Updated: Feb 5, 2021
Before you hit the checkouts with your basket of expensive creams and lotions, get the lowdown on how mother nature can deliver everything your skin desires and more, with just a few easy dietary switches.
Skincare aficionados of the modern-day will be on high-alert for these highly-sought-for ingredients on their beauty buys. To them, it is no secret that for the complexion to look its best, they must be wise as to what they invest. However, with so many elements to the appropriate levels and proper absorption on said lotions and potions, it raises a lot of questions. Namely - "Which one will actually work?"
"A healthy outside starts from the inside." - Robert Urich
Of course, none of us can reverse the clock fully. Ageing is a natural process, after all. But, that isn't to say we can't age well. Genetics, general health and our environment play a big role in predicting this, and, on top of that, how we look after our body plays its part, too. Prevention is better than cure. However, there's only so much skincare alone can do, especially if our diet and exercise regime isn't quite so discerning. This is why promoting these 4 properties is absolutely essential!
All of these substances are naturally present in the human body, so achieving healthy skin shouldn't be so hard - nor should it cost the earth. So say goodbye to expensive, mind-boggling creams and say hello to the budget (and beauty) friendly plant-based foods that help to boost these remarkable organic properties.
WHAT IS IT? Charlotte Birnbaum, a New York City-based, board-certified dermatologist, succinctly explains that "Squalene is a lipid, or fat, made naturally by our oil glands to hydrate and maintain the barrier of our skin." It has also been found to work as an antioxidant and fight free-radical damage in our skin. In essence, squalene makes a brilliant skin emollient, which explains why it is added to some facial serums and nighttime moisturisers. Unfortunately though, as we age, these lipid levels deplete. Thus, causing our skin to become dry and show signs of ageing.
HOW CAN I BOOST MY SQUALENE LEVELS NATURALLY? Beneficial for those who have dry/mature skin (and even those who suffer from eczema, psoriasis and acne) the best way to naturally boost squalene in the body is through consumption of foods like, amaranth seed, rice bran, wheat germ, and olives. Results from a 2012 study support the popular conclusion that "A diet rich in olive oil reduces the effects of photoaging on facial skin." So why not start the day with a bowl of amaranth porridge or wheat germ pancakes? And then, as the day goes on, snack on a few olives and scatter some rice bran oil on a healthy salad - easy!
WHICH SUPERFOOD TEA BLENDS WOULD HELP ME ACHIEVE THIS? Add a bountiful cup of glow-enhancing oolong tea to your regime, renowned for its superb ability to improve skin's hydration. See our dessert-inspired oolong tea range here.
WHAT IS IT? According to healthline.com, "Collagen is a protein that provides structure to much of your body, including your bones, skin, tendons, and ligaments." In relation to skin structure, collagen is responsible for its renewal, reparation and elasticity, which is why most beauty products containing it will be either in capsule form, face creams or in eye patches. However, much like with squalane, collagen production starts to decline at about age 25. This continues as we age and decreases even more in women after menopause. Other factors such as smoking, sugar and UV rays will also impede this.
HOW CAN I BOOST MY COLLAGEN LEVELS NATURALLY? With its many claims to improve skin elasticity, reduce visible wrinkles, and increase blood flow to the skin, boosting collagen is important to a whole host of individuals. The best way to naturally increase it in the body is by eating foods high in Vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, turmeric, bell peppers, dill, kale, broccoli, baobab, aloe vera, pomegranates and strawberries. Other plant-based foods that help to synthesise collagen are those rich in Proline, which can be found in wheat germ, cabbage, asparagus, and mushrooms. Also, foods rich in Copper, such as sesame seeds, cacao powder, cashews, and lentils. In addition to this, your body needs high-quality protein that contains the amino acids needed to make new proteins. Legumes, beans and tofu are all excellent sources of amino acids. Find a way to add regular portions of these foods into your diet and, after a couple of weeks, you should see a big difference.
