s chances of optimal function is of course through our diet - there is no substitute for healthy eating. Further to this, there are certain macro and micro nutrients that we know to be extremely beneficial for skin function specifically.
One of the world’s favourite skincare ingredients for acne and anti-ageing, this vitamin A derivative can also be found in many fridge and pantry items. Nutritional retinol offers the same benefits as those we are familiar with in skincare. It improves and normalises cellular function, facilitates collagen production, and regulates over-production sebaceous activity (often the cause of acne).
You can find retinol in:
- egg yolk
- leafy greens like kale, spinach and broccoli.
This yellow-orange pigment is the precursor to vitamin A. When consumed, it will go through several conversions by the body until it reaches a form of vitamin A most beneficial for cellular function. Reaping the above benefits therefore also requires beta-carotene consumption.
Its colour offers a useful tip for finding foods high in beta-carotene, for example:
- sweet potato
We know that fresh fruits and vegetables are excellent for our health, but why exactly is this? Generally, it’s all about the phenolic compounds. These plant-derived molecules offer an abundance of benefits in the body, keeping cells functioning well and staving off disease. Anthocyanins, flavonols, flavones, flavanols, flavanones, and isoflavonoids are all examples of polyphenols, which are found in particularly high concentration in berries. You may already know that berries are rich in antioxidants, which is extremely important in general health and age prevention. But polyphenols act as much more than just antioxidants. They have also shown to prevent the development of age-associated disease, reduce inflammation, and even improve circulation. All of these will help to improve the health and appearance of the skin.
- Nuts and seeds (flaxseed meal, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, & almonds in particular)
- Olives and olive oil