I love skincare products, particularly natural skincare like Dr Hauschka, Trilogy and Kinvara. I enjoy using them and my skin loves them too. But I find that some of the most important ways of keeping my skin hydrated, soft, supple and in good condition is through my diet and the supplements I take. Ten years ago this effect wasn’t very noticeable, but now that I’m in my mid 40s, it really is, and I am paying a lot of attention.
Also, contrary to what magazine ads would have you believe, having ‘good skin’ is not only about reducing sagging skin and wrinkles. Because taking care of our maturing skin is also about keeping the skin resilient, which is important for faster wound healing and having a strong external barrier for decades to come. If you know anyone who has had to take cortisone, which thins the skin, you will know how important this barrier is in terms of staying active and well.
Also (I have to admit this is based on my intuition, not medical research) I think that the skin is the last organ in terms of priority – the heart and lungs for example are far more important to our survival, so they would get nutrients first if there was any lack. So, by monitoring your skin health and focussing on keeping your skin healthy from within, you are actually making sure that all your other organs and your joints are kept in tip top condition. If the fats you eat (for example) are reaching your skin, you know your brain definitely has enough!
One incredibly important element in skin care from within is water – staying hydrated, especially in the summer, is essential for maintaining the type of moisture levels that supports the skin’s natural detoxification and keeps it looking smooth and plump. Keep drinking that water!
And you know how your skin glows after a run? Often forgotten is the impact of exercise on your skin radiance – getting your heart pumping with a good workout boosts circulation and gets more blood, nutrients, and oxygen flowing to the skin.
Exercise can also help reduce levels of cortisol (aka the body’s stress hormone) which breaks down collagen – an essential protein for maintaining the structure and integrity of the skin.
Then we mustn’t forget the impact of eating vegetables – you’ve probably heard this one before – but it’s so important to make a habit of eating a variety of colours at every meal to support healthy (and beautiful) mature skin.
Fill your plate with colourful whole foods (like berries, leafy greens, root vegetables, herbs, and spices) to ensure you’re consuming plenty of antioxidants which fight off free radicals that cause cellular oxidative damage and contribute to aging – and that’s all the different sides of again, including joint health, heart health, as well as skin health.
I love using natural oils on my face, but it is also incredibly important to eat plenty of fats and oils are to provide moisturisation from within. We need to make sure our diet includes high quality moisturizing fats, as the right type of fats can slow down signs of aging by reducing inflammation and providing essential skin nutrients like omega 3s, vitamin E, zinc, and selenium.
Healthy sources of good fats: Avocado; nuts and seeds; oily fish (mackerel, sardines, salmon, herring…); olives; extra-virgin olive oil; ghee; Unrefined coconut oil; pasture-raised eggs; full-fat yoghurt.
And finally, I do take a number of supplements that are aimed at boosting skin health, and keeping my skin soft and supple. While we’ll always look to a healthy diet as our first port of call for good nutrition, the supplements below will help ensure you get a daily dose of the essential nutrients that protect and nurture mature skin.
Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation, boost the skin’s hydration levels, protect against dry and itchy skin, and mitigate signs of aging. I take Wiley’s Fish oil, but others like to take Udo’s oil or a high strength vegan EPA/DHA capsule (ask us if you need guidance)
I also take a high quality Collagen Powder every day, in my coffee (it melts in and is tasteless, and a bit creamy, so it’s actually delicious). This vital protein provides structure to the skin, thickens the dermal layer, and is responsible for maintaining the skin’s smoothness, firmness, and elasticity. It also benefits our joints.
Vitamin C helps brighten the complexion for a natural glow, and promotes the production of collagen, which is essential for maintaining the skin’s elasticity and firmness. And since we all want to take it these days for immunity, this is a nice side effect.
Other supplements people take for skin health include Vitamin E, CoQ10, and there are several combinations like Skin.NY if you think your skin could use some extra structural support. For more information, call in to us in Bantry and we will be your guide to better skin from within.
Have a lovely August folks!
Organico Shop, Deli & Bakery is open from 9am-6pm, Monday – Saturday, serving takeaway breakfast, lunch, coffees and cakes from 9am-4pm. Also visit our online shop on www.organico.ie – we ship to the whole 32 counties from only €4.95.