We should all eat a healthy diet rich in omega fatty acids, fruits and vegetables (antioxidant foods).As well as eating lean proteins and drinking lots of water, which are essential to maintain healthy skin. But we can’t eat the quantity of food required to obtain the nutrients and antioxidants we need on a daily basis. Not getting these nutrients and antioxidants, is maybe why our society has chronic health conditions.
Check out this video titled Food Matters
Of course, our genetics have a lot to do with our overall health and the health of the skin. Our genetics is what we are born with and we can’t change that but you can change your overall health and skin health through improved nutrition.
Australian Dietary Guidelines – Recommends Daily Averages (RDA’s) of the five (5) core food groups for Australian’s to obtain the minimal levels of nutrients required for normal growth and development and to avoid immediate illness. However, these guidelines are not guidelines for optimum nutrition and avoidance of chronic illnesses. For example, Vitamin E is widely recognised for its antioxidant and anti-ageing effects. The RDA of Vitamin E is 10 IU – while peer reviewed medical literature has shown that an optimal level of 400 IU of Vitamin E per day, is required – that is 40 times the RDA! To obtain 400 IU of Vitamin E, you would have to eat 33 bunches of spinach or 12 kilograms of butter or 23 cups of wheat germ or 80 mangoes. Of course, you can’t eat 400 IU of Vitamin E from food, per day!
We can’t get enough nutrition from the foods we eat, as our foods are all sourced from depleted soils, they are refined and over processed, filled with colourings, additives and preservatives which all equate to nutritionally poor food. Despite Australia being technologically advanced with a food industry that has high standards.
Our food industry is based on consumption not nutrition. Australia sources food from global enterprises that don’t replenish their soils. Decades of farming have left soils depleted of essential nutrients and farmers can’t afford expensive, quality fertilisers and generally use only the basic Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium fertilisers to produce crops that look good but are depleted of most necessary minerals. To survive and compete in the food industry, food producers have to be more concerned with abundance and appearance.
In addition, these foods are placed in cold storage for a period of time and they further lose nutritional value. For example, the processing and freezing of meat removes 50%-70% of Vitamin B6, cold storage of tangerines removes up to 50% of the Vitamin C and asparagus in cold storage for 1 week can lose 90% of its Vitamin C.
What all this means, is that we can’t eat the quantity of food to get the optimal nutrition we need. So scientifically researched and proven vitamin supplements are a convenient and affordable way to obtain optimal nutrition.
One of the biggest motivations to adopt a more nutritious diet is the desire to improve our general well-being and skin health. Many people of all ages struggle with skin conditions such as break outs, acne, dry skin, wrinkles, pigmentation and photo-aging to name a few.
These skin conditions can have major psychological effects on those who have yet to find a solution to their problematic skin condition. While conventional medical professionals often discount the connection between skin health and nutrition, there is strong evidence to support that optimal nutrition improves not only our general well-being but the health and vibrancy of our skin.
The consumption of certain vitamins, minerals, oils and other beneficial compounds in the diet, is one of the most effective ways to treat skin conditions and improve skin health.
There are several nutrients that are known to dramatically improve skin health. Some of these nutrients are:
Oral Vitamin A
Vitamin A are Carotenoids (including Astaxanthin) and Beta-Carotenes that protect against sun damage and photo-ageing by suppressing lipid peroxidation and scavenges reactive oxygen species in the skin (scavengers free radicals). Astaxanthin in particular promotes collagen recovery and has a significant benefit on protecting against UVA induced skin photo-ageing (sagging and wrinkly skin).
Topical Vitamin A
Retinoids are a group of substances comprising Vitamin A. Retinoids have been used over the years to effectively treat skin concerns.
OMEGA FATTY ACIDS
Oral Omega fatty acids
Omega-3 and Omega 6 are polyunsaturated fatty acids (oils) and they are essential for skin structure, function and appearance. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and some Omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory and they work together to:
- Protect against the damaging effects of sunlight on the skin by suppressing the bodies inflammatory response to sun exposure
- Lower the incidence of dry skin and skin thinning
- Significantly improve the skins moisture, elasticity and smoothness
- May assist wound healing
Topical Omega fatty acids
The topical application of certain Omega oils is a way of directly delivering these vitamins into the skin to improve skin structure, function and appearance.
