With bright, sunny weather and longer days, summer is the perfect time to show off your skin’s naturally gorgeous glow. But what does it really mean to have ‘glowing’ skin? And what vitamins or foods can help your skin stay hydrated and nourished?
In this complete skincare guide, we’ll explain what makes your skin glow and which habits to stick to (and which to avoid!) for glowing summery skin.
Glowing skin is about more than just looking good; it’s a reflection of overall skin health and wellbeing.
So, when we talk about having glowing skin, we’re not referring to a temporary shine achieved through makeup or just-applied skincare products. True glowing skin exudes a natural radiance that comes from within. It’s the kind of skin that makes you feel confident and beautiful, without a drop of makeup.
Characteristics of healthy, glowing skin
Radiance from within that reflects the skin’s overall health and vitality, as part of a well-balanced and nourished body.
Smooth and even texture free from roughness or inflammation
Hydrated and supple rather than dry, flaky or fragile
Feels firm and bounces back when you touch it – indicating good levels of moisture and collagen
A healthy complexion without pronounced redness, discoloration, or persistent blemishes.
Glowing skin is a reflection of overall skin health, encompassing proper hydration, nourishment, and a well-maintained complexion. Achieving glowing skin is not just about using the right products but also maintaining a balanced lifestyle, including a healthy diet, regular exercise, and sufficient rest.
Best Foods For Glowing Skin
If you want to unlock that radiant glow that makes your skin truly shine, it’s crucial to nourish your body with the right foods. What we eat has a direct impact on our skin health, and incorporating nutrient-rich foods into our diet can work wonders.
Here are some of the best foods for glowing skin, focusing on essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that play a pivotal role in promoting that natural luminosity.
If you’re interested in learning about a specific vitamin, click to jump to that section:
Vitamin A is a powerhouse nutrient when it comes to supporting skin health(1). It plays a vital role in promoting cell turnover, helping to remove dead skin cells and reveal a fresher, more youthful complexion. This vitamin is also known for its ability to stimulate collagen production, which enhances skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Vitamin C helps protect the skin from oxidative stress caused by free radicals, which can lead to premature ageing and increased risk of disease. Additionally, vitamin C aids in collagen synthesis, improving skin elasticity and firmness. It also supports skin’s natural repair processes, aiding in the healing of wounds and blemishes (2).
Foods rich in Vitamin D
Fortified dairy products (milk, yoghurt)
Mushrooms (when grown in the dark)
Vitamin D is not only essential for overall health but also helps maintain skin health. It aids in regulating the immune system, which keeps skin conditions in check. Vitamin D also supports the production of skin barrier proteins, enhancing the skin’s ability to retain moisture and stay hydrated (3).
If you eat a plant-based diet you may find it harder to get vitamin D through food – since most of the top vitamin D foods are animal products – but look out for ‘fortified’ plant milks and cereals next time you’re at the supermarket.
Foods rich in Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from damage caused by UV rays and environmental pollutants. It also aids in promoting skin cell regeneration, helping to maintain a healthy and youthful appearance (4).
Foods rich in Omega-3
Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, herring)
Omega-3 fatty acids are a gift for skin health as they help maintain the skin’s moisture barrier, preventing dehydration and promoting a supple complexion. These healthy fats also reduce inflammation and redness, making them ideal for calming irritated skin (5).
Foods rich in Collagen
Collagen is the building block of healthy, youthful skin. Consuming foods that promote collagen production, including foods high in vitamin C, can enhance skin elasticity, reduce wrinkles, and boost overall skin tone (6).
Foods rich in zinc
Zinc is a mineral that aids in cell repair and renewal, contributing to healthy skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with acne and other skin conditions (7).
While we’re all about embracing the best foods for glowing skin, it’s just as important to be aware of what foods might be dampening our skin’s natural radiance. Our diet plays a significant role in our skin’s health, and certain choices can lead to unwelcome skin issues, like breakouts, inflammation, and premature ageing.
In this section, let’s take a closer look at the culprits we should steer clear of if we want to maintain the glow and keep our skin looking its best. By keeping an eye on these food choices and opting for a balanced, wholesome diet, we can set the stage for healthier, radiant skin.
