So you want to have radiant skin for your wedding day, with beautiful, glowing skin?
Planning on making that 100% your makeup artist’s responsibility is not always a good idea, especially if you don’t take care of your skin (or yourself) and still expect it to look flawless. Yes, I’m sure you have chosen an extremely talented artist for your wedding day beauty, however, how the makeup lays on your face begins with the state of your skin. I always say to my clients (when I’m wearing my makeup artist hat) is that I am an Illusionist, not a Magician! It always gets a laugh, but it’s true! Artists can only “work their magic” to a certain extent. Everything starts with your skin, and you have to put in some of the work too.
Photo: Doivoux Photography
Having beautiful skin starts with you, what foods you choose to eat, and how you live your life. The state of your skin is a reflection of what you have going on inside your body, so if you are not treating your body (mind and spirit) with the love and care it deserves, then your skin may not give you much love in return.
Keep in mind that there are so many aspects that play a part in the health of your skin, but let’s focus on how food relates to skin health here.
Especially with your wedding day approaching, you may want to pay extra attention to how you treat yourself, what you eat, and other lifestyle choices, so you can feel and look the most beautiful you have ever felt for one of the most wonderfully memorable days of your life.
How Food Works in Your Body
When you eat food, you typically chew it in your mouth (unless you have a smoothie or juice). It flows into the stomach where your digestive enzymes mix with everything you consume and breaks it down. It then continues on, into your intestines where (hopefully) all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, are absorbed for your body to use. Then all the waste that is not needed by the body, gets excreted.
If you are eating foods that are known to be unhealthy and you are eating them repetitively, you are not going to get enough of the right things, that you need, to support and carry out a healthy and optimally working body. You are doing yourself a great disservice by not feeding your body what it needs in order to function at its best, and be in a state of health.
Our skin also needs certain things to stay healthy and vibrant. Skin is considered an organ and is commonly called the epidermis, which is the outermost layer. The skin uses different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fats for many different reasons, and if you are not getting enough of these components, your skin may not be too happy with you!
It may start to look dull, have blemishes, redness, dark circles, puffiness, look tired, extra dry, overly oily, or just not look the best it could.
Doing what you can by consuming foods that are rich in the components that your skin (and body) need to be radiant and healthy, is a wonderful thing to focus on now and in the months leading up to your wedding.
The amazing thing is, even with the sole goal of having radiant skin on your wedding day, you are doing wonderful things for the rest of your body too!
Exceptional Foods for Skin Health
Dark Berries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins that protect your skin from sun damage and help your skin stay vibrant. Various dark berries are high in Vitamin C.
Green leafy vegetables are some of the most beneficial foods you can eat, period, and in skin health it’s no different. Eating a variety is best so you get the nutrients you need, and remember the darker green, the better!
Cruciferous vegetables of broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, brussels sprouts, kale – foods loaded with vitamins A, C, E, and K are fabulous for your skin. They help to reduce puffiness and bloating, and work to keep your skin clear and glowing.
Bright colored fresh, raw vegetables that are red, yellow, orange, and purple are wonderful to eat for the health of your skin. A variety of bright vegetables can get you loads of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are all needed for health in general. Remember when you take care of your body, you take care of your skin, and eating a variety is a great way to go. Raw foods contain more nutrients than cooked, so opt for raw first.
Nuts and seeds have lots of good vitamins, and beneficial fats. They can help reduce skin inflammation, improve the elasticity of the skin, and even help scars to become less obvious. Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds are best.
Green tea contains lots of antioxidants that help fight damage from free radicals, which we are bombarded with every day. It can help with aging and hydration and is anti-inflammatory.
Beans, lentils and legumes contain amino acids which are necessary for the production of collagen and elastin and important for healthy skin. They also are rich in polyphenols (antioxidants that fight free radicals), and are wonderful foods for keeping the gut healthy (and moving) because they have so much fiber! With a healthy gut you are much more likely to have healthy skin. As always, it is best to eat a variety.
Essential fatty acids (Omega 3’s) are found in walnuts, chia, flax, and hemp seeds. Supplements are also available should you need to up your intake for various reasons. These help hydrate skin by keeping the skin cell walls plump and healthy.
Fermented foods keep our guts healthy and happy, helping to establish a population of beneficial bacteria. Without a healthy gut, you may not have healthy skin. It’s best to opt for buying the fermented foods that need to be refrigerated, since those typically contain live bacteria. Try sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and tempeh. Stay away from anything with added sugar or too much salt – and even better if you can ferment your own!
Beets, sweet potatoes, and spinach contain phytoceramides which are ceramides that are derived from plants. They have a similar structure to the ceramides that our bodies make to keep skin firm and keep wrinkles at bay. As we age, our bodies make less ceramides, so eating foods with phytoceramides may help with hydration and to fight signs of aging. These foods are also high in vitamins and minerals that are beneficial in skin health.
