Doctors and Nutritionists recommend eating Omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy heart, Vitamin C for a healthy immune system and a plenty of protein to balance blood sugar levels. While you may already be mindful of what you eat to stay healthy and nourished, you may not realise that your food can greatly impact the health of your skin just as it does your other essential body systems.
Healthy and youthful skin begins with eating the right foods. There are key vitamins, minerals and amino acids that are essential for radiant, glowing skin. Select vitamins and nutrients play a key role in strengthening the skin structure, enabling it to protect your body from harmful elements like UV rays and environmental toxins. However, it takes more than just adding these nutrients into a less-than-healthy diet. Eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. The right nutrition contributes to making your skin plump and smooth, protects it against damage from free radicals and provides the essential amino acids to build collagen that maintains the structural integrity of the skin. Certain carotenoids like lycopene may protect the skin from sun damage and may help reduce the appearance of blemishes, wrinkles and fine lines.
In this post, we discuss several nutrients that may improve your skin health and vitality. Drinking plenty of water is one way to ensure healthy, radiant skin, as it keeps your skin plump and hydrated, makes wrinkles and pores less prominent and improves the skin’s elasticity. Protein in the diet is also essential for skin repair, maintenance and regeneration. Protein is broken down into amino acids that are the main building blocks to rebuild and restore the skin’s three main structural proteins: collagen, elastin and keratin.
Vitamins also play an important role and act as building blocks to protect and nurture the skin. While we mainly focus on the benefits of vitamins, we also recommend foods that are rich in these vitamins so you can easily add them into your diet. It may come as no surprise that fruits and vegetables are one of the best sources of vitamins that keep your skin healthy.
While it’s important to feed our bodies with the right nutrition and we take care of our skin from the inside, it is equally important to feed our skin right from the outside! The same nutrients we feed ourselves can also be used effectively in topical skincare products to benefit skin health.
At Iryasa, many of the active ingredients we use in our products contain some of the vitamins listed below to optimise efficacy and benefit your skin health. This brief but essential list will serve as an important guide to help make sure you include these skin-healthy nutrients both in your diet and in your skincare routine for beautiful skin, inside and out!
When ingested, Vitamin A is processed in the liver and converted to retinol, which is easily absorbed by the skin to enhance its health. Retinol stimulates the body to produce new skin cells and also hydrates the skin. People who lack Vitamin A often suffer from dry and scaly skin, and other skin concerns like acne and wrinkles can also result from Vitamin A deficiency.
Vitamin A benefits the skin when consumed in different foods, as well as when it is applied topically to the skin. Since Vitamin A is fully absorbed by the skin, it is an extremely effective ingredient to use in topical skincare products. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends topical retinoids to treat acne and a report in Toxicological Research showed that topical retinoids can stimulate collagen production and reduce wrinkles.
Foods that contain Vitamin A include vegetables like carrots and tomatoes, fruits such as mangos, apricots and plums. You can also get Vitamin A in your diet from fish, dairy and eggs. Aloe Vera, a common skincare ingredient, is also high in vitamin A and helps with smoothing out fine lines and keeping the skin hydrated.
Well-known for its antioxidant properties, Vitamin C helps protect against excessive sun exposure, environmental stressors & pollutants and visible signs of aging. Vitamin C also plays an important role in collagen production, making it a vital ingredient for skin structure and health.
Taking Vitamin C supplements, eating foods rich in Vitamin C, or applying it directly onto the skin can help boost the effectiveness of sunscreen to protect against UV rays. The antioxidant properties of Vitamin C minimizes skin damage caused by free radicals and helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles on the skin. Vitamin C also promotes collagen production which helps in skin repair, wound healing and formation of scar tissue. Further, high levels of collagen is also responsible for young and healthy skin.
Foods that are rich in vitamin C include – fruits such as oranges, strawberries and pomegranates. Being commonly available in most citrus fruits, one would think vitamin C deficiency is quite rare! Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t consume the recommended amount of vitamin C per day, which is 1000 mg for adults.
Lastly, Vitamin C when applied topically is also absorbed into the skin and provides many skin benefits due to its antioxidant properties and its role in collagen production, as mentioned above.
Also known as the “sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D is naturally produced when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Cholesterol in your skin is converted to Vitamin D upon sun exposure, which has several important functions in the body, including maintaining normal growth & development of bones, teeth and improving immune function. Being a potent antioxidant, it is also crucial for skin health – it helps in skin cell growth, repair and helps prevent skin ageing. Studies have suggested that Vitamin D may help control skin inflammations and wound healing.
In fact, one of the signs of Vitamin D deficiency is dry, irritated skin. Vitamin D deficiency is actually quite common in people living away from the equator, especially during the winter months when there is reduced sun exposure. Most people don’t even realise they have a deficiency because often the symptoms are not severe.
To ensure you’re getting enough in your diet, eat plenty of vitamin D-rich foods like fish, eggs and mushrooms. Vitamin D is also readily absorbed into the skin, so topical application results in benefits such as smoother skin and fading of wrinkles and fine lines.
Vitamin E is one of the most common skincare ingredients and for good reason! It can act as an extremely effective skin healer in topical skincare products. It helps soothe skin irritations, burns, scars and repairs skin damage. Due to its antioxidant properties, Vitamin E protects the skin from oxidative damage that results from environmental stressors and fights off free radicals.
The presence of Vitamin E in skin cell membranes keeps the skin moisturised and healthy. Dermatologists often recommend vitamin E for treating many different skin disorders, as it promotes the healing and rebuilding of damaged skin cells. At Iryasa, several of our products contain Sweet Almond Oil for its high Vitamin E content.
While Vitamin E is a fantastic addition to your skincare routine, it’s important to get sufficient natural Vitamin E through your diet. Some excellent sources of Vitamin E are nuts such as almonds and peanuts, seeds, wheatgerm oil, avocados and leafy greens.
Listed above are four of the most important vitamins for maintaining beautiful, healthy skin. Other nutrients include choline, B vitamins and vitamin K. A dual approach might be best to ensure your skin gets the nutrition it needs. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and using skincare products enriched with natural nutrients will provide optimal skin health.
At Iryasa, we are committed to using natural, sustainable ingredient blends that work in harmony to benefit your skin. We use natural ingredients that are rich in essential vitamins and nutrients for your skin– like cucumber, pomegranate, aloe vera and sweet almond oil. In all of our products, we choose only the best blends that work in synergy to balance, nourish and invigorate your skin.