Article List

Wellness and Beautiful Skin: Shared Basics

It’s no coincidence that benefits to health and beauty are inextricably interwoven, both impacted by basic lifestyle and nutritional tenets.

Simply put, achieving more beautiful, youthful skin goes beyond merely efforting good skincare on the outside. The measures that are productive for skin health mirror many of those that improve your cardiovascular system, keep your weight in a healthy range and enhance your overall mood/attitude towards life. Doing it right to get the maximum benefit is an “inside/out” proposition. Though you have no doubt heard it before; healthy eating, regular exercise and sufficient sleep are cornerstones of any meaningful plan to maintain and/or restore radiant skin. Here are some quick tips for effective “integrative” skincare. You’ll recognize them as being curiously relevant to general physical well-being.

“Foodceuticals”

Consider that your skin is constantly barraged with stress, environmental toxins, inadequate sleep, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise. Imbalance in the body reflects in the skin and can be a harbinger of the build-up of toxins, an out-of-whack gut, nutritional deficiencies, and inflammation. To rejuvenate the microbiome* for optimal health, we must maintain and support good bacteria: consume fermented foods, eat more fiber, supplement with pre and probiotics, replace artificial antibiotics with essential oil use, and address chronic stress.

*The totality of microorganisma and their collective genetic material present in, or on the human body. The balance of this massive community is crucial for immunologic, hormonal and metabolic homeostasis of their host.

A healthy skin nutritional program would include the consumption of three important foods:

  1. Nuts, (particularly walnuts) have anti-oxidant properties and unique essential fatty acid profiles
  2. Measured amounts of citrus fruits, a focus on berries and hearty portions of vitamin C-rich vegetables, given that this vitamin will enhance collagen production
  3. Green/red/yellow vegetables- here you get beta carotene, converted by your body into Vitamin A, (a companion to retinol formulations applied topically) which in turn prevents premature skin aging and cellular damage.

Don’t forget, as well, to include other sources of powerful anti-oxidants, like those green tea catechins (ECGC) we’ve often discussed.

Remember that without applying healthful nutritional principles, no amount of creams and other skin treatments will substantively alter the health, appearance and texture of your skin.

What to avoid.

There are key things you need to avoid to support beautiful, healthy skin for the long-term, beginning with decreasing elevated insulin levels in your blood. High blood insulin leads to an acceleration of the aging process on the outside and inside of your body, so you want to keep it in the LOW range. Excess amounts of grains and sugar, especially fructose, as well as foods with high glycemic indices should be limited, or eliminated, as these foods provoke a marked blood sugar elevation and secretion of insulin by your pancreas. This means you need to be judicious with regards to higher carb fruit consumption and certainly avoid sugar laden beverages. Excess alcohol (especially cocktails with sugary mixers), processed foods, trans fats, processed table salt and pasteurized dairy products should also be limited, or avoided as much as possible. Of course, tobacco is a major skin toxin and an irrefutable antagonist to good health overall; for the health and beauty-conscious, it should simply disappear.

Another important element to achieving beautiful skin is to reduce your body's TOXIC LOAD. Hence, cleansing your system with a good "green drink" periodically, can be very beneficial. Remember that you are trying to optimize the function of the liver, kidneys, thyroid, adrenals and gastro-intestinal tract as you undertake your skin beautification program:

As rudimentary as it has become, many people still are not taking adequate precautions about sun exposure. The likelihood of photo damage to skin at both the surface and sub-cellular levels, caused by UVa and UVb rays, is simply not arguable This publication has focused on the issue, specifically, many times and it must be taken seriously to avoid aesthetic and health consequences that are highly probable.

Up your game with the right nutraceuticals

Last, but not least, fine tune your choice of supplements, making certain to include some basics. We routinely recommend daily intake of certain formulations to further enhance clinical response:

1. Let’s spend a little time here on Omega3

You need to get omega-3 fats from your diet, since your body can't make these essential, polyunsaturated fats. Among the main sources for these fats are fish and fish oil, and flaxseed and its oil. Fish oil and flaxseed oil contain different types of omega-3 fats and thus have different effects on the body. Learning about these differences will make it easier to choose the best way for you to increase your omega-3 fat intake.

Fish oil provides the omega-3 fats eicosapentaenoic acid, (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid, (DHA) while flaxseed oil contains alpha-linolenic acid, (ALA). EPA and DHA are the most beneficial of the omega-3 fats, but Americans don't get a lot of them in our diet, so our bodies also produce them from the more prevalent ALA. However, the conversion from ALA to EPA and DHA isn't very efficient, so it’s recommended increasing your intake of EPA and DHA instead of consuming more ALA.

