5 min read
Skin deep means superficial — but skin health is anything but superficial.
When we put our best face forward, we naturally feel more sure of ourselves. The condition of our skin plays a large role in self-esteem and self-confidence, which can influence our daily lives.
But good skin care is more than washing your face in the morning and at night. Good skin care starts by nourishing your body from the inside out, and it plays an important role in maintaining overall health. Plus, when your skin is clear, smooth, and of even tone, your complexion will be luminous, eliminating the need to cover it up with makeup.
While it is important to protect skin with sunscreen during the day and washing off environmental pollution at night, what we put into our bodies matters just as much. We need to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and consume vitamins and minerals that nourish skin from deeper levels. Genetics also plays a role in skin health in addition to vitamin deficiencies. We are surrounded by issues that greatly impact overall skin health, but there’s good news. You can improve your skin by making simple changes. By feeding skin with essential nutrients, it is possible to face the day with a radiant complexion at any age and maintain skin health for a lifetime.
The B-complex family refers to the eight water-soluble essential B-vitamins. Because they are water-soluble, these vitamins need to be replenished daily and greatly influence the health of your skin. One of the most recognizable B-complex vitamins is niacin, also known as Vitamin B-3. This vitamin plays a role in supporting cell growth and is also used to maintain healthy skin. It has been known to help with hyperpigmentation and assists with improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
It isn’t just Vitamin B-3 that assists with healthy skin. The entire B family has benefits when it comes to skincare. One of the best-known skin vitamins is B-7, also known as biotin. Biotin works to fight free radicals that negatively impact skin, and it assists with fat production that maintains a plump complexion.
Folic acid, also known as Vitamin B-9, is commonly found in prenatal vitamins as an essential nutrient for child development; however, it also promotes the turnover of skin cells needed to unveil healthy skin day after day.
Vitamin D is commonly known as the “sunshine vitamin.” As a critical nutrient for bone development, it is a global issue that half of people worldwide are deficient in this vitamin. While the best way to get Vitamin D is to have sun exposure twice weekly, supplements also help with getting this essential nutrient. While it is important to protect your skin from UV rays, we still need some sunlight to encourage Vitamin D production in the body. It is possible to balance sunlight exposure for Vitamin D production but still minimize potential sun damage.
Besides being beneficial to bone health, Vitamin D also has skin benefits, although it may seem like a complicated relationship. Vitamin D may help with wound healing and it also assists with calming redness from inflammation, including inflammation from dry skin.
Vitamin C might be the most popular supplement out there. Most of us know it well for assisting with immune health and function; however, Vitamin C is one of the most popular nutrients added to topical skincare products today. But it isn’t just on the outer layers of skin where Vitamin C is beneficial. Vitamin C is an integral component of collagen production. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and necessary for maintaining skin elasticity and strength.
Vitamin C also protects skin from damage by protecting against ultraviolet rays, and it helps decrease the risk of dry skin by assisting with water loss.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin and an essential nutrient that is needed for proper blood clotting. In skincare, it is best known for having anti-inflammatory properties and is a key ingredient in many topical solutions that help lighten dark circles, scars, and bruises. Vitamin K also helps skin retain moisture, and may assist with improving the strength of the skin barrier. Overall, Vitamin K helps improve the appearance of skin tone and smoothness, especially with regards to darkness.
Who remembers slathering thick pink goop onto their nose in hopes of protecting it from the sun? For many of us, that was our first knowledge of zinc, an essential trace element. Zinc is also a component of many skin care products that target acne and other skin conditions, because it helps to calm acne and may reduce bacteria that triggers acne in the skin. Topical zinc products may help alleviate the appearance of redness associated with acne, while both topical and zinc supplements help curb excess oil production.
You might be wondering by now, is there anything turmeric and curcumin can’t do? Turmeric is a pungent spice that is best known as being an ingredient in Indian curry dishes. Antioxidant curcumin, a constituent of turmeric, is what gives the spice its vibrant yellow color. The uses of this spice date back more than 4,000 years and in modern times, turmeric has become the subject of many studies!
Its potent antioxidant properties are just one reason to consider adding turmeric to your routine. Studies demonstrate that turmeric is beneficial to a variety of skin issues, including acne, and it may have anti-aging properties. Turmeric may also assist with minimizing the effects of sun damage.
Fish oil is best known for containing beneficial omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to heart health; however, those same fatty acids also have skin benefits. Fish oil assists with maintaining the skin’s natural barrier and also contributes to nourishing dry skin. Fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory properties that help minimize redness and promote the appearance of an even skin tone.
Eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA is one of the fatty acids in fish oil that contributes to skin health. EPA has demonstrated the ability to control normal oil production levels and improve hydration; it may also help protect skin from UV rays, which is essential for minimizing sun damage. Fish oil also contains Vitamin D, another essential skin nutrient.
There are many factors that go into maintaining health skin, including protecting skin from sun damage, staying hydrated, and eating a nutritious diet.
Supplementation to help fill in the gaps when lifestyle isn’t enough may also help.