Nutrition, Beauty and Skin: How Your Skin is affected by Food, The Sun and Vitamin Absorption
Your skin is your largest organ, and the organ that is on constant visible display. So it’s very important to take extra great care of your skin to keep it healthy as well as looking its best. The answer is that every metabolism is unique, and every person can go through periods of having great looking skin and not-so-great looking skin. And YES, nutrition matters. What you eat can help your body prevent illness (influence your disease risk) and it can help your skin look its radiant best, so long as you also keep out of the sun (or protect your skin in sun conditions) and it can help your skin stay radiant and healthy by avoiding a sluggish metabolism.
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What’s good for your overall health is typically also good for your skin.
What you eat IS important for your health; and your health is important for all of your organs – including the most visible organ, your skin or dermal layer. It’s also one of the first places that tell tale signs of sun damage, poor nutrition, inadequate sleep and other less-than-healthy lifestyle factors show their impacts.
Some foods are better for your skin than others, simply because they are better for your overall health than others – and for helping skin heal and renew itself well.
How Food Choices Impact your Skin -Skin Collagen and Looking Great by Eating Healthy Foods
Why is what you eat important to good skin health; and does what you eat really impact your skin?
Your skin is made up of many different things, but collagen is a key protein within your skin. Collagen also has a connective tissue component that helps to supports and connect other aspects of your anatomy – including bones, muscles, cartilage, internal organs, and of course, the skin itself – your dermal layer. When you think of collagen, you probably only think of collagen and your skin. Yet collagen plays an important role throughout the body.
Collagen production can be influenced by nutrition as well as special treatments that stimulate higher production (Skin Booster micro-injections, DOT Therapy, Fraxel lasers, Healite II low level light therapy treatments and PIP being some of the more widely known collagen enhancing treatments for skin that is losing it’s firmness).
What is collagen?
Collagen, a protein found in the skin and body, helps strengthen as well as provide resilience to tendons and ligaments; collagen could be said to be “the glue for keeping everything together and in place” in the body.
Collagen is also responsible for keeping your skin looking young and plump; but as we age, collagen levels decrease – substantially by the time you’re fifty five or older.
You can also inadvertently speed up the ageing process by exposing yourself to the sun and not protecting your skin with quality Sun Protection creams with an adequate SPF to protect your dermal layers from the harsh Australian sun.
If you get a lot of sun exposure throughout your lifetime, expect your skin to age even more rapidly than it otherwise would.
Sun damage PLUS loss of collagen will leave you looking a lot older than your peers and than you would if you took better care of your skin from your earliest years.
As collagen levels decrease over time, you will likely be left with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles – and varying colours of pigmentation (sun spots or ageing marks) on your face, neck and chest.
Your skin also becomes thinning and looser because of the loss of elasticity – another effect of a reduction in collagen.
So does what you eat or drink help your skin in terms of anti-ageing or fighting acne?
Fighting Acne with Good Nutrition
Being healthy and eating nutritious foods, as well as having the right skin care regime at home can potentially help to prevent acne or help you to treat acne effectively. But it’s usually a combination of factors that contribute to skin problems, not just one – fortunately, a good Dermal Clinician can give you advice on how to properly care for your skin to keep pimples and blackheads at bay.
Fighting Ageing and Dry Skin with Nutrition
Luckily there are vitamins that help slow the process of collagen loss in your skin, while also helping to boost your body’s ability to create it’s own supply!
Vitamins A, C, E, D and K can help replenish collagen levels and delay the ageing process. There’s also a skin booster injecting treatment that helps rejuvenate the skin – or DOT Therapy can really make a difference in re-inspiring higher production of collagen again.
Send an enquiry form if you want to learn more about our signature facial treatments and laser and light based methods to inspire greater collagen production in the skin, for a long-term rejuvenation effect – and read on to learn more about good-for-skin vitamins and what kinds of foods you should try to fill your daily diet with – the ‘good for your skin’ foods (but take into consideration what you know about your OWN skin, and how it reacts to your nutritional habits, before you make changes to your eating regimes).
Vitamin A – Vitamins for Good Skin
- Vitamin A plays a major role in cellular renewal and healthy skin.
- This vitamin comes from both animal and plant sources, with carotenoids being the plant source and retinoids, the animal source.
- Retinoids like those contained within vitamin A encourage the reconstruction of collagen and help to remove dead skin cells from the top layer of the epidermis to reveal new healthier skin underneath.
You can find vitamin A in in the following foods:
Sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, winter squashes, lettuce, dried apricots, cantaloupe, bell peppers, fish, liver, and tropical fruits.
