Gorgeous, glowing skin looks and feels fantastic — but how do we achieve it? Online and in-store you’ve probably spotted a variety of lotions that promise a youthful, effervescent appearance.
However, whether these truly work is up for debate- so could the answer to better skin, in fact, lie in nutrition?
Photo by Sarah Gray on Unsplash
Certain supplements can help to keep our skin smooth and protected. However, a major cause of loss of skin firmness is free radicals — which are especially harmful when exposed to strong sunlight. There are 25 types of collagen in the body and, along with elastin, they give skin texture and structure. Free radical damage causes collagen and elastin to break down, which leads to wrinkles and skin losing its firmness.
So, what supplements are available to help us combat damage caused by free radicals? Antioxidants such as vitamin C and coenzyme Q10 can protect cells from the damaging effects of these toxic chemicals. Similarly, incorporating plenty of fruit and vegetables into our diets can help us naturally improve our vitamin C levels. However, it’s best if you ingest this raw, as the vitamin is damaged when cooked or processed.
Clearly, vitamin C is an important nutrient and essential to not only our skin’s health, but our general wellbeing. However, levels of vitamin C are reduced by factors such as smoking, alcohol and certain drugs like antidepressants and oral contraceptives — which is why many people find it beneficial to get enough of this vital nutrient via supplements. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 60mg/day or 120mg/day, if you’re a smoker.
How about other supplements that help tackle free radicals and promote good skin? Although we make coenzyme Q10 within our own bodies, our ability to do this drops from our mid-twenties. So, a good solution is to take coenzyme Q10 supplements. Coenzyme Q10 plays an important role in producing energy in our bodies and is also a powerful antioxidant. This means it protects the skin from free radical damage and promotes effective skin repair. Coenzyme Q10 has been proven to reduce the depth of fine lines and wrinkles over time.
Repairing skin with fatty acids
Many of us will have heard about omega 3, and potentially, even already take it. If so, you’re doing the right thing. Omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory, making it good for irritable, sore skin, and the richest source of omega 3 is from oily fish such as herring, salmon, tuna, and sardines. Many people choose to take an omega 3 fish oil supplement. Due to concerns about environmental pollution in fish, it is safest to choose a supplement that contains oil from the flesh of the fish, rather than the liver.
If you already take omega 3 regularly, how about considering the lesser-known omega 7? Omega 7 supplements can help with lubrication throughout the body, protecting the internal organs, as well as the linings of the eyes, mouth and skin. If you get a supplement featuring sea buckthorn oil, you can also benefit from one of the best natural oils for mature and wrinkled skin. This is due to its essential fatty acid and vitamin E, C and A properties. Omega 7 and sea buckthorn oil have nourishing, moisturising and restorative abilities, promoting tissue regeneration and reducing age-induced skin wrinkling and signs of premature ageing.
Since our blood carries all nutrients and oxygen to where they need to be in the body, it makes sense that we ensure our blood flow is the best it can be. Pycnogenol is a plant-based extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree and can be taken as a supplement to improve blood circulation — thereby helping with skin hydration and vitality. Pycnogenol can also help to reduce wrinkles by binding with skin proteins collagen and elastin to protect from various harmful enzymes. It also rebuilds elasticity, which is essential for smooth, youthful skin, and is believed to reduce over-pigmentation for a more even complexion.
All of these supplements can help improve the health of your skin and how good you feel. Browse your options online.