As more and more people start to question the ingredients in their beauty products, the spotlight shines brightly on natural and organic cosmetics. The bad news is that natural and organic beauty products can also come with a hefty price tag. The good news is that many of the ingredients in natural and organic cosmetics can be purchased right at your local grocery store. Keep reading for our list of the seven foods you need to eat to get better skin!
Olive Oil: Aside from being fabulous to cook with, olive oil can actually help you show fewer signs of aging. The antioxidants found in olive oil prevent DNA mutations caused by external agents, such as the biological, chemical and physical stressors we encounter every day. These stressors can be anything from cigarette smoke to pollution to excess exposure to the sun, and they are unavoidably all around us. The exposure to these stressors can increase the number of free radicals in our body, which in turn causes DNA mutations and oftentimes leaves us with acne, dull skin and signs of aging. Antioxidants help fight these free radicals and keep you looking younger.
Green Tea: People have touted the benefits of green tea for centuries, and there’s certainly a reason why Americans drink 11.2 billion gallons of the stuff every year. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and epigallocatechin gallate, which serves to combat exposure to ultraviolet rays. In a study conducted by the Journal of Nutrition, women who drank green tea suffered little to no skin reddening after prolonged exposure to a solar simulator compared to the group that did not drink any green tea. Green tea is beneficial for everyone, but especially for those who like to tan, as it can help protect against skin disease caused by exposure to the sun.
Water: It’s possibly the most important item on this list! Like all organs, your skin is made up of tiny cells that are mostly composed of water. When skin cells aren’t properly hydrated, they shrivel and shrink, leaving your skin looking dry, flaky and sometimes tight. Ensuring your cells have all the water they need allows them to expand to their full capacity, forcing your skin to plump up and hide both wrinkles and the “tight” skin that comes with dehydration. The amount of water needed to get glowing skin differs from person to person, but most advise you drink half a gallon a day to ensure your body doesn’t get dehydrated.
Dark Chocolate: There’s a reason why dark chocolate was revered as one of the elixirs of the gods by ancient Latin American civilizations; dark chocolate is the stuff of miracles! With plenty of antioxidants, dark chocolate will boost the brightness of your skin. But beware: All you need is just a few squares a day, and make sure it’s at least 70% cocoa in order to get the full benefit. Like green tea, antioxidants found in cocoa have been shown to combat exposure to ultraviolet light, one of the primary signs of aging on your skin.
Soy: Soy has been used for decades in tons of beauty products for its skin-lightening properties, and it’s especially prevalent in beauty products targeted at treating hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation occurs when there is an overproduction of melanin in an area, which makes that area substantially more pigmented than the areas around it and results in a spot darker than the rest of the skin. It naturally inhibits the transfer of melanosomes, the organelles that produce the dark pigmentation, making it excellent for those looking for more even skin tones. If the idea of fillers, preservatives and processed gunk doesn’t really sound appealing, consider eating food with high amounts of soy to achieve similar results.
Watercress: This small, leafy vegetable often gets set aside when making salads, but consider introducing it to your next dinner plate. Watercress is exceptionally jam-packed with minerals and antioxidants, which serve in flushing out harmful toxins that can wreak havoc on your skin. As an added bonus, watercress contains natural anti-bacterial elements that help reduce skin inflammation conditions, including rosacea and acne.
Pomegranate: Take a good look at your neighborhood cosmetics aisle and you’ll quickly notice an abundance of pomegranate extract in many of your skincare products. That’s because pomegranate is one of the most versatile foods when it comes to beauty. Pomegranate has a ton of benefits, particularly hydrating your skin, combatting inflammation and stimulating collagen production to keep your skin elastic and youthful.
Bonus food tip: Did you know coffee grounds could double as natural makeup?