A new study sponsored by Unilever makes the case for increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables in your diet.
Researchers from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland say that their findings prove the secret to healthy-looking skin may be as simple as eating more produce.
According to HealthDay, researchers studied 35 people over a six-week period. They found that the people who consumed more fruits and vegetables over the course of the study had more red and yellow tones in their skin, resulting in what was judged to be a more attractive look. In addition, those who ingested a more unhealthy diet actually became paler as the study progressed.
"People who eat more fruit and vegetables have a 'golden' skin tone that looks healthy and attractive," said researcher Ross Whitehead to ]]>The Salt]]>. "Our research finds that even small improvements in diet produces visible benefits to skin color. We were very surprised by how quick the changes were."
Scientists say that the changes were noticeable when subjects ate just two additional servings of fruits and vegetables each day. They also believe that larger or more prolonged dietary changes are likely to make the skin look increasingly healthy over time.
Carotenoid pigments, such as beta-carotene and lycopene, are believed to contribute to the healthy glow achieved from ingesting the healthy foods. HealthDay reports that foods high in beta-carotene include carrots, yams, spinach, peaches, pumpkin and apricots. Watermelons, tomatoes, pink grapefruit and apricots are all good sources of lycopene.
In addition, because of the small study size and all of the participants were lighter-skinned, more research needs to be done to see if diet changes affect the skin tone for darker-skinned people as well.
There are also many nonsurgical cosmetic treatments that can improve the appearance of dull, weathered or dehydrated skin such as a chemical peel, microdermabrasion or laser resurfacing. Be sure to see a trained professional who is licensed to perform these procedures and can offer you the right treatments.