In recent years clinical and experimental studies have shown that the health, appearance, and texture of the skin is strongly influenced by nutritional factors, which work from the inside out.
As well, conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, seborrhea, acne, rosacea and poor complexion problems, have been shown to respond favorably to the use of specific nutritional supplements.
This article reviews the key nutrients required to help your body produce perfect skin in 30 days, as well as dietary supplements that can slow skin aging, skin wrinkling, help prevent skin cancer, and help manage a variety of skin conditions
Why is nutrition needed for skin health?
Scientific studies in the last decade have clearly shown that developing skin cells, below the surface, are continually extracting various vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids from the bloodstream.
These nutrients are required by immature skin cells in their development in order to allow them to fully mature into perfectly formed skin cells upon their arrival at the skin’s surface.
Perfectly formed skin cells give the skin a smooth, silky, soft, moist feel and attractive appearance.
A deficiency or a sub-optimal supply of these nutrients in the bloodstream impairs the ability of skin cells to acquire the nutritional status required to achieve a fully developed state, with the end result being rough, dry, scaly skin, or the manifestation of a variety of skin lesions and/or a poor complexion.
Simply putting on topical creams and lotions cannot permanently change these problems, and although they offer value in some areas, lotions and creams cannot deliver sufficient quantities of essential nutrients to the deeper layers of the skin and feed them the required amount of essential nutrients necessary to produce beautiful, healthy-looking skin.
What is the secret of essential fats and prostaglandin hormones?
The primary secret to make your skin smoother, softer and more radiant is to feed your body the essential fats it needs to make specific hormones within the skin, known as prostaglandin hormones.
Skin cells are known to produce prostaglandin hormones during their development, and to a large degree, it is the amount of prostaglandin hormones and the type of prostaglandin hormones synthesized within developing skin cells that determines how soft, smooth, and radiant the cells will be upon their arrival at the skin’s surface.
Studies show that prostaglandin hormones are made from the unsaturated fats that we eat or take as supplements. These essential fats are delivered to developing skin cells from the bloodstream.
Once inside the developing skin cells, below the surface of the skin, the omega-3 fats (alpha-linolenic acid from flaxseed oil, and eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid from fish oil) and the omega-6 fat, gamma-linolenic acid (from borage seed oil), are rapidly converted into the types of prostaglandin hormones that make the skin softer, smoother and more radiant.
Unfortunately, the North American diet is high in the unsaturated fats that produce the prostaglandin hormone (PG-2) that makes the skin drier, rougher, scalier, and less moist than it has the potential to be.
This is why it most ideal to eat lower fat animal products, such as chicken, turkey, and fish, 1% of nonfat milk and yogurt and cheeses that are less than 4% milk fat, and to supplement your diet with a combination supplement containing flaxseed, borage seed and fish oil, each day.
I normally recommend three, 1200 mg capsules per day. It is also desirable to use olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil in place of other vegetable oils, to help lower the intake of unsaturated fats that impair the skin’s ability to be as soft and smooth as possible.
However, it is also important to note that in order for skin cells to convert these essential fats into the desired type and amount of prostaglandin hormones, specific vitamins and minerals are required to catalyze the biochemical reactions that allow the production of prostaglandin hormones to occur. This is one reason why it is important to also ingest a high potency multi-vitamin and mineral each day.
How antioxidant vitamins slow skin aging and wrinkles?
As mentioned above, skin cells require many different vitamins and minerals essential fats for their development and that a lack of optimal intake of any of these nutrients leads to skin lesions and abnormalities and/or complexion problems.
B-vitamins, Vitamin A, zinc, selenium, Vitamin C, essential fatty acids as well as other nutrients, must be present in the bloodstream at optimal levels in order for you to achieve the best skin appearance and texture that is attainable for your body.
This has been a very underappreciated fact in the area of skin care management and only now is its importance beginning to be recognized by skin care professionals and the general public
In addition, recent studies have shown that the optimal intake of certain antioxidant vitamins and minerals can also slow skin aging and wrinkle development over our lifetime, and may also help to reduce risk of skin cancer.
Developing skin cells, below the surface of the skin, contain oxygen (O2), which can be transformed into a free radical after absorption of photon energy from ultra-violet from the sun or tanning beds.
These free radicals formed in the skin upon exposure to ultra-violet light (UV-light) have been shown to damage many parts of the skin cell and related skin structures, accelerating skin aging, promoting wrinkle development, and increasing skin cancer risk.
Like other cells in the body, skin cells contain antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase), which quench and neutralize free radicals helping to protect skin cells from free radical damage.
Unfortunately, these enzymes cannot prevent ultraviolet skin damage by themselves and require additional support from nutritional antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta-carotene, Vitamin A, Selenium and Zinc.
Studies reveal that individuals who take antioxidant supplements, at levels beyond what food alone can provide, show reduced skin inflammation, sunburn reaction, DNA-damage, and other types of skin damage, compared to the non-supplemented group, after their skin is exposed to the same dose of UV-light.
Scientific evidence now strongly suggests that, in addition to reducing exposure to UV-light, wearing protective clothing, and using antioxidant-enriched (high SPF) suntan lotions, individuals should also ingest a high potency, antioxidant-enriched multi-vitamin supplement each day.
The vitamins and minerals are necessary to enhance the development of skin cells and support production of the prostaglandins that make the skin soft and smooth. The antioxidants in this supplement also help to slow skin aging, reduce wrinkle formation and may reduce risk of skin cancer.
The antioxidant dosages should include: Vitamin C-1,000 mg, Vitamin E-400 IU. Beta-carotene-10,000 IU, Vitamin A-2500 IU, Zinc-15 mg, Selenium-100 mcg.
