Anti-ageing skin creams promise to turn back time and give you younger-looking skin – but they can cost hundreds of pounds.
Now leading London nutritionist Lily Soutter has exclusively examined evidence for FEMAIL Food&Drink which suggests that eating the right foods can help banish the wrinkles too.
Lily has reviewed research that looks at claims that certain foods and drinks can help rejuvenate your appearance.
And she finds that there are links between some foods and a wrinkle-free, more youthful complexion.
From sweet potato to kiwi fruit, these are the food and drinks we should be eating more if to keep wrinkles at bay.
1. GREEN AND YELLOW VEG
Nutritionist Lily Soutter has examined research to find the foods and drinks that can help to keep skin looking youthful (stock photo)
‘It’s been estimated that three quarters of adults within the UK are failing to eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables each day and one study indicates that this may have a negative impact on aging skin,’ Lily told FEMAIL exclusively.
‘This cross-sectional study measured the skin hydration levels and elasticity of 716 Japanese women. It concluded that a higher intake of green and yellow vegetables (two or more servings per day) was associated with decreased wrinkling.
‘Further research needs to be conducted before we can confirm whether these vegetables can slow the ageing process, however few would disagree with the fact that we could all do with a little more greenery in our diet.’
2. KIWI FRUIT
Kiwi fruit has more vitamin C than oranges, a key nutrient required for the production of collagen which helps skin look more youthful
‘Kiwi fruit has almost double the amount of vitamin C per 100g in comparison to oranges and vitamin C is a critical nutrient required for collagen production.
‘If there is one thing that keeps skin looking youthful and supple, it’s collagen. Collagen is the structural component of skin and as we age production declines which can lead to wrinkle formation and sagging skin.
‘One interesting study using data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that a higher dietary intake of Vitamin C was associated with a lower likelihood of wrinkled appearance and senile dryness.
‘Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, with high concentrations being found within the skin. This nutrient can help to protect against environmental factors, which can speed up the aging process such as sun damage.
‘Whilst there is no clear evidence or consensus of the optimal dose of vitamin C in relation to its anti-ageing effects, regular consumption of Vitamin C rich foods such as kiwi fruit is essential for long-term health.’
3. WILD SALMON
Salmon is packed with astaxanthin which one study revealed can keep skin in tip-top condition
‘Astaxanthin is an antioxidant, which is responsible for wild salmons bright pink colour and is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties,’ said Lily.
‘One study found that women who were given a high dose of astaxanthin didn’t see any changes to their skin but those given a placebo or a lower dose saw their skin moisture content decrease and their skin condition worsen. The study concluded that astaxanthin supplementation might inhibit age-related skin deterioration.
‘Whilst this is certainly exciting preliminary research, it’s important to remember that as much as 250g wild sockeye salmon would need to be consumed daily just to reach levels found within this study which would exceed our weekly recommended intake of oily fish.’
4. SWEET POTATO
Eating lots of sweet potato could help protect your skin from sun damage which can cause wrinkles
‘The bright orange hue of sweet potato comes from an antioxidant called beta-carotene. Sun damage is one of the biggest causes of premature skin aging and research suggests that beta-carotene may play a role with protecting the skin against harmful free radicals found in UV sun radiation.
‘Whilst it certainly can’t compare to sunscreen, there is evidence that beta carotene may play a role with protecting against sunburn, which ultimately would lead to wrinkles.
‘Interestingly beta-carotene isn’t just found in sweet potato, it’s also found in other orange and green vegetable such as carrots, butternut squash and spinach. Since beta carotene is a fat soluble antioxidant, for optimal absorption it’s best consumed alongside healthy fats such as olive oil.’
5. OLIVE OIL
‘Olive oil is a rich source of healthy monounsaturated fats and research suggests that regular consumption is significantly associated with skin elasticity and firmness.
‘One large study of 1,264 women and 1,655 men aged 45-60 showed that dietary intakes of monounsaturated fats derived from olive oil were least likely to have sun damage.
‘There is a wealth of evidence supporting the benefits of replacing saturated fat within our diet with monounsaturated fat such as olive oil for all aspects of health.’
6. GREEN TEA
Green tea contains plenty of antioxidants and now some studies have shown it can help make your skin look more vibrant too
‘Green tea is packed with antioxidants and one study found that these antioxidants were able to protect against ageing UV sun radiation whilst helping to improve the skin quality of women,’ said Lily.
‘In the study, tea-drinking volunteers noted a 16 per cent reduction in skin roughness, a 25 per cent reduction in scaling, as well as improved skin elasticity and hydration.
‘But before we start glugging back the green tea, it would be great to see these results replicated in studies with a larger sample size.’
CAN FOOD AND DRINK REALLY HELP BANISH WRINKLES?
Lily said: ‘Whilst it’s tempting to get sucked into the idea that there is one miracle food which will turn back the clocks and leave us with smoother wrinkle-free skin, there is limited research linking specific foods with anti-aging properties.
‘However there is more research linking antioxidant nutrients to collagen production and protection against environmental factors such as sun damage, which ultimately slows the ageing process.
‘It appears that the key to aging gracefully could be as simple as incorporating a more healthy fats and a wider range of rainbow coloured fruit and vegetables within the diet.’
Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert agreed and added: ‘It’s becoming increasingly clear that what you eat can significantly affect how healthy your skin is.
‘Fruit and vegetable consumption may represent the most healthy and safe method in order to maintain a balanced diet and youthful appearing skin. Research does not prove that diet causes skin conditions but rather influences it to some degree.’
Rhiannon, who has recently published her first book, Re-Nourish: A Simple Way To Eat Well (£18.99), continued: ‘Research studies have suggested that essential fats that are found in foods such as salmon, nuts and avocados are extremely important as it can help keep our skin supple and hydrated.
‘There is not some miracle food that will help your skin look younger. Instead we should look at our diet as a whole, and identify whether or not we are eating enough fruit and vegetables, and make sure we eating well balanced meals that include carbohydrates, protein and essential fats.
‘All these food groups work together in the body to help maintain optimal health as well as healthy skin.’