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HEALTHY SKIN AND NUTRITION
BEAUTY FROM WITHIN
As the most visible tissue of the body, the appearance of skin signals our health status, revealing information about our biological age and lifestyle. Whilst topical skincare creams can benefit skin from the outside, the right nutrition can nourish skin from the inside out.
SKIN LOVING NUTRIENTS
A healthy diet is the foundation for healthy, glowing skin. In fact, the skin is usually the first place nutritional deficiencies can be visibly identified. For example, B vitamin deficiencies can lead to dry, flaky skin, skin rashes or cracks in the corners of the mouth. Omega 3 deficiency can lead to dry and inflamed skin (DiBaise et al., 2019; Katta et al., 2018). Other deficiencies can lead to changes in skin pigmentation, redness, coarse skin and more (DiBaise et al., 2019).
NUTRITION FOR AGEING SKIN
Skin ageing, and damage in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, roughness and loss of elasticity can arise from excessive oxidative stress (Rinnerthaler et al., 2015; Ito et al., 2018). Dietary antioxidants (vitamins C, E etc.) and phytonutrients (such as carotenoids and polyphenols found in plant-based foods) can help to reduce oxidative stress throughout the body, including the skin (Ito et al., 2018). For example, astaxanthin (a naturally occurring carotenoid found in freshwater microalgae) has been shown to provide a protective effect against UVA induced oxidative stress from the sun, thereby reducing photoageing (skin damage caused by sun exposure) (Ito et al., 2018). Photoageing is the largest environmental contributor to skin ageing (Rinnerthaler et al., 2015).
With age our body naturally produces less collagen and elastin, the main structural proteins found in the skin (Varani et al., 2006). Adequate protein intake plus vitamin C (required for collagen synthesis) and copper (co-factor for elastin) is important to maintain these structural proteins as we age (DiBaise et al., 2019; EFSA, 2009)
THE GUT–SKIN AXIS
The gut microbiome is intrinsically linked with skin health (Salem et al., 2018). As well as digesting the food we eat, the gut microbiome produces vitamins, short chain fatty acids, hormones, and neurotransmitters which all may impact the skin. Emerging science on the gut-skin axis highlights how changes to the composition of the gut microbiome can positively impact skin conditions such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (Salem et al., 2018). Probiotics and prebiotics offer potential skin benefits here.
HYDRATION FOR SKIN HEALTH
Water is essential to life and is also essential for the normal functioning of the skin. It has several important functions such as transporting nutrients, regulating temperature, hydrating the skin, and reducing skin dryness (Liska et al., 2019).
WHAT TO EAT FOR HEALTHY SKIN
- Eat the rainbow for healthy skin! Different coloured vegetables and fruit will provide you with a wide array of phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre.
- Choose healthy fats from oily fish, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Caroline Cummins MSc is a Registered Nutritionist and a member of Oriflame’s Nutrition Council.
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