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and is a wonderful ingredient to include for so many reasons, not just skin health. It can reduce puffiness, protect skin against sun damage, slow aging, and hydrate the skin.
Watermelon contains lots of water! Our bodies need water, and most of us don’t get enough each day. Eating watermelon can get you lots of water in addition to lycopene, vitamins A, B6, C and potassium. The redder the watermelon, the riper it is, and that means it contains more lycopene!
Foods That Can Harm Your Skin
Added sugars – This means anything with sugar that is not from the whole food (examples of some whole foods that contain sugar are fruits and vegetables) The obvious culprits are pastries, doughnuts, candy, mixed sugary coffee drinks, sodas, etc. Added sugar is almost everywhere. It’s in a lot of tomato sauces, milks, salsas, crackers, soups, and other products. Added sugar causes inflammation inside the body, and that shows up on your skin, causing it to look dry, causing breakouts, aggravating conditions such as eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis, as well as causing skin to look aged. Always check the label to see what you are consuming, and better yet, just opt for the whole form of the food.
Added salt – We eat way too much salt. Too much salt can cause dehydration which can cause your skin to be very dry. It can also cause puffiness and swelling on your face. Most processed food and food that you eat in restaurants has way too much salt added to it. Read the back of the box next time you are ready to buy a packaged food product and see how much sodium is in it.
Processed/packaged foods – As I mentioned above, packaged and processed foods have added sugar and salt, and in addition they typically contain lots of chemicals and preservatives that we just don’t need or want in our bodies! They have little nutrients, and if they are replacing healthy foods in your food plan, you may want to reconsider eating them if you want to work on your skin. If they are unhealthy for our bodies, they are unhealthy for our skin. Stick to the whole foods.
Fried foods – The oils that foods are fried in, are dangerous to our bodies. It causes inflammation, among other issues, which increases the inflammation on your skin. It can lead to dull, aged looking skin, as well as an increase in acne.
Refined carbohydrates – Simple carbs and refined carbs are bad for your skin. They turn into sugar and sugar leads to inflammation. This includes any carbohydrate that has been processed from its whole form: pasta, bread, bagels, muffins, snack bars, and so much more. Opt for the whole form of the food, like quinoa, amaranth, oat groats, and millet. These are whole grains and do not typically cause as much of a blood sugar spike as the refined carbs.
Vegetable oils – These are everywhere! Check the back of some of your boxes of food in your house, you will surely find added oils in the most of them. These include canola, corn, soybean, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, grapeseed oil and many others. These oils have large amounts of omega 6 in them, and having so many of them in our food plan can lead to an overabundance in the body. Our body needs ideally a 1:1 ratio of omega 6 to 3 and since these oils have infiltrated most processed foods, and restaurant dishes, it can lead to inflammation in the body, therefore showing up on the skin. Today our ratio is largely 20:1 because of all of these oils in basically everything, except whole food. Eating whole food is the way to avoid these terrible oils.
Gluten – Gluten causes inflammation in the gut which causes inflammation around the body including on the skin. Even eating a little bit can cause a problem, and it can take around 3 months to get it out of your system once you stop eating it, so be patient. Your skin didn’t come to be like this overnight, so change may take some time.
Dairy – Dairy and dairy produced by large scale factory farms, can cause acne flare ups and other skin problems. Dairy has added hormones that is given to cows, which you then consume in milk, cheese, butter, and ice cream. There are so many other reasons why dairy should be avoided for great skin (and great health), but I’ll leave it at that for now. Interesting fact, dairy triggers the same receptors in your brain as opiates do, so you may have a difficult time letting go of it, but you will most likely be glad you did in the long run. Your skin and body will thank you.
Alcohol – Alcohol is extremely drying to your skin, toxic to all the cells in your body, and not beneficial by any means. It can cause skin aging, wrinkles, puffiness, and redness. It also slows down the process of cellular repair. Doesn’t sound too good huh?
Knowledge is Power
So sorry to burst the bubble about what is and is not good for your skin, but I believe knowledge is power. By no means am I suggesting you that you have to give up all of these things at this moment, and never have them again. You can do what feels right and good to you! You can do any of the above things that you can begin to implement into your lifestyle in a low stress way, and possibly continue to incorporate more down the line.
And try to make it fun for yourself! Choose some good-looking new recipes using some more of the good skin foods, and taking away some of the bad skin foods. Before you know it, you will be enjoying the process of helping your skin to look it’s finest.
As a by-product, you may notice that you feel better and have more energy since all the good skin foods have things your body needs to function well.
Always make sure you drink enough WATER!!
Hydration is so important for skin health, and all-around health. Filtered water is better, since water in most places is contaminated. Water lowers our exposure to toxins as much as possible will be of benefit in the short and long run.
Sooooo, when your wedding day rolls around, you can look and feel your best with beautiful glowing skin. You can feel free to thoroughly enjoy your day without worrying about how your skin looks in person or in photos.. or stressing about anything else for that matter!
Cheers to having radiant skin on your wedding day!
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