While filling your diet with vitamin A can help the appearance of your skin and help keep collagen levels high, topical applications of vitamin A can also boost collagen levels and improve the texture of your skin.
A Dermal Clinician and Aesthetic Physician or Facelift Surgeon can work together to get you a skin care regime or treatment that may significantly rejuvenate your face; but this will always be helped by eating healthy foods rich in the vitamins and minerals that might benefit your skin AND your overall well-being.
Vitamin C for Skin
- Vitamin C is imperative to the production of collagen in your body.
- Vitamin C is thought of as a free radical-fighting antioxidant, which might help prevent the breakdown and loss of collagen.
- Because we are unable to naturally produce vitamin C, we must rely on eating foods or supplements that help us maintain enough Vitamin C.
- Antioxidants are important for cellular renewal and are essential to the formation of collagen.
- Vitamin C is also water soluble, therefore it protects both fat soluble A and E vitamins, and fatty acids, from oxidation.
Foods rich in vitamin C include:
Oranges, red peppers, kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, grapefruit, and guava. There are plenty other food sources that can help you boost your Vitamin C intake; but these suggestions seem to have the most ‘punch’ in terms of improving your Vitamin C nutrition.
Skin care/beauty Tip:
When you drink alcohol, your absorption of some vitamins (including Vitamin C) may be impeded.
Vitamin E and Skin
- Vitamin E may help protect your body from the damage of premature ageing caused by sun damage or environmental pollutants.
- When combined with vitamin C, the two work well together to help reconstruct collagen.
- This can help keep your skin more youthful looking, as well as helping your skin to retain moisture, firmness and suppleness.
Foods with Good Vitamin E for your Skin
Unless you’re allergic to these foods, you can try to eat foods such as nuts, avocado, spinach, whole grains and seafood to improve your vitamin E intake.
If you have cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery, or are healing a scar – you may want to try a topical solution of Vitamin E – but not all products are created equally.
Topical applications of vitamin E can help wounds heal faster, prevent scars from forming, ease symptoms associated with eczema, as well as protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
Vitamin D and Skin – There’s a reason people are calling it a ‘miracle’ vitamin – and that’s because research is suggesting it has many benefits to overall health and well-being in MOST organs, not just your skin and collagen levels.
- You may be like many people all over the world who are currently considered to be severely vitamin D deficient.
- Your GP can give you a blood test to determine if your Vitamin D levels are appropriate or not; and suggest a supplement if you are deficient (plus nutritional changes).
- Not all Supplements are equal – do your research – as some supplements simply work better when combined with other vitamins or minerals.
- Intake and absorption may not be equal – other factors affect your vitamin D levels, not just how much sun you get or how many D supplements you may be taking.
- Winter may be a time when your Vitamin D levels drop to non-optimal levels; this has been suggested as being part of the reason people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in winter or climates where the sun rarely shines.
- Vitamin D deficiency may lead to a number of symptoms or even diseases – but you and your GP may not recognise that low D is the culprit!
In the days of sun protection and spending more time indoors, more people may end up with Vitamin D levels that are simply too low for optimal health – or good skin.
- Vitamin D plays an important role in skin tone and collagen production and the renewal of healthy cells.
- Your recommended daily vitamin D intake should be about 600 IU per day (ask your doctor before taking any supplements).
- You may need more if you are pregnant or over the age of 70.
You can naturally increase your vitamin D intake by:
- Getting 10 minutes of sun exposure a day (check with your doctor first, especially if you have a history of skin cancer – and avoid the most intense times of the day in terms of dangerous rays) – DO avoid sunburns as they can lead to skin cancer and pigmentation problems including Melasma
- Eating vitamin D fortified foods (read the labels but also check for hidden salts or sugar first), e.g., breakfast cereals, orange juice, and yogurt
- Eating foods that naturally have vitamin D, especially sea foods such as salmon, tuna, mackerel or cod.
- You can also eat beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks.
ZINC is also an important mineral for good looking skin and fighting skin problems such as dry skin, acne or skin irritations.
Following the above list of guidelines will have your skin looking and feeling it’s best in no time. You can increase your body’s natural ability to produce collagen by eating right and maintaining a healthy lifestyle!
Further reading includes:
- Nutrition and Gut health – An important factor in great Skin and reducing Inflammation and infection.
If you already have a skin concern such as pigmentation, acne, excessive sweating, dryness, Rosacea, Melasma or wrinkles and lines, send an enquiry form and arrange for a skin care consultation – we can look at your skin through the Canfield Reveal system and/or special magnifying technologies to see what’s going on beneath the surface as well as help you evaluate which high-tech treatment or at-home skin care regime will help you look your best, for longer.