We know that a lot of people are feeling very self-conscious of their diet right now as their movement is restricted and cupboards full of snacks are calling. There’s a maelstrom of anxiety: about the news, about our loved ones and, understandably, about losing the routines that serve as anchors to every day life and mental wellbeing.
At the clinic, we are happy to provide treatments such as radiofrequency to lift and tone the body, which many women appreciate after bearing children; dramatic weightloss; or as a confidence boost before a holiday. We provide microneedling to help reduce the appearance of stretchmarks and peels for breakouts on backs. But we are also always on the alert for clients who have BDD, or Body Dysmorphic Disorder. These are people who, for various reasons, will always feel a deep-seated dissatisfaction with their appearance, no matter how many treatments they receive. It is not in our policy to treat people with BDD as we think that this is unethical: they will always find something new that needs tweaking, and though there will always be businesses that will take advantage and takes their money, we are not willing to. We would rather educate and empower people so that they live the best possible lifestyle for their body and skin (as well as overall wellbeing) so we can treat them effectively.
There is a constant barrage of misinformation out there, amplified by social media. Fad diets? We have seen them ALL! And we’re not judging, cos we’ve been there ourselves. You know – when work/life get in the way of your usual exercise classes, the jeans are suddenly deeply uncomfortable and SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE! Immediately! There’s a certain feeling of ‘losing control’ and it feels like only drastic measures will suffice. We want to feel hunger, our thighs sore from squats, punishing our body back into shape. What we do not want to hear is ‘gentle exercise, three times a week and a balanced diet of moderation’.
However, life is forcing us to slow down at the moment. To plump for simpler meals and gentler workouts such as walking and stretches in the living room. We thought it would be a good time to share with you some nutritional information that will benefit your body, mind and, of course – skin.
Fat is not a Dirty Word
One of our bugbears at the clinic is the ‘fat-free diet’. Many clients stick rigidly to this way of eating, because for many years that was the received wisdom: if you want to be thin, don’t eat fats! In actual fact, a diet high in fats & protein and low in refined carbs & sugars (HFLC) is what we would prefer to see our clients follow to increase the efficacy of our treatments.
What ‘Good Fats’ do for You
The HFLC diet helps reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and it’s seen as a healthy and sustainable diet for fat loss. As for your skin – it helps you look noticeably healthier! Let’s take a closer look at the ones we’ve all heard of, but don’t necessarily know what’s good about them…
Omega-3 and Omega-6
Our bodies don’t produce their own omegas, so we need to consume them via our diet. These Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) play an important role in maintaining the skin’s protective barrier, such as oil and water production. EFAs help retain water and vital nutrients and flush out cell waste. Basically, when we have enough, they help the skin protect us in an optimal fashion. What happens when we don’t eat enough? We get conditions such as dermatitis. The cells simply do not get enough of the right nutrients, so that cannot properly product protection for the skin. This results in scaly, dry skin.
Vitamins and Minerals
We thought we’d explore some particularly skin-loving vitamins and minerals. These are fat-soluble, and are often found in fatty foods such as vegetable oils, milk/dairy foods, eggs, liver, oily fish and butter. Nothing too crazy: we don’t need to source hugely expensive and rare berries from the Amazon. Just buy some free-range eggs at the Supermarket.
Also known as retinol, which is considered the ‘gold standard’ ingredient for anti-ageing skincare. When applied topically, this helps reduce wrinkles. Find it in foods that are rich in beta-carotene, such as sweet potato.
Also known as ‘the sunshine vitamin’, you can find this in fatty foods such as CHEESE! Who doesn’t love a bit of cheese? OK – vegans. For vegans, make sure you’re getting plenty of mushrooms in your diet. Vitamin D can help reduce acne and improve the overall appearance of skin.
Top salads with olive oil and sprinkle them with sunflower seeds for a good source of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps keep skin moisturised.
Are you eating enough green, leafy veg? We love adding frozen spinach to curries and stews to supplement our iron and our vitamin K. Without enough vitamin K, calcium can be deposited in the skin’s elastin fibres and cause them to harden, leading to wrinkles. If you bruise easily, it may be worth looking into supplementing your diet with more vitamin K (look at liver, fish, cereals and broccoli) as it is crucial in synthesising blood-clotting proteins.
On a Final Note…
What we’ve learnt is that moderation is always key, in skincare and in diet and exercise. There’s no need to dramatically overthrow your lifestyle, and it’s always great to seek medical advice before making drastic changes. We’re not over here, mainlining cheese (although we are partial to a Brie, we cannot lie). But you’ll often find us roasting a big tray of vegetables with olive oil, the Mediterranean way, to base our meals around, or enjoying scrambled eggs and avocado for breakfast. If you’re going to enhance the quantity of fat you consume then do check out sources of biotin, or vitamin B-7 (avocadoes, berries, wholemeal bread or supplements if you want to go down that route). Biotin aids fat metabolism in skin and contributes to overall health of your kin, hair and nails.
Nothing we’ve said here is that crazy. Your skin will look it’s healthiest when you’re looking after your body as an integrated whole, and to look after your body, you need to approach it with a nurturing attitude rather than a mindset of punishment. Now is not the time to add any more pressure and worry to your mind or body.