While we recommend some incredible glowing skin products, (if you’re after a quick fix, try Atlantis Skincare Glowing Skin Day Cream and Matis Reponse Teint Radiant Cleansing Water), we’re also big advocates for what you feed your body as well as what you put on it.
1. COOKED TOMATOES
Lycopene, the phytochemical that makes tomatoes red, helps boosts collagen strength—a protein that gives skin its taut, youthful structure—and fights off the oxidizing effect of UV rays by eliminating skin-aging free radicals. A study in the British Journal of Dermatology found participants who ate five tablespoons of tomato paste daily showed 33 percent more protection against sunburn than a control group. Why tomato paste? It’s because cooking tomatoes ups their lycopene levels, so tomato sauce, gazpacho, and even ketchup pack on the protection.
Think of carrots as your very own wonder wands—good for the eyes and good for clearing up breakouts. No magic here, though, just plenty of beta-carotene and vitamin A, an antioxidant which prevents overproduction of cells in the skin’s outer layer. That means fewer flaky dead cells that otherwise could combine with sebum to clog your pores. Plus, vitamin A plays an essential role in reducing the development of skin-cancer cells. It’s a win-win.
3. SWEET POTATOES
A study in the Journal Evolution and Human Behaviour showed eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables gives a healthier, more attractive, and more radiant glow than you would get from sun exposure. But it was those who consumed more portions of red and orange vegetables per day who had the greatest sun-kissed complexion—the result of disease-fighting compounds called carotenoids that give those plants their colours. Few foods are as rich in the beauty stuff than a baked sweet potato. In fact, just half a medium potato provides 200 percent of your daily recommended intake.
Natto is a Japanese dish made by boiling and fermenting soybeans with bacteria that increases the beans’ nutritional value. Natto is unique in that it’s the highest dietary source of vitamin K2—a vitamin which is important for cardiovascular and bone health as well as promoting skin elasticity to help prevent wrinkles. On top of that, natto is a potent source of gut-healing probiotics. A healthy gut can keep inflammation at bay, which researchers say may affect the health of our skin since many troubles like acne, eczema, and psoriasis stem from inflammation. Worried about eating soy? We did the research, and we’re giving fermented soy the A-OK! But if you’re not a fan, you can also get vitamin K2 from grass-fed butter, meat, and egg yolks.
Turmeric isn’t just a game-changer when it comes to protecting against cancer or reducing pain. This Indian spice can also protect your skin. That’s because turmeric’s active antioxidant, curcumin, has shown to be one of the most effective anti-inflammatory and free-radical fighting options out there, according to a study in Oncogene. Plus, research shows this spice can also be used to lighten dark pigmentation blotches or scars caused by aging, hormone imbalance, or sun exposure by inhibiting an enzyme in the skin that produces pigment—just combine with coconut oil or milk to create a healing facial mask!