WHICH SUPERFOOD TEA BLENDS WOULD HELP ME ACHIEVE THIS? Vitamin C-rich blends like Lemon Meringue Pie (packed with Camu Camu) or Fresh & Fruit Sorbet (made with Baobab) Also, citrussy Spiced Jaffa Cake (curated with a healthy, yet wholesome, cacao base) and Pumpkin Spice Pancakes (made with turmeric and antioxidant-dense cinnamon powder) is highly recommended, too.
WHAT IS IT? One of the most superior humectants in modern skincare, Hyaluronic acid (HA) is, "a sugar found naturally in our skin." It is well known for its ability to hold water, which is what helps keep skin hydrated and plump. With this benefit also comes a propensity to alleviate dry skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and also speed up wound healing. What is also interesting about Hyaluronic Acid is that it plays an important role in nourishing collagen. HA effectively works as a go-between to both collagen and water, so if HA runs short, the cells can no longer retain the water, causing collagen to deteriorate (another reason for the loss of skin elasticity) For this reason, Hyaluronic Acid may be found in skincare products like overnight face mask sheets. Again, these HA levels naturally deplete as we age, so keeping skin cells hydrated and protected is an important measure in promoting its longevity.
HOW CAN I BOOST MY HYALURONIC ACID LEVELS NATURALLY? Certain foods are naturally high in HA, others have the ability to help increase its production. Some of these notorious foods include soy-based products (such as tofu, tempeh and edamame) and root veg (like sweet potatoes). Magnesium-loaded foods encourage HA production, too. The best sources of this mineral can be found in spinach, cacao, pumpkin seeds, almonds, whole grains and bananas. Interestingly, certain polyphenols can actually inhibit the breakdown of HA. The highest-ranking of these flavonoids are naringenin (which can be found in oranges, grapefruits, oregano and rosemary) and quercetin (which can be found abundantly in elderberries, cherries, apples and onions).
WHICH SUPERFOOD TEA BLENDS WOULD HELP ME ACHIEVE THIS? Maintain your skin's natural bounce with our plant-based superblends Creamy Banoffee Pie (for its complementary cacao and banana mix), Honeyed Elderberry Delight (for its Elderberry powder base and mix of hydrating florals) and Cherry & Almond Strudel (for its flavonoid-rich maca content)
WHAT IS IT? According to Harvard Health, "Retinoids (compounds derived from Vitamin A) reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. They also stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin, which improves skin colour. Additional benefits include fading age spots and softening rough patches of skin." In lamens terms, Retinol is an ingredient that promotes skin renewal and enhances collagen production, which is often why it is seen in more mature skincare products, like intense eye creams. As like the other substances occurring naturally in the body, Retinol levels start to decline in our 30s.
HOW CAN I BOOST MY RETINOL LEVELS NATURALLY? There are about 50 carotenoids that the body can convert into vitamin A, with the most common being beta-carotene. The most notorious plant-based foods for this are carrot juice, sweet potatoes, mango and lucuma. Basically, fruits and vegetables that are naturally red, orange or yellow in colour. However, leafy greens serve a good portion of the antioxidant as well. Superfoods such as acai berry powder also claim to deliver 30% of the RDA of Vitamin A per 10g serving (the equivalent of 2 teaspoons) Matcha powder (made from grinding down the leaves of the Camelia Sinensis plant) also touts a cocktail of antioxidants, including vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K, of which more than 50% of the daily intake of vitamin A carotene can be achieved per gram!
WHICH SUPERFOOD TEA BLENDS WOULD HELP ME ACHIEVE THIS? Renew your complexion and your tastebuds in one with Maple Acai Waffles (made with acai berry powder and densely nutritious blueberries) and Wild Berry Tart (which uses detoxifying matcha powder for the base and a mixture of antioxidant-rich raspberries and blueberries) and Custardy Apple Crumble (made with Lucuma powder)
It goes without saying that - while a good skincare routine is not to be shied away from - the best way to maintain a healthy complexion is through a nourishing diet. Ultimately, what we put inside our bodies is what is reflected on the outside. So, make the right foundations for your temple, the rest is merely upkeep.