We are all looking for ways to keep our skin youthful. While Botulinum toxin injections, dermal fillers, and collagen boosting procedures such as PRP and microneedling can do wonders to turn back the hands of time, beautiful skin begins on a cellular level. Nutrition and hydration have a huge bearing on our skin’s health. We all know at this point that if we are going to spend money on skin care, then we better be wearing our sunscreen! But, what about our diets and nutrient levels? What we choose to put in our mouths each day can make or break the success of our investment in our skin.
So, what are the most important nutrients for skin health? Here are my top 5:
1. Hydration, hydration, hydration
Water is essential for proper functioning of our cells. Dehydration results in skin with more visible fine lines and wrinkles, and that is dull, itchy or flaky, and uneven in tone and complexion. How much water do you need? Typically, about half of your body weight in ounces of water daily is adequate to keep cells hydrated. You may need slightly more if you areperspiring a great deal or drinking a lot of caffeine.
2. Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3s are necessary to keep skin moisturized, supple, thick, as well as keeping levels of inflammation in the skin low. Deficiencies can lead to skin dryness, redness and inflammation, worsening conditions such as acne and rosacea. Humans should consume an Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio of 4:1 to 1:1. However, the average American consumes a diet with a ratio of around 17:1. Omega 3 fatty acids are highest in fatty fish, walnuts, flax and chia seeds, and eggs. If you plan on ramping up your consumption of fish please be sure you are consuming wild caught fish only and are eating fish with lower mercury levels. If you are more of the persuasion of “fish are friends, not food” or can’t commit to eating fish 3-4 times weekly, I recommend a high quality third party tested fish oil supplement containing at least 600mg EPA and 400mg of DHA daily such as Xymogen OmegaPure820.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It is the “glue” that holds us together and in the case of our skin, is what keeps our skin looking tight, plump and wrinkle free. As you age, your body produces less and lower quality collagen. Things that increase breakdown of collagen include diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, sun damage, intense exercise, and smoking. There are 4 nutrients required for collagen production which include Vitamin C, copper, glycine, and proline. Eating foods rich in these nutrients help boost collagen production. I also highly recommend a good collagen supplement. There have been numerous clinical studies over the past few years that have shown statistically significant improvements in skin hydration, elasticity, and wrinkling after taking collagen supplementation for only 8-12 weeks. Plus, the added benefit of improvements in hair, nails and joints! The medical literature supports taking 6-10gms of a collagen supplement daily. My recommendation is Vital Proteins Marine collagen 1-2 scoops per day dissolved in a small amount of juice or coffee. Marine collagen has the advantage of better absorption, possibly giving you quicker results. It is also more reliably sourced and comes from wild caught Alaskan white fish instead of farm raised animals treated with hormones and antibiotics.
4. Vitamin A/Beta Carotene
There are 2 types of vitamin A, retinoids and carotenoids. Skin is a retinoid responsive organ meaning that retinoids can readily be absorbed into the skin cells when applied topically which in turn produces new skin cells. This causes the dermis to make new collagen, decreases inflammation, decreases hyperpigmentation, increases cell turnover helping keep pores unclogged, and keeps the skin from getting overly dry. Retinoids are found in our diets in certain animal products such as eggs, salmon, liver, and shrimp. Carotenoids such as beta carotene come from plant sources in our diet and act as antioxidants protecting the skin from cellular damage and premature aging. Good sources of beta carotene include sweet potatoes, bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, and certain fruits such as apricots and plums. My recommendation is a topical retinoid such as Skin Medica Retinol Complex. I recommend starting with the Retinol Complex 0.5 two nights per week and increasing by one night until you can tolerate nightly use without flaking/irritation. Then, increase to the Retinol Complex 1.0 and follow the same process.
5. Vitamin C and E
Vitamin C is necessary for the formation of collagen and therefore decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Both antioxidants prevent skin from drying and repair skin damaged by UV light and the elements. To increase these nutrients, eat a diet rich in nuts and seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, and citrus fruits.
Summary: If you want to have healthy, beautiful, ageless skin, start at a cellular level. This will exponentially improve the payoff you get from any investment you make in procedures and serums. Here is my recipe for ageless skin cells:
1. Drink half of your body weight in oz of water every day
2. Eat at least 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables daily-if you put them all on your plate at once, it should look like a rainbow with a very thick dark green band.
3. Eat a diet rich in eggs and wild caught fish
4. Take Xymogen Omega Pure 820 two capsules daily
5. Take Vital Proteins Marine collagen 1-2 scoops daily
6. Apply Skin Medica Retinol Complex nightly as directed above
No chance you are eating that many veggies every day? Keep working on it! In the meantime, add in a high-quality multivitamin such as RejuvenationScience Maximum Vitality 1 per day to make sure you are not deficient in any vitamin/mineral mentioned above. This is one of the highest quality and most complete multivitamins I have seen on the market.
We carry the above products at our office, or we can send you a link to order them at a discounted rate.
Have questions or looking for a regimen tailored to your specific skin concerns? Contact Ageless Rx today for a consultation at 843-410-0597.