EVERYONE WANTS GLOWING SKIN FOR SUMMER — BUT DOES THE ANSWER LIE IN LOTIONS AND POTIONS, OR COULD IT ALL BE DOWN TO YOUR NUTRITION?
Billions of cells make up your skin, and need oxygen and nutrients to thrive. Many creams and moisturisers support the fight against ageing, but essentially nutrition helps improve your skin from the inside out. Pharma Nord explains more:
Damage caused by free radicals
Free radicals can damage your skin, especially when you expose it to strong sunlight. There are 25 types of collagen in the body and, along with elastin, they give skin texture and structure. Free radical damage causes collagen and elastin to break down, which leads to wrinkles and skin losing its firmness. Antioxidants such as vitamin C and Coenzyme Q10 can protect cells from the damaging affects of these toxic chemicals.
Eating fruit and vegetables can help us up our vitamin C levels, especially when raw; the vitamin is damaged easily when cooked or processed. Levels of vitamin C are also reduced by factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol and certain drugs like antidepressants and oral contraceptives. As a result, many people turn to supplements to ensure they get enough of this vital nutrient. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 60mg/day or 120mg/day if you are a smoker.
While we can get Coenzyme Q10 from our diets, more often the vitamin-like substance is manufactured by our own bodies. Our ability to do this decreases from our mid-twenties, making supplements important. Coenzyme Q10 plays an important role in producing energy in our bodies and is also a powerful antioxidant. This means it protects the skin from free radical damage and promotes effective skin repair. Coenzyme Q10 has been proven to reduce the depth of fine lines and wrinkles over time.
The impact of fatty acids on skin repair
We need fatty acids such as Omega 3 to keep our skin, hair and nails healthy. The richest source of Omega 3 is fish oil from oily fish such as herring, salmon, tuna and sardines. Omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory, making it good for irritable, sore skin. Many people choose to take an Omega 3 fish oil supplement. Due to concern about environmental pollution in fish, it is safest to choose a supplement which contains oil from the flesh of the fish, rather than the liver.
Although less common, Omega 7 fatty acids offer a number of benefits, especially for our skin. Omega 7 sea buckthorn oil capsules from Pharma Nord contain oil from a tiny berry and help with lubrication through the body, protecting the internal organs, as well as the linings of the eyes, mouth and skin. Sea buckthorn oil is one of the best natural oils for mature and wrinkled skin due to its essential fatty acid and vitamin E, C and A properties. It has nourishing, moisturising and restorative action, promoting tissue regeneration and reducing age-induced skin wrinkling and signs of premature ageing. Sea buckthorn oil also has natural sun protecting power.
The importance of blood flow
With oxygen and nutrients travelling via the blood, it’s important to ensure good blood supply to the skin. Pycnogenol is a plant-based extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree and can be taken as a supplement to improve blood circulation. This can help with skin hydration and vitality. Pycnogenol can also help to reduce wrinkles by binding with skin proteins, collagen and elastin, to protect from various harmful enzymes. It also rebuilds elasticity, which is essential for smooth, youthful skin. It has also been shown to reduce over-pigmentation for a more even complexion.
Of course, protecting your skin against the sun should be a priority, especially in the summer. Sunburn is inflammation caused by free radical induced tissue damage. By neutralising these free radicals, pycnogenol helps protect the skin from the stress and damage of sunburn.
Image courtesy of: Tophsop