Winter-proof your skin: Beauty boosting foods guaranteed to give you back your summer glow
23:56 GMT, 18 November 2012
Cold winter weather, lack of sunlight and dehydrating central heating can all play havoc with your skin. But if it feels like your summer glow has gone into permanent hibernation, don’t despair.
'The good news is, if you eat the right foods you’ll see the benefits in your skin in as little as three weeks,' says nutritionist Dale Pinnock, author of The Clear Skin Cookbook.
Here, he reveals the recipe for a radiant winter complexion…
Radiant: Nutritionist Dale Pinnock explains how to eat your way to glowing winter skin
WINTER WOE: Dry and eczema-prone skin
'Eat more oily fish because these are full of essential fatty acids that reduce water loss in your skin, so help maintain plumpness and moisture,' says Dale.
This protects your face from whipping winter winds and drying central heating.
'Salmon and mackerel also have anti-inflammatory properties, so your skin is less likely to become sore if you are prone to eczema,' he adds. To see the difference, Dale advises eating salmon or mackerel three times a week.
WINTER WOE: Dull, tired complexion
Vitamin E is the top ingredient in skin creams, but the best way to get your dose is to eat it. 'Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potato, mango and peppers (orange and yellow ones) all contain carotenoids, antioxidants that the body converts to Vitamin E and nourish the layers of skin under the surface,' says Dale.
'For best results, eat two portions per day.'
Because your face takes a battering in winter, you should also treat yourself to more blueberries, blackberries, black grapes and even a glass of red wine.
'These can all help your skin as they contain anthocyanidins, a pigment that has been found to strengthen collagen fibres,' says Dale. And the result Much firmer, healthier, more radiant skin.
Super fruits: Avocados and kiwi fruit should be in your beauty larder
'You’d also benefit from more vitamin D,' says Dale. 'We get 90 per cent of our vitamin D from sun exposure, so now the days are shorter most of us have lower levels of vitamin D than normal. Particularly low, when you consider that our summer was a washout this year.'
As a result, it’s not surprising that 47 per cent of us regularly suffer with low energy levels, according to a new survey by health website BetterYou. Tiredness that’s instantly reflected in our skin.
'Because we only get 10 per cent of vitamin D from nutrition, it’s more important than ever to eat the right foods,' says Dale.
'Oily fish is the best dietary source, but egg yolks, liver and wild mushrooms contain essential quantities of vitamin D too, so try to eat one of these four ingredients per day.'
WINTER WOE: Deathly pale and brittle skin
Winter skin can feel taut, so snack on Brazil nuts to give your skin back its bounce.
'These are rich in selenium, an antioxidant mineral, which has been shown to improve youthful elasticity and reduce sun damage,' explains Dale.
Selenium is very concentrated in Brazil nuts, so one or two a day is plenty. If you’re allergic to nuts, get your selenium from turkey, lean beef, chicken or eggs.
WINTER WOE: Chapped skin
Up your B-vitamins, as these deliver nutrients and regulate the turnover of skin cells — exactly what you need to recover from dry, flaky patches.
'Brown rice and dark green vegetables, particularly broccoli and kale, are rich in B-vitamins,' says Dale. 'Add dark green vegetables to your lunch or dinner every day and your skin will reap the rewards.'
Fishy business: Oily fish such as mackerel are a great source of essential fatty acids
WINTER WOE: Spots
Stop comfort eating because you’re probably getting too much sugar. ‘Sugar stimulates sebaceous glands and makes you spotty,’ says Dale.
'Sweet things stimulate the production of the male hormone androgen, which can cause acne in women.'
Also, sugar is proven to accelerate collagen damage, so avoid it if you want your skin to survive the winter.
Blend one large handful of collagen-plumping blueberries, half a glow-giving mango and half an avocado for its skin-smoothing vitamin E.
Add a scoop of natural protein powder to prevent an insulin spike from the fruit sugars. Try Whey To Go (24.66, nutricentre.com) or pea protein (15.29, pulsin.co.uk).
A mashed-up avocado makes the perfect winter face mask, as it is rich in Vitamin E and can nourish the skin when applied directly to it.
Tropical fruits such as kiwi, papaya and pineapple are available in supermarkets at this time of year, and they contain a blend of exfoliating fruit acids. Just apply directly to your face for ten minutes and prepare to get messy.
For a kitchen cupboard remedy you don’t even have to wash off, try rubbing coconut oil into sore patches. This healthy cooking ingredient is rich in lauric acid, which is bio-identical to your skin’s natural oils.