Optimizing Skin Health From the Inside Out
Are you a skin care “junky” like me? I have an elaborate system that includes no less than SIX products day and night. I’ve got cleanser, toner, antioxidant serum, skin lightener, glycolic acid cream, retinol, moisturizer and sunscreen. Each step is vital if I want to continue looking young so I wouldn’t consider skipping a step. Many of my patients feel the same way about their skin care regimens. That said, we often forget that beauty isn’t just skin deep! Lotions and potions, alone, are not the only answer when it comes to keeping our skin looking vibrant and healthy. We also need to get the appropriate nutrients into our bodies – either in the form of supplements or our diet – that are essential to skin health.
So what ARE the best nutrients for our skin and what else can we do to optimize our skin’s health?
Vitamins, Minerals & Antioxidants
Adding the right vitamins and minerals to your daily regimen can effectively “supercharge” your body’s defenses against the environment. Recent studies have shown that a daily dose of Vitamin B3, otherwise known as Nicotinamide, can provide a protective effect against both melanoma as well as as non-melanoma skin cancers. The effect of vitamins and anti-oxidants not only help to prevent damage to our DNA that can go on to cause cancerous lesions, but also the oxidative stress that ages our skin causing wrinkles, skin laxity, and pigmentary problems.
UV exposure and environmental pollutants are known to cause at least 80% of visible aging, with the remaining 20% attributable to genetic factors. The effect of UV damage on the skin can be mitigated by avoiding sun exposure (obviously) but also by maintaining the proper diet that is rich in antioxidants, avoiding toxic exposures such as smoking, getting regular exercise, and drinking plenty of water.
Recommended nutrients/supplements: Nicotinamide (or Niacinamide), Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Zinc, Coenzyme Q-10, Biotin, Curcumin – found in turmeric, and Probiotics.
Consider: Heliocare® to help boost your immune systems response to UV damage as well as a product called Juven™ by Ensure which is a beverage containing protein boosting amino acids as well as zinc, vitamin C,E and B12 – both of which can be found on Amazon.com.
Hormones Make a Difference
Did you know that, after the age of 45, our skin stops making collagen on it’s own, unless we provide it with a stimulus to do so, such as with an injury? We also stop making elastin, so our skin gets thinner and starts to sag (or become ‘gravitationally challenged’, as I like to say). Isn’t it interesting that this timely cessation of our skin’s protein synthesis typically happens around the same time as many women are entering a period known as ‘peri-menopause’?! The declining production of estrogen in our bodies is directly correlated to diminished collagen and elastin production. This effect is not only seen on our skin but also in our joints causing arthritis and the other aches and pains associated with aging. Therefore, hormone regulation in the peri-menopausal period (and beyond) is essential if you want to keep looking and feeling young.
Recommended treatment: BioTE® hormone therapy for Estrogen and Testosterone optimization, as well as oral progesterone, when needed. Be sure to add a DIM supplement to help balance the negative effects that can be seen with conversion of testosterone to excess estrogen.
Hair & Nail Nutrients Have Synergistic Effects on the SKIN.
Since many of the same proteins needed for wound healing and collagen synthesis are involved in hair and nail health, it would make sense that supplements geared toward strengthening hair and nails would have a beneficial effect on the skin. One such example is Nutrafol®. This supplement contains a plethora of vitamins, minerals and herbal ingredients – including hyaluronic acid and Marine Collagen. This supplement has clinical evidence backing its efficacy as a hair growth supplement but many dermatologists are finding that it has beneficial effects on the skin as well and are now recommending it for that purpose. In addition, since thinning hair is also correlated with advancing age, supplements that address both issues can ‘kill two birds with one stone’ so-to-speak.
Effects of Diet on the Skin
As the old adage says, “You are what you eat!” Your diet can play a huge role in the health of your skin. It would make sense that eating a clean and healthy diet, rich in all of the vitamins and minerals we’ve been discussing, would result in clear and more vibrant skin. An anti-inflammatory diet – one that avoids processed foods, gluten, dairy and certain nuts (especially peanuts), has been shown to improve skin conditions such as rosacea and eczema. Avoiding carbs and excessive amounts of alcohol also helps to prevent facial ‘bloating’ and generally makes you look and feel better. Lastly, drinking plenty of water is imperative. You can calculate how much your body needs each day by multiplying your weight by 2/3 (or 67%). For example, if you weighed 130 pounds you would multiple that by 2/3 and learn you should be drinking about 87 ounces of water every day.
Other healthy skin tips:
- AVOID DIRECT SUN EXPOSURE AND NEVER USE TANNING BEDS/BOOTHS
- DON’T SMOKE
- GET PLENTY OF REST
- EXERCISE REGULARILYBUT NOT EXCESSIVELY
- SLEEP ON YOUR BACK WHENEVER POSSIBLE (SIDE SLEEPING = WRINKLES!)
For more information visit our website at paradisemedspa.com or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Weiss, give us a call at 602-266-8144.