As you know, the largest body organ is our skin. Our skin covers our entire body (obvi) and has a surface area of around two square meters. It’s made up of two main layers—the outer epidermis and the inner dermis. The cells in the deepest layer of the epidermis create new cells that are pushed toward the surface. As we age, we begin to lose concentration of collagen, elastic fibers, and fat underneath our tissues. This usually results in the loss of skin elasticity, the ability to be stretched and bounce back to its original shape.
A number of factors can influence the loss of elastin in skin tissue, including air pollution, smoking, excessive sun exposure, and poor nutrition. If you want to restore your skin’s elasticity, here are a number of foods and supplements that your skin will benefit from.
When your skin is dehydrated, it begins to thin out, causing loss of elastin. Make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin looking plump.
Collagen helps skin cells bind to one another, thus strengthening its elasticity. Because your skin and gut are connected via the skin-gut axis, adding a high-quality source of collagen to your nutrient intake can help to replenish skin’s elasticity. If you’re vegan, plant-based sources of collagen include tempeh, soy protein, and black beans.
Foods that are full of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, B, C, and E can help to increase collagen production and protect the skin from harmful damage. These foods include fatty fish such as salmon and sardines, healthy fats from nuts such as walnuts and almonds, leafy greens such as spinach and chard, olive oil, avocado, and teas such as hibiscus and a Poosh favorite, matcha. Colorful fruits such as guava, kiwi, papaya, strawberries, and blueberries are sourced with vitamin C (which is needed to produce collagen) to help strengthen the capillaries that supply the skin.
Vitamin C and Zinc
Low levels of both vitamin C and zinc not only impact our immune system but can also inhibit the skin’s ability to repair itself. Poosh loves Dr. Nigma’s Vitamin C Cocktail, made with ingredients to promote collagen production and antioxidant activity. Other sources of vitamin C and zinc include citrus fruits, carrots, spinach, mushrooms, oysters, and legumes.
Aloe vera, cinnamon, mint, alma, cilantro, coriander, and calendula all help to boost skin elasticity and promote clear skin, and they’re packed with minerals to feed the skin with vital nutrients.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring substance found in the skin’s connective tissue, whose primary role is to help maintain skin moisture and lubrication. UV ray exposure is one of the factors that contribute to HA depletion. Aside from using skin products that are fortified with HA, there are foods that contain adequate levels of hyaluronic acid. These include bone broth, soy-based foods such as tempeh and edamame, starchy vegetables such as jicama, artichoke, and sweet potatoes, and leafy greens. Citrus fruits inhibit the breakdown of HA in our bodies, so be sure to also include fruits such as oranges and grapefruit. And check out Poosh’s delicious Blueberry & Lemon Collagen Vibes blend that includes vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.