Ibiza style: Beautiful skin from within

By Laura Boland of Glam Ibiza

In todays high-tech, results-driven world, are we guilty of becoming too focused on quick-fix beauty regimes? It’s hard not to be tempted by promises of instantly improved wrinkles and immediately luminous skin. I’m always trawling the web to find how I can erase the evidence of last night’s drinking or yesterday’s hour in the sun. But maybe it’s just time to go back to basics, listen to our Nannas and actually start eating our greens…

Detox juices and energy-boosting smoothies are de rigueur these days, but imagine being able to select the right ingredients to create your own specialist shot of skin magic! Here are some key foods to include in your morning concoctions.

Avocado: Loaded with essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, these wrinkly little green things are fantastic for skin density and tone. A must for anyone concerned with premature ageing and loss of contour.

Berries: Loaded with antioxidants – the chemicals that prevent cell damage from our environment – berries create an excellent protective barrier. They are also full of collagen building nutrients and Carotenoids that have cancer-fighting properties. So listen up sun-lovers: berries are your number one juice ingredient if you insist on sizzling on Salinas all day this summer!

Spinach: Not only for muscles like Popeye, Spinach is excellent at fighting acne prone and congested skin due to its Vitamin C and high Folate content.

Parsley: Contains high levels of Vitamin K, which can help to speed up the wound-healing process at post-breakout sites and sensitive, inflamed areas.

Citrus fruits: Think here about the pith, rather than focusing only on the juicy bit inside. This soft white layer is typically rich in bioflavonoids that help to strengthen the walls of blood capillaries to prevent thread veins and high colour.

So now we’ve expanded your shopping list for the week, surely some things must need crossing off to create balance…

Sugar: Acne is driven by an imbalance in hormonal secretions. A way to try and control the severity and occurrence of acne-type breakouts is to regulate blood sugar levels. Rice, pasta, bread, cereals and sugar create spikes in blood sugar, wreaking havoc on hormone balance. Switching to low GI foods and try a Paleo can help. Having suffered from breakouts for many years, I have finally accepted that I just can’t enjoy huge bowls of pasta without having to dive for my concealer soon after (usually just when I’m getting ready to go out) so I’m currently trialling a Paleo diet… so far, so good!

Gluten: Gluten can cause significant inflammation once inside the body so if you’re suffering from itchy, blotchy skin or blistering rashes chances are you may have gluten sensitivity. Cut all sources from your diet completely and you’ll soon notice an improvement.

Dairy: Lactose or some of the proteins in milk can also be inflammatory, aggravating sensitive skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Switch from cow’s milk to coconut or almond milk – both are delicious so it’s not a tough sacrifice!

Hydrogenated oils: Stop cooking with refined oils like sunflower, vegetable or soya bean oil. Instead switch to coconut oil for frying and high temperature cooking, a good quality olive oil for light cooking and choose walnut, avocado and flax seed oils for salad dressings to get the essential fatty acids dry skin needs to nourish and protect the outer lipid layer.

And the million-dollar question: Which foods will assist you in your quest for younger looking, wrinkle free skin?

Oats: For their low GI score and natural plant compounds that prevent cell damage.

Oranges: Packed full of Vitamin C to help build collagen.

Brussel sprouts: Their Vitamin A and folate help prevent sun damage.

Salmon: Omega 3 is vital for healthy looking skin and can also prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading.

Red grapes: Their skin contain Resveratrol, which counters ageing and inflammation. And by this I mean you must eat the grapes, not just consume them in your Rioja!

Of course, as a skin specialist, I believe in a multi-pronged approach. Beautiful skin cannot be achieved by diet alone. Exercise, hydration, limiting your stress levels and a precise skin care regime are all valuable components.

Unless you are one of the very few genetically blessed people with beautifully balanced skin regardless of your behaviours (I have only ever met one of these freaks of nature in my 18 years of treating skin!) then you’re going to have to put the work in.

Switch to low GI foods, juice some vegetables and berries, get some sleep, make time for the gym instead of heading out to watch sunset with a cocktail. You will soon see a difference and realise that beauty isn’t always about going overdrawn for a product that costs almost as much as a month’s rent!

Photography by Maria Simon