We’re fattening up and our skin has never looked better. Holistic nutritionist, Kelly LeVeque swears by oiling your skin – both internally and externally – to create the hydrated, naturally dewy look of our Photoshop fantasies. As tempting as it is to scrub down after a long day or a night on the town, our skin is delicate and needs to be nourished, not assaulted. These five fats are designed by mother nature to do just that. Here’s Kelly with the skinny on which fats to wear and eat for better skin…
For great skin, ditch the abrasive acne chemicals, nightly exfoliation and constant picking. That aggressive stripping only creates an environment prone to breakouts, micro tears and blemishes. For the glowiest look, choose a topical oil to swipe onto clean skin, keep exfoliation to just a couple nights a week and try a pH-balanced face wash. My favorite oils are currently calendula oil, marula oil and dilo oil, but it doesn’t need to be fancy – a little avocado oil from your kitchen will do the trick.
Don’t expect to magically have plump, happy skin without addressing what you eat. Fat is essential for producing hormones, absorbing fat soluble vitamins, hydrating skin from the inside out and effectively balancing blood sugar. When our blood sugar is under control by adding healthy fats, we can help prevent hormonal breakouts caused by increased androgen levels and provide our body with the cholesterol and fatty-acid precursors to balance hormones naturally.
Oiling is the key to balance both internally and externally. To help your body get what it needs, try incorporating these healthy fats into your daily routine…
Coined the “best healthy fat,” avocados contain monounsaturated fat that helps hydrate and shield the skin. Besides acting as a natural moisturizer, avocados are associated with anti-aging due to xanthophyll, an antioxidant and carotenoid with DNA damage protection. Avocados are also a primary source of vitamin E, which stimulates collagen production and benefits skin elasticity. The healthy fat in avocado helps stabilize blood sugar – allowing your body to release fat, protect lean muscle, and increase energy. Avocado is a great add to any meal. It’s the perfect blood-sugar stabilizing snack as a dip with vegetables. Topically, avocado oil can be used as a natural treatment for a variety of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. This oil absorbs easily and some are using it instead of coconut oil as a lotion.
One egg yolk contains 13 essential nutrients, which makes it a superfood for your skin – on the inside and out! The yolk is rich in B vitamins, vitamin A, E and selenium – all of which are important for vital cell functions. Not only are egg yolks a fabulous source of protein, they are also a natural source of biotin. Also known as the beauty vitamin, biotin promotes healthier skin, hair and nails. Looking for a quick face mask? Use the other half of the egg: Simply fork whisk an egg white until foamy, apply it on your freshly cleansed skin and leave it to work for 15 minutes. When you feel your skin tightening up, gently remove the egg white, with a cloth soaked in warm water to reveal bright skin.
GHEE OR (UNSALTED) GRASS-FED BUTTER
Full of omega-3 fatty acids and medium-chain triglycerides, ghee or grass-fed butter is processed by the liver and used for energy that can keep you satiated through the next meal. This healthy fat is also high in vitamins A (a natural skin clarifier) and D (a first line of defense against the sun’s harmful UV rays). Incorporate ghee or grass-fed butter into your daily routine by adding a tablespoon to your morning coffee (plus a tablespoon of MCT oil) to stabilize blood sugar and burn fat as energy through lunch. Not a fan of Bulletproof coffee? Cook your eggs in this fat and serve with a side of avocado.
Slather coconut oil on the skin or suck down a spoonful and glow! It’s antibacterial and antifungal, which is beneficial for maintaining clear skin. When ingested it bypasses the liver and is used for energy instead of being converted into triglycerides. The lauric acid (potent antifungal) contained in coconut oil also helps to balance gut bacteria by killing off excess yeast and candida, which can contribute to breakouts. This luscious oil easily removes makeup, takes the place of body lotion and can be mixed with equal parts cocoa butter for a quick DIY lip gloss.
FATTY FISH FOR OMEGA 3
Recent studies suggest omega-3 deficiency contributes to chronic acne; adequate levels of this anti-inflammatory fatty acid will not only keep your skin clear but will also increase cell hydration from the inside out. We aren’t picky, get it anyway you like. Wild salmon is one of the best food sources for omega-3 fatty acids and protein. This fish is also known for its vitamin D and selenium, a mineral that protects the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Sardines, oysters and mackerel also supply these beautifiers. Not a fish lover? One 200-calorie serving of walnuts has 2776 mg of omega-3 essential fatty acids and is a great source both of protein and of copper, a mineral that boosts collagen production.
I hate the taste of coconut oil but use it in smoothies to hide the taste. Keeping up with healthy fats is so important! I always forget that butter can actually be a healthy fat since I’m so used to hearing otherwise. Great post.
I love Coconut everywhere EXCEPT my face, it is highly comedogenic and a no-no for someone with sensitive, reactive skin like mine.
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D.E., I have the same problems with coconut oil, but have been using kukui nut oil for years, it doesn’t break me out at all and is a great, healing way to moisturize. If I’m feeling fancy, I may mix it with vitamin E oil and apricot kernel oil for extra antioxidants, but it’s great on its own and absorbs quickly.