Too much sugar can cause havoc on our skin. High sugar intake spikes insulin levels, leading to inflammation that might interfere with a clear complexion, especially if we’re prone to acne.
2. Processed Foods
Those quick and easy processed snacks may be convenient, but they’re not doing our skin any favours. Loaded with unhealthy fats, excessive salt, and artificial additives, these foods can contribute to skin inflammation and leave our skin feeling less than glowing.
3. Dairy Products
You may not have to cut out dairy completely, but some people find that dairy, especially full-fat options, can alter their hormones, leading to unwanted breakouts.
4. Trans Fats
Greasy, fried foods can be a recipe for skin disaster. Trans fats found in these treats and other foods such as margarine promote inflammation and can clog up our pores, causing all sorts of skin issues. Thankfully, most manufacturers in the UK opt to reduce or eliminate trans fats within their ingredients.
5. Excessive Alcohol
Too much alcohol can leave our skin parched and dull. Alcohol is dehydrating, and its inflammatory properties might not be the best for those of us with sensitive skin.
Healthy Habits For Glowing Skin
When it comes to achieving that enviable, radiant glow, it’s not just about what we put on our skin and the food we eat, but also the habits we cultivate in our daily lives. Glowing skin is a reflection of overall health and wellbeing, and incorporating certain practices into our routine can make a world of difference.
In this section, we’ll explore a range of wholesome and skin-loving habits that can help you unleash your skin’s innate luminosity. From proper hydration and consistent skincare routines to stress management and beauty sleep, these healthy habits will empower you to let your inner glow shine through.
1. Stay Hydrated
One of the simplest and most effective habits for glowing skin is to stay hydrated. Drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day helps flush out toxins, keeps your skin moisturised, and maintains its natural elasticity. Aim for at least 2 litres of water daily.
2. Consistent Skincare Routine
Establishing a consistent skincare routine tailored to your skin type and concerns is vital for achieving glowing skin. Cleanse your face twice daily to remove dirt and make-up, followed by a toner to balance your skin’s pH.
Don’t forget to apply a nourishing moisturiser with SPF during the day to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and a hydrating serum or night cream before bedtime to support overnight repair. You can also take skincare supplements (in capsule or tablet form) that contain essential vitamins and active ingredients for skin health.
3. Manage Stress
Chronic stress can take a toll on your skin, leading to breakouts and dullness. Practice stress-reducing activities like meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature to promote a calmer mind and a more vibrant complexion.
4. Beauty Sleep
Prioritise getting enough restorative sleep each night. During sleep, your skin goes into repair mode, regenerating and renewing itself. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep, and consider sleeping on a silk pillowcase to minimise friction and reduce the potential for wrinkles.
Protect your skin from the sun by wearing broad-spectrum suncream with at least SPF 30, seeking shade during peak sunlight hours, and wearing protective clothing like hats and sunglasses. Sun exposure can lead to premature ageing and skin damage, so consistent sun protection is essential for maintaining a glowing complexion and overall skin health.
Habits To Avoid For Glowing Skin
As much as we focus on adopting positive habits for achieving that radiant glow, it’s equally essential to steer clear of certain practices that can sabotage our skin’s natural luminosity.
In this section, we’ll uncover the habits that can be detrimental to your skin’s health and appearance. From indulging in sugary treats that promote inflammation to skimping on essential skincare steps, we’ll explore the pitfalls that can dim your skin’s radiance.
While a little sun and vitamin D can give you a healthy glow, overexposure can lead to skin damage and premature ageing. Avoid spending long hours in direct sunlight, especially during peak hours, and always protect your skin with suncream and protective clothing when outdoors.
2. Picking or Squeezing Spots
It may be tempting to pop spots, but doing so can cause further inflammation and scarring. Hands can harbour bacteria, leading to infections and more breakouts. Instead, use gentle skincare products and spot treatments to manage acne.
