There are few actions more indulgent and luxurious than whipping up a beauty mask, smearing it all over your face, and slipping into a warm bath full of lotions and potions. These beauty rituals can bring immense pleasure and benefit your skin, but true beauty comes from the inside – literally! Nutrition is a key factor in maintaining luminous, healthy skin. Our skin cells can absorb some materials topically, but most beauty boosters need to be broken down to their molecular level by the digestive system and delivered via the bloodstream in order to unlock all of their benefits. But that doesn’t mean you have to drink your moisturiser. Here are some easy ways to drink your way to beautiful skin.
You’ve heard it time and again, hydration is important. Your body is about sixty percent water and when you start to get dehydrated the first place it shows is in your skin. There has been some debunking recently regarding the old “eight glasses a day” standard, but you should definitely drink when you’re thirsty. When skin cells get dehydrated they crinkle up, leaving even more space for evaporation between them. Keeping your skin in supply of water will keep your cells plump and perky.
6) Almond milk
The skin star of almond milk is vitamin E. Vitamin E is a great antioxidant that can help clear your skin of free radicals. Almonds are a great source of vitamin E but the vitamin E content of almond milk is significantly less than that of raw almonds. Still, using almond milk in your morning smoothie can add some vitamin E to your day. Your body can’t store vitamins the way it can store macronutrients so there’s no point in getting any more than your daily recommended dose. Choose a brand with no added sugar or thickeners or make your own.
Kefir is a probiotic dairy drink that’s similar to yogurt but thinner and more drinkable. Probiotics are making a splash in the skincare scene with research beginning to hint that they may have benefits beyond intestinal health. Probiotic bacteria may be helpful in fighting inflammation all over the body including inflammation of the skin caused by atmospheric irritants or allergic reactions. They also fight fungal infections by feeding on yeast cells that try to grow within the body.
Kombucha is another fermented probiotic drink made of tea. Unlike other probiotic drinks like kefir and drinkable yogurt, kombucha is vegan and has a lower calorie content, so it’s great for people with dietary restrictions or those who want to up their skin game while keeping a close watch on the rest of their health. Kombucha can be found at most health food stores and natural markets, but its growing popularity means you may also be able to find it at your corner store. Sauerkraut and Kimchi, a Korean fermented cabbage are more great vegan sources of probiotics.
3) Wheatgrass juice
Remember wheatgrass? That chlorophyll-rich green juice was a huge hit among nutritional faddists in the nineties and the butt of many sit-com jokes about health nuts. The fad may have died down, but that doesn’t mean that wheatgrass is any less beneficial than it was twenty years ago. Maybe the marketing campaigns went a bit overboard back in the day touting wheatgrass as a cure-all elixir for every health problem ever, but it is true that wheatgrass is loaded with antioxidants. As mentioned above, antioxidants get rid of free radicals so that your skin is free to absorb all the hydrating goodness of water.
2) Miso soup
No, it’s not the tofu in miso soup that has beauty benefits, nor is it the seaweed. It’s actually the salt. Sodium and potassium are very important factors for keeping hydrated. This can be confusing. Salty flavours make you thirsty so that means that salt is dehydrating, right? Not exactly. Salt promotes osmosis which is the movement of water through semi-permeable membranes like the ones in your cells. On a molecular level, water wants to dilute solutions. So if the water inside your cells has a higher salt content than the water inside your cells, the inside water will attract the outside water, resulting in a more hydrated cell. This is also why gargling with salt water can help a sore throat. The salt water you gargle attracts the water that is swelling the cells of your throat and draws it out. You can also see this effect when you add a pinch of salt to sautéing vegetables and watch it draw the water out of them. Miso soup is a good salty broth but adding salt to any broth will have the same effect. But don’t overdo it. Too much sodium can cause high blood pressure and liver problems.
1) Fruit smoothies
Aw, yes. There is nothing better than learning that a drink that is already healthy and delicious can also benefit your skin. Most fruits are high in antioxidants and they have a high water content, which makes them perfect candidates for a radiance-inducing beauty smoothie. Whole fruits are a better choice than fruit juices, as even unsweetened fruit juice contains a lot of sugar. Most common juicing fruits require three whole fruits to yield one cup of juice, and that’s just too much. But a single orange blended with a handful of strawberries and some almond milk will give you a nice, tall smoothie with all the fruity beauty antioxidant properties you crave and just a fraction of the sugar of a glass of OJ.
The next time you’re researching DIY kitchen cupboard beauty recipes, consider mixing up a drink instead of a mask. Nutrition is the base of all of your body’s functions including skin cell rejuvenation. Drink up!