As a new concept of health, intermittent fasting has become popular all over the world for several years, setting off a trend. It is common sense that intermittent fasting can allow people to restrain their eating in order to achieve the goal of losing weight. But does the benefit of intermittent fasting only lie in weight loss? Of course, “No”. In fact, intermittent fasting is also helpful for your skin health to a large extent.
How does Intermittent Fasting Benefit Skin?
Nowadays, seasonal changes, haze, light damage, dryness, and radiation can do harm to your skin, and you may go to buy expensive skin-care products and eat expensive oral detox tablets. But skincare is not just about applying layer after layer of these skin-care products to the face, but proper “fasting”. Intermittent fasting is actually a natural way of detoxification by improving metabolism. And here are six benefits for skin health that intermittent fasting will bring.
Controlling Blood Glucose Level: Lightening Acne and Eczema
Collagen is known as the basic part of your skin, and it needs sugar to work well. But when your blood sugar is too high, glycation happens. Attention, please! Glycation means you get the wrong kind of sugar. And as time goes by, it will turn into AGEs which may cause tissue to stiffen. Is the acronym familiar? Exactly, this is an implication of making your skin age. Besides, some skin conditions like acne and eczema may occur due to the increase of blood glucose. But don’t worry! When it comes to IF and blood glucose IF is really a boon for your body health as it lowers blood glucose and improves your bodies’ sensitivity to insulin. And some researchers have surprisingly found that intermittent fasting may be the acne-busting, anti-aging solution you’ve been looking for.
Reducing Inflammation: Say Bye to Pimples, Itchy Dryness, and Reddish Skin
Nowadays, with the development of technology and economic globalization, many changes have taken place in society. More and more competition and pressure also keep going with it. Many young people may stay up late to work or sometimes adopt unhealthy diets such as overeating to escape the pressure of reality, which will throw your body off and lead to an excess of inflammation-causing cells or monocytes. Skin inflammation is a sign of an immune response in the body with the symptoms such as pimples, redness, heat, itching, sensitivity, and swelling. However, a new study has found that intermittent fasting is effective at reducing your skin inflammation if done appropriately and making you say bye to pimples, itchy dryness, and reddish skin by adjusting your dietary pattern and body’s metabolic function.
Boosting Sleep: Sleep Your Skin Younger
The relationship between sleep and skin condition is self-evident. Good sleep will undoubtedly promote skin health no matter in scientific research or in practice. “The value of sleep with regard to beauty is that it gives your skin time to rebuild itself,” said Karin Olszewski, RN, of Samaritan Plastic, Reconstructive & Hand Surgery. And a 2015 study has also concluded that chronic poor sleep quality is associated with increased signs of intrinsic aging, diminished skin barrier function, and lower satisfaction with appearance.
So, getting your “beauty sleep” is not a fairy tale but with enough scientific support. But how can you improve your sleeping quality? In fact, as a new way of diet, intermittent fasting may help boost your sleep by reinforcing your circadian rhythms. And another study also suggests that the timing and duration of fasting can reduce instances of nighttime awakening and so as to improve your sleeping quality. Therefore, intermittent fasting can make your skin younger by boosting your everyday sleep.
Strengthening Skin Immunity
The skin has an immune system that protects your body from infection, cancer, toxins, and attempts to prevent autoimmunity. As part of the first line of defense, this immune system is playing an important role in skincare and skin health. But how can you strengthen your skin immunity to avoid some skin problems? Before you answer this question, you should first know that white blood cells are the key component of your body’s immune system. And in the 2014 study, Valter Longo and colleagues at USC have found that fasting lowered white blood cell counts, which in turn triggered the immune system to start producing new white blood cells and so as to strengthen your whole immunity system. Therefore, try intermittent fasting to improve immunity next time when your skin suffers the skin inflammation or infection!
Stopping Skin from Aging
Maybe you will have doubt whether intermittent fasting can delay aging and make your skin look young. There is new research to show that fasting can trigger a molecule that can help delay the aging of arteries. Besides, Harvard’s study also shows that intermittent fasting may increase lifespan. All this evidence has proved that intermittent fasting can have a certain effect on preventing aging. So you certainly can stop your skin from aging by appropriate intermittent fasting.
Improving Gut Health: Get a Clearer Skin
The gut provides a barrier between the interior of the digestive tract and the general circulation. And It has been found that a radical change in diet can quickly shift the gut’s microbial makeup and alter what gut bacteria are doing. After understanding that diet can have a great impact on the microbiome, you can see how intermittent fasting may have a similar effect and support the health of the gut microbiome. And it’s usually not what you eat but rather what you absorb that is important when it comes to skin health. More specifically, intermittent fasting may help you get cleaner skin by improving gut health.
