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Updated: Dec 21, 2022

What if I told you that what you put inside your body is as critical if not more as what you put on the outside? Yes, protection against the sun, the weather changes and other environmental factors is important but it is not the only thing that is making you look older than you want.

To better understand how our skin starts to sag and wrinkles, we should look at the factors that area critical for the maintenance of healthy skin.

Normal healthy has a smooth Epidermis with impeccably smooth outer layer that acts and a perfect barrier to the environment. The tone of the skin is even and free on blemishes, age spots, acne, open pores, blackheads, etc… In order to achieve/maintain this perfect there are some key ingredients that our body absolutely needs. Collagen is required to provide the skin with it’s firmness and elastin is required to provide the elasticity necessary to stretch and return to normal.

Unfortunately, It isn’t sufficient to simply supplement with these products, stay out of the sun and have the skin of an 8 yr old when we are 80. But, we do several things to slow down the process and put the odds on our side.

A few things that are making your skin age faster than it should


UV rays: Excessive exposure to the sun causes an increase in ROS (reactive oxygen species ) and oxidative stress. To make matters worse, some sunscreens which contain octocrylene, octylmethoxycinnamate, or benzophenone-3 have proven to be unstable when exposed to UV radiation and can actually make things worse for you. Sunscreens have also been known to contain endocrie disrupters such asd oxybenzone and benzophenone-3.

Fragrances: If you are not willing to eat what you put on your skin, then don’t put it on your skin. There are once again known endocrine disrupters ( phthalates) and irritants in the skin care products we often use.

Not getting enough sleep

Control your blood sugar: Those who struggle with the ability to regulate their blood sugar and proper glucose metabolism (diabetics) often have an increase in skin problems. And since glucose is the preferred source for our skin cells, having just the right amounts goes a long way.

Get your healthy protein in: Our skin repairs itself with the use of amino acids which are derived from the protein that we eat. Some of these amino acids are especially helpful when it comes to collagen production which as you know is critical to healthy looking skin.

Get your healthy fats in! Since deficiencies in essential amino acids can lead to transepidermal water loss and flaky skin, it would make sense to ensure we have diets that are rich in essential fatty acids. The health benefits of omega-3 and omega-6bin the proper ratio is therefore critical in healthy skin appearance. Keep in mind though that the skin is often a window to what is going on inside so the benefits of essential fatty acids go further than just the skin. Now although the virtues of healthy fats have been proven in many studies, eating the fats won’t counteract the damage of eating unhealthy fats. Taking you capsule of fish oil after a a bucket f fried chicken in canola oil won’t erase that damage you caused bu ingesting these unhealthy fats which cause oxidative damage to our cells and are then used as building block for our cells lipid membranes.

Key micronutrients for radiant skin

Vitamin A: Often seen as an active ingredient in skin care products, vitamin A, has several beneficial impacts on our skin. Vit-A thickens our dermis, promotes the turnover of new skin cells, inhibits the activity of sebaceous glands and downregulates androgen formation (excess androgen can lead to skin problems)

Best sources: Spirulina, Chlorella, cod liver oil, Mackerel, beef liver, Sweet potatoes, winters squash, kale, collards, turnip and carrots.

Omega-3: Consumed in the proper ratio with omega-6, omega-3’s have been proven to be effective anti-inflammatory agents that have health benefits across hundreds of physiological functions. For our skin, reducing oxidative stress can help alleviate the damage caused by the sun and ease conditions such as rashes and skin irritation.

Best sources: Cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, cod and mackerel. One can also obtain omega-3 from Krill, oysters, flax seeds and chia seeds.

Zinc: When we think about our skin repairing itself, we should see it as an immune function. With this in mind, zinc is a crucial element as it will support the repair of all cells and even aid in protein synthesis needed for that repair. Zinc has also been found to be beneficial in the ;protection against UV damage.

Best sources: Oysters, shellfish, legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and beans. Also in seeds such as pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds. Some nuts such as cashews and almonds. Eggs and dark chocolate are also good choices.

Vitamin C: For those interested in increasing their antioxidants, supporting /regulating collagen production and increasing their ability to repair their skin, VIT-C should be part of their diets. As a relatively potent antioxidant, it can also mitigate against the damage caused by the sun.

Best sources: Citrus fruits, baobab, Moringa, strawberries, bell peppers and broccoli.

Astaxanthin: Perhaps saving the best for last, asthaxanthin is what I refer to as nature’s natural sunblock. This powefull antioxidant is much more potent than vitamin C, E, CoQ10 when it comes to protecting your skin cells from oxidative stress. Primarily produced by Haematococcus Pluvialis when the proper conditions are present (cell under stress from the environment). The red substance produced by this cell becomes part of the food chain and is responsible for the red color we see in flamingos’ salmon, crabs, lobsters and shrimp and more.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Very powerful free radical scavenger

  • Increases internal antioxidant defenses

  • Inhibits ROS( reactive oxygen species)

  • Reduced NF-kb which doen regulated TNF-a, IL-1b and IL -6 . Thus reducing inflammation.

  • Inhibits COCX-2 (cyclooxygenase), prostaglandin E2 and CV-Reactive protein.

  • Has been show to protect against sunburn

  • Improve vision in middle aged subjects

  • Reduction of crows feet

  • Increased elasticity of the skin

  • Protects against excessive free radical production due to exercise.

  • Increase in exercise capacity


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