'I'm a nutritionist. There are 7 things you can do for great skin over 50'.

Who doesn't want healthy, glowing skin in their 50s? Show us who.

If you're a dame in your 50s, chances are you will have experienced some changes in your skin. Which is totally normal. 

This is when our hormones like to go completely rogue and introduce all sorts of different changes to the appearance of our skin. 

Everything becomes drier. More easily irritated. Duller. Tired. 

And while the marketing goblins out there might want to make us believe that you need to spend all your money on fancy skincare products for 'mature' skin, the fact is, there are lots of other changes we can make on the nutrition front to keep our skin glowing and happy.

Side note: While you're here, why not check out the best haircuts for women over 50.

We recently cornered dietitian and nutritionist Susie Burrell for her advice, and she told us the key thing to remember is that skin health, and the look of the skin, builds over time — and the daily foods we eat make the biggest difference.

"While diet cannot fix all the things in our life that we would perhaps like it to, the good news is that when it comes to the look, feel, texture and underlying health of our skin, there is a whole lot that our diets and daily food choices can do."

Told you.

Watch: Deborah Hutton Opens Up On Skin Cancer Battle A Current Affair. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

Burrell also told us: "In fact, our skin cells are one of the body’s more frequently replaced cells, and our overall nutrient intake can very quickly be reflected in the health of our skin."

"What we eat and supplement our diet with on a daily basis reflects in our skin very quickly. So if you are looking for glowing, healthy skin, here are the simple steps to take."

1. Load up the key vitamins.

First of all, if your skin is looking dull and sad, Burrell said the first thing you'll want to do is check your intake of the key vitamins involved in skin cell formation. 

She said: "A number of vitamins play a role in skin health including vitamin C, E and D, and as such, a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds and regular sunlight all have a role to play in skin health."

According to Burrell, when selecting your fresh fruit and vegetables, remember the brighter the colour of the produce, the higher the nutrient content and the better it will be for you. 

She said to focus on including at least one red or orange vegetable or fruit in your diet every single day, along with at least one cup of leafy green vegetables, such as kale, spinach and broccoli.

"Vitamin C, found in concentrated amounts in citrus fruits, berries, green leafy veges and kiwi fruit, is involved in the formation of collagen, the tissue that strengthens the skin and improves elasticity and skin appearance."


We heart collagen!

"Vitamin C also functions as an antioxidant, helping to protect the body’s cells from damage, damage that can ultimately contribute to the aged look of the skin." 

"Vitamin E is also involved in the formation of collagen, while getting adequate vitamin D is important to support the body’s natural anti-inflammatory pathways."

FYI: Inflammation is associated with skin ageing over time, as well as inflamed and red-looking skin, short term. So, get those anti-inflammatory vitamins in ya!


2. Focus on beta carotene.

Cool! What... is that?

Okay, the name sounds a bit weird and science-y, but beta carotene is basically an antioxidant that gets converted into vitamin A in the body. It can be found in foods, such as red and orange fruits and vegetables.

"This includes tomatoes, red capsicums, carrots and sweet potato," said Burrell, who added that it plays a powerful role in "helping to protect cells, skin cells in particular, from the effects of oxidative damage."  

She also added, "High amounts of beta carotene accumulate in the cells over time, which is why individuals who eat a few too many carrots can develop skin discolouration."

Yes. This is a real thing!

"While overconsumption is not encouraged, a regular high intake of beta carotene-rich foods, or a couple of serves every day, can help to improve the look and colour of the skin," said Burrell.

"A bright and rosy appearance is a broad indicator of carotenoid status in the body."


3. Boost your intake of omega-3 rich fish.

Next, and perhaps most importantly, if your goal is glowing skin (all of us) you're going to want to focus on eating lots of good fats. That is, foods that contain omega-3.

"Omega-3 fat, the type of fat found in the largest natural quantities in oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines is associated with a number of skin health-related benefits," said Burrell.

According to our expert, few women over 50 get enough omega-3's (like, literally one in 10) so it's an important starting point. In fact, Burrell recommends consuming oily fish every second day. 


