Is your skin feeling unhealthy after all the summer sun (yes, there was some!)? Summer is our favourite season of the year, but it’s also a time when it’s a good idea to pay particular attention to skin health. Next summer may seem like a lifetime away (who knows though, there could yet be an Indian summer on the way) but it’s never too soon to think about our advice below for great looking skin:
If the skin is to receive all of the nutrients and oxygen it requires to glow, then the blood supply to the skin needs to be carefully considered. Fortunately, pycnogenol is a plant-based extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree and can be taken as a supplement to improve blood circulation. This can help with skin hydration and vitality. Pycnogenol can also help to reduce wrinkles by binding with skin proteins collagen and elastin to protect from various harmful enzymes. It rebuilds elasticity too, which is essential for smooth, youthful skin. On top of all of this, it has been shown to reduce over-pigmentation for a more even complexion.
Of course, we all want to be trying to avoid sunburn once we get the opportunity to enjoy some rays. In terms of sun care, sunburn is an inflammation caused by free radical induced tissue damage. By neutralising these free radicals, pycnogenol helps protect the skin from the stress and damage of sunburn.
To get healthy skin, hair and nails, don’t underestimate the effectiveness of essential fatty acids like Omega 3. The richest source of Omega 3 is fish oil from oily fish such as herring, salmon, tuna and sardines. Omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory, making it good for irritable, sore skin. Many people choose to take an Omega 3 fish oil supplement. Due to concern about environmental pollution in fish, it is safest to choose a supplement which contains oil from the flesh of the fish, rather than the liver.
There’s also various health benefits to adding Omega 7 fatty acids to your diet. Omega 7 sea buckthorn oil capsules from Pharma Nord contain oil from a tiny berry and help with lubrication through the body, for instance, protecting the internal organs, as well as the linings of the eyes, mouth and skin. Sea buckthorn oil is one of the best natural oils for mature and wrinkled skin due to its essential fatty acid and vitamin E, C and A properties. It has nourishing, moisturising and restorative action, promoting tissue regeneration and reducing age-induced skin wrinkling and signs of premature ageing. Sea buckthorn oil also has natural sun protecting power.
If you’re exposed to strong levels of sunlight, then your skin will be at risk of damage from free radicals. There are 25 types of collagen in the body and, along with elastin, they give skin texture and structure. Free radical damage causes collagen and elastin to break down, which leads to wrinkles and skin losing its firmness. Antioxidants such as vitamin C and coenzyme Q10 can protect cells from the damaging effects of these toxic chemicals.
Vitamin C can be delivered to the body through fruit and veg, though bear in mind that cooking and food processing can easily destroy this vitamin. Levels of vitamin C are also reduced by factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol and certain drugs such as antidepressants and oral contraceptives. As a result, many people turn to supplements to ensure they get enough of this vital nutrient. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 60mg/day of 120mg/day if you are a smoker.
Meanwhile, the vitamin-like substance coenzyme Q10 can also be obtained through a healthy diet. However, most will be created within our bodies. Our ability to do this decreases from our mid-twenties though, making supplements important. Coenzyme Q10 plays an important role in producing energy in our bodies and is also a powerful antioxidant. This means it protects the skin from free radical damage and promotes effective skin repair. Coenzyme Q10 has been proven to reduce the depth of fine lines and wrinkles over time.
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By Mike Valverde