Skin Before and After Intermittent Fasting
There’s no doubt that some people start intermittent fasting just to improve their skin quality. No one can understand how troublesome bad skin is except those who are now suffering from skin embarrassment.
Whenever seasons switch, reddish skin will be seen.
It’s extremely difficult to hide the rash on the face because the more skincare products are used on the face, the more rashes will possibly be seen, which commonly occurs.
No one would like to wear a mask all the time just to hide their skin problems.
Based on Isabella Garcia’s intermittent fasting experience, she has got smoother and clearer skin after intermittent fasting and lost quite pounds.
According to Garcia, her skin becomes tenser and clearer after intermittent fasting so that she also looks prettier and thinner in the image. “Don’t rely on skincare products alone,” Garcia said, “You’ll look based on what you eat. It’s your lifestyle that really leads to your skin quality.”
Other Useful Tips to Maximize the Effect of Intermittent Fasting on Skin
Protect Against the Sun
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the leading cause of cancer. And that’s why sun protection is essential for skin protection. But how to protect your skin from the sun? Here are some methods for you:
- Use sunscreen every day, even if it’s cloudy.
- Apply at least one ounce of sunscreen at least 15 to 30 minutes before going outside.
- If possible, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
- Accessorize with a hat that shades your face, neck, and ears and with a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Must-Avoid Foods for Skin
Too Much Sugar
It is impossible to not eat any sugar, but the intake of sugar must be controlled. Too much sugar may do harm to your skin and is not advised. However, sometimes the sugar in food maybe not be so easy to see, for example, refined grains, sauces, and so on. Be more cautious with this kind of food!
Drinking alcohol frequently will break up your normal sleep rhythm and thus leave you with dark circles under the eyes and a whole plethora of other skin issue such as rosacea flare, red, itchy skin bumps, cellulitis, psoriasis and so on.
Milk and Dairy Products
According to research presented at European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress in Madrid, it is found that people with acne are far more likely to eat milk and dairy products on a daily basis. So, limiting your intake of milk and dairy products is more likely to return you a blemish-free face.
Frequently Drink Water
Staying hydrated is essential to the elasticity of the skin because more than 50% of the cells are made up of water. Dehydrated skin may also allow bacteria to penetrate an intact barrier, leading to skin infections such as cellulitis. So, act now and drink water frequently to keep your skin bright and shiny.
Does smoking affect your skin? Exactly “Yes”. The chemicals in tobacco will affect the production of collagen, which is a kind of protein responsible for skin structure, firmness, and strength. Besides, smoking can also affect the color and tone of the skin as it influences the circulation of blood. In other words, smoking makes the skin look pale or grey. Therefore, stop smoking when you are troubled by some skin problems.
Bonus: A Skin-Health Recipe Based on Intermittent Fasting
Golden Quinoa Salad with Radish, Dill & Avocado
- 1 cup golden quinoa
- 1 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 8 small red radishes, well-cleaned and tops removed
- 1/3 seedless English cucumber, about 1/4 pound, unpeeled
- 1 large shallot
- 2/3 lightly filled cup dill fronds, without stems
- 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced, about 1 1/2 tablespoons
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon liquid smoked olive oil
- 1/2 cup sliced raw almonds
- 1/2 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (omit for a vegan adaptation)
- Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ripe avocado, to serve
- Rinse the quinoa for 2 to 3 minutes in a fine mesh strainer, rubbing vigorously. Drain. Heat a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the quinoa and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour in the broth, bring to a boil, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment and spread the cooked quinoa over it in an even layer. Let cool while preparing the vegetables.
- Dice the radishes finely — about 1/4-inch to a side. Do the same with the cucumber. Finely dice the shallot. Finely chop the dill fronds. Toss with the quinoa in a large bowl.
- Zest the lemon right into the bowl and fold in the zest. Juice the lemon half and whisk the juice together with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and liquid smoke until emulsified and thick. Toss this with the quinoa.
- Fold in the almonds, chopped dates, and Parmesan. Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, top with chopped avocado.
Why Eat Them for Skin:
- Chicken and leafy vegetables are rich in collagen, boosting skin elasticity.
- Cheese, almond and avocado are rich in Vitamin E, beneficial for aging slowing.
- Pepper and green vegetables are rich in Vitamin C and Zinc, leading to healthy and clear skin.