With summer approaching and the uncertainties of the pandemic lingering, many of us struggle with weight gain from stress eating and inactivity. Many chose various crash diets or extreme detox programs to treat the problem, which ultimately led to a shift in their food intake and dramatic changes in their skin.

Changes in food intake while on a diet can have a negative impact on the skin, and the results that can be achieved with topical skin care products have stabilized. Traditional products can only go that deep.

Let’s look at nutrients that work from the inside out. Skin aging can be divided into two categories: chronological aging and extrinsic aging. Chronological aging is simply the result of a passing life on this earth. Extrinsic aging is the result of external and environmental factors such as exposure to the sun, smoking, alcohol consumption, pollution, lack of sleep and poor nutrition.

Vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, antioxidants and fatty acids play an important role in maintaining healthy skin and body. To combat extrinsic aging, the body needs a variety of B vitamins; Vitamins A, C, D and E; Zinc; Lutein; Lycopene; and omega-3 and omega-6. Skin regeneration requires these nutrients for a lifetime and, under certain conditions, in increased amounts, e.g. B. exposure to free radicals and UV radiation.

The skin is the largest organ in our immune system and our first line of defense. The two main types of damage caused by the sun are UVA and UVB radiation. UVA penetrates deeper into the dermis and plays an essential role in photoaging. UVB contributes to immunosuppression, premature aging and skin cancer.

Eat right for clear skin

We can increase the sun protection factor (SPF) of our skin just by eating certain foods. Here are some examples.

• carotenoids. These natural pigments found in fruits and vegetables are known to protect against sun damage from sunlight. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid that is deposited in the skin and prevents the production of certain enzymes that, when activated by UV light, destroy collagen and reduce redness caused by sunburn. Food sources for beta-carotene are sweet potatoes, spinach, and carrots. It is best to get beta-carotene from food sources rather than supplements.

• Lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in tomato foods and watermelons. It has been researched and shown to increase the skin’s natural sun protection factor. In a study of 20 healthy women aged 21-47, participants took lycopene from tomato paste to test its ability to protect against UV radiation. Compared to the other women, the tomato-eating group had 33% more protection from sunburn in the form of less redness. The strongest form of lycopene comes from cooked tomatoes that have been prepared with olive oil.

• lutein. Lutein acts as a filter, absorbing the blue light that penetrates deep into the skin and potentially damages every layer, causing wrinkles, brown spots, redness and loss of elasticity. Topical products cannot protect against this deep damage, so dietary intake is critical to protection. Dark green vegetables are the best source of lutein.

Balance is the key

When people opt to go on a keto diet and increase their protein intake from animal sources, it can result in high omega-6 intake when not using omega-3s from sources such as salmon, chia seeds, walnuts, and flax is balanced semen and can cause systemic inflammation. The skin needs both fatty acids for an optimal barrier function and to keep the moisture content intact.

“Keto rash” is when the skin reacts with symptoms such as bumps, redness, and itching when the body moves into an acidic state from ingesting animal protein and lacking fiber. A lack of fiber means a lack of detoxification and waste disposal from the digestive tract, which can lead to dermatitis as well as acne.

Balance and moderation are key, not an extreme limitation. Be your own health advocate and follow a low-fat, low-sugar diet and consume large amounts of good sources of fat such as almonds, walnuts, olive oil, and fish.

Protect the skin by applying a sunscreen with high concentrations of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Marjan Kashi, a Los Altos resident, is a licensed medical esthetician and electrologist and founder of Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center.

For more information call 999-7873 or visit pureserenityskincare.com.