Healthy skin depends on more than just a grooming regimen. You can moisturize ten times a day, but it won’t do you any favors if you aren’t fueling your body with the right nutrients. It can be as simple as drinking a glass of fresh orange juice. Or, you can ratchet things up a notch and find a dermatologist-endorsed supplement to protect your skin from cancer-causing free radicals and other signs of aging. (Such pills do exist, and they can help you reach the absolute peak of your glowing Adonis potential.) So, speak with your dermo and find one that’s right for you—or ask them about three of our favorites, listed below.
But First: The Best Nutrients for Your Skin
A healthy diet should be integral to your broader skincare regimen. Dermatologists cannot stress this enough. It’s important to weed out the specific things that are causing you to break out. But that’s a trial and error process. Negative reactions to dairy products, for instance, are usually genetic and don’t necessarily apply to everyone. Whatever your genetic background, there is one overarching rule of thumb: minimize sugars and drink plenty of water.
Then, you want to consider seeking out the foods that can proactively enhance your skin’s health. New York City-based dermatologist Anthony Rossi recommends anything rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. He says these acids are “important in cell-wall formation, which can be especially beneficial for patients with dry skin.” That includes fish, mussels, oysters, leafy vegetables, tropical fruit, and flaxseed, plus many beans and nuts.
Additionally, Rossi suggests a diet rich in vitamin C, which has antioxidant benefits. “Vitamin C promotes fibroblast proliferation, which makes up the skin-firming collagen in the dermis,” he says. “It also helps inhibit melanogenesis, a hyper pigmentation that causes dark spots on the skin.” For this, eat leafy greens, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peas, and bell peppers, among many other options.
Once you’ve tweaked your diet, there are a few other things you can do to get skin-enhancing nutrients into your body. Some people call them “supplements,” but we like to think of them more as opposite world key bumps.
For Clear Skin: Probiotics
“There is more and more research coming forth that shows the benefits of probiotics for skin health, and not just for gut and immunity health,” says New York City-based dermatologist Anthony Rossi. “It’s showing that a healthy gut helps battle skin conditions such as acne and rosacea.”
For Defense Against Signs of Aging: Heliocare
This antioxidant extract comes from a fern, of all places, which has long been used to counter signs of aging. “Heliocare is a product that most dermatologists love—and one I recommend to all my skin cancer patients,” says New York City-based dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali. “It’s great at fighting free radicals and providing additional sun protection.”
If You’re at Higher Risk for Skin Cancer: Nicotinamide
Talk to your doctor about your risk for skin cancer, which is often dictated by genetics, family history, and of course, how much time you spend in the sun—among other causes. “For my high-risk skin cancer patients, I recommend they take Nicotinamide,” says Seattle-based dermatologist Heather Rogers. “It has been shown to slow the development of new skin cancers by 23 percent.” A daily dose can help prevent gene mutation and aid in gene repair. If you are at greater risk for skin cancer, your dermatologist can identify a dose and brand that is best for you.
For Good Measure: The Nue Co. Skin Food
Add a spoonful of The Nue Co.’s vitamin- and fiber-rich blend to a warm glass of almond milk each morning, to keep your blood sugar balanced and digestive system healthy. If you’re not regularly chugging warm almond milk, take it with a glass of water or in a smoothie. Remember, a healthy gut might be the real secret to healthy skin.