By Paula Simpson
The skin is the largest organ of our body. Inside the body, it protects all biochemical and physiological functions, while externally it is the barrier against environmental aggressors and pollutants. As a “visual” organ, the skin is the first image that others see of us. If the skin is healthy and radiant, this is a good reflection of one’s inner health and well-being.
Although skin appears smooth to the eye, it is a complex organ with many layers and biochemical functions that work together to renew and repair itself. As we age skin metabolism and cellular renewal slows down, leaving it more susceptible to internal and external stressors that can degrade its structure and function, necessitating an integrated skincare approach.
The appearance of your skin (and how well it ages) is influenced by many factors including genetics, dietary and environmental stressors and pollutants, hormonal changes and metabolic processes. Today we know a combination of these factors lead to cumulative changes in skin health and appearance.
Skin aging typically begins around age 30. Fine lines and wrinkles, photo-damage, loose skin and volume loss begin to appear in the 30s and onward. Premature skin aging is most impacted by environmental stressors from UV rays and urban pollutants, especially if skin is not healthy or protected. UV rays have the most dramatic effect on skin aging because it initiates reactive free radicals (or oxidative stressors,) and a series of biochemical reactions in skin tissue that promote inflammation and suppress skin immunity, leading to premature skin aging.
The aging process affects skin structure, function and appearance. Typical changes include:
Your skin is a direct reflection of your inner health.
Health, nutrition and skincare experts all discuss specific recommendations for the shifting needs for healthy skin as we age. Beauty brands promote targeted age specific products from managing blemished prone skin to age defying skincare. As each industry remains independent of the other, we lose the opportunity to best nourish and protect our skin through the aging cycle. By focusing on a “holistic” approach and paying attention to the unique nutrient and skincare needs in each age cycle, the skin can be at its healthiest at every age. So rather than “fighting” the aging process, embracing an integrated regimen that includes good skincare, nutrition and lifestyle habits will result in the healthiest skin possible.
“In a society that puts attractiveness on high regard, healthy skin is a part of this asset in “looking good” and can be protected and cared for with proper skin care and good nutrition”
A critical, and often ignored component to support the health and beauty of skin is Nutrition
Due to the incredible nutrient demands the skin places on the body, it is hard to ignore the role of nutrition and its potential impact on skin health. When we are properly nourished and our digestion is healthy, bioavailable nutrients reach skin tissue through the inner dermal layer (dermis,) providing essential nutrients that promote new skin cell production, protect and stabilize the structural integrity of skin. Newly formed skin cells move upward toward the outer skin layer (epidermis,) and if the skin is healthy, it is here that is will show its natural radiance. Typically, new skin cells are formed every 3 weeks but as we age this renewal cycle slows down due to less blood circulation and oxygen reaching skin tissue. As cell turnover slows down it takes longer for new skin cells to reach the outer skin layer (epidermis,) and this leads to build up of dead surface skin cells, dull complexion and rough skin texture. As skin metabolism and immunity become sluggish with age, nutrition and supplementation become more prevalent to keep it looking its best.
“Research in dermatology and skin nutrition have linked gut and skin microbiome as well as stress, diet and lifestyle on total skin health. Clinical data also shows the typical Western diet challenges us to obtain those nutrients most pertinent for healthy skin and, in fact, may encourage chronic skin conditions such as acne and atopic dermatitis”
Nutrition and Supplementation work systemically at the cellular level and throughout the whole body to support:
Healthy Skin Begins with a Healthy Gut. Our digestive system contains hundreds of different species of bacteria that may be either beneficial or harmful to our health. More than 70% of our important immune cells live in the gut and are dependent on healthy gut flora.
Good bacteria (probiotics) are involved in many functions including the production of vitamins, maintaining growth and health of gut cells and boosting immunity. While harmful bacteria, if predominate, can contribute to poor quality of health, including the health and appearance of your skin.
