Top Five Faves for Glowing Summer Skin: Inside + Out!

Imagine going to the dermatologist seeking a remedy for less than picture perfect and being told solely to use a prescription cream as the solution. Not being asked about what you’re putting inside your body (what you’re eating) nor what you’re putting on it (what you’re providing to your skin as food!). Sadly, more often than not, this is precisely what happens. According to an article on the US National Library of Medicine’s National Institute of Health dated as recently as 2014, “For decades, it was thought that many common dermatological conditions had no relationship to diet.” (1) Yes, you read that correctly. While the next statement sounds promising, “Studies from recent years, however, have made it clear that diet may influence outcome”, it still leaves me feeling a little left in the lurch. If we’re only two years into the medical community acknowledging that maybe, just maybe, what we eat plays a role in how our skin looks, how much can we trust what’s available to us in terms of what to put in our bodies or what to put on them? This is just one example of why I opted to partner with Beautycounter a few months back. I continue to feel passionate about educating people about what to eat, and now, by adding the piece which provides an incredible resource to check in and see if what you’re using in the personal care category (EWG) as well as a solution to provide safe options to replace what you may find out is contributing toxins to you and your family, the approach is far more comprehensive and effective. Rather than attempt to create an exhaustive list about what not to eat, or apply to your skin (an encyclopedia post, not something for a short blog), let’s tap into my top five faves for glowing summer skin! Olive Oil Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with nutrition and antioxidants like vitamins A and E. While this oil packs a nutritional punch, you can also use it on your face. The same qualities and benefits you experience on the inside can benefit your skin. (2) Perfect example of inside / outside beauty in one bottle! Fish Oil The fatty acids in fish oil supply hydration to your skin and help with inflammation. “Taking any kind of fish oil is like putting oil in your engine to run smoothly,” says Pekar. “Fish oil is great for your heart and health but especially your skin,” reducing acne and warding off wrinkles. Dr. Mayoral agrees, adding that most dermatologic literature points to two properties of fish that help us out. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties while low-glycemic foods like fish benefit people with psorasis, non-melanoma skin cancer and melanoma. (3)  My favorite brand is Nordic Naturals.  Enter CODE 52342 for a special discount! Avocado Avocados are a great source of antioxidant carotenoids like alpha-carotene, beta carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin and lutein. These free radical quenching compounds provide significant protection for your skin from the environmental damage that leads to fine lines, wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. High amounts of carotenoids in your diet have been shown in scientific studies to improve your skin’s density, thickness, tone and general appearance. (4) SPF I don’t know about you, but for years, I faced the dilemma of feeling unsure whether it was worse to risk a sunburn or slather up with cancer-causing Octybenzone! The Environmental Working Group says 56% of beach and sport sunscreens contain the chemical oxybenzone, the primary function of oxybenzone is to absorb ultraviolet light, but some research shows oxybenzone can be absorbed through the skin. And while the Environmental Working Group and other toxicology experts believe that oxybenzone is linked to hormone disruption and potentially to cell damage that may lead to skin cancer, the American Academy of Dermatology says oxybenzone is safe. “Oxybenzone is one of the few FDA-approved ingredients that provides effective broad spectrum protection from UV radiation, and has been approved for use since 1978,” said Dr. Daniel M. Siegel, president of the academy. The Food and Drug Administration has approved oxybenzone in sunscreen for use on children older than 6 months. Not too comforting. For me, the organization which deems that there is no need to label GMO plants (6) and tells us that products intended to cleanse or beautify, generally regulated as cosmetics, such as skin moisturizers, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail polishes, makeup, shampoos, permanent waves, hair colors, toothpastes, and deodorants are not subject to FDA premarket approval, except color additives (other than coal tar hair dyes) doesn’t hold much weight. Cosmetic companies have a legal responsibility for the safety of their products and ingredients. (7) As in- anything is fair game. Why not go with something that’s actually not only effective but safe? The SPF 30 lotion is safe and then some; it kept me burn-free for over ten hours at my last ironman! Cleanser After a workout, coming home with skin covered in a mixture of SPF, sweat and dirt, a good scrub is in order! Sure, you can opt for a DIY if you have the time or inclination, but often, practical is what works best. And if practical is also safe, there’s no issue!  My favorite is the Nourishing Cream Exfoliator. Without a doubt, on a daily basis, we’re exposed to many toxins, chemicals and pollutants, many of which are beyond our control. So why not address the components we can directly impact? What we eat, how we move and what we put on our bodies can play a tremendous role in keeping us healthy despite a chemical-ridden environment. (1 )Katta, Rajani. “Diet and Dermatology: The Role of Dietary Intervention in Skin Disease.” The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. US National Library of Medicine; National Institute of Health, July 2014. Web. 15 Aug. 2016 (2) “Benefits of Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the Face.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 28 Jan. 2014. Web. 15 Aug. 2016 (3) Oliver, Dana. “Fish Oil Benefits: Here’s What You Need To Know.” The Huffington Post., n.d. Web. 15 Aug. 2016 (4) The Top 4 Benefits of Avocado for Your Skin.” Healthiest Foods The Top 4 Avocado Skin Benefits Comments. N.p., 16 Dec. 2012. Web. 15 Aug. 2016. (5) “Avoid Sunscreens with Potentially Harmful Ingredients, Group Warns.” CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 15 Aug. 2016 (6) “There’s No Need to Label GMO Plants, FDA Says.” NBC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Aug. 2016 (7)