I'm a dermatologist – here are 33 cheap 'superfoods' that can be BETTER than Botox | The Sun

MAKING small changes to our diets can be just as beneficial as Botox, according to a top dermatologist.

Dr Thivi Maruthappu reckons munching on a variety of "superfoods" reduces wrinkles, boosts moisture and gives you a youthful glow.

Better still, most of her favourites are budget-friendly and availableto pick up in your local supermarket.

She told The Times: "Skincare is an inside job.

"People don’t realise that so many products don't actually get to those deeper layers."

Dr Maruthappu, whose motto is "berries before Botox", said what we eat has a profound impact on every layer on our skin.


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So if we're not properly nourished – it shows.

Here, the dermatologist and nutritionist, 42, outlines her top skin-boosting snacks – and hacks – for a smooth, glowing complexion to rival line-busting injections.

Face the fats

If we don't get the right nutrients, the epidermis, or top layer of our skin will look dry, flaky, spotty or irritated, while the dermis, or middle layer, will age more quickly as it loses elasticity and moisture, Dr Maruthappu, said.

The expert, who studied medicine at the University of Oxford, explained that collagen and hyaluronic acid play a vital role – but the body needs carbs, proteins, vitamins C, D, E, zinc, iron, selenium and copper to produce them.

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Most importantly though, it needs fats.

She said it's essential to squeeze monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats into your meals if you want to keep ageing at bay as the subcutaneous tissue that lies under the skin contains fat, which is a "natural filler".

Avocado, nuts and extra virgin olive oil are all brilliant sources of monounsaturated fats, while the omega-3s in seeds and oily fish like salmon tick the polyunsaturated box.

If you're veggie, try an algae omega-3 supplement instead.

This will improve skin significantly, Dr Maruthappu said.

Get your fill of collagen

Another great addition to your diet is collagen – a protein responsible for healthy joints and skin elasticity.

Many spend hundreds of pounds a year on creams containing the "magic" ingredient, but you don't need to splash out.

Dr Maruthappu reckons you can get a pretty good dose from cheaper oral supplements that include type 1 collagen and dipeptides.

Take them for three months alongside a diet rich in vitamin C and iron, and you're apparently on to a winner.

Both are essential for collagen production, Dr Maruthappu said, and can easily be found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, red meat and beans.

But vitamin A, found in liver, mackerel, salmon, butter, cheddar, eggs, carrots, red peppers, sweet potatoes and apricots, is also important because it boosts cell turnover, she added.

Spot the problem

If you're suffering from acne, Dr Maruthappu recommends upping your intake of nuts, seeds, poultry, shellfish and anti-inflammatory spices such as turmeric instead of rushing to your nearest clinic.

It's also worth reverting back to full fat milk if you're switched to skimmed or semi-skimmed as they are more likely to be a trigger, she said.

You can try non-dairy alternatives like almond or oat milk – but avoid the organic varieties as they aren't fortified and you'll miss out on calcium, B12 and iodine, she added.

Glow up

For healthy skin as you age, Dr Maruthappu, who works in the NHS, has a practice at the Cleveland Clinic and conducts research on nutrition and skin at King’s College London, suggests green tea, walnuts, salmon and blackberries.

And for an extra glow, throw in some leafy green vegetables, lean proteins, oils and whole grains.

The author of SkinFood: Your 4-Step Solution to Healthy, Happy Skin, also notes that more than eight alcohol drinks a week accelerates ageing in the face.

Red wine and beer are most likely to cause problems – like lines, puffiness under the eyes and visible blood vessels – due to high histamine levels, so opt for clear spirits like vodka, gin and tequila instead.

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The full list of Dr Maruthappu's favoured foods for great skin includes:

  • Salmon
  • Avocado
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Algae omega-3 supplement 
  • Dark chocolate
  • Cherries
  • Blackberries
  • Walnuts
  • Green tea
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard 
  • Bok choy 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Collagen supplements 
  • Liver
  • Mackerel
  • Butter
  • Cheddar
  • Eggs
  • Carrots
  • Red peppers
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Mango
  • Apricots 
  • Full fat milk
  • Full fat yoghurt 
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Turmeric 
  • Lemons
  • Wholegrain rice 
  • Kefir
  • Kimchi 

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