Inner and outer beauty: Vitamins and supplements for your skin
March 15, 2023
As you look in the mirror each day or contemplate what filters to use on your latest selfie before posting, you might be asking: Am I doing everything I can to take care of my skin?
Well, do you have a regular morning and evening skin care routine that includes cleansing and toning? Check! Do you use moisturizer with SPF every day and take other measures to protect against the sun? Check! Do you drink plenty of water? Check!
Are you eating the right food for your skin? Wait—what? Food for my skin?
Yup. The vitamins, minerals and plant nutrients you get from a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors not only support your optimal health, it’s another way to specifically support your skin health.
“Ensuring you get enough vitamins for skin health support is another way you can take care of the largest organ in your body,” said Gigi Kwok-Hinsley, a Nutrilite™ senior research scientist and registered dietitian with a doctorate in public health. “Your outward beauty is also a function of your inner health. And some of those nutrients work both from the inside and the outside.”
Want to learn more about which nutrients and vitamins are supporting your skin health? Here are some of the major players.
Collagen, elastin and keratin are all skin proteins produced naturally by your body. Collagen supports your skin, muscles and bones. Elastin helps your body’s tissues and organs (including your skin) stretch and bounce back, like elastic. And keratin helps your body form hair, nails and the outer layer of your skin.
As you age, you lose some of these key skin proteins, which can result in lines or wrinkles. A healthy diet can help your body maintain healthy levels of these skin proteins. That includes broccoli and leafy greens, oranges, berries, sweet potatoes, salmon or other fatty fish, eggs and nuts.
Getting adequate protein in your diet is also essential for rebuilding and maintaining healthy skin. If that is something you struggle with, you might want to try a protein powder supplement to help fill in the gaps. You can also consider collagen supplements.
Did you know there are eight different b vitamins? That’s why they’re sometimes called the vitamin B complex. They help your body do a variety of tasks. Two B vitamins are often highlighted for their role in supporting your skin health: Niacin (vitamin B3) and biotin (vitamin B7) both support collagen formation, moisture retention and elasticity of the skin.
Niacinamide, a form of niacin, has been shown to support keratin growth and general skin appearance and it’s often in topical skin care products. Biotin helps your cells function, and if your body doesn’t have enough of it, you can suffer from weak nails, loss of hair or unhealthy skin.
You can get vitamin B3 in lean poultry, fish, brown rice, legumes, bananas and many other foods. Vitamin B7 is in eggs, salmon, sun flower seeds, sweet potatoes and almonds. They are also included in vitamin B supplements or multivitamins.
Vitamins A and C support collagen formation, moisture retention and elasticity of the skin. Vitamin E also supports moisture retention and all three act as antioxidants to fight against free radicals.
“Free radicals from sources like pollution, sun damage and stress age our skin. Our bodies need antioxidants to help neutralize these free radicals to help skin look its best now and in the future,” Kwok-Hinsley said. “All three of these vitamins for skin health can be found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, seeds and oils as well as multivitamin supplements to help fill gaps.”
Nutrilite™ Double X™ Multivitamin, for example, has 22 essential vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C and E at amounts well above the recommended daily value. It also has 22 nutrients from fruits, vegetables and herbs, some of which support specific skin benefits, such as lutein and lycopene.
For topical products, vitamin E for skin is a common ingredient in lotions or creams. And you may think you haven’t seen any topical products touting vitamin A benefits for skin, but you likely have seen products with retinol or retinoids—those are forms of vitamin A.
Topical products with vitamin C for skin are often found in serums combined with hyaluronic acids. Vitamin C is a vital factor for healthy collagen production.
“Vitamin C supports collagen synthesis and stabilizes collagen fibers to maintain skin structure. Collagen is a triple helix structure made of three single collagen strands,” said Michael Rogowski, Nutrilite senior research scientist with a doctorate in nutritional science. “These triple helix collagen strands are knitted together with other procollagen strands to form healthy, strong functional collagen by vitamin C.”
While an acid sounds like something you want to keep far away from your skin, hyaluronic acid skin benefits are well-known and it is a common ingredient in topical skin care products to help attract and retain moisture in the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule found naturally in the body and one of the main components of connective tissues, like collagen.
As you age, however, your body produces less hyaluronic acid, which has people looking to replenish it. Foods with hyaluronic acid include bone broth and organ meats, but you can also look to skin care products. Artistry Skin Nutrition™ Vitamin C+HA3 Daily Serum was specifically designed to address the visible signs of aging caused by the slowing production and decreasing efficacy of your skin’s natural hyaluronic acid.
“Vitamin C + HA3 Daily Serum contains botanicals and hyaluronic acid to offer antioxidant support from free radicals and peptide technology to provide visible improvements in the smoothing of expressions lines and wrinkles,” Rogowski said.
Omega-3 fatty acids are among the good fats your body needs to function properly. You can only get them from food or drink because our bodies cannot produce them on their own; that’s why they are called essential fatty acids.
Many people associate omega-3 fatty acids with supporting the brain and heart. But omega-3 fatty acids are the building blocks of our cellular walls, so the benefits of consuming adequate amounts are wide ranging. That includes omega-3 benefits for skin.
“When skin is older and more unhealthy, accumulated damage leads to increased activation of collagen-degrading enzymes, which can result in loss of skin elasticity and lower skin water content, leading to thin, wrinkled and crepey-looking skin,” Rogowski said.
“A healthy diet with adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acid can help reduce the body’s level of inflammation, which is mediated in part by the balance of omega-3 and omega-6 levels in our diet.”
There are several types of omega-3 fatty acids, but most research focuses on three main types: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is found mostly in plant sources like chia seeds, walnuts and flax seeds, while EPA and DHA are in fish, fish oils and other seafood.
You can also support your omega-3 fatty acid intake with supplements. Nutrilite Advanced Omega is made from fish oil and white chia seed oil. It supports brain, heart, eye, joint, skin and cellular health with over 1,000 mg of EPA, DHA and ALA.†
If you’re one of the many people who fail to get the recommended amounts of fruits, vegetables and other nutrient-rich items in your diet every day, maybe this will give you a little extra incentive to make better choices. After all, your skin is your body’s first line of defense.
“Our skin acts as a barrier from the environment, including UV light, blue light or weather—all of which can accelerate aging over a lifetime of exposure,” Kwok-Hinsley said. “A combined approach of a regular skin care routine with the right skin care products and a nutritious diet is the best way to care for our skin, while vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient supplements can help fill in gaps where we may come up short.”
Want to learn more about supporting your skin from the inside and the outside? Check out this collection of Artistry and Nutrilite products.
†This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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