No one wants aggravated or problem skin. In the case when I have problem skin I suffer from major self-consciousness and discomfort. Like many I suffer from quite bad blemishes as a result of not eating well or when I’m feeling particularly stressed. During this time our bodies produce chemicals called cytokines which make the skin cells sticky which leads to clogged and infected pores which result in acne. Many a time I have bought skin care specifically targeted at blemishes in a bid to foregone them, however my super delicate skin was left feeling dry and looked dull and grey, not the glowing appearance I had in mind.
Vitamin A helps to reduce sebum production which can cause acne and blemishes. Eating liver provides us with a very concentrated source of vitamin A along with yoghurt, eggs, apricots, tomatoes, avocado’s, and carrots. Essential fatty acids found in avocado’s, fish, nuts and seeds as well as their oils are key to help the skin especially in times of stress which leads to inflammation. Omega 3, an essential fatty acid found in mackerel and avocado are key to maintaining smooth and supple skin and in times of need reduce inflammation. Good news acne sufferers! The omega 3 components are needed for the skins surface which provides the skin with a barrier and keeps it moist and supple.
Eating for your skin and basing your diet on maintaining blood sugar levels will help to prevent any inflammation that can lead to acne. By consuming a diet high in essential fatty acids with vitamin e such as fish, nuts, avocado, dark green vegetables such as spinach and kale it reduces inflammation, targeting any blemishes. Vitamin A found in sweet potato, broccoli, avocado and peaches and vitamin C found in citrus fruits and their antioxidant properties will encourage new healthy skin cells and help to reduce excess oil on the skin from being produced which lead to breakouts. If you suffer from acne, you may be deficient in zinc. Zinc is a mineral which combats inflammation, food sources full of the stuff is seafood, chicken, almonds and yoghurt.
Tips to beat the blemishes!
- Stock up on red, orange and yellow coloured fruits as they contain good measures of vitamin A.
- Avoid getting yourself stressed out. Brain chemicals called neuropeptides can cause our skin to increase sebum production which can result in acne. Take time out during these times just to chill and beat the blemishes!
- Stick to still water and drink up!
- Keep skin clean using a mild, fragrance free cleanser, however don’t wash it more than twice a day as this will lead to irritation.
- Enjoy the odd square of dark chocolate a few times a week. Chocolate is an antioxidant which therefore will act as an anti-inflammatory.
Taking a few key ingredients that can beat the blemishes I have thrown them in a food processor and whizzed them up to create a few dips alongside some crispy pita breads that you can use to shovel them into your mouth! (Or at least that’s what I’ve been doing).
Chips ‘n’ Dips
This take on crisps and dips is amazing; your skin will love it as much as you will! Full of colourful vegetables and oily fish, your skin will be helped on its way to beating those blemishes! Enjoy as a guilt free alternative to crisps. Make your dips fresh to eat and enjoy dunking the chips in the dips!
Serves 2 for filling nibbles
You will need
food processor (not an essential requirement but for quicker and thoroughly blended guacamole and pate it helps)
5 wholemeal pittas
15ml olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 150c.
- Slice pita into small bite size triangular pieces.
- In a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season with the salt and paprika, ensure each triangle is coated evenly to ensure maximum crispiness!
- Lay on a baking tray and cook for 12-15 minutes.
2 ripe avocados
lemon juice of ½ lemon
50g spring onion
5ml olive oil
50g cherry tomatoes
- Blend all ingredients together in the food processor, serve immediately.
125g red onions, finely sliced
250g mixed cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded, finely sliced
30ml red wine vinegar
70g brown sugar
juice and zest of one lime
- Put everything in a pan, season to taste and stir well to combine.
- Simmer for 30-40 minutes and leave to cool completely before serving.
Smoked mackerel pate
100g smoked mackerel fillets
50g plain yoghurt
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Blend all ingredients together in the food processor.
- Empty out into a bowl and leave to chill until time to serve.