By Jenny Tamayo

What you feed your body today turns up on your skin tomorrow, as we’ve all experienced with puffy under-eyes after salty meals or dehydrated, tired skin after a night of too many margaritas, but what about the positive effects of our diet?  Does our diet really make a difference for the skin? It can be difficult to measure the subtle effects of good health on the skin but there are many.  Skin cell formation begins deep in the layers of the skin, in the dermis, where capillaries feed nutrients and oxygen. If the nutrition is in abundance, a stronger healthier cell can grow, if the nutrients are low, the cell will inevitably suffer.  A healthy diet significantly delays the rate of aging, brings more firmness, and creates skin radiance free of breakouts.

Stay Hydrated

Water is and always will be the essence of life and it is the first key to healthy skin.   It flushes out waste and allows skin cells to work optimally.  It is also plumps cells, creating a dewy, youthful complexion. Think of your skin cell as a grape.  A healthy grape is full of water, firm, smooth and even in color. If a grape were dehydrated (look like a raisin,) it loses structure, shrivels, wrinkles and turns brown.  The same goes for skin.  Make sure to get six to eight glasses of water a day, but equally important is eating “watery” fruits and vegetables such as: cucumbers, melons and bell peppers.


No matter your current skin condition, anti-oxidants can help. As our cells create energy, clear out toxins and fight off invaders they make a toxic by-product called free radicals.  Unhealthy food choices and daily environmental exposure to smoke, pollution and UVA/UVB rays also contribute to this toxic over load, creating even more free radicals that can run rampant in the body. Anti-oxidants in the form of vitamins A, C, E and the mineral zinc are powerful anti-oxidants that neutralize free radical damage.  Without proper defense tools like anti-oxidants you not only age faster, but free radical damage is now widely accepted as a factor in a number of chronic diseases.  The best way to get anti-oxidants is from a diet rich in color and variety from whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Whole Grains

When it comes to whole grains it comes down to this: fiber, fiber, fiber.  If you want a healthy digestive system, you need something to scrape it clean, and this is exactly what fiber does.  The tough hulls of whole grains work like brillo pads on the small intestines keeping them clean, allowing for maximum absorption of nutrients.  Choose breads, pastas and tortillas that include the words “whole wheat” or “whole grain” at the top of the ingredient list.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables should be eaten and prepared raw or lightly steamed as overcooking them quickly destroys delicate enzymes structures.  Try to eat at least one raw salad a day, even if it’s a side dish.  Whenever possible buy organic, or better yet, shop at your local farmers market.  Not only will the produce be more nutrient dense, it will last longer and taste better!

Last Word

Healthy, vibrant skin starts from the inside out. Professional skin care treatments and products only enhance what you’ve already been feeding your skin on a daily basis.  Nutritionally balanced skin means you won’t need to use professional treatment and that you’ll apply less home care products in general, which will save you money in the end.  Good health always pays off in more ways than one.