Health and Wellness

Feed Your Skin

Beauty

3/3/2011

It 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.

Clear SkinMulti-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?

Nutrient Benefit

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. Aim for 5-10 billion viable units per day.

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 ROHP, nutrition expert and health coach. Lisa is author of Living Beauty: Feel Great, Look Fabulous & Live Well, and host of Lisa Live health radio that walks the talk on 820 CHAM, Saturdays at 10AM. Originally published in Remedies magazine.

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