Supplemental Skin Care

Thursday, February 26, 2009 | Tips & How-Tos, Uncategorized

While most of us are aware of the internal benefits of dietary vitamins, the external benefits on the skin are just as dramatic and well-documented. More than just a beautiful surface, our skin is a reflection of our overall health. As a result, when the body is poorly nourished, the skin often suffers. By supplementing the skin’s specific nutritional needs, we can better account for the dietary deficits that can compromise our complexions. Here are a few things that every skin needs for a healthy radiance:

Vitamins E and C
The next time you look at your favorite daily moisturizer, check the ingredient list for “tocopherol.” This is the most common form of vitamin E found in skin care products. A fat-soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties, tocopherol helps condition the skin and protect it from free radical damage. Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, offers similar antioxidant protection and is especially effective against UV-induced free radical damage. Vitamin C also plays an important role in the synthesis of collagen—the connective tissue responsible for skin firmness and form. Taken internally, these essential vitamins not only benefit the body but also directly benefit the skin, complementing topical treatments from within.

Essential Fatty Acids
Critical for a number of biological processes, essential fatty acids aid the skin specifically in promoting dermal integrity and reducing inflammation. Commonly found in fish, leafy vegetables and certain nuts and seeds, skin-specific fatty acids are also available in supplement form. Look for products containing soy protein, grape seed and flaxseed oils.

More than just a beauty buzzword, antioxidants are essential for healthy skin. Known as “free radical scavengers,” antioxidants scour the body for the cell-damaging elements. Spawned from UV rays, pollution and other environmental stressors, free radicals are highly volatile molecules with unpaired electrons that “steal” electrons from cellular material, causing deterioration. Antioxidants neutralize the free radical threat, sacrificing themselves to prevent further cellular damage. In addition to vitamins C and E, supplemental antioxidants often include beta-carotene, lycopene, coenzyme Q10, and various flavanoids and polyphenols.

For more ways to give your skin vital nourishment, shop the complete skin care collection at