The sun is out and shining and many of us are turning to our SPF products for protection. Which is great and very much needed but have you heard of something called Oxidation? If you haven’t I’ll explain it in a quick and easy to understand way. Oxidation which can also be known as free-radical damage actually accounts for most of the damage to our skin. Naturally everyday we face manageable amounts of damage to our skin through our environment and of course from our natural bodily processes but the damage can be accelerated and becomes less manageable with these factors; increased exposure to the sun, living in an area with higher exposure to pollutants, excess alcohol consumption, smoking, having a high sugar diet and many other factors. So as you can see it takes more than just SPF protection to protect our skin, although putting this on everyday is a great step in the right direction.
Here’s a couple of simple ways that you can incorporate easily into your daily life that can help to counter oxidation damage.
Eat A Rainbow Of Fruit And Veg You’ve probably come across the phrase ‘eat a rainbow’ before and that’s because eating a colourful range of fruit and vegetables is fabulous for you. Believe it or not you can even counter oxidation damage by doing this because when you eat a variety of different coloured fruit and veg it gives you the widest possible antioxidant protection and some include some great skin-supporting antioxidant nutrients like; Zinc, Vitamin E, Beta-Carotene and Selenium. Another great daily piece of advice is to make sure your eating a minimum of five fruit and veg portions a day. That sounds quite alot but it is extremely doable, most people eat three meals a day and I’m sure you can add those five portions in somewhere. You could break it up like this; fruit with your breakfast, fruit and veg with your lunch, veg with your dinner (with possibly even more fruit too.)
Get Your Daily Essential Minerals – Our skin, hair and nails need a decent amount of minerals from our diet to be in the healthiest condition that they can possibly be. Skin, hair and nails are growing and replacing themselves all the time so it’s important to give them those much needed minerals daily. Daily vitamin and mineral supplements can be a great boost but food rich in minerals is a good place to start too, this includes food like; Fish, Lean Meat, Grains, Eggs, Low-fat Dairy, Nuts and Seeds. Zinc and Iron are great minerals because they really help the normal growth of skin, hair and nails. The Zinc is needed for proteins to be used for growth and the Iron gives oxygen to the blood which nourishes and fuels this growth. Some foods rich in Iron and Zinc include; Poultry, Red Meat, Whole Grains, Beans, Dark Leafy Green Veg etc… Another important mineral that is needed for the connective tissue in our skin and nails is Silica, this can be found in; Whole Grains, Oats, Apples, Cherries etc… Lastly, including a good amount of healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids is also beneficial for our skin and hair as these fatty acids have a protective mechanism against oxidative damage aswell as being included in our cell structure which improves flexibility. If you notice that you have dull looking skin and hair then that’s a sign that you need to up your Fatty Acid intake which you can find in foods like; Oily Fish, Nuts, Seeds etc…
Give Yourself Time Heard the phrase ‘Time is a healer’? well that phrase is very true! Time is a great healer and that also includes for your skin too. When you make these changes to your diet and incorporate small but beneficial changes into your daily life (like the above two) then you will end up making a big difference to how well your skin is protected and supported for life’s natural ageing process. Don’t rush yourself and remember that things don’t just happen overnight. So stick to your daily routine/new healthy habits, be patient and allow yourself to flourish overtime.
There are of course many other ways that will help to prevent/reduce oxidative damage so if your interested in finding out more I would definitely recommend doing some extra research to delve deeper into it but, I wanted to just do a simpler list that can easily be added into your everyday routine and is a good place to start.