As lead aesthetician at One Wellness & Spa in Canmore, Alberta, Kelly Durst is often asked what the secret to great skin is. Her answer? “A healthy lifestyle, balanced diet, and a proper skin care routine are the major factors that work together to give you that gorgeous glow,” she says. “The moment one of those factors is neglected, we find ourselves with skin conditions such as acne, dryness, and premature aging.” In particular, Durst recommends wholesome foods that help nourish the skin from the inside out, especially foods that are rich in antioxidants. “They help battle against cell-damaging free radicals caused by sun damage and pollution,” Durst says. Here are her top 5 food choices for healthy skin.
Wild Salmon: ”Wild salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which is essential to the overall health of skin,” says Durst. “Omega 3 replenishes lipids in the skin to keep it flexible and well moisturized. It is also proven to reduce inflammation on a cellular level to prevent irritated, dry skin. Eating plenty of salmon and other foods rich in fatty acids, such as walnuts and flaxseed, will give your skin a glowing complexion.”
Dark Leafy Greens: ”Dark leafy greens such as spinach, swiss chard, and kale are full of antioxidants and nutrients such as vitamins A and C, calcium, iron,” Durst says. “They’re also one of the top sources of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that helps repair skin damaged by the sun and pollution, renewing skin and giving it a youthful glow.”
Blueberries: “The deep blue colour of blueberries is a result of antioxidants called anthocyanins, which neutralize free radicals that damage collagen in skin. Blueberries are also full of vitamin C, which is crucial for collagen production,” says Durst. “As collagen begins to break down, we lose the elasticity to our skin. Eating blueberries will combat aging, resulting in firm, plump skin.”
Whole Grains: ”If digestion problems are an issue, it is often reflected on the skin through acne, congestion, and rashes,” says Durst. “Whole grains such as whole wheat, buckwheat, and barley are extremely high in fiber, and fiber promotes healthy digestion so that toxins don’t build up in the body. The result is clear-looking skin.”
Green Tea: “Green tea is rich in polyphenols that help reduce inflammation, are full of antioxidants, and help protect against UV rays that cause skin cancer,” says Durst. “Green tea will also keep you hydrated and your body detoxified, resulting in a hydrated, clear complexion.”