Also, know that there are vast differences in products that may impact on safety and efficacy. Opt for products with bona fide pharmaceutical grade quality, Good Manufacturing Process (GMp), ideally, third party lab testing and look for formulas that have a 2:1 ratio of EPA to DHA

You need to get omega-3 fats from your diet, since your body can't make these essential, polyunsaturated fats. Among the main sources for these fats are fish and fish oil, and flaxseed and its oil. Fish oil and flaxseed oil contain different types of omega-3 fats and thus have different effects on the body. Learning about these differences will make it easier to choose the best way for you to increase your omega-3 fat intake.

Fish oil provides the omega-3 fats eicosapentaenoic acid, (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid, (DHA) while flaxseed oil contains alpha-linolenic acid, (ALA). EPA and DHA are the most beneficial of the omega-3 fats, but Americans don't get a lot of them in our diet, so our bodies also produce them from the more prevalent ALA. However, the conversion from ALA to EPA and DHA isn't very efficient, so it’s recommended increasing your intake of EPA and DHA instead of consuming more ALA.

Also, know that there are vast differences in products that may impact on safety and efficacy. Opt for products with bona fide pharmaceutical grade quality, Good Manufacturing Process (GMp), ideally, third party lab testing and look for formulas that have a 2:1 ratio of EPA to DHA

2. Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10), helps optimize production of ATP in your mitochondria, so that cellular energy levels are enhanced. If you’re over 50, consider better utilized versions such as CoQH or ubiquinol.

3. (Oral) Hyaluronic Acid (HA). This one is significant after age 40 since our naturally produced HA drops off precipitously. Hyaluronic Acid draws 600-1000 times its weight in moisture and provides hydration for all the connective tissue in the body, the skin being the largest recipient. Other connective tissue benefitting from HA is the synovial fluid of the articular joints, vitreous humour of the eye and keeping the gums supple and healthy. In the skin, the body’s largest organ, HA hydration supports the collagen. As it disappears, collagen collapses resulting in dryness, wrinkles and crepiness. However, the choice of an HA formulation is as important as taking it in the first place. While it may seem like getting into the weeds, there are several key features of the HA you are going to ingest that should be verified.

3. (Oral) Hyaluronic Acid (HA). This one is significant after age 40 since our naturally produced HA drops off precipitously. Hyaluronic Acid draws 600-1000 times its weight in moisture and provides hydration for all the connective tissue in the body, the skin being the largest recipient. Other connective tissue benefitting from HA is the synovial fluid of the articular joints, vitreous humour of the eye and keeping the gums supple and healthy. In the skin, the body’s largest organ, HA hydration supports the collagen. As it disappears, collagen collapses resulting in dryness, wrinkles and crepiness. However, the choice of an HA formulation is as important as taking it in the first place. While it may seem like getting into the weeds, there are several key features of the HA you are going to ingest that should be verified.

The first is that the formula should be vegan and a product of a, preferably, wheat-free fermentation process. The molecular weight of the HA produced should be between 800k and 1.2m daltons. Clinical data suggests that this is the range that offers the best utilization for hydrating the skin. The recommended daily intake is around 200mg.

4. Probiotics -these amazing agents will help optimize gastro-intestinal function and correct imbalances in bacteria flora, as well as reduce the effects of food sensitivity.

You certainly can get more aggressive by adding supplements as they may benefit your individual needs, but to make the most appropriate, credible and safest choices, seek out guidance from a trusted, well informed source, rather than merely self-prescribing, or defaulting to over-the-counter or internet-marketed and hyped products. The latter could prove more harmful than beneficial especially where exotic herbs are concerned and at the very least, not the best use of your budget.

On the Outside

The right skincare from the outside can assist your program. Developing a comprehensive and optimally effective, yet safe skincare plan is a discussion unto itself and to which we will devote a full article in the future. But, for a basic strategy, there is what we call a “core” homecare program. It consists of cleanser, toner, eye cream and a minimum 30spf sun block. Additionally, a retinol can be an extremely valuable component. Remember, though, one size doesn’t fit all and mass-marketed, or pyramid scheme products overall cannot provide meaningful efficacy for every person using them. Alternately, personalized guidance from a skincare pro can make even a simple program yield more noticeable results and in the end be more cost-effective.