So you’ve tried every product on the market to get your skin in shape and give it a healthy glow, and nothing is working for you, not even when you pair it with a healthy dose of summer sunshine. Believe me, I’ve been there. Not too long ago, actually. But then I realized that it wasn’t what I was putting on my body, but inside it that was really the cause of my problems.

There are about a hundred food-related documentaries out there that’ll give you advice on (or just plain scare you into) eating right and getting in shape. My favorite so far is Hungry for Change. It’s void of the sickening overload of scenes that bring the terrors of fast food into reality, and it’s instead full of facts about what happens to our bodies when we eat certain foods or food-like products.

So back to the idea of the skin you’ve always wanted. If you start spending more on eating clean and less on skincare products that promise to be all state-of-the-art, I bet you’ll notice a difference. (Don’t get me wrong, though. Quality skincare products are also very important counterparts to eating healthy, in my opinion. If you'd like my suggestions on good skincare products, email me at jadams[at]saltlakemagazine[dot]com.)

So where to start? Start with weeding out the bad stuff in your diet.

WATCH IT or CUT IT OUT

Watch your intake of gluten and dairy.  Our grains today aren’t the same as they were even when our grandparents were young. Selective breeding has caused a higher concentration of gluten in grains, and perhaps that’s why so many have developed intolerance to the stuff. If you’re experiencing adult acne, try cutting back on grains and see if it helps.

Also, watch your dairy intake. Milk contains hormones, and if your breakouts are hormone related, dairy products could especially exacerbate the situation. Almond milk and coconut milk are two delicious substitutes.

And, as always, avoid refined sugar. Yep, I’m looking at you Diet Cola drinkers. Pairing your soda with a morning doughnut is a toxic combination, not to mention a gradual teeth rotter. 

EAT IT UP

Since you’re going to nix your soda habit, start the day off instead with a full glass of water, first thing in the morning, then drink as much of it as possible throughout the day. If you need a little flavor, add fresh lemon, lime, cucumber or mint and pretend you’re having a day at the spa.

Add leafy greens like spinach and kale to your lunch plan. Toss them together in a salad and serve them up raw or blend them up in a fruit smoothie. The vitamins and minerals in spinach alone can help combat dry skin.

Get some good fats by eating fatty fish like salmon. Your body needs fat, but just make sure it’s the good kind. The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish can help reduce inflammation and help lower triglyceride levels.

Substitute your grain intake with nuts and seeds. If you haven’t heard, chia seeds are all the rage right now. The tiny things really pack a punch of nutrients like Omega-3s, fiber and antioxidants. These are also great to throw in your morning smoothie, and you’ll never know they’re there.

GET OUT

Lastly, you have to get out and exercise. Whether you take a brisk walk, do yoga, play a round of tennis or bike a few miles, your body needs it. Exercise not only helps you burn calories, but it produces endorphins which make you feel better all around.