Photo Courtesy of Joos
The appearance of your skin (and how well it ages) is influenced by many factors including genetics, environmental toxins, hormonal changes and metabolic processes. Today we know a combination of these factors lead to cumulative changes of skin structure, function and appearance. Basically meaning the lifestyle you lead can accelerate or delay how well your body ages (including your skin).
As a firm believer in “you are what you eat,” I am excited to see a cultural shift in how we (North Americans) are increasingly making the connection between what we consume and its effect on our aging process. “Feeling good” and “looking good” have become synonymous in modern beauty regimens.
For some time now we have seen nutritional products touted for their beauty benefits. Otherwise known as “Nutricosmetics” these are oral based natural health products containing targeted nutrients and antioxidant mixed elixirs to help promote healthy, beautiful skin, hair and nails.
With the plethora of nutricosmetic products and information at our fingertips, here are a few basic beauty nutrition guidelines to be aware of;
1) BACK TO BASICS – NUTRIENT PACKED FRESH JUICES TAKE ON BEAUTY FROM WITHIN.
Juicing has become a convenient and popular way to help us maintain vitality (and natural beauty). With freshly made juices arriving at your doorstep or offered along with your spa treatment, juicing is here to stay. Made with fresh organic ingredients and when consumed immediately they provide a synergy of nutrients that some say is the best way for the body to effectively absorb nutrients (over supplement form). With sophisticated machinery available today, juices taste good too (an added bonus for those who don’t like to swallow pills). With hectic schedules, adding fresh juice to your diet a few times per week can help to revitalize the body (and skin).
• Go for greens based or deep colored juices for optimal nutrient density (green, purple, deep orange)
• Add a wheatgrass or fresh greens shot to your juice – balance ph and the body, rich in antioxidant chlorophyll, energizing
• Drink your juice within 10 -15 minutes after serving – for best nutrient bioavailability
2) The Evidence is in – Nutrition does affect your skin
Although still debatable, a growing body of research is demonstrating that nutrition does have a direct effect on our skin condition. Food-friendly bacteria (pre and probiotics) have been well documented in effectively treating infection, promoting healthy immunity, managing systemic inflammation, and in the treatment and management of atopic dermatitis and eczema. Recent studies have also shown that oral therapy with pre- and probiotics are effective in the prevention and treatment for both atopic dermatitis and eczema in children and adults. Although the biochemical pathways have yet to be identified in relation to acne, pre- and probiotics may offer an alternative to traditional treatments through their strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant effects and anti-pathogenic effect within the body (these being critical features in the acne progress.) Consuming healthy bacteria through diet and/or supplement form help to neutralize toxic by-products, defend the lining of the intestine, increase the bioavailability of nutrients, and protect the tract against infectious microbes. Promoting optimal health of the digestive system can be a primary defense to restore health and balance in the body (known as the gut-brain-skin axis).
2) Internal Antioxidants may help protect the skin from sun induced photoaging (along with your topical SPF)
As technology and nutrition research evolves there are in fact certain antioxidants taken orally that can help ward off and potentially protect the skin from damaging free radicals (triggered by sun exposure.) Some of the most well researched ingredients/botanicals that should be on your radar include extracts from fern (polypodium leucomotos,) maritime pine bark (pinus pinaster,) astaxanthin (marine sourced,) EGCG (from green tea catechins,) resveratrol (from red wine grapes,) and milk thistle (Silybum marianum.) Remember to apply your topical SPF too!
The lifestyle we lead can accelerate or delay how well we age, including the health and appearance of your skin.
Like any other organ of the body, optimal nutrition feeds the skin to renew and protect the cells encouraging a healthful radiant appearance. The Mediterranean based diet is proposed to offer one of the most balanced diets to support the health of your skin. On top of high quality foods a growing body of evidence is proving certain nutrients can further support the health of your skin, including fatty acids (Omega 3, 7, 9) antioxidant carotenoids (lycopene, lutein, astaxanthin, zeaxanthin), antioxidant polyphenols (flavonoids, flavonols, catechins, anthocyanidins), prebiotics and probiotics for example.
Evolving from the nutraceutical & cosmetceutical markets, nutricosmetics are oral based natural health products containing targeted nutrients and antioxidant mixed elixirs that can have a preventative or treatment effect on the skin, hair or nails. By combining nutricosmetics with a healthy diet and topical skincare they complete the missing link towards healthy aging and natural beauty philosophies.
Guest Editor Paula Simpson is an International Celebrity Beauty Nutritionist and Nutricosmetics Expert and has dedicated her time in educating both the medical aesthetic and beauty industries of nutrition and supplementation to support natural beauty and healthy aging. Follow her @nutribeautiful or visit her website at paulasimpson.com for more information.