Ask The Expert

Boost Skincare Through Nutrition

Now is the perfect time to spring clean your skincare and one of the best ways to do this is to look at your skin from a nutritional point of view. Here Lindsay Baldry from nutritional expert Pharma Nord gives some tips to boost your skincare through nutrition.

Your skin consists of billions of cells. Each cell is an organism that requires oxygen and nutrients in order to thrive.

While many creams exist to moisturise and help the anti-ageing process, it is possible to improve the condition of your skin from the inside with the right nutrition.

Free radical damage

Skin can be subject to damage from free radicals, particularly if exposed to strong sunlight. There are 25 types of collagen in the body and, along with elastin, they give skin texture and structure. Free radical damage causes collagen and elastin to break down, which leads to wrinkles and skin losing its firmness. Antioxidants such as vitamin C and coenzyme Q10 can protect cells from the damaging affects of these toxic chemicals.

Dietary sources of vitamin C include fruits and vegetables, however this vitamin is easily destroyed by cooking and food processing. Levels of vitamin C are also reduced by factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol and certain drugs such as antidepressants and oral contraceptives. As a result, many people turn to supplements to ensure they get enough of this vital nutrient. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 60mg/day of 120mg/day if you are a smoker.

Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance which can be obtained from the diet, however most is manufactured within our bodies. Our ability to do this decreases from our mid-twenties, making supplements important. Coenzyme Q10 plays an important role in producing energy in our bodies and is also a powerful antioxidant. This means it protects the skin from free radical damage and promotes effective skin repair. Coenzyme Q10 has been proven to reduce the depth of fine lines and wrinkles over time.

Fatty acids and skin repair

Essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 are required for healthy skin, hair and nails. The richest source of Omega 3 is fish oil from oily fish such as herring, salmon, tuna and sardines. Omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory, making it good for irritable, sore skin. Many people choose to take an Omega 3 fish oil supplement. Due to concern about environmental pollution in fish, it is safest to choose a supplement which contains oil from the flesh of the fish, rather than the liver.

Seabuckthorn

Seabuckthorn

Omega 7 fatty acids are perhaps less well known, but have a number of health benefits, including skincare. Omega 7 sea buckthorn oil capsules from Pharma Nord contain oil from a tiny berry and help with lubrication through the body, protecting the internal organs, as well as the linings of the eyes, mouth and skin. Sea buckthorn oil is one of the best natural oils for mature and wrinkled skin due to its essential fatty acid and vitamin E, C and A properties. It has nourishing, moisturising and restorative action, promoting tissue regeneration and reducing age-induced skin wrinkling and signs of premature ageing. Seabuckthorn oil also has natural sun protecting power.

The importance of blood flow

Blood supply to the skin is extremely important if the skin is to get all the oxygen and nutrients it needs. Pycnogenol is a plant-based extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree and can be taken as a supplement to improve blood circulation. This can help with skin hydration and vitality. Pycnogenol can also help to reduce wrinkles by binding with skin proteins collagen and elastin to protect from various harmful enzymes. It also rebuilds elasticity, which is essential for smooth, youthful skin. It has also been shown to reduce over-pigmentation for a more even complexion.

In terms of sun care, sunburn is an inflammation caused by free radical induced tissue damage. By neutralising these free radicals, pycnogenol helps protect the skin from the stress and damage of sunburn.

For more information or free nutritional advice visit www.multivits.co.uk

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