Of all fruits, avocados have the highest concentration of vitamin E, the antiwrinkle, antipimple, and anticellulite vitamin, says Aimee E. Raupp, MS, LAc, author of Chill Out & Get Healthy.
“Hyaluronsan-LF is a special bioavailable form of hyaluronic acid that has demonstrated impressive clinical effects in improving the health of the skin. The hyaluronic acid content in the skin decreases with aging. Clinical studies in patients with dry and rough skin have shown that Hyaluronsan-LF has an incredible ability to increase the moisture content of the skin resulting in dramatic improvement in the skin’s appearance.”
Michael T. Murray, ND, is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on natural medicine. He is the author of more than 30 books, including his latest What the Drug Companies Won’t Tell You and Your Doctor Doesn’t Know.
“Dietary nutrients can influence the overall appearance of the skin in a number of different ways,” says Alan C. Logan, ND, who is an invited faculty member at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Continuing Education and coauthor of The Clear Skin Diet and the upcoming Your Skin, Younger. “There are certain nutrients that support normal structure of the skin’s layers, most notably essential fats, such as fish oil and borage oil, and the protein units called peptides from fish collagen.”
Logan says that a wide range of vitamins, including vitamins A, C, and E, and minerals, such as zinc and selenium, are responsible for maintaining skin function. Specifically, these nutrients help to tame inflammation and are vital for keeping the skin’s antioxidant defense system operating.
“Most chronic skin conditions, including acne, and the skin aging process itself are rooted in inflammation and oxidative stress,” says Logan. “From sunburn to psoriasis, acne to eczema, inflammation is often the common thread in most skin conditions.”
Nonvitamin nutrients, such as phytochemicals, the natural chemicals that give plants their taste, texture, and color, have beauty benefits as well. Lycopene (the red plant pigment in tomatoes), anthocyanins from blueberries, and flavonoids from cocoa are antioxidants that help protect against UV damage from the inside out. Not coincidentally, antioxidants such as these are among the same ingredients that have popped up in topical products in recent years.
Logan notes the importance of nutrients that support the production of energy within the skin. “The energy production centers of each skin cell, the mitochondria, become less efficient through the aging process, and this progressive inefficiency has been linked as a causative factor in the visible signs of aging. The good news is that CoQ10, quercetin, taurine, and other nutrients can support skin energy through the aging process,” he says.
Your skin renews itself with a complete cellular turnover every five to seven weeks; however, it may take up to three months to see external results of internal vitamin supplementation.
Michael T. Murray, ND, is the author of more than 30 books on natural health, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Third Edition. He is regarded as one of the world's top authorities on natural medicine, and is a sought-after lecturer and educator. Visit him online at doctormurray.com.
Acne Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA from fish oil, inhibits inflammation and the overproduction of sebum. Zinc helps prevent overproduction of sebum and also promotes wound healing, enhanced immunity, inflammation control, and tissue regeneration. EGCG from green tea is a powerful antioxidant that also helps reduce sebum production. Silica inhibits inflammation and soothes skin irritation.
Rosacea Niacinomide (vitamin B3) reduces inflammation specific to rosacea. Vitamin C strengthens the membranes that line the blood vessels and the connective tissue between skin cells. Zinc helps heal skin and regulates blood levels of vitamin A. (Add copper for long-term use.) Evening primrose and flaxseed oils reduce inflammation, control the cell’s use of nutrients, and produce prostaglandins, which stimulate contraction of blood vessels.
UV protection EPA from fish oil and lycopene from tomatoes can reduce UV-induced redness and skin cell damage. Recently, cocoa extract was also shown to protect against UV exposure. While antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients are not a substitute for sunscreen, the internal UV protection has an estimated SPF of 2 or 3. Vitamin A prevents UV rays from causing harm to the skin, and vitamin C helps skin heal.
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