Good nutrition for healthy skin

Nutrition can help keep your skin healthy

The beauty industry spends millions of pounds trying to get people to buy creams, lotions and powders that claim to make the skin look glowing and radiant. However, good nutrition can have the biggest impact on the look of your skin. Eating the right foods and getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals can give your skin a healthy complexion. Skin is a good indicator of what is going on inside the body. Skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and even ageing are visible signs of the body’s needs and this includes nutritional requirement.

Ensuring your skin has the right nutrition can be extremely beneficial. Antioxidants and specific nutrients are found to have a big impact on the feel and look of your skin – they can even affect the way the skin ages. A combination of good diet, water and dietary supplements can keep the skin healthy and looking years younger.

Nutrients that keep skin healthy and looking its best

There are a number of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and nutrients that can help nourish the skin. These can be taken as part of your diet, from supplements or even in topical form straight onto the skin. A major factor to skin damage comes from ‘free radicals’. Free radicals are harmful by-products of smoke, pollution and sunlight that damage skin fibres. The skin’s elasticity and structure is made up of fibres such as collagen and elastin and when damaged causes wrinkles and premature ageing. To help reduce the damage caused by free radicals you should ensure you diet contains plenty of vitamin C and E. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables and peppers. Vitamin C supplements are readily available and recommended doses are 500-1000mg per day. There are also topical creams that contain vitamin C to aid collagen production.

Vitamin E can be found in vegetable oil, nuts, olives, seeds and certain green vegetables such as spinach. Supplements can top up vitamin E needs for the skin and topical vitamin E creams can help dry, rough skin. Acne and psoriasis can be helped by vitamin A. Vitamin A is vital for skin repair and cell reproduction and is found in fruit and vegetables. A balanced diet should provide all your vitamin A needs but many acne creams and lotions contain the vitamin because of the difference it makes. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are readily available in food and you should balance your intake of the two essential EFAs, Omega-3 and Omega-6. EFAs are helpful if your skin is prone to becoming dry, inflamed and has white or black heads. Omega-3 is found in oily fish such as sardines and Omega-6 comes from poultry, grains and cooking oils. Many people have sufficient intake of Omega-6 and so Omega-3 should be eaten regularly or taken as supplements in fish-oil tablets or evening primrose oil.

Minerals and antioxidants for skin nutrition

Minerals found in multivitamin tablets are usually sufficient to keep skin looking healthy. Recent studies have shown that washing your face in mineral water may help ease common skin irritations. Acne can be helped with an increase of mineral intake. Acne is sometimes due to a deficiency in zinc which can be improved by eating poultry and lean meat. Copper can help develop the elastin fibres that support the skin’s structure. Copper supplements are not recommended as the body rarely has a deficiency and can easily be overloaded with the mineral but used within a topical cream it is considered safe. Antioxidants such as DMAE and Alpha-Lipoic Acid are more potent than vitamins C and E and extremely beneficial to the skin against free radical attack. They are both typically found in supplements or as topical creams.

The majority of people can improve their complexion and tackle skin conditions with a good diet and multivitamins. However, following all this advice does not mean that you are protected against free radicals, particularly sunlight. To keep skin healthy you should always avoid over-exposure to the sun.

Article submitted by:

Daniel Alexander, GoToSee Journalist

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