NUTRITION Rx: lustrous skin


Skin care! Besides food, this is probably my most favorite topic to talk about. I’m a complete “girlie girl” when it comes to beauty products. Truthfully if I wasn’t a nutritionist I’d probably be an aesthetician, that’s how much I love it! Anyone who knows me knows that I can’t walk past a make-up store without buying the latest “it” product and that my bathroom is overflowing with lotions, potions, and serums promising to make my skin glow. And while I’m not usually one to brag, I think my 41 year old skin looks pretty good. People are constantly shocked when I tell them my age, so something I’m doing must be working. As you can imagine, when we decided to discuss skin care for the month of February I was beyond excited! I now get to talk about my two favorite things….food and skin! And I couldn’t have been more excited to share my skin care secrets.

Over the past few years I’ve started to clean up my skin care routine. I’m so careful about the food I eat and what I put in my body. But, what I put ON my body is just as important. I’ve researched the cosmetic industry and the regulations (or lack thereof) around ingredients, labels, and marketing practices. Now I carefully read the ingredient list just as I do with food and learn what’s in the products I’m using and why. When I first started using greener skin care products I was worried that they wouldn’t work as well as the products I’ve used in the past, but boy was I surprised. Next week I’ll share with you some of my favorite clean skin care products that I just can’t live without.

Any beauty routine has to start with a healthy diet. It should come as no surprise that food is the foundation for glowing skin. Nourishing your skin from the inside out will make you sparkle in a way that no product can.

1. Lemon water – Could this simple drink be the skin care tonic you need? We think so. Water is essential to healthy skin. Dehydrated skin is dry, dull and lacks volume and more prone to wrinkling. Lemon water gives you a double skin whammy by hydrating your skin and supplying you with vitamin C. Vitamin C plays an essential role in collagen production. Collagen is a key protein in your skin. Sadly, collagen production decreases as we age, contributing to sagging skin and wrinkles, so anything you can do to keep that collagen production up will help you maintain a smoothed skin look. Vitamin C is also a potent anti-oxidant that helps slow down the aging process.

2. Bone broth – bone broth is a stock made with bones, ligaments and other connective tissue, cooked for long amounts of time (sometimes up to 24 hours). This slow, long cooking process breaks down the bones and connective tissue, releasing gelatin and that skin enhancing collagen. So can sipping on this hot broth really help your skin? Studies suggest that collagen in the diet can improve skin hydration and structure. Normally I try to make my own bone broth, but when I get busy I buy it. Recently I’ve been LOVING Bonafide Provisions Organic Bone Broth. Truthfully it tastes way better than any broth I’ve made on my own and it’s way more convenient. You can find it in the freezer section of your health food store.

3. Olive oil – Another key nutrient for skin health is monounsaturated fats, and olive oil is a great source. Many studies have shown the benefits that eating healthy fats can have on your skin, but in particular people who consume olive oil have significantly lower levels of sun damage to the skin.

4. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collards – the anti-oxidant power of green veggies such as these extends to almost every aspect of your health, skin care included. Leucine and zeaxanthin are 2 anti-oxidants that play a staring role. They have the ability to protect the skin from free-radical damage from the sun as well as helping to reduce inflammation of the skin.

5. Almond milk – almond milk [and almonds] make our list because they are a good source of vitamin E. Low levels of vitamin E may play a role in allowing acne to develop and vitamin E also acts as an anti-oxidant, protecting the skin from the aging process. Almond milk also makes our list for what it’s not… milk. Correlations have been found between dairy consumption and acne and I’ve found that skin problems often clear up when dairy is removed from the diet.

Next week we’ll continue our discussion of skin care as I dive into my skin care routine and my favorite products.


FDA Basics – How FDA Evaluates Regulated Products: Cosmetics. (n.d.). [WebContent]. Retrieved February 7, 2017, from

Boelsma, E., Hendriks, H. F., & Roza, L. (2001). Nutritional skin care: health effects of micronutrients and fatty acids. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 73(5), 853–864.

Cosgrove, M. C., Franco, O. H., Granger, S. P., Murray, P. G., & Mayes, A. E. (2007). Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86(4), 1225–1231.

Purba, M. B., Kouris-Blazos, A., Wattanapenpaiboon, N., Lukito, W., Rothenberg, E. M., Steen, B. C., & Wahlqvist, M. L. (2001). Skin wrinkling: can food make a difference? Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 20(1), 71–80.

Asserin, J., Lati, E., Shioya, T., & Prawitt, J. (2015). The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 14(4), 291–301.

Latreille, J., Kesse-Guyot, E., Malvy, D., Andreeva, V., Galan, P., Tschachler, E., … Ezzedine, K. (2012). Dietary Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Intake and Risk of Skin Photoaging. PLOS ONE, 7(9), e44490.

Viola, P., & Viola, M. (2009). Virgin olive oil as a fundamental nutritional component and skin protector. Clinics in Dermatology, 27(2), 159–165.

Roberts, R. L., Green, J., & Lewis, B. (2009). Lutein and zeaxanthin in eye and skin health. Clinics in Dermatology, 27(2), 195–201.

Juturu, V., Bowman, J. P., & Deshpande, J. (2016). Overall skin tone and skin-lightening-improving effects with oral supplementation of lutein and zeaxanthin isomers: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 9, 325–332.

Ozuguz, P., Dogruk Kacar, S., Ekiz, O., Takci, Z., Balta, I., & Kalkan, G. (2014). Evaluation of serum vitamins A and E and zinc levels according to the severity of acne vulgaris. Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology, 33(2), 99–102.

Share this Article: