While I was getting my master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner, I learned about the Whole Person Nursing Theory—the foundation of nursing practice that teaches nurses to focus on healing the whole person, rather than simply the disease or illness.
I’ve carried this idea with me while developing my line of skincare, because I truly believe it’s essential to consider the “whole person” when caring for your skin.
Let me explain what I mean...
Imagine you’re suffering from a skincare issue like breakouts, fine lines or hyperpigmentation. You might think it’s easier to try to fix the problem alone with an ointment, serum, or face mask, but if you don’t treat the “whole person,” then these issues are sure to keep coming back. In other words, topical skincare ingredients are only one small piece of the puzzle to achieving healthy, glowing skin.
In fact, I strongly believe that your skin is a reflection of your overall health.
True, your health is a delicate balance of many factors, but one of the most impactful aspects is—yep, you guessed it—nutrition.
The food we use to nourish our bodies has a powerful impact on our health—from our gut to our skin and everything in-between. And I have some good news! There’s no need to go overboard with strict diets and trendy cleanses. Simply making small but deliberate changes to your diet can have huge benefits to the health of your skin. So, while you might not have the time or patience for a complete overhaul, these quick and simple ideas will help to keep your skin luminous from the inside out.
1. A Berry Good Idea
Increasing a colorful assortment of berries in your diet not only tastes amazing, but also has great skin benefits—berries are super nutritious and a good source of fiber, Vitamin C and antioxidants! According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, increasing Vitamin C in your diet has been shown to lower the incidence of wrinkles. Even better, increasing antioxidants can be protective in slowing the effects of environmental stress. Now, that’s definitely enough reason to head to your local berry farm! Oh, and the cherry on top? Some of the most nutrient-dense berries, like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, are also the best tasting and easiest to source! Just counting down the days before it’s farmers market season...
2. Yep, Healthy Fat is Totally a Thing
Increasing essential fatty acid in the form of omega-rich fish and nuts or adding quality sources of fat from olive oil, coconut oil, avocados or ghee has also been shown to slow skin atrophy and wrinkling, according to a study from the University of Oregon. Making simple swaps like cooking with ghee or olive oil and using coconut oil in baking or avocados in smoothies are some quick and easy ways to add these healthy fats into your everyday diet. Don’t have to tell me twice!
3. Trust Your Gut
There have been numerous studies linking gut health to poor skin conditions. The most common are acne and atopic dermatitis and the lack of good bacteria or the overgrowth of bad bacteria, such as E.coli. That’s why it’s incredibly beneficial to keep your gut health in mind while thinking about your skin. Try adding yogurt or fermented foods such as sauerkraut to your diet or adding a quality daily probiotic!
4. Minimize Processed Foods and Sugar
Mom was right! Eating real, whole food is always best. Focus on getting a variety of colorful fresh fruit and veggies (I’m a big fan of smoothies!) and quality protein from eggs, lean meat and fish. Also, the next time you pick up a pre-packaged food product, scan the list of ingredients and always choose the one with the fewest. Instead of refined sugar, try incorporating honey, maple syrup, dates or coconut sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth. Promise they’re just as tasty!
5. Lay off the Alcohol
A glass of wine or cocktail a few times a week is certainly enjoyable—and let’s be honest, sometimes completely necessary! But overindulging in alcohol too often can lead to worsening rosacea, skin dehydration and accelerated aging. Try limiting alcohol to just a few times a week or taking a break completely for a month or two, so it doesn’t take a toll on the health of your complexion.
While all five of these tips are highly recommended, you certainly don’t need to rush into following all of these at once! Simply incorporating even one or two of these ideas can make a powerful impact on your skin. Remember: healthy, glowing skin is a reflection of your health, and nourishing your body with healthy food is just one way to achieve a more refreshed complexion.