Oh, and apparently tinned tuna is pretty low in omega-3, so salmon is always a better choice.


"Oily fish is also a good dietary source of vitamin E, and it is hypothesised that the combination of vitamin E and omega-3 fat plays a role in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and skin, thanks to the reduced inflammatory response." 

All of us:

BRB, gone fishing xx

Not only will an increase in your fish intake help with inflammation over time, but it'll also assist in skin development and regeneration.


"For this reason, if your skin has not been looking its best, check your intake of good fats," said Burrell. "We need 40-60g a day. You could even consider taking a fish oil supplement to really give your skin and immune system a boost." 

"Other skin-friendly foods that are rich in these essential fats include nuts and seeds such as walnuts, almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds," she added.

4. Tick the box on zinc.

Another MVP for healthy skin in your 50s? Zinc. 

Not only does zinc play a role in new skin cell development, but it also plays an antioxidant role to help protect the cells from damage over time.

"In the case of breakouts or pore damage, it also helps to heal any damaged cells," added Burrell.

You can find zinc in a handful of foods including seafood, red meat, nuts, wholegrains seeds and legumes.


"One of the easiest ways to get optimal amounts of zinc in the diet is to add nutrient rich seafood, such as prawns, oysters and mussels, as well as salmon, into your diet at least two to three times each week." 

"A daily serve of nuts and seeds too will go a long way in ticking the box on your daily requirement of zinc to support immune function and skin health."

5. Up your protein intake.

Another key dietary area you should focus on improving skin health is protein. 

Burrell said, "Protein-rich foods, including lean red meat and seafood, not only contain the essential proteins the body needs to build all tissues, but they are also excellent sources of zinc."

"Ideally we need to consume zinc-rich foods every single day and sometimes ‘occasional’ meat eaters do not get enough zinc or iron each week."

So, how much red meat are we talking?

"If you include red meat in your diet, we need at least three small serves a week to get the amounts of iron and zinc required for good health and in this case, healthy skin."

6. Step up the hydration game.

We know, we know. Drinking water for better skin always sounds like total BS and is 100 per cent always the one 'secret tip' celebrities always push when talking about how they get good skin. *Rolls eyes*.

But! Our expert said stepping up hydration for healthy, glowing skin is an important one.

"Perhaps most importantly, let's not forget the importance of hydration. The look and fluidity of cells is largely dependent on keeping well hydrated, yet up to 75 per cent of us are dehydrated at any one time."

"This means that for many of us, better skin simply means drinking more filtered water every single day. At a minimum aim for one to one and a half litres of water each day. Herbal tea is another way to increase your fluid intake."

7. Look into supplements.

"Finally, if your goal is great looking skin, you can also consider if there are any specialty supplements that may give your skin a boost," said Burrell. 

"Evening primrose oil, CoQ10 and specific vitamins including vitamin C are just some of the supplementary health products proposed to help optimise the look and feel of the skin."

Of course, it's best to check in with a medical professional before going willy-nilly on the supplement front. Because there's nothing worse than wasting money on stuff your body doesn't need. 

If you've totally been skimming this whole time (um, rude) and really just want some quick-fire tips on how to up the health and glow-factor of your skin in your 50s, Burrell said to follow the below:

  • Try adding a vegetable juice made from beetroot, celery, carrot and kale into your day.
  • Aim to fill half of your plate with salad or vegetables at both lunch and dinner.
  • Order beef or lamb stir-fries when eating out.
  • Use salmon and shellfish in your salads for a zinc and omega-3 hit.
  • Add nuts and seeds to salads.
  • Get into a habit of snacking on some nuts each afternoon.
  • Choose breads and crackers that contain seeds and grains.
  • Take a fish oil supplement at night.
  • Make sure you are eating lean red meat three times a week.
  • Roast brightly coloured vegetables with olive oil and serve with dinner.

As always, before you make any dramatic changes to your diet, it's best to check in with a doctor or dietitian to make sure you're doing the right thing for your body.

Look at you glow!

What are your favourite foods for glowing skin? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Instagram; @susieburrelldietitian.

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