Skin feeling flat?
Looking great starts with your skin. Kiss goodbye to dullness and dehydration with these tips from beauty editor Pamela Mcintosh, to boost your skin's texture and appearance...
Internal and external factors play a part in a dull, dehydrated appearance, but are also key to restoring it. Remember, your skin is an organ, just like a plant, it needs nutrients and attention to retain its radiance.
Adequate hydration has a plumping effect on cells, and helps to create healthy skin, says Good Health naturopath Sharlene Bennett. Water-based foods such as cucumber, lettuce, celery and strawberries, zucchini and squash may all help contribute to rehydrating us, alongside regular daily consumption of water.
“One of the many ways we can support our skin is to top up on our antioxidants,” she explains. “Free radicals are produced in the body on a daily basis in response to factors like environmental toxins and pollutants; trans-fat products like margarines, processed foods and solvent extracted oils; emotional and physical stress on the body and general wear and tear. These can all impact our need for antioxidants.” It’s these free radicals that contribute to cell damage and – you guessed it – an aged appearance. Sharleen says that our skin is often a reflection of our state of inner health and wellbeing.
Nutrients such as selenium, vitamins C and E are all natural antioxidants, while brightly coloured fruits like berries, grapes, cherries, and tomatoes contain many different anti-oxidant compounds.
Vitamin C rich fruit (oranges, lemons, kiwifruit) and vegetables help collagen production too. A type of structural protein, one of collagen’s functions is to help maintain skin integrity, providing firmness and elasticity, hence its role in anti-ageing. Other foods that may help support collagen production include omega-3 rich fish, avocados and protein-rich lean meats, seeds, nuts and tempeh. Grapeseed also assists as an antioxidant helping to maintain collagen and provide nourishment against free radicals. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are comprised of omega 3, 6 and 9 and are an important ingredient in hair, skin and nail health. Flaxseed oil is a plant source of these, while fish oils are rich in omega 3.
Try to do some kind of purposeful exercise every day. “Gentle stretching, swimming walking, or dance with baby in your lounge!” suggests Angela Noy of NZ Real Health. “Regular movement helps stimulate blood flow, which carries vital nutrients to our skin and nourishes skin cells.” ′
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