The Six Essential Nutrients For Skin Health
The skin is made up of many different layers, all of which play an important part in keeping skin healthy and resilient. When we work topically with the skin we can achieve amazing results. However this is really only half the picture. If we think about how many layers there are to the skin you begin to see that it is very difficult for topical product to reach those deeper layers. It is imperative to keep these deeper layers happy and healthy, as they are feeding the surface of the skin and will eventually work their way to the top. So when we think of “feeding” or treating the skin it is important to work from both the inside and the outside. A little bit of what you do topically will work its way down and a little bit of when you do internally will work its way up – so you can see by doing both you have things covered from both angles. A lot of skin conditions stem from the inside, and I believe that the skin is a mirror of what is happening on the inside. If there is an imbalance internally this will show through to your skin and no amount of topical work; products or treatments will be able to heal this. There are six vital nutrients that we need to address when working with internal skin health: Water Essential Fatty Acids B Complex Vitamins Vitamin A Vitamin C Zinc Water – is essential for the healthy function of your body as well as your skin. It promotes enzyme activity. – Enzymes are like pac men that sit under the skins surface and eat away at dead skin cells, enabling us to naturally shed these dead skin cells. In order for enzymes to function normally however, they need water. Water encourages the penetration of actives from skincare products. It also promotes the radiant glow that we associate with youthful skins. 1-2 litres of water a day is recommended – we all know this! Any more can be damaging to the skin, flushing out all water-soluble vitamins and minerals. This can lead to tiredness because of the lack of B vitamins. You need to reduce your intake of diuretics such as caffeine and alcohol. Switch at least one cup a day to decaf – or even better, herbal tea. EFA’s – When our sebum is rich in EFAs the oil is easily absorbed out of the follicle and onto the skins surface, preventing congestion. It also has a very anti-inflammatory and healing effect to the skins surface; hence the major role they play in healing many skin conditions. They also moisturize the skin from the inside out, preventing dehydration and creating a buffer from the environment. Try: Bestow Beauty Oil B Complex – B vitamins work in synergy with your EFA’s – if you are low in B vitamins your body will not be able to utilize the EFAs effectively. Acne sufferers are often deficient in this because of the role they play in getting sebum out onto the skins surface. Can be found in foods like brewers yeast, nuts, whole grains, leafy greens and dairy products. But often a B Complex vitamin is necessary. Vitamin A – Helps cells reproduce normally, promoting healing. Vitamin A is very readily available in our diets. It is found in orange vegetables – kumara, carrots and pumpkin. Mash to get the full release of vitamins. Foods like eggs, dairy products, dark green vegetables and orange fruit are also great sources. Zinc – is vital for the formation of collagen, even a slight deficiency results in the formation of wrinkles and stretch marks. It is crucial for wound healing as well as regulating the sebaceous glands. Zinc is commonly found in tuna, salmon and oysters. Other good sources include, hummus, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils and brown rice. Vitamin C – plays a major part in production of collagen. It is an important anti-oxidant that can accelerate wound healing, and the strengthening of capillary walls. Most commonly found in fresh fruit and vegetables like red peppers, currants, parsley, kiwifruit, watercress, citrus fruits and broccoli. Unfortunately we can no longer solely rely on the foods we eat to bring us these essential nutrients. A lot of the foods we eat now undergo vigorous food processing and the vital nutrients are no longer as readily available in the foods we eat. Our society has become over fed and under nourished. It is now necessary to seek supplementation for the vitamins and minerals we are lacking in order to support and maintain a healthy skin.