Our skin reflects the food that we eat

Gisele Bundchen
Gisele Bundchen

NO ONE ever grows old at the table. George Bernard Shaw once wrote there is no sincerer love than the love of food, and by eating the right glorious food we can improve our skin - I'm so with Georgie.

Dull and lacklustre skin, often follows from poor diet, with poor digestive health.

Acne, especially in young teenagers, can be caused by hormonal shifts during puberty. This also can be negatively influenced by a poor diet. Fluctuating levels of testosterone, in both young males and females, is thought to influence the overproduction of sebum (the skin oils) and keratin (the outer layer of the skin). With this overproduction comes blocked pores, which can then become infected. Zinc, essential fats and good digestive health is vital to clear acne.

Food allergy, poor digestive health and excess of toxins, can lead to eczema.

Cellulite appears on the skin's surface as areas of mattress-like puckering. Poor elimination of toxins, especially in the lymphatic system, tends to increase cellulite. This can be the result of low water intake and a poor diet, with constipation. High-fibre foods, like fresh fruit and vegetables, help eliminate cellulite. Also reduce sugar and saturated fats.

General skin itchiness can be due to a struggling liver, and a build-up of toxins in the blood stream. These toxins then, eventually, try to be eliminated by the skin. Improving liver function can help. This can be done, by improving overall diet, eliminating fast foods, etc.

A poor diet - with little fresh fish, meat or fresh vegetables - can lead to a decrease in zinc levels. Zinc demands on a teenager's growing body is high and, as a result, zinc levels can be low. Zinc is very important for reducing inflammation, healing, vitamin A production, and tissue regrowth. All these functions are vital for healthy clear skin.

Zinc is found in fresh meat, especially red meat. Also found in fresh fish , egg yolks, whole grains like wheat, and oats. Some is also found in nuts and seeds; brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds. Silica, being essential for healthy skin, is found in abundance in many fresh fruits and vegetables. It promotes firmness and strength in the tissues and helps maintain the elasticity, so it is important in anti-aging.

Aim to eat the colours of the rainbow every day, think peppers, blueberries and strawberries as they provide our bodies with antioxidants, which are essential for clearing and healing the skin and antioxidants are important f preventing damage causing ageing wrinkling skin.

Sugar and foods that are rapidly converted to sugar are potent inflammatory agents and, consequently, among our skin's greatest enemies. Protein is essential for cell repair and a good protein choice for skin is fish, especially salmon.

The glycemic index is one of the keys to looking and feeling younger, the index rates food on a scale of 1-100, with 100 indicating the increase in blood sugar levels. So, a French baguette comes in at 95, while a plain yogurt comes in at 14.

Foods to avoid are white bread, hamburger buns, instant rice, rice cakes, cornflakes, rice krispies and waffles. Foods to enjoy are apples, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, chicken, salmon, cod, egg whites, feta cheese, nuts and tomatoes.

Aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water and green tea every day - think beautiful skin, cut down on the coffee. It has been shown that drinking two cups of coffee can increase levels of stress hormone cortical and this hormone can have adverse effects on your immune system. Celebs who are food fanatics about their skin are Gwyneth Paltrow and Gisele Bundchen (pictured above).

I would like to thank nutritional therapist Susie Cox for her help with this column, Suzie believes if you are good 80% of the time your doing pretty well. So enjoy good food and as Erma Bombeck said "seize the moment". Remember all those women on the Titanic who passed on dessert.


Garnier have a new product called perfect blur. It claims perfect skin in five seconds, it's a skin-perfecting primer with the optical effect of instantly bluring the signs of ageing.

Applied after your day cream, its ultra smoothing texture ensures easy make-up application, it diminishes wrinkles, pores, irregularities and shine. Light reflectors increase light diffusion on skin surface in all directions to instantly blur skin texture. I love the silky texture of this product it makes the skin ultra-smooth and a perfect base for make-up: €19.19.

La roche-posay have brought out a new sun protection oil called Anthelios xl invisible nutritive oil spf 50 +, this sun care range is most recommended by dermatologists. Sensitive skin is often prone to dryness and sun exposure accentuates this discomfort, it has UVA and UVB protection while providing the instant and long lasting comfort that dry skin requires.

This oil glides on the skin but does not look or feel oily because it has a perfect balance of two oils, 40% light dry oil to improve glide and 60% emollient oil to nourish the skin, suitable for dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Vichy have a new sun protection compact with a spf30, Vichy are renowned for their expertise in both sun protection and cosmetics and now they are combining both.

Apply on the face just before exposure to the sun, avoiding the eye area, re-apply frequently and generously to maintain protection, especially after swimming, perspiring or toweling, it comes in two shades sandy beige and golden beige and has a powdery finish and with long lasting result.

LEADING French skincare brand eau thermale avene have launched a new range of products containing the latest advances to help combat unsightly signs of rosacea, which is facial redness and is a chronic inflammatory facial condition, more common between 30 and 50 years of age.

It often gets worse in winter, due to bitter winds and higher indoor heat. It can be characterised by skin redness or flushing, permanent redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead.

The skin is sensitive and small visible blood vessels can be seen on the face. Avene have some of these products up for testing like redness relief moisturising protecting cream and soothing repair mask.

Dingle Skellig Hotel and Peninsula Spa have some lovely testing, the spa just celebrated ten years in business all testers bring swimwear as you will have full use of the spa facilities, which includes steam and sauna and the outdoor hot tub while enjoying the magnificent view of Dingle harbour and bay, does it get any better?

Well it does! I have two seaweed jelly twists for testing, this is a sugar kane scrub rich in vitamins to prepare your skin to soak up the fertile minerals, presented in a freshly active jelly from the shores of the Kerry coastline.

The therapist will use pressure points in the facial points, while you have a heated hair wrap.

Also, I have 2 eyez cube treats, where the therapist will choose either hot camomile or cool pepermint eye compress with stimulating vitamin E ice cube massage, lines and wrinkles are smoothed away and specific massage helps combat puffiness and dark circles along with sinus pain, great for tired computer eyes.

Email me your name and what treatment you would like or send me a letter to Mary O'Donnell, The Kerryman, Denny Street, Tralee.

Next week: Hair removal