You might be wondering why the ingredients list on so many of your favorite skin care and beauty products are looking more like the foods you find on the shelves of your local grocery store. According to nutrition and skin care experts, it's a sign that the beauty industry is becoming more natural. "Normally the way we consume vitamins and minerals is through food, so it only makes sense that these would be beneficial in our beauty products too," explains registered dietitian, Paige Bente. Still, she points out that no amount of vitamins in any skin cream or foundation is going to make up for a diet that's lacking in vitamins.
"While there are a variety of foods we eat throughout the year that are wonderful for our skin, autumn foods are particularly high in vitamins and minerals that are good for our complexion," Bente says. This is good news for those who are fans of everything from pumpkin and apples to turkey and kale, as many of these beloved fall foods arm our skin with all the right nutrients. Here are the top foods of the season for scoring clear, glowing and hydrated skin.
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Perhaps the most famous of all fall foods, pumpkin packs a major punch of nourishment, even in small amounts — especially for your skin. "Pumpkins are an ultimate beauty food because they're rich in beta-carotene, which our body converts into the natural wrinkle smoother, vitamin A (aka natural retinol)," says Serena Poon, celebrity chef and holistic nutritionist. "Vitamin A also helps protect our cells and skin from damaging free radicals in the environment and is important for eye health and age-related diseases."
Pumpkin is also chock-full of additional vitamins and minerals such as zinc, an excellent acne-fighter and promoter of cell turnover for renewal. "It's also full of natural enzymes which make it great for a topical mask to dissolve flaky skin cells," Poon says.
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In addition to the fleshy insides of the pumpkin, its seeds also provide benefits for our skin. "These little packets of wonder are filled with zinc, vitamins A and K, and omega-3 fatty acids, which support healthy hair," says Joe Martinez, food expert, registered pharmacist and founder of Healthy Meals Supreme. "In addition, they also have fatty acids and vitamin C that help produce sebum to protect and repair your skin." Try pumpkin seeds roasted with salt, pepper and a few flavorful spices like thyme and rosemary.
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Apple picking is a fun fall activity — and you should certainly take advantage of the easy access to the fresh fruit. "Apples help build collagen and levels of copper in the skin, which aids in cell renewal," says Geri Giagnorio, makeup artist, skin care expert, esthetician and nutritionist. "Special breeds of apples have been developed to last longer and that technology is what has made its way into the skin care world." Eating an apple a day isn't only good for keeping the doctor away, it can also help you maintain glowing, healthy skin.
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If you're looking for something warm on a cold fall day, pour yourself a bowl of bone broth, which is great for skin, hair and nail health. "Bone broth contains collagen, a powerhouse nutrient that is key to beauty and healthy gut function," says Tricia Williams, celebrity chef and nutrition educator. "It's also a low-calorie way to keep the body warm during the cold winter months." She recommends sipping bone broth like tea daily to score maximum benefits.