The best way to ensure that you will enjoy healthy, youthful-appearing skin as you age is to combine a healthy diet and supplement choices with a daily skin care regimen using high-quality skin care products. This inside-out and outside-in whole body approach encourages a vibrantly healthy body and radiantly healthy skin.
While there are some basic characteristics that establish the foundation for a person’s skin health, such as genetic and hereditary factors and sebaceous oil gland functioning, we also need to consider the wholeness of the individual. The body, in its own wisdom, maintains a vigilant role in assessing, responding, adjusting, and adapting to changes in its intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) environments. All systems of the body are part of this dynamic communication network, which includes the skin, the largest organ of the human body. The skin is influenced second-by-second by these internal/external changes, and it will reflect these changes through how it functions, regenerates, degenerates, and ages.
The good news is that the skin is constantly renewing itself. The outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, sheds old lackluster skin cells and replaces them with new plump and healthy cells. In general, the body gets a new outer skin approximately every 28 days. This renewal process may take longer based on influences, such as your specific aging factors, general health, daily stresses, the foods you eat, lifestyle choices, alcohol consumption, smoking, and environmental aggressors. These aggressors include toxins, chemicals, and pollutants in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the foods we eat. Too much UV exposure from the sun and changes in the seasons can also be stressful to the skin.
Even though the skin is traditionally classified according to “type” (normal, oily, combination, and dry), it is important to remember that, in most cases, individuals have a combination of skin types in varying degrees of flux.
Using quality, effective skin care products greatly benefits the skin by supporting its natural renewal processes. For a skin care program to be effective, it must be performed consistently. By this I mean daily – morning and evening. However, the way to boost your skin care program is to be vigilant with good nutrition choices, which includes quality supplementation and nutritional cleansing. This whole body approach to your skin care program will multiply your success by supporting regeneration of the skin from the inside out.
Make sure you include the following skin enhancing nutrients in your health and wellness program to support rapid transformation of your skin.
Nutrients for Healthy Skin
Vitamin A: An antioxidant that helps combat free-radical damage that may lead to visible signs of aging of the skin. It helps in the skin’s rejuvenation processes and is effective in helping to improve skin damage caused by cumulative sun exposure.. Without enough vitamin A in the diet, it’s probable to see skin-related symptoms, which includes a dry, flaky complexion..
Biotin: Also known as vitamin H, biotin is considered part of the B-complex group and is the most important for skin health. This nutrient forms the foundation for skin, nail, and hair cells. Even a mild deficiency can cause dry or itchy skin.
Vitamins C and E: These powerful antioxidants taken orally help fight free radicals, which can break down collagen and elastin, integral components of the skin’s structure. This can lead to the formation of visible signs of aging such as lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, and loss of skin tone, firmness and elasticity. Vitamins C and E are also key in the skin’s natural and regeneration processes. A 2005 study published in The Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that people who take supplements with vitamins C and E eventually had reduced sunburns from UVB radiation exposure (1). What’s more, researchers found reduced factors associated with DNA damage inside skin cells, which led them to conclude that vitamins C and E help ward off DNA damage.
Magnesium: Magnesium is often referred to as “nature’s beauty mineral.” It supports the skin’s natural rejuvenation and replenishing processes. It also revitalizes and energizes the skin, maintains moisture levels in the skin, and supports integrity of skin elasticity. It helps diminish the skin’s aging process.
Niacin: Also known as vitamin B3 and is available as niacinamide or nicotinic acid. This age-defying skin booster helps revitalize, energize, and rejuvenate aging skin. It also helps tighten, lift, firm, and smooth the skin. It supports the retention of skin moisture and soothes dry, irritated skin. It diminishes lines, wrinkles and other visible signs of aging.
Omega-3 fatty acids: The body does not naturally produce these fatty acids, and they have to be sourced from foods and supplements. This is why they are called “essential fatty acids.” Insufficient amounts of these fatty acids in the diet can lead to dry skin and premature aging of the skin. Adequate amounts of omega-3s offer skin health-boosting benefits that include: retention of skin moisture, improvement in skin softness, texture, and smoothness. It also helps in the production and retention of the skin’s natural oil barrier while diminishing lines and wrinkles.
Selenium: This mineral supports the skin against oxidative stress and is known for its excellent ability to strengthen and maintain skin elasticity.
Zinc: Playing an important role in tissue and cell growth, dietary zinc is necessary for maintenance of skin integrity. It is involved in several enzyme processes including the stabilization of cell membranes (2).
Coenzyme Q10 (coQ10): This vitamin-like lipid-soluble antioxidant tones and firms the skin, supports the skin’s collagen (firmness) and elastin (elasticity/flexibility) networks and natural process, and helps diminish lines and wrinkles. It is also known for its skin energizing and protective benefits. Although it’s not technically considered a nutrient because the body synthesizes it naturally, synthesis declines with age. Replenishing levels in the skin assists in reducing production of wrinkles and can be achieved when taken orally in combination with vitamin E, as well as when applied to the skin (3).
The skin responds well to these antioxidants, vitamin and minerals so make sure that you add them to your diet. Also, check your skin care product labels, because many of the above listed nutrients can also be found in topical skin care products, which will provide additional benefits for skin health and renewal.
Don’t forget that wise lifestyle choices are also important to an effective skin care program. These include:
1. Safe sun practices. Minimizing sun exposure (seek out shade) and using a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin when exposed to the sun’s UV rays are important to your skin’s health. Cumulative sun exposure is a major contributor to skin damage and premature aging of the skin.
2. Drink plenty of pure water every day. The skin loves it! The skin is approximately 50 to 75 percent moisture so it needs to stay hydrated.
3. Maintain a regular exercise program. We know the many benefits of exercise for our overall health and wellbeing and it is also very beneficial for the skin. The skin is an eliminative organ and releases approximately one pint of impurities each day by sweating. Sweat also helps cool down the temperature on the surface of the skin. Good circulation also delivers vital nutrients to the skin for regeneration.
4. Get plenty of rest, relaxation and sleep. It is during sleep that the entire body restores and regenerates itself, and the skin does it natural rejuvenation processes.
Start today in integrating skin-healthy nutrients and wellness-supporting practices into your lifestyle so you can feel and look as good as you can for as long as you can!
1. Placzek et al. Ultraviolet B-induced DNA damage in human epidermis is modified by ascorbic acid and d-alpha tocopherol. J Invest Derm 2005;124:304-307. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-202X.2004.23560.x
2. Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff JL. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2009.
3. Passi et al. The combined use of oral and topical lipophilic antioxidants increases their levels both in sebum and stratum corneum. Biofactors 2003;18(1-4):289-97.
About the Author
Marilyn Territo, C.E., C.M., is an award-winning businesswoman and international consultant and speaker. She is a Clinical-Paramedical Esthetician and holds nine advanced credentials in the fields of medical-esthetics, facial fitness and regenerative wellness. Ms. Territo is a member of the Isagenix Scientific Advisory Board.