Healthy, glowing and radiant skin make us all feel great. Plus, those pesky wrinkles are one of the most obvious signs that we might not be as young as we feel. But there are some really simple changes that we can make to give us the best chance of that sought-after glow (unfortunately these tips won’t make you tan any easier 😕).
Skin health is often a reflection of what is going on inside the body. Which is why antioxidant-rich foods, a well-balanced diet, and a low-stress environment are important to scoring your best complexion yet. Nutrition and epidemiology specialist Suzanne Dixon explains that cell turnover and renewal are the most important factors when looking after your skin. Dixon goes on to say “because vitamins are necessary for driving all cellular activities — from DNA repair to cell replication to how cells extract and use energy from food — any deficiency can show up as dull, dry, and flaky skin,”. No one wants dry flaky skin. Plus, certain vitamins can help prevent and fight skin conditions such as acne.
So, what are the key vitamins to be looking out for when we want smooth, radiant skin?
Vitamin C is one of the key ingredients found in many anti-aging skin care products for good reason. It is found in high levels in the epidermis (outer layer of skin) as well as the dermis (inner layer of skin). Its cancer-fighting antioxidant properties and its role in collagen production help keep your skin healthy. Alongside this, taking a vitamin supplement or a vitamin drink can help enhance the effectiveness of sunscreens applied to your skin for protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Vitamin C can also help fight off those pesky wrinkles because of its vital role in the body’s natural collagen synthesis. It helps to heal damaged skin and reduces the appearance of ageing.
Zinc is an essential mineral for your body both inside and out. Widely known for its role within the immune system helping the body to fight off viruses and bacteria. Zinc also acts as a natural inflammatory, helping relieve joint and muscle pain. Due to these anti-inflammatory effects, zinc is especially beneficial for inflammatory acne and related scarring.
Zinc helps to maintain the health of your largest organ: your skin. Zinc is essential for your body to heal wounds and cuts efficiently. It can help keep your skin looking taught and healthy. Zinc can be found in meat, shellfish, dairy products and wheat germ. If you are vegetarian or vegan zinc supplementation may be particularly useful for skin health as zinc is difficult to find in these diets.
Vitamin D is essential for multiple functions within the body. It helps maintain healthy bones, teeth and muscles. Alongside this it plays an essential role within the immune system. Known as the sunshine vitamin, it is most often made when sunlight is absorbed by your skin. More precisely UV light converts cholesterol to vitamin D. It is then taken up by your liver and kidneys and transported throughout the body to help create healthy cells. This includes skin cells, where vitamin D plays an important role in skin tone and may even help treat psoriasis.
This may sound like such a simple step but sufficient water intake is vital to healthy skin. Our bodies consist of around 60% water and with a shocking 62% of people admitting they don’t drink the recommended 2.0 – 2.5L of water a day this could be what is stopping you getting that healthy glow.
The science of skin health and hydration are simple. Our skin is an organ made up of cells and like all other cells in the body requires water to function. The unfortunate truth about drinking water and skin is that the skin is the last organ to receive the water we drink. If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water this will cause your skin to go dry, tight and flaky. This can result in the dreaded signs of ageing as dry skin has less resilience. This can all be avoided by simply drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. This will help rid the body and skin of toxins and keep your skin looking young and hydrated.
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