The skin is the largest organ you possess, and it really takes a beating throughout your life because it tends to be abused. The skin is a layer which protects you, but it also allows you to absorb molecules like vitamin D, and excretes toxins though the production of oil and sweat. As you age, your skin can become damaged from external influences like sunlight, as well as from internal insults such as a poor diet and smoking.
Nutrients for Healthy Skin
This mineral is found in foods like oysters, beef, seafood, and beans, as well as in an oral or topical supplement. Zinc is very important, because it works very closely with vitamin A that you eat to improve tissue healing, decrease inflammation in the skin, and speed up the healing process from the damage caused from the sun’s rays and air pollution. This mineral will help you maintain clear skin.
This important mineral—found in higher amounts in nuts, beef, fish, turkey, and eggs—works with vitamin E to fight the free radicals which can cause inflammation and damage to your skin following sunlight exposure, making it another important mineral to achieving clear skin. Selenium is also available in oral supplemental forms. Add this mineral to your natural skincare remedy.
3. Vitamins E and C
Vitamin E—found in nuts, seeds, plant oils, and green vegetables—is responsible for preventing the formation of free radicals in the fatty confines of your skin layers. Excessive sun and pollution can damage the fatty cell membranes in your skin and cause premature aging—something you want to avoid if you like clear skin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant contained in higher amounts in colorful fruits, vegetables, and herbs—a must for your natural skincare regimen. This vitamin may be the most important free-radical scavenger for the skin, because not only does it protect the skin from ultraviolet damage, but it also works its magic by producing new collagens and regenerating damaged collagens. These vitamins are available in oral and topical supplements.
This nutrient is commonly found in green tea, sweet potatoes, kale, berries, and broccoli. It is a phytochemical compound with very strong antioxidant properties. Quercetin has been shown to guard against the associated free-radical damage to the skin caused from exposure to the sun’s rays, so include foods with quercetin in your diet for healthy, clear skin.
5. Omega-3 Fats
These super-special fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna; and flaxseed oil can decrease the inflammation caused from the continued exposure of the skin to harmful sunlight. These polyunsaturated fatty acids can help repair damaged cellular membranes and decrease the inflammatory response. This natural skincare remedy is easy to do: just eat several servings of fish per week, or you can take supplements or ground flaxseed.
5. Coenzyme Q-10
Your natural skincare routine is not complete without this potent antioxidant. It is extremely important, as it repairs the damage caused from sunlight and pollution by increasing the ability of our skin cells to naturally repair themselves. It accomplishes this task by increasing the cells’ energy production, which speeds the repair process. For healthy, clear skin, I recommend a supplement containing 60–100 mg of oil-based coenzyme Q10, taken daily with food or applied directly to the skin in a topical solution.
Schagen, S.K., et al., “Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging,” July 2012; 4(3): 298-307.
Yin, Y., et al., “Quercitrin Protects Skin from UVB-induced Oxidative Damage,” Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. March 29, 2013, [Epub ahead of print].