Piling pounds of the latest super cream your face in the morning might make you feel better, but many beauty professionals no longer believe the product hype.
A recent survey of more than 200 beauty professional revealed that the majority (96%) believe a diet rich in vitamins and minerals is more beneficial to your skin than products applied topically such as moisturisers, serums and gels.
Susan Mahy, board director at Cosmetic Executive Women UK, commented: “Our panel of executive women in the cosmetic, fragrance and hairdressing industries concluded that the essential nutrients you need for healthy skin, hair and nails are most beneficial when ingested as part of your diet and have a direct effect on the skin."
Nutritionist Amanda Ursell agrees that the best way to effectively boost the condition, health and glow of your skin, hair and nails is to eat or drink essential vitamins found in everyday fruit and vegetables.
Here are her suggestions on how to eat your way past the four most common skin problems...
Ursell suggests eating more omega-3 essential fats, which can be found in salmon, tuna, mackerel, seeds, nuts, could be beneficial. Dry skin may be your body's way of telling you that you are not getting enough essential fats in your daily meals and snacks," she says, citing recent research. Research has also suggested such fats could play a role in controlling the redness and inflammation in people who have skin health conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis and acne, she says.
It is hard to reverse wrinkling, but you may be able to slow up the formation of further wrinkles by changing the way you eat, says Ursell. Vitamin C found in citrus fruits like oranges, orange juice, berries, peppers, dark green vegetables and even potatoes could help. Vitamin C is crucial for the production of collagen, one of the so-called connective tissues in the skin, which help to give it structure. When collagen production slows up as we grow older, our skin is more prone to developing fine lines and wrinkles. Eating more soya-based products may be also helpful. This pilot study reveals that plant oestrogens in foods like tofu, soya milk and yoghurts could be linked to skin structure.
A lack of sleep and feeling permanently tired anecdotally also triggers dark circles. When this is the case then turning to a simple remedy like chamomile tea may help. Cutting back on caffeine and having your last caffeine-containing drink eight hours before you go to bed can help to improve your chances of getting to sleep and sleeping well -- so swop coffee for a herbal equivalent. Also, avoid alcohol at bedtime. One glass of wine may help to relax you, but more than this can interrupt deep sleep and leave you feeling exhausted, leading to those dark circles.
One thing that has never been proven is that chocolate gives you spots. However, diet may play a role in problems with spots and oily skin when it is related to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), says Ursell. Often difficult to diagnose, the symptoms of PCOS can include weight gain, difficulty conceiving, mood swings, excess body hair, irregular periods, low energy and acne and spots. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, do get a check-up with your GP. Losing weight by following a low glycaemic index diet can help to address the hormonal imbalances that trigger spots and acne and help both to improve.