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Here's Why Phytonutrients Are the Secret to Healthy Skin

Just another way to get your skin glowy AF — from the inside out
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We've probably all been told a million times that being healthy is important. Not only is living a healthy lifestyle crucial for your body's health, but it also has a lot to do with your appearance, which — as beauty enthusiasts — we take pride in. We may skimp on carbs, focus on healthier options and limit ourselves to only one drink when we're out with friends, but sometimes our skin just won't stay as clean and clear as we want it to.

Speaking of, did you know that your skin is your body's largest organ? It sounds crazy to think of your skin as a living, working organ, but the truth is that we need to take as much care of it as we do other important organs like our heart and lungs. We're always honing in on new ways to keep our skin looking and feeling healthy, radiant and in its best condition. One thing we're currently seeing and hearing a ton about in the buzzy world of beauty is phytonutrients. We talked to Dr. Karin Hermoni, Head of Science & Nutrition at Lycored, to find out what the heck phytonutrients are and why they're so important.

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What are phytonutrients?
According to Hermoni, "Phytonutrients are plant-derived nutrients that show health benefits." Unfortunately, we don't synthesize them ourselves, so they can only be brought into our bodies via our diet. Phytonutrients come in many shapes and forms but are mostly consumed through fruits, vegetables and spices. Easy enough, right?

Why are phytonutrients good for you?

"While we are being constantly made aware of the risks of an unhealthy diet and how it reflects in our skin, it is important to also stress and understand the direct link between a healthy diverse diet and its active benefits to our overall wellness and to our skin longevity," notes Hermoni. "Phytonutrients have been researched for everything from cardiometabolic wellness, prostate and overall men's health, women's health, bone support, vision and eye health, skin wellness, etc." If you take a moment to think about it, our bodies work from the inside out. If we're ingesting good-for-you nutrients, then that will be apparent when glancing into the mirror at our skin.

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How can phytonutrients support skin health?
Or, in other words, how the heck can these magic nutrients make me more confident when it comes to my skin's overall appearance? Hermoni says that "first and foremost, the support of overall wellness is reflected in our skin." In other words, you are what you eat. She mentions that the natural pigments from fruits and vegetables can enhance our natural skin radiance, emphasizing our healthy glow, which sounds crazy, but rings true.

Because phytonutrients work hand-in-hand with antioxidants, they can accumulate in the skin and enhance our skin's natural ability to deal with environmental stressors like changes in weather, dirt, oil, sweat and bacteria. "They promote skin resilience by enhancing the antioxidant defense mechanisms of skin cells," Hermoni says. "Also, balancing different cellular processes helps create the optimal microenvironment for our skin to thrive and be at its best." Since we're ingesting these nutrients, they can help strengthen skin from the innermost layers, building a solid foundation for beautiful skin to thrive in.

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How can we get more phytonutrients in our diet?
The quick and simple response: Eat more vegetables, fruits and spices, or as Hermoni says, "Eat the rainbow." Sure, we all have our favorites in each of the categories, but when you branch out and ingest multiple different types of fruit and veggies in one sitting, you're more likely to receive the benefits more accurately. One diet that would be great to look into when it comes to upping your phytonutrient intake is the Mediterranean deit. Because it's so rich in fruits, veggies and spices, it possesses incredible benefits to your overall wellness and skin health.

Is there a certain way we should prepare fruits, vegetables and spices to get maximum benefits?

While straight up eating them is better than nothing, of course, most are actually oil soluble and allow you to receive the most beneficial parts of the food when they're prepared in oils. Hermoni gives the example of tomatoes. They'll be great for you if you cool them in an oil, but if you prefer your tomatoes raw, like in a salad, you can add olive oil or avocado for best results."

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