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Beautiful skin: from the inside out and the outside in

suzi grant 

As the body's largest organ, it's fair to say that looking after our skin is pretty important. So with that in mind, we asked blogger and nutritionist Suzi Grant of Alternative Ageing to share her top health tips for beautiful skin from the inside out (and the outside in!)

 

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1. Avoid these skin agers

  • Sun damage - 90% of premature ageing is caused by the sun, so always wear a moisturiser with an SPF and say no to sunbathing between 11am and 3pm, even in the UK.
  • Smoking - a no brainer!
  • Lack of sleep - decreases keratin and collagen production.
  • Air pollution - get out to the country or coast as often as you can and breathe.
  • Crash dieting - don't do it, especially low-fat diets. They really age the skin.
  • Dehydration - drink a small glass of body temperature water every hour on the hour.
  • Excess alcohol, coffee and sugar - they all dehydrate the skin.
  • Stress - take up meditation. Those who practise regularly produce more DHEA, a youth hormone.

 

2. Constipation

Clear skin needs a clear colon! A sluggish system will make your complexion look dull and tired. My top tip is to soak a tablespoon of golden flaxseeds overnight in a little water. Drink the whole lot in the morning, or put into a smoothie, and you'll never have constipation again!

 

3. Sluggish lymph

bodybrush

Get your lymphatic system moving for the same reason. For bright, glowing skin try:

 

  • A blast of cold water at the end of your shower
  • Breathing deeply
  • Skin brushing daily
  • Daily exercise, even if it's just walking
  • Bouncing up and down on a rebounder or in the local swimming pool

 

4. Quick face toner

Pop your face in a cold bowl of water daily or splash your face with cold water. Paul Newman used to do it and it worked wonders for him! It will really get your circulation going, tone your skin and give you a healthy glow.

 

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5. Fabulous fish

sushi

If you want a firm, toned face and body, you need to eat more oily fish because it's high in the essential fatty acid Omega 3, which plumps up the skin as well as supporting your brain and heart health. The king of oily fish, salmon, also contains high levels of DMAE which is known as the youth hormone!

If you don't like fish, take 1-2 1000mg EPA fish oil capsules, twice a day. Your heart, brain and body will thank you for it.

 

6. Omega 3-rich foods

flaxseeds

Whether vegetarian or not these are my top Omega 3 rich nuts and seeds as an alternative or an addition to oily fish.

You can also use the oils made from these seeds and nuts topically on your skin as well as for cooking or salad dressing! Remember Sophia Loren and her well known use of olive oil for her skin?

 

  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans

 

7. Top veg for top skin

Get into juicing or smoothies or a daily salad and try and incorporate more raw and living foods in them. All the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals found in raw food will benefit your skin. My top super veg for glowing skin are in this order:

 

  • Swiss chard
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Yellow or orange pepper

I haven't listed many fruits, because I am a great believer in minimum sugar (it ages the skin) and maximum antioxidants. My top fruits also happen to be the lowest in sugar and highest in antioxidants and grown in the UK, so you're eating locally and in season!

 

8. Top fruits for top skin

 

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • All berries: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries etc.

Of course any fruit or veg, cooked or raw, will benefit your health and your skin. So if you just think rainbow colours when you prepare a plate of food, add some essential fatty acids, and superfoods such as avocados, rocket, tomatoes and olives, your skin will really benefit.

Just remember my mantra: five veg and three fruit a day, keeps the doctor away and keeps you young!

 

Suzi Grant is a broadcaster, author and blogger for over 50s specialising in fashion, fitness and food. She is also a qualified nutritionist. Find out more about Suzi and her blog, Alternative Ageing, here.

 

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