Top Pick for Skin Health
See softer, visibly younger skin from this natural ocean secret.
3 Pumps (1 fl oz. each)
Regular Price: $119.97
Special Price: $79.97
To learn more,
- Foods and Nutrients to Support Your Skin
- EFAs=Essentially Flawless Skin
- Moisture Treatment for Your Skin
- Build Collagen for Firmer, Softer, More Youthful Skin
- Antioxidants to Protect Your Skin Against UV Light and Free Radicals
- Caring for Your Skin on the Outside
- Spectacular Squalane
- Quick and Easy Health Tips for Your Skin
Have you ever had that moment when you looked in the mirror and wondered when the laugh lines and crow’s feet showed up, and when your skin started losing its elasticity—especially since you don’t feel any older? Nothing betrays your age like your skin. It’s one of those inescapable facts of life.
Your skin is more than a layer of tissue covering the outside of your body. This complex three-level structure is also your body’s largest organ. The outermost layer of your skin, the “epidermis,” is more complex than it looks. It’s made up of keratin proteins that protect and rejuvenate the skin, and melanin-producing cells, which help protect you from UV light. Everyday sun exposure and environmental pollutants take a real toll on this layer of your skin.
Below the epidermis is the “dermis,” a layer of collagen and elastin proteins that are kept firm by sugar molecules called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). GAGs keep your skin moist by attracting water to the dermis. But as you age, the number of GAGs may decrease. Plus, as your estrogen levels decrease, so do the fat deposits under your skin, which normally keep your skin plump and young-looking.
Finally, the deepest layer of your skin is called the “subdermal” layer of tissue. It’s made up of collagen and fat cells that help to maintain your body temperature. It also acts as a shock absorber, protecting your internal organs from injury. Many of the same changes that affect the dermis affect the subdermal layer as well.
When you’re young, the collagen fibers in your skin are long and smooth. But as you get older, the collagen fibers break down, causing your once smooth skin to sag and wrinkle.
Wrinkling and drying of skin is often accelerated by improper nutrition, stress, lack of exercise, and the hormonal changes that occur in midlife and beyond. For most women, personal skin care involves simply applying moisturizer and sunscreen. Others may regularly use night cream, under-eye ointment, and astringent. These can help, but there is so much more you can do to restore the structure and health of your skin and its underlying tissues and bring them back into healthy balance.
For starters, remember that what you take into your body—food and nutritional supplements—can make a difference in your skin and your health. Many foods have a dehydrating effect on your skin and internal tissues, and should be avoided. Examples include spicy foods like ginger and chili peppers, caffeinated beverages, and alcohol. Women who are at midlife and older and have already noticed increased drying of their skin due to menopause-related hormone deficiency should be especially cautious in eating these foods.
I also recommend avoiding refined sugar because it can cause decreased circulation to the skin. Replace these foods with other choices high in water and mineral content, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, soups, and salads.
A number of my patients have had great results using essential fatty acids (EFAs) to create moister, softer skin. The moisturizing effect of these oils has been particularly evident in my younger patients who already have high moisture content in their skin, so the beneficial effects are noticed much more quickly than with older women. For women at midlife and older who tend to have drier skin to begin with, it takes a little longer to replenish the moisture content. The process may take as long as three to six months.
To ensure that you are getting enough EFAs in your diet, eat foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, like flaxseed oil(1-2 tablespoons per day), flax(4-6 tablespoons daily), raw pumpkin seeds (2-3 ounces per serving), and cold-water fish, such as salmon, tuna, or halibut (3 times a week). Be sure to include monounsaturated oils, like olive oil, in your diet. Use these oils in your salad dressing recipes and when cooking overall to help you moisturize your skin.
There are also certain nutritional supplements that can support your skin from the inside out. They work to moisturize your skin, support collagen production, and protect your skin against UV light and free radicals.
There are several excellent oils and other nutrients which help to hydrate your skin from the inside out all over your body.
Cranberry Seed Oil: While topical creams can hydrate the outermost layer of your skin, nutrients taken internally can reach down into its deepest layers. And because the hydrating oils in your skin decline with age, taking essential fatty acids is one of the best ways to replenish those natural oils.
Cranberry seed oil is a dietary oil that gives you a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 oils. In fact, research has shown that a high concentration of omega-3s may help support the overall health of your skin.
