Feed your Skin: Supplements for a Healthy Glow

fish suppIt would be great if creating healthy, glowing skin really were as easy as slapping on the newest cream to hit the market. But, to paraphrase the adage, nothing worth having comes that quickly. Instead, radiant skin results from building healthy cells through proper diet and lifestyle choices – and a little help from a few skin care supplements.

Multi-vitamin

Unless you live on the top of a mountain, far from fast foods and boxed dinners, growing your own organic food and drinking fresh spring-water, your nutrient intake likely isn’t as robust as it could be for optimum health. And glowing skin is a direct consequence of a healthy body.
Consider your multi-vitamin/multi-mineral as nutrient insurance in your new skin care regimen.

Choosing a multi-vitamin: what’s in it for your skin?

• Vitamin A: wound healing; helps to keep skin smooth and moist
• Vitamin B complex: helps improve skin texture
• Vitamin C: necessary for formation of skin-strengthening collagen; sun protection
• Vitamin D: promotes healthy cells; slows rate of cell division
• Vitamin E: helps form anti-inflammatory chemicals; offers sun protection
• Beta carotene: converts in body to vitamin A; production and maintenance of cells
• Selenium: promotes anti-inflammatory chemicals
• Zinc: helps with wound healing; helps control skin inflammation
• Omega 3 essential fatty acids

Arguably the best skin care nutrients are the omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) EPA and DHA. These EFAs are critical for the growth of cells and the formation of healthy cell membranes, including skin cells. Omega 3s regulate the rate of cell division, making them key for skin conditions like psoriasis, which involve rapid cell turnover. Because they play a role in reducing inflammation, EPA and DHA are helpful for acne, eczema and rosacea along with psoriasis. Dry, itchy skin – or fine lines – often signals a deficiency in these EFAs.

Fish like anchovies, sardines and Arctic cod are abundant food sources of EPA and DHA, but it’s difficult to eat enough to get an adequate supply. Look for a fish oil supplement containing the natural triglyceride form of fish oil for optimal absorption. Soft, smooth skin will be just around the corner. Aim for 1000-2000 mg daily.

Probiotics

It doesn’t matter what nutrients are in your diet if your digestive system is so weak they aren’t absorbed – and instead literally go down the drain. To boost your digestion’s ability to benefit from your skin care supplements, include probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus in your daily regimen. Studies also show these beneficial bacteria are also useful in the management of eczema. (4) Aim for 5-10 billion viable units per day.

On the surface

When things sound too good to be true, they often are. Consider hyaluronic acid, (hyaluronan) for instance. This complex substance is naturally present in humans, is known to lubricate joints and plays a role in wound healing. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is also hygroscopic, meaning it can attract water from the surrounding environment. Like many other body chemicals, however, production decreases as we age. It’s no wonder, then, that hyaluronan has garnered attention as a means of plumping up wrinkled skin. While research delves into the ability of injected hyaluronic acid to relieve pain of osteoarthritic joints and cosmetic use of injected HA as a wrinkle-filler is popular, studies on the impact of oral hyaluronic acid are limited. To get the most of your glowing-skin budget, opt for topical hyaluronan instead. Studies show that topical hyaluronic acid promotes skin defense mechanisms and wound healing.

It takes about 30 days for the benefits of your skin care supplements to be reflected in the mirror. Happily, with this skin care routine, the results can last a lifetime.

Lisa Petty
Originally published in Remedies


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