Your skin also harbors a variety of bacterial communities that play a central role in protection against harmful pathogens and stressors, this is called the “skin microbiome.” When skin microflora is out of balance this leads to an outgrowth of potential pathogenic bacteria. Clinical research has shown that blemish prone and inflammatory skin conditions have a less diverse skin microbiome, over populated with pathogens and damaging stressors compared to those with healthy skin.
“A plant based, organic, unprocessed type diet with probiotic rich and lacto fermented type foods has become a growing area of interest to improve microbial diversity and promote healthy gut and skin microbiome”
Targeted nutrition inside and out to protect, purify, brighten and firm the skin.
If we think about what skincare could take from nutrition it would be to offer a synergy of nutrients that nourish, protect and enhance outer skin appearance (epidermis). Over the last few years manufacturing technologies have advanced to bring such stable ingredients to the market today. Similar to diet and supplementation, natural, organic and plant-based skincare brings the highest concentration in quality and purity offering superior benefits for the skin, without the toxicity.
“Choose Pure, Organic, Nutrient & Antioxidant Rich Foods (and Skincare) More Often”
FROM DIET - Nutrition experts encourage us to consume the “colors” of the rainbow from fruits and vegetables and there is a reason for that. Those deep colored foods provide concentrated sources of dietary antioxidants (carotenoids and polyphenols,) that may offer protective properties for the skin. Choose local, organic and in season produce for maximum nutrient density while reducing exposure to residues and pesticides. Clinical studies have shown that catechins from green tea, anthocyanins from berries, sulforaphane from broccoli and red cabbage, resveratrol from red wine, bioflavonoids from citrus, carotenoids such as lycopene and lutein from tomatoes, are some of the potent secondary antioxidants that protect the skin cells from free radical damage. In order to sustain their benefit in the body they should be consumed regularly through foods, freshly made juices, teas and elixirs because they can be quickly neutralized in the body before reaching skin tissue.
FROM SKINCARE - Some of the most promising stable and nutrient focused ingredients working “from the outside in” include antioxidants such as pomegranate, goji berry, raspberry and acai berry that help to protect and shield skin barrier from free radical damage. Seaweed extracts detoxify and firm skin, while herbs such as rosemary improve microcirculation to the epidermal layer. Avocado, almond and sesame oils are rich in omega fatty acids to replenish skin moisture, plump and restore skins moisture barrier.
AS AN INTEGRATED SYSTEM, topical active nutrients care for the outer surface of skin (epidermis,) to protect and revitalize skin appearance, while nutrition works from within the deeper layer of skin (dermis,) the connective tissue below the epidermis that gives skin it’s strength and resilience and the site where new skin cells are produced. This combination of skincare brings a more favorable option to detox, nourish, protect, brighten and firm the skin from the inside and out.
In Health & Beauty,
Paula is a holistic beauty expert who has integrated her expertise in nutrition, natural health and beauty to drive innovation within the medical, wellness and personal care sectors. With global recognition as a formulation expert, Paula has dedicated her time in educating both the medical aesthetic and personal care industries on the importance of nutrition to promote natural beauty and healthy aging. She has successfully combined her scientific and holistic nutrition background to create some of the most successful beauty wellness products and programs available today. As a consultant, Paula’s strength in natural health proved successful for many clients including top celebrities, executives, children and competitive athletes. She is regularly sought after as an industry speaker, media expert and a frequent contributor for many of the leading health, beauty and spa publications worldwide. Paula has been formally recognized as one of the leading innovators & powerful women in the natural beauty industry today. https://paulasimpson.com/At WELL WITHIN, we are deeply committed to providing the information you need to make the best decisions in your personal quest for beauty, nutrition and lifestyle wellness. Our PLANTED IN BEAUTY skincare products are created with the belief that wellness and beauty are inextricably linked. Our comprehensive skincare line is derived exclusively from natural sources, containing the highest level of organic ingredients, while remaining completely free of chemicals and toxins. With passion and purpose, we aim to inspire and empower you to become the healthiest version of yourself. Explore our beauty wellness solutions at wellwithinbeauty.com.
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