The body requires a large number of nutrients to maintain good health. Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals play a pivotal role in the function of many biological processes, and can’t be synthesized within the body- they can only be found through dietary intake.
The best way to ensure that your body is provided with all of the micronutrients it needs is by maintaining a nutritionally balanced diet, but unfortunately the busy nature of modern life can often make it difficult to follow healthy lifestyle habits.
One of the first places in which poor nutrition begins to show is the skin. Just a few weeks of unhealthy eating can cause breakouts, fine lines, wrinkles, dry skin and other cosmetic effects that can take months to fully recover from.
The skin is a highly accurate indicator of overall health, and as so few of us have sufficient time in our schedules to follow a healthy meal plan and engage in monthly facials, problematic skin is an extremely common issue.
What Is Problematic Skin?
Problematic skin covers a wide range of skin conditions. Minor skin irritations such as dry skin or frequent small breakouts fall under the umbrella term of problematic skin, as do more serious conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema.
Particularly troublesome skin conditions include melasma, hyper-pigmentation, skin tags and keloid scarring.
The effects of premature skin aging such as wrinkles, crow's feet and age spots can also be classified as problematic skin. Occasionally the causes of problematic skin issues can be genetic, but in most cases poor skin health is caused by environmental factors such as stress.
Lifestyle habits and skin health are closely linked. The busy lifestyle that results from balancing work, family and leisure time combined with widespread poor nutrition and skin-damaging environmental factors such as pollution and chemical-laden soaps requires individuals with problematic skin to take extra care in maintaining skin health.
Most skin issues are caused by a decline in the physiological health of the dermal layer, or the middle of the skin.
Skin health is linked closely to immune system function as the first line of defense against external pathogens, which is in turn linked closely to the metabolism and digestive system.
The easiest and most effective way of ensuring your body is getting the correct nutrients it needs to promote good skin health is through health supplements.
Many of the critical micronutrients that the body needs to maintain the skin can only be found by adding specific foods to the diet, which is impractical in many cases.
Dietary supplements are a simple and effective method of increasing your nutritional intake. Vitamins and mineral supplements are designed to promote overall bodily health, but there is a new breed of nutritional supplement that has become available in recent years- nutricosmetics.
What Are Nutricosmetics?
Just as there are dietary supplements designed to promote muscle growth or better digestive health, Nutricosmetics are formulated to contain a wide array of ingredients that support the restorative processes that heal the skin.
There are multiple nutrients that when used to supplement dietary intake, can enhance the rate at which the body is able to repair the damage caused by external environmental factors.
Collagen is the primary element that the body uses to repair broken skin, and is manufactured from the breakdown of silica and other minerals gained from dietary intake.
Foods That Contain These Nutrients
There are in many foods, such as tomatoes, which offer three distinct elements that promote good skin health. Phytofluene, Phytoene and Lycopene are able to activate biochemical processes within the body that reduce inflammation, offering a reduction in skin puffiness, dark circles under eyes and other unwanted skin conditions.
There are many such vegetables, herbs and botanicals that contain positive nutraceuticals. One of the most extensively researched natural compounds that contributes to skin health is diosmin, a flavone found in citrus fruits.
Vitamin E, another essential nutraceutical, has been shown to promote positive skin health, which is commonly found in aloe vera extract and coconut oil.
Nutricosmetics Review Summary
While these compounds aren’t always sold as skin health promoting products, they have the ability to significantly enhance overall health and promote better cosmetic appearance.
Other nutritional elements can also contribute to overall health, enhancing skin health and appearance. Fish oil, flax, and chia seeds all contain omega 3 and omega 6 fatty oils, which promote the production of collagen and circulation, contributing to better skin health.
Similarly, plant ceramides are able to increase skin hydration and the moisture retention capacity of the external dermal layers, lessening the damage caused by dry skin. Other positive vitamins for skin maintenance include vitamin D and B, zinc, and potassium.