Tips for glowing, healthy skin from the dermatologist
Can organic skin care help you look better? Is your complexion sallow? Are you struggling with skin problems driven by inflammation like dandruff, rosacea, or acne? Well, did you know that beta carotene rich foods can help you conquer these problems? Do you know exactly what these foods are?
Let me give you a quick tutorial and actionable steps to help your own complexion with these organic skin care elements.
What is beta carotene and what does it do for your skin?
- It is the yellow/red-orange pigment present in foods – you only get it if you eat it.
- It’s the most important dietary precursor to Vitamin A, also a critical nutrient for your skin health
- It is an important antioxidant alone and is also converted to Vitamin A, another important antioxidant.
- These fight free-radical damage to your skin and entire body.
- They slow skin aging.
- And they help resist some of the damage from sun exposure. Though, you still need sun protection for optimal skin health.
- It also imparts your skin with a beautiful warm color scientifically proven to be more beautiful to observers than a tan. Yep. More beautiful because you ate healthy veggies instead of jump-starting a journey to wrinkles, skin cancer and age spots!
Can you just take supplements to get great skin and forget changing your diet?
It's a common question. But, no, digestion and absorption of nutrients is complex, and interdependences between food components optimize benefits. I recommend eating beta-carotene-rich foods, not trying to cheat your body’s natural system by taking supplements. Lots of studies prove the benefits of eating foods rich in beta carotene and other essential nutrients. I don’t think the proof with supplements is quite as clear, and I’m not a fan. If there is one thing I’ve learned in my 40+ years as a scientist and physician, you can’t cheat Mother Nature.
What foods are high in beta carotene and will help with your inner organic skin care?
Yellow/orange veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and winter squash.
- Dark green – and trendy – veggies like kale, broccoli, spinach, collards (bonus for calcium), watercress, cilantro, and others. Here, chlorophyll masks the orange color, but it’s there!
- Yellow/orange fruits like apricots, cantaloupes, papaya, mangoes, nectarines, and peaches.
- Other good plant sources: zucchini, asparagus, and peas.
Did you know that beta carotene is scientifically proven to enhance attractive skin tone?
A study done in England showed volunteers a series of photos of men and women who either had a suntan or were beta-carotene loaded from a prescribed diet to do the job. Volunteers were asked who had better looking skin, and the beta-carotene infused skin won out! The warm glow of beta carotene is attractive for every skin type.
Here are 3 simple tips to help you increase your beta carotene levels in your skin:
Chop or juice beta-carotene-rich foods to help release the beta carotene. You can eat carrot sticks or juice carrots in a smoothie with kale (I like to add an apple and berries).
- Eat beta-carotene foods with a little fat to increase absorption. Kale salad with olive oil is a really easy and ideal choice.
- Eat carrot sticks and humus as an afternoon snack.
I also like oven-roasted winter squash and/or carrots tossed in olive oil (I add a little salt and cumin). It's so easy and healthy!
Have you noticed that your skin looks healthier when you eat more beta-carotene rich foods on a daily basis?
What are the easiest and yummiest ways for you to do it? If you would like more of my diet and lifestyle tips, you can download my FREE Healthy Eating Guide eBook on my eBook page. I’ve even got some recipes to make it easy to eat your way to health and beauty. With 40+ years as a wellness and science geek and 35+ years as a doctor, all at the same time means I've got a lot of experience with diet, health and how you can use foods to build a healthy complexion.
What are the best skin care products to boost the right vitamin and antioxidants to build healthy skin?
You can add even more important nutritional elements to your skin to improve your complexion’s ability to slow skin aging and boost skin vitality by using the right antioxidant and vitamin skin care products. The best proven ingredients are retinol (vitamin A, which is what beta carotene is converted to!), vitamin C and green tea polyphenol antioxidants. It's true and it's that simple.
The caveat is that the products must be professional grade meaning they must be made from only stable formulations with stable delivery technology and be high concentrations of exactly the right forms of these antioxidant ingredients. That's the job for the chemist and for me to figure out. I've been using antioxidant skin care products in my practice for over 20 years, long before it was trendy. I know which chemists and products are the best and actually work.
Here are the best proven antioxidant products for skin care.
These are the 3 products that I use in my practice and that I use for myself:
- Retinol Night Cream Apply it nightly under your favorite moisturizer.
- Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy Apply it morning and night right after cleansing.
- Vitamin C Anti-Wrinkle Serum Apply it morning or night at least 3 times a week.
Click on each of the products above for more detailed use instructions or get all three in my Anti-Aging Antioxidant Skin Care Kit.
And if you’d like regular updates on organic skin care, ways to fight acne and aging skin, rosacea and more…
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Interested in learning more? Take a look at my video on Beta Carotene below.
Schagen SK, Zampeli VA, Makrantonaki E, Zouboulis CC. Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012;4(3):298-307. doi:10.4161/derm.22876
Facial Skin Coloration Affects Perceived Health of Human Faces, Stephen ID, et. al., Int J Primatol, 2009 Dec;30(6):845-857.