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The natural way to achieve healthy skin

At OM we believe that good skin begins on the inside. We don’t believe in telling you what not to eat; no good comes from depriving yourself. But it’s also important to treat your gut to the good stuff. And by ‘good’, we mean natural. Nothing artificial; no refined sugars, no saturated fats, no chemicals. There are some small dietary changes you can make to achieve healthy skin and a glowing complexion.

Eat more tomatoes (the darker, the better)

Tomatoes and tomato-based products contain a pigment called lycopene, which is seriously good for the skin. The darker the tomatoes, the more of the pigment it contains. The body can’t produce lycopene itself, so you need to digest it.  Research has shown that a high-lycopene diet can reduce damage to the skin caused by sun exposure, and can be converted to retinol, which promotes the production of anti-ageing collagen. This makes for a smoother, more youthful complexion.

It’s also a powerful antioxidant, preventing against the harmful effects of pollutants on the skin. Some research suggests that eating lycopene rich foods regularly can reduce the risk of heart disease (it prevents the clogging of arteries by oxidising bad cholesterol) and can boost immunity.

Chia seeds

Small but mighty, get creative about bringing these into your everyday life. They are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to raise HDL cholesterol (known as ‘good’ cholesterol).  As with lycopene, omega-3 fatty acids can’t be produced by the body. They are anti-inflammatory, so ideal for skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea and psoriasis, and used topically (in chia seed oil), it can speed up the healing process.

To keep bacteria at bay, apply it to cotton wool and dab on acne scars, dark spots and any other inflamed area. In oil form, chia seeds can be used to create natural eye serums and moisturisers. Oh, and did we mention it’s rich in fibre too? A healthy digestion is beneficial to your skin’s health. Find out more on our face mapping post.

Beige isn’t bad

Not when it comes to cauliflower, anyway. You hear about cauliflower a lot nowadays, often used as a substitute for rice (cauli-rice, anyone?) and an alternative ingredient for a pizza base. Similar to chia seeds, cauliflower contains omega-3 fatty acids, but it’s also rich in vitamin K which reduces inflammation. It’s a powerful antioxidant, preventing signs of ageing from free radicals such as pollution, and protects organs such as the liver and kidneys. This unassuming vegetable happens to contain manganese – which treats inflammation and helps absorb essential nutrients – and vitamin C. The latter helps to produce hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine, both of which bind together the molecules that produce collagen. In turn, vitamin C firms and tones the skin, as well as combating uneven skin tone and encouraging a glowing complexion.

From fruit (tomatoes are a fruit, after all), to vegetables, to seeds, it’s apparent that you can achieve a healthy complexion the natural way.