To look attractive and young we use lotions, potions, creams, sprays available in all shapes and size and try out every other natural beauty remedy mentioned in the texts. We strive to maintain our superficial self at its best using infinite topical means but forget that real beauty is not merely skin deep.
Skin nourishment is the most neglected parameter of our beauty regimen. The desire to look beautiful cannot be fulfilled alone by topical cosmetics but by nourishing the skin from deep within. Topical preparations alone are insufficient to meet the skin’s nutritional requirement and need the support of nutrients that work from within to replenish the skin’s health. Skin is the most important sensory organ that protects us from multiple external stressors and carries out other vital functions too. Our poor eating habits lead to inadequate intake of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, or to excess calorie intake that hampers skin’s abilities and often results in deficiencies which manifest in skin disorders and skin changes (pale, dry, lifeless skin etc).
So in addition to those topical means, let us enhance our skin health and appearance by supplementing our diet with following nutrients:
Antioxidants for ageing protection:
Extrinsic factors like sun UV exposure, harsh climatic changes, smoke, pollution etc have highly damaging effect on the skin. These stressors bring about skin changes like loss of skin tone, elasticity, and increased skin fragility, alteration in pigmentation, wrinkles and dryness mediated by generation of damaging free radicals in the skin. Free radicals cause oxidative stress and damage skin proteins and other skin componentsto induce premature skin ageing.
Foods like green tea, pomegranate, tomatoes, turmeric, grapes and berries, etc are rich in antioxidant molecules that counteract the cellular damage caused by free radicals and exhibit skin photoprotection.
Vitamin C and E
Dietary intake of vitamin like C and E from fresh fruits and vegetables greatly benefits skin health and appearance. Vitamin C and E are a proven antioxidant and play a role in collagen synthesis. Vitamin C repairs skin at cellular level and hastens wound healing. Tocopherols, i.e vitamin E rich foods like wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, corn, soy work in synergy with vitamin C against the oxidative damage.
β-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene are some of the most prominent carotenoids found in fruits and vegetables like carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, mangoes and papaya. Carotenoids, serving as vitamin A precursor, efficiently scavenge the free radicals in skin tissuesand modulate skin properties to prevent skinredness and protect against sun damage.
Flavonoids are present in dietary sources like cocoa, green tea, soy, cherries, apples, pears, lemons, plums, and peaches. Flavonoids have been widely used to treat various skin disorders. Dietary intake of flavonoid rich foods helps to improve skin health and quality by improving the skin structure and functions.
Studies have shown that intake of polyphenols rich foods like grapes, green tea, olive and cocoa etc, enhances overall skin health by the virtue of their antioxidant properties. It modulates skin characteristics and improves skin properties like density, elasticity, roughness, scaling, and inflammation to combat premature aging. Food polyphenols promote skin barrier function in inflammatory skin diseases.
Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids consumed through dietary intake of food sources such as fish and shellfish, flaxseed, soya oil, canola oil, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, avocados, salmon, tuna and leafy vegetables etc. Essential fatty acids are beneficial in inflammatory skin conditions. They modulate the signaling of inflammatory mediators to protect against UV caused skin damage and minimize the UV radiation sensitivity. Systemic EFAs cause reduction in skin inflammation, reddening and scaling in psoriasis. They are also effective in wound healing and reduction of acne.
Prebiotics and probiotics
Prebiotics and probiotics aid in skin health bypreserving skin homeostasis. They help optimize, maintain and restore the microbiotaand pHof the skin to strengthen natural defense barriers. Probiotic-containing foods include curd, yogurt, kefir etc. Prebiotics are the functional foods that feed the helpful bacteria in the body to promote their faster growth.
Best supplements for skin
Influenced by the nutritional-based strategies for skin health, Charak Pharma has conceptualized Skinelle Nutra, one of the best supplements for skin to complement your daily skin care routine with a range of beneficial micronutrients and botanical extracts. It reduces oxidative stress, improves skin hydration, enhances skin barrier function, and delays photo-ageing, controls hyper pigmentation to improve overall quality of skin.