This blog post looks at some of the key nutritional supplements for supporting and maintaining healthy skin. Follow our top five tips and your skin will be looking healthy and radiant all through natural choices and healthy diet without the need for beauty products that contain harmful chemicals.
1. Fish Oils
Fish oils are essential fatty acids which means that they are not made by the body and have to be consumed (either eaten or supplemented) in order to provide the body with their fantastic benefits. Fatty acids have been recognised for their ability to improve the skin through their anti-inflammatory activity which may also reduce the development of eczema psoriasis, acne and rashes. They can also help to firm the skin and potentially reduce lines and wrinkles. Read more about the power of fish oils for skin health in previous blog posts here. Overall a top skin care provider!
Oxidative damage from free radicals (unstable molecules) is the primary cause of premature skin aging as they can interfere with DNA and breakdown collagen which contributes to the formation of those dreaded wrinkles. Antioxidants have been found to help prevent this damage and protect the body from their harmful effects. Antioxidants, such as alpha tocopherol, beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein, have also been identified to protect against UV damage (photoaging) which causes the most harm to the skin (3).
Eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and wholegrains helps to provide the body with vitamins, minerals, fibre and other essential components to help the body to function optimally and keep the skin in its best condition. Adding a multivitamin (which are natural nutrients that are essentially consumed as the body can not produce them itself) to this regime can offer a great boost to your body’s balance of health and support the health and appearance of the largest organ in your body, your skin. Again multivitamins that include the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E are great skin supporters, and also B3, D and K have also been identified as protecting against the biggest skin ager, photoaging (4).
As we age, our collagen stores steadily decrease which reduces the elasticity in our skin and causes lines and wrinkles, so supplementing collagen may help to limit these effects. Also having a healthy diet with lots of vitamins and antioxidants such as vitamin C, can help to encourage collagen production and its use within the body, which may assist in keeping the skin bright and youthful.
Probiotics are non digestible foods that can promote health by stimulating the activity of beneficial bacteria in the gut. They have been found to assist with the absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract which then allows the nutrients to fully benefit the skin. Additionally, probiotics have also been recognised for stimulating the microflora of the skin and protecting the skin through the immune system (6). Therefore these friendly bacteria are perfect little protectors of youthful skin so make sure you include them in your daily routine.
A top tip for supplementing would be to include probiotics with your supplements to ensure that your digestive system is optimal and you are absorbing the necessary nutrients from the supplements you are taking.
P.S. You may also wish to consider using light therapy as an alternative to help keep skin beautiful, as they have been found to kill the bacteria that causes acne and also to reduce the inflammation in the skin caused by acne. They do this through the combination of wavelengths which also assist facial lesions, scars and many other conditions. They have also shown to be very effective at brightening the skin tone (7,8). Therefore they may be worth considering if you are suffering from a skin complaint.
Written by Lauren Foster
(1) Image courtesy of photostock.
(2)De Spirit s et al. (2009) Intervention with flaxseed and borage oil supplements modulates skin condition in women. British Journal of Nutrition, 101:440-445.
(3) Evans, J.A. & Johnson, E.J. (2010) The Role of Phytonutrients in Skin Health. Nutrients, 2, 903-928.
(4) Zussman, J., Ahdout, J. and Kim, J. (2010) Vitamins and photoaging: Do scientific data support their use? American Academy of Dermatology, Vol. 63, No. 3.
(5) Zouboulis, C.C., Makrantonaki, E. (2011) Clinical aspects and molecular diagnostics of skin aging. Clinics in Dermatology, 29, 3–14.
(6) Krutmann, J. (2009) Pre- and probiotics for human skin. Journal of Dermatological Science 54, 1–5.
(7) Babilas, B. (2010) Light-assisted therapy in dermatology: The use of intense pulsed light (IPL). Medical Laser Application, Vol. 25, 61–69.
(8) Lee, S.Y., You, C.E. & Park, M.Y. (2007) Blue and red light combination LED phototherapy for acne vulgaris in patients with skin phototype IV. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 39:180–188.