Author: <b> Karen Austin
Author: Karen Austin

Basics of Healthy Skin : Affects of Food on Skin


Amongst treatments and products, hydration and diet can also have an effect on your skin. If we think of our skin as an organ, made up of cells just like any other organ of our body which needs water to function. Without water our cells certainly do not work very well.

Not getting enough water can mean your skin can feel tight and dry, even flaky which can leave our skin very vulnerable. Our skin acts as a barrier to keep nasty’s from the environment out and also preventing valuable water and nutrient loss from within. If it is compromised, we are more susceptible to sensitives and even more water loss from our cells (called trans epidermal water loss TEWL) and fine lines and wrinkles.

Diet is also a big factor and something to consider, especially over this Easter break. One very large factor to consider is alcohol. Alcohol acts as a dehydrator to all cells, depriving them of vital antioxidants and nutrients. Over time this constant deprivation can have long term effects on your skin resulting in a rosacea type reddening to the skin and broken capillaries.

Our best defence against free radical damage is antioxidants. These antioxidants help prevent damage to our cells from every day environmental stimulants. A diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and Zinc will help to nourish and protect skin.

Vitamin C is naturally found in the skin and not only does it help with free radical damage but also helps with collagen production. It is important to keep up our stores by eating plenty of vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin E will help protect our cell membranes and guard against UV sun damage.

Selenium is known as a mineral which helps guard the skin from sun damage. It also can delay aging by protecting skin elasticity.

ZINC is another mineral found naturally in small quantities in our body. This mineral is necessary for protecting cell membranes and helping to maintain the collagen that keeps skin firm.

Tops 3 tips:

  • Foods high in vitamin C include Oranges, Capsicums, Grapefruits, Pinapples and Strawberries to name a few. Food high in vitamin E include Hazelnuts, Almonds, Spinach and Olive Oils.
  • Food high in Selenium include canned tuna, brown rice, chicken and Mushrooms. Food high in Zinc include oysters, pumpkin seeds, low fat yoghurt and Lentils.

(Joybauer, 2014)

  • Stay hydrated! A good aim is 1,500 – 2,000mL/day (or 35-45mL/kg/day) for adults.

Bonus tip- Any of you veggies out there with low fat diets incorporate ground flaxseeds, olives and safflower oils to help your skin retain water.


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