Victoria Beckham’s flawless skin is no accident. The fashion designer recently revealed that not only is her skin not naturally as perfect as it looks, but that a surprising habit deserves the credit: She eats a ton of salmon. “I see a dermatologist in LA, called Dr. Harold Lancer, who is incredible,” Beckham says in a new interview with The Edit. “I’ve known him for years—he sorted my skin out.” Beckham says she used to have “really problematic skin” until she started eating more salmon, on Lancer’s advice. “He said to me, ‘You have to eat salmon every single day,’” she recalled. “I said, ‘Really, every day?’ And he said, ‘Yes; breakfast, lunch or dinner, you have to eat it every single day.’”
Now, we don’t know what exactly was “problematic” before, but Beckham’s skin does look amazing. Is she on to something with this?
While eating salmon every day sounds pretty intense, Marie Leger, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medicine, tells SELF that there is something to upping your salmon intake. Salmon contains the omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid, which is thought to inhibit matrixins, enzymes that can cause the breakdown of collagen in your skin. And, when collagen breaks down in your skin, it can make you look older.
In addition to omega-3s, salmon is high in vitamin D, protein, B vitamins, and biotin, all of which are important for anti-oxidation and cellular turnover, which produces healthy skin, Gary Goldenberg, M.D., medical director of the Dermatology Faculty Practice at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, tells SELF.
Of course, there’s more to good skin than just eating salmon, but the food you put into your body matters, says dermatologist Jill Waibel, M.D., owner of the Miami Dermatology and Laser Institute. “Eating healthy is important for skin,” she says.
Goldenberg agrees. He recommends that his patients have foods high in good fats, like the omega-3s found in salmon, protein, and some complex carbohydrates, while trying to avoid foods that can cause inflammation like those that are high in sugar, simple carbs, and highly acidic foods. “I also tell many patients—especially those with sensitive skin, acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis—to avoid non-organic dairy and meats,” he says. ”These products contain hormones and antibiotics that may throw off their normal healthy skin balance.”
It’s also a good idea to have foods that are natural antioxidants (think: blueberries, cranberries, and pecans), says Goldenberg. “These in turn help with healthy cellular metabolism and increase healthy development of keratinocytes (cells that make up the skin) and collagen,” he says.
As for salmon, it’s not a bad idea to work it into your diet, but you don’t need to go to as extreme of a level as Beckham to see results. Says Leger: “You don’t have to eat salmon every day to have great skin or be healthy.”
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