Skin-care can be a tricky business, but instead of just slathering on moisturiser and hoping for the best, why not take care of your largest organ from the inside out? Here are our top tips for glowing skin.

1. Healthy fats

To help your skin stay firm, moist and supple, eat a diet rich in healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds, avocados and fish.

Your body can’t make omega-3 fatty acids, which are a type of polyunsaturated fat, but you can introduce them into your diet with SMASH fish options (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring), as well as flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and walnuts.

2. Pretty with protein

When we eat protein, it is broken down into building blocks called amino acids.

These amino acids are used to make other proteins, such as collagen and keratin, which help form the structure of the skin.

Some amino acids are also antioxidants and therefore prevent the skin from free radical damage and UV rays.

Good sources of protein include lean chicken or turkey.

3. Get your ACE vitamins

Vitamins A, C and E are the heavyweights in the vitamin world where skin is concerned.

Vitamin A is an antioxidant and therefore may give some protection against the sun’s rays and is thought to prevent some sun damage.

And of course remember it’s always good to get some sun for vitamin D.

Vitamin C helps collagen to hold its shape and is also a powerful antioxidant, therefore protecting against free radicals.

And, last but not least, E is for energy, as this anti-inflammatory and antioxidant vitamin helps to absorb the energy from UV light, thus acting as a barrier to prevent skin from sagging and wrinkling.

4. Super selenium

Selenium is a fantastic mineral that helps to protect the skin from free radical damage and acts as a barrier against UV damage, inflammation and pigmentation.

Selenium is found in seafood (e.g. crab, salmon, tuna and prawns), white meat (e.g. turkey and chicken) lentils, and brown rice, as well as some vegetables such as potatoes and peas.

5. Think zinc

Zinc is an important trace mineral for skin health because it regulates hormone balance and therefore helps to promote clear skin.

It’s found in beef (a single serving of around 100g provides roughly 4mg of zinc — half a woman’s daily recommended intake).

It’s also found in egg yolks, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and, if you’re feeling flash, lobster.

6. Get your beauty sleep

Sleep is recovery time for your body, so it’s no wonder that 40 winks is crucial for healthy skin.

Studies have shown that sleep quality impacts the function and ageing of skin.

Thus, sleep deprivation has been linked to increased signs of skin ageing and impaired recovery from environmental stressors (such as the disruption of the skin barrier and UV radiation).

7. Keep hydrated

It should come as no surprise that drinking water is good for our skin; especially in summer when we’re likely to lose moisture through sweating.

Dehydration may increase the likelihood of acne, exacerbate the visibility of wrinkles and dark circles and cause redness and inflammation.

On the other hand, well-hydrated skin helps maintain the outer skin barrier as it deals with external irritants, pollutants, microbes and UV radiation.

Studies have shown that keeping hydrated is likely to positively impact normal skin physiology, and the difference is starkest when those who are generally accustomed to drinking lower quantities of water increase their intake.

8. Get your antioxidants

UV radiation from the sun can stimulate free radicals: highly reactive and unstable molecules that our bodies produce naturally and can be encouraged by external sources.

Free radicals only exist in the body momentarily, but during that time can cause ‘oxidative stress’.

For the skin, this means exacerbating visible signs of ageing and damaging DNA, in turn increasing cancer risk.

To combat the effects of free radicals, we can consume foods with antioxidant properties.

There are lots of examples of foods with significant antioxidant properties which therefore help combat UV damage.

These include: dark chocolate, berries, olive oil, green tea, kale, coffee and beetroot.

9. Slather on sunscreen

Exposure to solar radiation is a major contributory factor to the damage our skin may endure as we age, bringing on wrinkles, fragility, a loss of elasticity, and even damage to DNA at deeper levels of the skin.

UV rays can weaken the bonds between cells in the top layer of your skin by disrupting proteins that help the cells to adhere together.

This deteriorates the skin’s structural integrity; it’s why sunburn leads to peeling.

The more UV you’re exposed to, the worse this effect becomes, heightening your risk not only of skin cancer, but infections and other problems.

That’s why it’s so important to wear sunscreen, reapply regularly, and keep to shady areas when it’s really sunny.

The NHS recommends reapplying every two hours.

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