Gail Simmons knows good food, and good skin, when she sees it. Simmons has made a name for herself as an elite food critic and host of Top Chef: Just Desserts. Now, she has joined the Eucerin Skin First Council, which raises awareness of skin care as an important aspect of overall health.
I got the chance to speak with her about the connection between your eating and your skin, what foods can give you a gorgeous glow without the bronzer, and how to give your diet a beauty boost. To find out all about her skin food secrets, just keep reading.
On her cardinal rule for picking skin-healthy foods:
"My rule is always the darker the color of the food, the better. That goes for everything from blackberries and blueberries to broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, and cherries. Especially foods really rich in antioxidants like berries: blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and so on."
On the good-skin treat that lets you indulge your sweet tooth:
"A little bit of dark chocolate goes a long way. It has tons of antioxidants in it, so if you need a little something sweet, that’s what I would go for."
On what foods to eat to get a natural glow:
"To get a healthy glow, eat things like fish. Fish is really healthy for you, and fish oils and the fat that’s in things like fish are good for keeping your skin moisturized. Same with things like avocado — it has really good oil. The oil in nuts like walnuts and hazelnuts is also good for your skin."
On whether beauty drinks and powders really work:
"I’ve seen those drinks that they say are good for your skin. I’m sure it’s just added nutrients, like taking a multivitamin that has extra fish oil. It certainly can’t hurt you, but the truth is that the best way to get your nutrients and keep your skin healthy is to eat real food."
On how to know whether a food is truly healthy:
"The great food writer Michael Pollan has a saying that if a food makes some sort of a claim, then you don’t necessarily need it. It’s the food that can’t speak to you, the fruits and the vegetables that we wish had sign on them saying 'added vitamins,' that are really the best. With that kind of food, just real fruits, real vegetables, really good fats, nuts, fish, things like that—that’s where you’re going to look the best eating."
On how she keeps her hands from getting dried out while cooking:
"I wash my hands all day, and I certainly don’t want to put lotion on them when I’m in the kitchen cooking. I always use Eucerin Daily Skin Balance. It’s a hand cream that they make, and it's really rich. I apply it when I’m finished in the kitchen. I also use it every night before I go to bed, and every morning when I get out of the shower."