3. Poor Diet Choices
Consuming an unhealthy diet high in sugary, greasy, or processed foods can contribute to skin issues like acne and inflammation. Opt for a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to support your skin’s health from within.
4. Skipping Skincare Steps
Neglecting essential skincare steps like cleansing, moisturising, and using suncream can hinder your skin’s ability to maintain a healthy balance. Consistent skincare routines are vital for promoting clear and glowing skin.
5. Not Removing Make-up Before Bed
Sleeping with make-up on can clog pores and lead to breakouts and dull skin. Always make sure to remove make-up before bedtime and follow it up with a gentle cleanse to allow your skin to breathe and repair overnight.
Summer Skincare Tips
As the sun beckons us outdoors, it’s time to revamp our skincare routine to embrace the season with a radiant and protected complexion. Ultraviolet (UV) rays and increased humidity can pose unique challenges to our skin, requiring a tailored approach to maintain its health and glow.
In this section, we’ll uncover a collection of expert summer skincare tips to help you navigate the sunny days with confidence.
Suncream is a non-negotiable step in your summer skincare routine. Apply it generously to all exposed areas and reapply every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating. Don’t forget often overlooked spots like your ears, back of your neck, and tops of your feet.
2. Skin Hydration
Swap out heavy creams for lightweight, oil-free moisturisers during the summer. Look for products that provide ample hydration without clogging pores. Hyaluronic acid-based serums also work well for retaining moisture, leaving your skin supple and refreshed without feeling greasy.
3. Drink water
Hydrating your skin externally is essential, but don’t forget to hydrate internally too. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin well-hydrated and combat the dehydrating effects of the summer heat.
4. Post-Sun Care
After a day in the sun, treat your skin to some post-sun pampering. Soothe and cool your skin with aloe vera gel or after-sun lotions. These products help reduce redness and inflammation and provide relief from sunburn.
5. At-home Cooling Treatments
Indulge in refreshing do-it-yourself treatments to pamper your skin during the summer. Try cucumber slices or chilled green tea bags over your eyes to reduce puffiness, and create a natural face mask using yoghurt, honey, and mashed fruits like strawberries or papaya to revitalise your skin.
Talk To Your Dermatologist
Myvitamins are not making any medical claims in this article. If you are looking to make changes to your lifestyle to support healthier skin, consult with a dermatologist for a more personalised service.
Take Home Message
In this guide to summer skincare, we’ve highlighted some of the top tips for glowing skin. From what you eat, to your stress levels and other habits, you can support your skin’s health with all parts of your lifestyle.
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What actually makes your skin glow?
The glow in your skin comes from a combination of factors that contribute to its overall health and appearance. A glowing complexion is a reflection of well-hydrated and nourished skin, coupled with effective cell turnover and collagen production. When your skin is adequately hydrated, the light reflects off its surface, giving it that radiant, luminous appearance.
What foods give you a natural glow?
Berries, leafy greens, and colourful fruits are packed with antioxidants that combat free radicals and protect your skin from damage. Vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits and bell peppers boost collagen production, while foods high in vitamin A, such as sweet potatoes and spinach, support skin cell turnover. Additionally, healthy fats found in avocados, nuts, and fatty fish provide essential nourishment to maintain skin moisture and elasticity.
How much water should I drink for glowing skin?
A general guideline is to aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day, which is approximately 2 litres. However, individual hydration needs may vary. Factors such as sweating, hot weather, physical activity, and certain medical conditions may require you to drink more water to maintain optimal hydration.
How do you get summer glow?
Prioritise sun protection with SPF suncream and appropriate clothing. Hydrate your skin by drinking plenty of water, and follow a consistent skincare routine with lightweight, nourishing products. Embrace a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids to promote skin health. After sun exposure, soothe your skin with after-sun products, and indulge in refreshing DIY treatments like cucumber slices and natural face masks.
Vitamin A contributes to the maintenance of normal skin.
Vitamin C contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of skin.
Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr)
Beth is a Registered Associate Nutritionist specialising in vegan nutrition, nutritional psychology and weight management. Beth has a passion for holistic health, viewing overall health as the result of interactions between physical and emotional wellbeing.