Fats got a bad wrap there for a while, but not all fats are created equally. We're wrapping up our Skin Diet Connection Series this Wellness Wednesday, talking about the role fats play in keeping our skin healthy and happy.
So let's get right to it. Like so many other areas of our lives, completely cutting out any one group can lead to less than optimal consequences. Thank goodness, non-fat diets are a thing of the past. Unfortunately, by eliminating fats altogether from your diet, you skipped out on the good fats, too, with side effects like making you feel colder, hungrier, more cloudy-headed, and may even mess with your monthly moon cycle.
Fats provide critical elements in a natural diet healthy for skin, like essential fatty acids such as omega-3s and omega-6s, which are the building blocks of healthy cell membranes. In addition, these polyunsaturated fats help produce the skin's natural oil barrier, and we talk about the importance of this in topical skin care applications. Our natural skin barrier is essential in keeping skin healthy, hydrated, plumper, and younger-looking. Good fats are also crucial for healthy hormone production, keeping hormone levels balanced, and lowering cortisol, our stress hormone. And we all know hormonal fluctuations and stress are tough when we're trying to keep skin clear and happy.
On the other hand, eating beauty betraying fats in fried or processed foods and conventional dairy products do quite the opposite. So instead, try crowding out saturated fats and trans fats with healthier options. Of all the fats, trans fat is the worst for our health. Trans fats are made when manufacturers turn liquid oils into solid fats, like shortening or margarine. These fats can lead to an imbalance in our hormones. Like sugar and refined carbohydrates, they're responsible for free radicals that damage cells, promote inflammation in the body, and essentially aging our body and skin more rapidly. More specifically in skincare, free radicals are responsible for breaking down our skin's collagen, resulting in wrinkling, dark spots, fine lines, and loose, saggy skin.
So how do we know if the fats were reaching for are of the healthy variety? I've made it easy for you and included a cheat sheet below.
Raw Nuts & Seeds
I'm hoping you see how your skin can benefit from healthy fats. So I'm going to ask you to make friends with fats, but be choosey.