Squalane, N-Acetyl Glucosamine, and Wheat Germ Oil: Squalane is a major part of your skin’s outer layer. N-acetyl glucosamine is the main building block of hyaluronic acid (HA), which helps your skin maintain its moisture and elasticity. Studies suggest that oral doses of N-acetyl glucosamine may increase the concentration of HA in the body. And wheat germ oil, which I’ve long recommended since it contains vitamin E, is a natural skin softener, conditioner, moisturizer, and antioxidant.
NOTE: You may be wondering why I didn’t mention krill oil, which I’ve written about before. I’ve since learned that the krill population is drastically dwindling, which can affect the survival of vital wildlife that feed on krill. And I believe the research behind the other nutrients is so compelling that I could not bring myself to unnecessarily contribute to the extinction of krill, or the animals that feed on it, by continuing to recommend it.
Proline, Vitamin C, and Citrus Bioflavonoids: With age, your skin is less able to synthesize collagen. This is part of the reason why your skin may be thinner and less smooth than it used to be.
Collagen production is dependent on two main nutrients: proline and vitamin C. Proline is an amino acid-building block of collagen and helps to increase collagen production. It’s also one of the major building blocks of elastin, the protein that keeps your skin firm.
Your body needs vitamin C in order to create collagen from proline. I also recommend antioxidant citrus bioflavonoids. These water-soluble plant pigments help protect the collagen in your skin from free radical damage, and support your body’s ability to absorb vitamin C. I recommend taking at least 1,000 mg of proline, 1,000-3,000 mg of vitamin C and 100-300 mg of bioflavonoids a day.
Lutein, Vitamin E, and Alpha Lipoic Acid: Earlier, I told you how the sun’s rays can promote free radical damage, which can lead to visible signs of aging in your skin. The good news is that there was a very exciting study published in 2002 in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science. It compared the effects of supplementing with a combination of lutein, vitamin C, vitamin E, and alpha lipoic acid versus using a placebo in women with aged skin due to sun exposure.
What they found was that the women taking the nutrient combination for two months had lower levels of unwanted free radicals in their blood and better skin hydration. Plus, they had more skin lipids, which are the helpful fats that form a moisture barrier on your skin. I suggest taking 10-15 mg of lutein, 400-2,000 IU of vitamin E, and 25-50 mg of alpha lipoic acid per day.
Olive Pulp and Grape Seed Extract: Animal research suggests special antioxidants, called polyphenols, may help reduce free radicals from UV light. Grape seed extract, which contains proanthocyanidins, helps protect your skin from UVB rays.
Lycopene, Beta-Carotene, and Ginkgo biloba: You also want to take nutrients that help your skin once it is exposed to the sun. Studies show that lutein, lycopene, and beta-carotene, taken together, can help to reduce effects of free radicals on skin that’s been exposed to UV light. Ginkgo biloba helps enhance your natural radiance.
I recommend taking at least 100 mg of olive pulp extract, 25-50 mg of grape seed extract, 5-10 mg of lycopene, 5,000–25,000 IU of beta-carotene, and at least 120 mg of Ginkgo biloba per day.
To make it easy for you to get enough of these important skin-supporting nutrients, I’ve combined them in a nutritional supplement called Daily Balance Radiance Advanced Skin Supplement. The three complexes in this formula work together to nourish and restore the health of your skin from the inside out.
Getting nutrients to the surface of your skin is just as important as taking the right nutrients internally. Hawaiian seaweed, with marine algae, contains minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates that not only moisturize your skin—but also get down into the cells of your skin where nourishment is most needed. This is important, because it’s down at the cellular level that marine algae increases cell metabolism, thickens the walls of your skin, and enlarges skin cells, thus allowing your skin to better retain its moisture.
I am particularly partial to olive oil, due to its squalane content. Squalane is a powerful, natural antioxidant found in all human tissues, with the greatest concentration in the skin. It also has wonderful moisturizing benefits when applied topically, which I first learned about more than a decade ago when one of my colleagues in the natural health field came to visit me. She had applied squalane as a moisturizer and I was really impressed by how moist and beautiful her skin looked. You can find Trilane (the topical form of squalane) here or in many health food stores.
- Avoid refined sugar and foods high in sugar—both can trigger excess oil production.
- Avoid spicy foods like ginger and chili peppers as well as alcohol and caffeine.
- Include vitamin A in your diet as beta-carotene—vitamin A improves the overall appearance of your skin, and helps suppress oily skin. Foods high in beta-carotene include spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, mangoes, persimmons, cantaloupe, apricots, carrots, kale, and cabbage.
- Avoid excess sun exposure and always apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater.