In the perfect world, we would all sit down to daily home-cooked meals rich in the vitamins and minerals that make us feel beautiful inside and out. Creams and serums protect your skin from the outside, but that’s only half the equation. Having a healthy diet packed with nutrients proven to keep your skin firm and glowing, hair shiny and nails strong is key for enhancing your beauty from the inside out.
Crazed schedules make that unrealistic for most busy women, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pack a powerful dietary punch while running around. Nutricosmetics, a category including supplements, beverages and bite-sized chews, offer beautifying ingredients not readily available in food. In particular, collagen and hyaluronic acid—two must-haves for firm, youthful skin, but lacking in many diets.
Here are simple-yet-brilliant ideas to add hair, skin and nail-enhancing nutrients wherever your day may take you, from simple food hacks to convenient beauty-boosting supplements. Get ready to glow!
Amp up your smoothie.
The spongy fiber underneath skin known as collagen keeps skin looking smooth, vibrant and firm. “Collagen makes up the most abundant protein in the body—taking a supplement can increase natural moisture retention and reduce fine lines, which makes skin look younger,” says nutritionist Tim Mount, C.C.N. Add a scoop of NeoCell Beauty Infusion to your favorite smoothie or a glass of water for a potent dose of 6,000 miligrams of collagen, which is also combined with skin-strengthening hyaluronic acid, biotin and vitamin C.
Add coconut oil to coffee.
You may have heard of the new trend of adding butter to black coffee that some experts claim keeps you energized and focused for hours. Opting for a variation with coconut oil, which is rich in MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) helps jumpstart your metabolism to burn fat and keep excess pounds off. By replacing fatty acids in skin cells with more stable ones, coconut oil helps skin more effectively heal and repair damage from aging and the sun. Studies have even shown that coconut oil stimulates collagen production for more radiant-looking skin.
Pack biotin bursts in your purse.
Derived from a B complex vitamin, biotin is found in egg yolks and liver, and has been studied as a valuable beauty nutrient. “Biotin is associated with beautifully strong, shiny hair and nails,” says YouBeauty Nutrition Advisor Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D. For a pick-me-up, try popping a NeoCell Biotin Bursts soft fruit chew that infuse 10,000 micrograms of biotin in every yummy bite. The high potency treat is available in a 20-calorie Brazilian Açai Berry flavor, which is low in sugar and free of gluten, soy and artificial flavors.
Drink a teaspoon of vinegar.
From deeply cleansing hair to rinsing pesticides off fruits and veggies, there are endless beneficial uses for apple cider vinegar. Here’s one more: By slipping a teaspoon into your day, the antioxidant-rich liquid helps slow premature aging and encourages a more glowing complexion by detoxing your digestive tract. Bonus? Adding vinegar to your salad dressing can help dilute calories and fat without skimping on taste.
Sprinkle chia seeds and wheat germ.
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition this year, eating protein at every meal—as opposed to just loading up in one or two—is essential to maintaining body tone and preventing age-related muscle loss. Protein is also core to cell processes involved in creating beautiful and strong skin, hair and nails. To sneak more protein into a meal, simply sprinkle chia seeds and wheat germ onto cereals, oatmeal, salads and fruit bowls as a tasty way to load up.
Squeeze lemon in water and tea.
When we think of vitamin C, it’s usually orange juice that comes to mind—but other citrus fruits like lemons offer affordable and easy ways to get this amazing nutrient in. Vitamin C has been shown to have powerful antioxidant properties that protect our cells from damage to keep skin clear and vibrant. Simply squeezing some lemon into your water or herbal tea provides a burst of vitamin C that helps flush out toxins. Plus, it’s a tasty way to add some zip to your daily hydration!
Eat a teaspoon of tomato paste.
Tomatoes may not get the kind of attention that other veggies like kale and Swiss chard are currently basking in, but they’re as much of a star. Lycopene is a carotenoid found in red and pink produce that helps prevent and heal sun-damaged skin by boosting skin’s natural protective ability, and tomatoes are chock-full of it. In fact, one study found that eating 2.5 tablespoons of tomato paste every day for 10 weeks made subjects 40 percent less susceptible to sun burn! By just wearing your sunscreen and taking a taste of tomato every day, you can improve the look of sun-damaged skin.
Choose honey as your sweetener.
Many people worry about the impact sugar can have on the waistline, but research has also shown that diets high in sugar can cause wrinkles, sagging and possibly even acne. “Sugar can trigger a process known as glycation, which is when they attach to protein and create a by-product that damages collagen and elastin,” explains YouBeauty Dermatology Expert Jeanine B. Downie, M.D. By swapping in honey that is well known as an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent, you’re helping keep skin healthy. Raw and manuka varieties of honey have been shown to have the most benefits.
Learn more about Neocell’s Nutricosmetic Beauty Infusion Drink Mix