Does Ultra-Pure Encapsulated Hyaluronic Acid smoothen skin?
Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance produced by skin cells and is found in great abundance in young skin (both the epidermis and dermis) where it functions to keep skin youthful, supple, smooth, toned and moist.
As a natural water magnet in the skin, hyaluronic acid attracts water molecules from the bloodstream, holding up to 1,000 to 6,000 times its weight in moisture. This accounts for its amazing ability to keep the skin hydrated, youthful, and supple, and to soften fine lines and superficial wrinkles, reducing the aged appearance of the skin.
After the age of 20, the skin loses its ability to synthesize optimal amounts of hyaluronic acid, which significantly contributes to skin aging. By age fifty individuals are estimated to have less than half the amount of the hyaluronic acid they had in their youth.
Unfortunately, taking hyaluronic acid as a nutritional supplement does not deliver hyaluronic acid to the skin.
However, clinical trials have verified that the topical use of an ultra-pure grade of encapsulated hyaluronic acid, can replenish the skin with more youthful concentrations of hyaluronic acid, which in turn, has been shown to reverse fine lines, shallow wrinkles and crow’s feet.
This unique form of hyaluronic acid, or H.A. as it is often referred to, is scientifically proven to deliver hyaluronic acid throughout all skin layers, including the deepest layers of the dermis. This unique delivery system is the only reliable method of delivering hyaluronic acid to all skin layers.
Upon topical application this form of hyaluronic acid immediately improves the smoothness and appearance of the skin. With continued use more significant and lasting changes can be seen, as hyaluronic acid concentrates and permeates its natural physiological effects throughout all skin layers.
Hyaluronic acid is also an antioxidant, which helps prevent free radical damage to the skin from sunlight and other sources of ultra-violet light.
It is best to use a source of hyaluronic acid that is produced by selected bacterial strains, which is free from contamination by other impurities that may be contained in animal-based hyaluronic acid products.
Hyaluronic acid is a conditionally-essential skin nutrient, in that it is a nutrient the skin requires to slow down the aging process and support skin structure. However, after the age of 20 the skin no longer makes optimal amounts of this precious nutrient and therefore, topical application of encapsulated H.A is required to maintain optimal skin levels, helping to prevent and reverse fine lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet.
H.A. in this form is best applied each morning before putting on make-up and each night, after washing your face, and before applying any night creams.
How to nourish your skin each day with the nutrients it needs?
In addition to following a low-fat diet, eating fruits and vegetables regularly and drinking sufficient water, the creation and maintenance of perfect skin requires that you also take a high potency multi-vitamin and mineral and an essential fatty acid supplement (borage, flaxseed and fish oil) each day.
In addition, the twice per day topical application of encapsulated H.A., after the age of 20, will further help to slow skin aging, prevent and reduce wrinkles and provide the skin with a soft smooth texture and more radiant appearance.
Are there any additional help for individuals with skin conditions and/or poor complexion (side bar)?
For individuals who suffer from eczema, psoriasis, acne, seborrhea, skin hypersensitivity reactions, and/or a poor complexion, it is advisable to also take two additional supplements that work together to help eliminate toxins from the blood.
High levels of blood toxins or impurities are known to cause or worsen skin problems by triggering immune inflammatory reactions that manifest as unsightly skin lesions.
Nutrients such as milk thistle and indole-3-carbinol are known to enhance the body’s detoxification system, helping to cleanse existing toxins and foreign substances from the bloodstream.
The Asian herbs, reishi mushroom extract and astragalus help better regulate the body’s immune system; a factor that has also been shown to be important in the management of certain skin conditions.
Thus, using a combination supplement containing the therapeutic levels and standardized grades of milk thistle, indole-3-carbinol, reishi mushroom extract and astragalus, has been shown to reduce blood impurities and better regulate immune function and, thereby, help to improve skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne.
The use of a full spectrum digestive enzyme supplement, in combination with prebiotics (a type of fiber that encourages the growth of the friendly gut bacteria) can also help to reduce the build up of impurities in the bloodstream that aggravate various skin conditions.
In many cases individuals with psoriasis, eczema, rosacea and acne have been shown to produce insufficient amounts of digestive enzymes.
In these cases, partially undigested food matter is allowed to enter the bloodstream and trigger immune inflammatory reactions that can cause or aggravate these skin conditions.
This is especially true in women, who tend to under-produce pancreatic and intestinal digestive enzymes, leaving them prone to the absorption of partially digested proteins and other substances, which in turn trigger immune inflammatory reactions and also results in post-meal bloating.
In conjunction with digestive enzyme supplementation at your two largest meals of the day, it is also useful if the same supplement contains the prebiotics FOS (fructo-oligosaccharide) and inulin.
These prebiotics are the preferred food of the friendly gut bacteria, which enables them to thrive within the large bowel. This, in turn, crowds out the unfriendly bacteria, which release endotoxins (bacteria produced toxins) that are known to produce immune inflammatory reactions that aggravate skin lesions and poor complexion.
Studies also show that by improving the ratio of friendly to unfriendly bacteria in the large bowel via supplementation with FOS and inulin, the body’s immune system becomes better regulated, and a number of hypersensitivity reactions and skin conditions (which are influenced by immune behavior, e.g. eczema, lupus, food sensitivities, etc.), often show significant improvement.
Thus, individuals with certain skin conditions and/or a poor complexion should take a supplement that addresses detoxification and immune function, as well as a supplement containing a full spectrum blend of digestive enzymes and the prebiotics FOS and inulin.