- Reduces collagen damage associated with photo-aging
- Increases epidermal thickening and increases collagen and elastic fibre production
- Decline in ultraviolet induced hyperpigmentation
- Increases the content of oil in the epidermis of the skin
- Reduces the scaliness of dry skin
- May reduce the body’s inflammatory response to sun exposure
Oral Vitamin B
Getting the right mix of vitamin B, particularly vitamin B12 is essential for healthy skin as it plays a major part in cell repair and reproduction. Vitamin B benefits skin health by reducing acne breakouts, redness, dryness and inflammation.
Topical Vitamin B
- Prevents photo-damage
- Reduces acne break outs
- Improves skin carrier function
- Inhibits melanosome transfer from melanocytes
- Reduces sebum production which reduces pore size
- Smoother textured skin
- Readily penetrates the skin and improves skin hydration
Oral Vitamin C
Vitamin C can be naturally found in both the dermis and epidermis layers of the skin. Exposure to sunlight and pollutants (pollution and cigarette smoke) along with aging causes a decline in the vitamin C content in both layers.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and vital for life, it has been proven to protect against UV radiation and other free radical damage to the skin. We can’t get the amount of vitamin C we require from our diet, to attain significant photo-protection, so nutritional supplementation is required. To achieve optimal health benefits, including photo-protection, a supplement of 1 – 3 grams of vitamin C, per day is recommended.
Some of the benefits of oral vitamin C to the skin:
- Potent antioxidant
- Photo-protection (photo-protection is enhanced when taken with vitamin E)
- Combats free-radical damage that is responsible for visible signs of aging
- Enhances the effectiveness of sunscreens
- Increases the production of collagen and elastin
- Assists wound healing
Topical Vitamin C
Topical vitamin C is the direct delivery of this antioxidant into the skin. Topical vitamin C requires a pH level of 3.5 or less for optimal absorption and deep penetration; and it comes in 2 different varieties:
- L-ASCORBIC ACID (water soluble)
- ESTERS (water and fat soluble)
The skin will only absorb a certain amount of vitamin C, so more is not better – rather vitamin C products should contain both l-ascorbic acid and esters to be easily absorbed through the skin.
Some of the benefits of topical vitamin C:
- Potent antioxidant
- Enhances the production of collagen giving you plumper skin
- Repairs the elastin tissue of the skin giving you firmer skin
- Helps the natural moisturisation of the skin and enhances the protective barrier function
- Reduces pigmentation and evens skin tone
- Decreases wrinkles
- Acts to reverse prior photo-damage
Natural vitamin E is the most important lipid-soluble antioxidant in plasma, membranes and tissues. Like vitamin C, vitamin E is supplied to the body solely by the diet and we can’t get enough Vitamin E from our diet so an oral daily supplement of 400-800 IU has been proven to be most beneficial for the skin.
Caution – don’t take oral or use topical vitamin E, if on aspirin, warfarin or blood thinning medication because tocopherol (vitamin E) thins the blood.
Benefits of oral and topical Vitamin E
- Photo-protection (oxidant protection to combat UV exposure)
- Antioxidant (it arrests lipid peroxyl radicals)
- It is a penetration enhancer through the skin barrier as it intercalates with the lipid bilayer of the skin, thereby altering the characteristics of permeability
- It is non-irritating and also acts as an emollient aiding moisturisation
Vitamin E facts
- Vitamin E is the predominant antioxidant present in the outer-layer of skin
- Vitamin E is a major lipophilic antioxidant in plasma membranes and tissues – it removes lipid peroxyl radicals from the lipid bilayers of the outer layer of skin
- Vitamin C, glutathione, Co-Enzyme 10 (Ubiquinol) act as co-antioxidants for the regeneration of vitamin E from its radicals and can recycle it after photo-oxidation in the skin
- Products with 0.1 – 1% alpha-tocopherol are effective but a higher percentage of concentration are better
- Use products that contain co-factors like vitamin C
- DO NOT USE – products containing vitamin E esters like vitamin E acetate
In summary, we can’t get enough nutrients from the food we eat, so taking scientifically researched good quality nutritional supplements have been proven to optimise skin health.
Make an appointment today to discuss your skin health