Rodan + Fields / Blog / Lifestyle

Q&A: Why A Healthy Diet Impacts Your Skin’s Health

Donuts, chips and various junk food spread on a white surface alongside sunglasses, cell phone and eye mask

Skincare is about what you put on your skin and your consistency with your chosen skincare routine, of course. But it’s also about what you put in your body from a nutritional standpoint. A healthy lifestyle involves a nutritious diet — and that has an impact on our overall health, including that of your skin. Did you know that many skin concerns manifest as a result of consuming a certain type of diet? We believe that approaching your skin health holistically is the best way to achieve the best skin of your life.

In this post, we’ll answer frequently asked questions about how a healthy diet can support your daily skincare routine from an anti-aging perspective. Plus, we’ll share easy-to-implement tips on getting the nutrition you need.

What is our skin’s function?

The function of our skin, our largest organ, is to protect our internal organs from everything from the sun to harsh climates to precipitation. Multiple factors, including genetics and lifestyle, impact the health of our skin and overall skin aging. Protecting your skin barrier is essential to keeping your skin healthy while delivering your anti-aging benefits. “Whether you are in the middle of winter with dry heat blasting or you are exposed to dry heat in the middle of summer, you need that moisture,” says Dr. Kathy Fields. “Your day moisturizer needs to protect your skin from sun and environmental aggressors, like pollutants.”

Are there foods that cause visible wrinkles and skin aging?

What you eat absolutely has an effect on how your skin looks from an antiaging standpoint.Poor diet from eating junk food or a high glycemic starchy food causes destruction of collagen through a process known as glycation,” says Dr. Katie Rodan.

And watch those evening glasses of wine. “Excessive alcohol consumption causes flushing and a flare up of rosacea, producing telangiectasias —the little red, broken capillaries you see on your face and on chest,” Dr. Katie Rodan adds.

What should we opt for and avoid as part of an anti-aging diet?

“I recommend an anti-inflammatory diet, which means low-carb and no sugar as they directly cause skin inflammation,” Dr. Kathy Fields says. “It is so important to get to a target healthy weight and maintain it by implementing a reasonable diet that fits your lifestyle and one that you can practice long-term,” she adds. Exercise is another critical component.

“Diet has to be a lifestyle choice and combine that with your skincare routine to really age well,” Dr. Kathy Fields says. The best foods to eat to protect your skin from aging are antioxidants (think berries), carotenoids (think apricots and carrots) and greens (think spinach and broccoli). 

Why is drinking water and hydrating our skin important?

Keeping your skin hydrated from the inside, as well as on the outside, is about keeping up with your morning and evening skincare routines consistently. Your skincare regimen helps your skin look its most youthful and healthy.

Hydration should also be a critical part of both your skincare and lifestyle routines. “When you create a moist environment for your skin, you get better cell turnover and better enzymatic reaction,” says Dr. Kathy Fields. “When skin is dehydrated, the quality of these enzymatic reactions decreases,” she adds. Drinking a lot of water ensures your skin is getting its proper hydration. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water daily. You may want to invest in a large water bottle to keep on your desk while you work or to bring with you in your purse when you run errands.

How many hours of sleep should I get every night to support skin health?

“Eight hours per night is the goal; you want to get at least seven. Your skin restores when you sleep, so lack of sleep does not give time for restoration and disturbs its circadian rhythm.

Here’s what happens with your skin at night. Your skin has its own circadian rhythm, which is a 24-hour cycle that’s part of the body’s internal clock. Think of it as an operating system: It runs in the background to carry out essential functions and processes. At night, your skin absorbs products better, as it’s thinner at that time and undergoes the cell renewal and skin regeneration process.

Skin cell renewal changes as we age. The epidermis, or the outer layer of our skin, undergoes constant renewal every 28 days. During this time, all skin cells turn over as the most superficial cells are replaced by new ones. This turnover period is faster for infants than it is for children and so on. The process slows down over the course of a lifetime. That’s why we need additional support from skincare as we reach our 30s, 40s and beyond. During your nightly eight hours, you give your skin a chance to replace old skin cells and make room for the new ones. So, don’t skimp on that time for the sake of your skin!

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