Have you decided to improve your look this year? You can start with your skin. Taking better care of your skin can go a long way towards improving your physical appearance, which will lead to you being more confident. It is a fact we all feel better about ourselves when we know we look good.
Having healthy beautiful skin is a process and it starts from the inside. Whether you want to believe it or not, what you put inside your body will at some point make itself seen via your skin. Therefore, the first step you want to take towards better skin care is to watch what you eat.
Health experts say that vitamins and minerals in all forms play an integral role in a healthy complexion, whether the source is food, supplements, or even a jar of cream. Your skin is the fingerprint of what is going on inside your body, and all skin conditions, from psoriasis to acne to ageing, are the manifestations of your body's internal needs, including its nutritional needs.
There is a range of vitamins that aid in the promotion of healthy skin. Vitamins C, E, K, A and B complex all help improve skin health. Here's how:
Vitamins C and E counter the effects of sun exposure. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, vitamins C and E help by reducing the damage caused by free radicals, a harmful byproduct of sunlight, smoke, and pollution. Free radicals eat up collagen and elastin, the fibres that support skin structure, causing wrinkles and other signs of ageing. When these two vitamins are combined in a lotion, they can be highly protective against sun damage. We who live in the tropics have a tendency to take exposure to the sun for granted. It is recommended that sun screen is always worn (of at least SPF 25) and exposure be limited between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
You can also keep your skin healthy by ensuring you take in enough vitamin C and E. Vitamin C is readily available in citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens, while vitamin E can be found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, and asparagus.
In addition, vitamin E in a lotion or cream can soothe dry rough skin.
If you have a flaky, dry skin, chances are, you are not getting enough vitamin A. Vitamin A is necessary for the maintenance and repair of skin tissue. Without it, you'll notice the difference. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamin A. Topical vitamin A is the form that makes a real difference in your skin. Medical studies show a reduction in lines and wrinkles, good acne control, and some psoriasis relief, all from using creams containing this nutrient.
When it comes to skin, the single most important B vitamin is biotin, a nutrient that forms the basis of skin, nail, and hair cells. Without adequate amounts, you may end up with dermatitis (an itchy, scaly skin reaction) or sometimes even hair loss. Even a mild deficiency causes symptoms.
Most people get enough biotin without even trying. It's found in many foods including bananas, eggs, oatmeal, and rice, plus your body also makes some biotin on its own.
But recently, greater attention is being paid to topical preparations containing B vitamins. These creams can help give skin an almost instant healthy glow while hydrating cells and increasing overall tone. Niacin, a specific B vitamin, helps skin retain moisture, so creams containing this nutrient can help your complexion look younger in as little as six days. Niacin also has anti-inflammatory properties to soothe dry, irritated skin. In higher concentrations it can also work as a lightening agent to even out blotchy skin tone.
As the nutrient responsible for helping blood clot, Vitamin K won't do much for your skin from the inside. But studies presented to the American Academy of Dermatology in 2003 showed that topical vitamin K works well to reduce circles under the eye as well as bruises. When combined with vitamin A in a cream, vitamin K can be even more effective for those dark circles. In a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, doctors from the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo found that the topical application of a gel containing a derivative of vitamin K, as well as vitamins A, C, and E, was effective in reducing dark under-eye circles while also decreasing wrinkles.
Some minerals are also beneficial when it comes to skin health. These include Selenium, Copper, and Zinc.
All that you need to achieve for healthy beautiful skin is at your finger tips, or at the very least in your favourite grocery store. Most of the nutrients your skin needs you can get from a multivitamin and a good diet. The key thing to note is not buy out your health store, but to use these nutrients intelligently in a way that is beneficial to you. The best thing you can do for your skin, is to drink plenty of water, use gentle products to cleanse your skin, always wear sun screen, eat a balanced diet, then, with advice from your primary care physician, you can add to that care, nutritional supplements.