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Karen Inge: 10 foods your skin will love!

Dee Dee Dunleavy
Article image for Karen Inge: 10 foods your skin will love!

Beautiful clear skin could be as close as your nearest fork, according to Karen Inge!

She told Dee Dee Dunleavy these ten super foods will feed your complexion from within, to help you achieve the look of your dreams.

Nutrition plays a key role in not only helping to protect the skin against damaging external factors, like sun damage, pollution, smoking, alcohol, air conditioning, but also to enhance the functioning capabilities and beauty of our skin.

10 foods your skin will love

  1. Carrots: may help protect against skin cancer. Carrots are an excellent source of Vitamin A especially beta-carotene and other carotenoids. The combination of more carotenoids in the diet, together with the application of sunscreen, appears to enhance the natural protective effects against skin cancer.
  2. Fish: helps calm skin inflammation. Fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that has anti-inflammatory effects by combating free radicals, helping ensure they don’t damage collagen within the skin. Excellent sources are oily fish, like salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna.
  3. Dark green leafy vegetables: help rejuvenate skin. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, silverbeet, Asian greens and dark green salad mix contain the antioxidant B-carotene, to destroy cell-damaging free radicals. They are also excellent sources of the phytochemical lutein which is very beneficial for giving your skin a healthy glow. To enhance absorption of these protective compounds, drizzle a little oil over the vegetables.
  4. Citrus fruit: keeps your skin elastic. Citrus fruit contains two compounds beneficial for skin health and elasticity: vitamin C and limonene.
  5. Soy: for youthful looking skin. Phytoestrogens in soy foods, like soy drinks, tofu, soy and linseed bread, have been found to act like the hormone oestrogen, helping delay the onset of dry skin and wrinkling associated with the aging process.
  6. Wholegrain cereals: eliminate toxins. Fibre in wholegrains acts like a purifying system, filtering wastes out of the body, which boosts the skin’s potential to be healthy and clear.
  7. Tomatoes: fight collagen damage and premature wrinkling. Many skin treatments contain lycopene, but tomatoes are the richest source of lycopene in food, and eating them enhances skin protection benefits. Cooked tomatoes are higher in lycopene and drizzling some oil on the tomatoes enhances the absorption of lycopene
  8. Berries: slow down the ageing process. Phytochemicals called anthocyanins have anti-oxidant abilities as they are believed to protect the body against premature ageing by protecting against chemical carcinogenic and ultra-violet light damage. These are found in berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and cranberries.
  9. Plant & Seed oils: create a healthy glow, reduce dryness. Add oils from olives, nuts and avocados to meals, to help reduce clogged pores. While the process is complex, including small amounts of healthy oils in your diet every day, will help achieve healthy skin.
  10. Shellfish: promotes clear, smooth skin. The ‘acne terminator’ – zinc – found in oysters and other molluscs, decreases acne-flare ups. It also plays a major role in helping break down damaged collagen, allowing new collagen to form, which in turn rejuvenates the skin, making it look youthful.

Rejuvenating facial food masks

A nutritious diet can make an enormous difference to our skin, but facial food masks can also improve skin tone and elasticity. I’ve kept four facial food mask recipes, given to me by my great aunt, who was the chief dermatologist for Elizabeth Arden in New York, secret for over 20 years ago. You can find them at

Dee Dee Dunleavy