Maintaining healthy skin is thought by many to only be achieved through having a vigorous skincare routine. Although this is a big contributing factor to having glowing skin, there is much more to it than just applying a toner and face cream.
Internally, vitamins and minerals play an integral role in keeping the body functioning properly and without them, our skin would see a range of complications. This blog will explain how different nutrients help to keep our skin feeling and looking good. It will also give an insight into the best ways to keep your nutrient levels up.
Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats –
Found in – Avocados, Nuts, Olives
This type of fat is essential for keeping your skin plump and hydrated. They work by maintaining the level of water within the skin’s surface. Too little healthy fat in your diet could result in your skin becoming dry and, over time this will cause wrinkles to form.
Consuming foods such as nuts and olives will help to give the skin a glowing, healthy appearance.
Omega 3 fatty acids –
Found in – Fish (such as Tuna & Salmon), Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds
These fatty acids are important when it comes to building up a protective layer on the skin. When we consume food or use products that contain omega 3, the outer layer of the skin becomes stronger, making it more able to fight off harmful bacteria and damage from free radicals. This will help to minimise the skin’s ageing process and keep the face looking healthy and feeling strong
Found in – Meats, Dairy Products, Peanut Butter, Lentils.
Like its effects on our muscles, protein plays a vital role in the repair and recovery of the skin. Made up of long chains of amino acids, protein promotes the repair of damaged skin tissues whilst at the same time increasing skin elasticity. Additionally, protein helps to shift any old dead cells to make way for new ones.
Protein is mainly consumed through animal sourced foods such as chicken and beef however, it can be found in vegetarian foods like lentils and beans. Protein in your diet is important as these foods contain L-lysine which is responsible for increasing the collagen production within the skin. Overall, this will give you a hydrated and plump appearance.
Vitamin A –
Found in – Leafy Green vegetables, Mango, Fish oils.
Vitamin A has been considered as one of the most important vitamins to help the skin heal itself. Whilst foods such as tomatoes and peppers are high in vitamin A, a topical application of it can prove more beneficial for the skin. Using a product which contains this vitamin will provide a protective layer to the skin which will prevent it from sun damage.
Additionally, it helps to support the body’s ability to produce new skin cells whilst getting rid of any old cells in the process. This leaves the Epidermis and Dermis layers of the skin healthy and looking fresh. Retinoids found in this vitamin work to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, helping the skin to appear smoother over time.
With Vitamin A, it is important to know that too much of this can be bad for you. Creams that contain retinoids (found in Vitamin A) may cause your skin to become sensitive throughout use.
Top Tip – If you are new to using a cream containing retinoids, start with one that has a lower retinol percentage. This will prevent your skin from becoming damaged and dry. Over time, you can slowly start to increase the level of retinoids to benefit the skin. However, it should be a very gradual process.
Vitamin C –
Found in – Citrus fruits, Potatoes, Strawberries.
We often consume Vitamin C in citrusy foods such as oranges, lemons and limes. However, in order to keep our skin looking and feeling healthy, we should be using skincare products or supplements that contain it. Over recent years, there has been an increase in the popularity of vitamin C serums. Many people believe that due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it is great for anti-ageing.
This Vitamin is handy when it comes to slowing down the skin’s ageing process as it can fight off free radicals which are the cause behind premature skin ageing. Research has also found that Vitamin C is able to lighten up the skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots. This is down to its ability to increase melanin in the skin.
Supplements should always be taken with care. Consuming too much of them could cause negative effects to the body. Likewise, too much Vitamin C can cause Diarrhoea, Nausea and Vomiting.
Vitamin D –
Found in – Red meat, Salmon, Egg Yolks.
Commonly associated as the “sunshine vitamin”, one of the biggest sources of vitamin D is the sun. It goes without saying that too much exposure to the sun, without appropriate protection will result in skin problems. However, getting around 20-30 minutes of sunlight per day can be beneficial for your skin.
Lack of vitamin D will result in your skin not being able to function effectively. As a result, it weakens the skin’s barrier, leaving it prone to inflammation. In the long run, Vitamin D deficiency could worsen skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
The sun should provide you with a basic amount of vitamin D. Although, using supplements and skincare products that contain it will help to keep the skin healthy.
Vitamin E –
Found in – Almonds, Sunflower oil, Peanuts.
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and therefore, it plays an important role in protecting the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Naturally occurring within the oil in your skin, Vitamin E helps increase the face’s natural barrier to hold in moisture.
As you get older, the amount of Vitamin E produced in the body slowly decreases, this is often caused by certain lifestyle choices. Spending too much time in the sun or using a sun bed will speed this process up causing wrinkles and droopiness of the skin. Therefore, to counteract the natural decline of this vitamin, cream containing Vitamin E should be used on your face (on a daily basis).
Vitamin E face creams will help you to upkeep the moisture levels of your skin, leaving it feeling hydrated and soft.
Taking supplements to increase nutrient levels within the body is often a big thing amongst the older generations. I certainly remember my grandparents’ taking handfuls of tablets or chewy’s in the morning to give them an extra vitamin boost. However, they can be taken by people of all ages in different forms and dosages.
Children are recommended to take vitamin supplements to help their bodies cope with the demands of continuously growing. Quite often these supplements will come in the form of a chewable multivitamin that is almost like a sweet. The main reason for children taking supplements is not to maintain healthy glowing skin and rather to promote strong bones and teeth.
For adults, there is a vast array of vitamin supplements that can be found in health shops and even your local supermarket. All with different health benefits for your skin, body, and hair. Some work to fight off infections and cell damage and others can promote healthy ageing.
To maintain a healthy body and glowing skin, vitamin supplements may be an option if you are unable to naturally get the recommended amount that you need. With supplements, you should always read the guidance on the bottle to find out daily intake recommendations.
All our body butters and face creams here at Sweet Cecily’s contain natural oils such as Vitamin E oil. When this fat-soluble antioxidant is found within the ingredients of a cream, it will aid towards giving you hydrated and radiant skin. Using a cream that contains vitamins may be a quick fix to directly increase the nutrient levels on your face. Therefore, you should be applying them daily to keep your face looking and feeling at its best.
Balanced Diet –
A balanced diet is the easiest way to ensure you are consuming a sufficient number of vitamins and minerals to keep you and your skin healthy. Your daily food intake should contain a mixture of Fats, Protein, Carbohydrates, Fibre, Fruit & Veg, and Water.
A nutritional deficiency can lead to a wide range of health problems for both your body and face. They include skin disorders, stunted growth, problems within the digestive system, the list goes on. Therefore, using skincare that contains it, consuming supplements and having a balanced diet should be practised to keep your body functioning normally.