For a while, it seems we collectively forgot the medicinal and anti-aging abilities of food. Instead, our society has largely been focused on topical applications for skin hygiene and health. Although select topical agents such as honey, aloe, clay, and others do provide therapeutic value the truth is, beauty comes from the inside. The use of nutrition and other natural substances for improving skin health traces as far back as Egyptian times.
For some time scientists and researchers have sought to understand how nutrition influences skin health and the aging process. With an increase in peer-reviewed scientific journals and experiences, we have come to understand more clearly some of the important mechanisms of action that give nutrition its healing qualities.
In this article, we want to share with you what science has discovered about a few specific nutrients and their abilities to provide significant improvement in skin health and function. We will be looking specifically at how oral applications of collagen, carotene, astaxanthin, coenzyme Q10, colostrum, zinc, and selenium work to improve skin health.
5 Supplements for Beautiful Skin
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is responsible for structure, stability, and strength, especially within the various layers of the skin. As a nutritional supplement and functional food, it has recently become very popular for its benefits to the skin.
Various studies have found that consuming collagen can improve skin hydration and replace the moisture that is lost by stress and UV-B radiation. It can also reduce inflammatory substances NF-κB and TNF-α and IL-6 levels, which suggests immune-modulating and anti-inflammatory properties, improve skin pliability and elasticity of the skin resulting in greater smoothness, fewer wrinkles, and less skin roughness. Other studies have found that consuming collagen hydrolysate may reduce skin aging with just 1 gram for 12 weeks, specifically leading to a reduction in skin dryness/scaling, fine lines, and wrinkles. 1 2 3 4
According to the research the use of collagen peptide supplements, or consuming collagen-rich foods such as gelatin, chicken feet, bone broth, fish headstock, etc. all provide therapeutic value. Check out our previous blog to learn more about the benefits of marine collagen, which is one of the ingredients in our Alitura Gold Serum.
Carotenoids refer to a class of more than 700 naturally occurring fat-soluble antioxidant pigments (yellow, red, orange) that are found in vegetables, fruits and, animal/fish products. Carotenoids are divided into provitamin A molecules like β-carotene, α-carotene, and β-cryptoxanthin. These can be converted in the body to retinol, which the body actively uses.
Due to their antioxidant properties, carotenoids, specifically, retinol have strong abilities to inhibit oxidative stress and inflammation. Retinol works to protect skin cells from aging by improving cell oxygen consumption and scavenging free radicals that cause oxidative stress. Diets rich in retinol have been shown to prevent cellular skin damage, premature skin aging, and skin cancer. In conclusion, retinol has been shown to protect the skin from aging on a cellular level by inhibiting free radicals, reducing lipid peroxidation, decreasing pro-inflammatory (ROS-oxidative stress), which combined protect against extracellular skin matrix degradation. 5 6 7 8
Astaxanthin was first discovered by Kuhn and Sorensen in 1938 when it was extracted from a lobster. Today, it is a well-known antioxidant and known to be therapeutic for the skin. Numerous skin studies performed with astaxanthin with both topical and oral applications show that it can prevent DNA damage, enhance mitochondrial function and DNA repair, act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, provide UV protection, decrease oxidative stress, enhance immune function by increasing natural killer cell cytotoxic activity, active the antioxidant defense system to produce more antioxidants, prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin, stimulate collagen synthesis and therefore improve the appearance of wrinkles and promote wound healing. 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
According to one study, in just 8 weeks of use, people who supplemented with astaxanthin displayed significant improvements in skin wrinkles (crow’s feet), skin texture, the size of age spots, and moisture levels. You can find astaxanthin in natural red-colored foods such as wild-caught salmon, lobster, krill as well as in supplement form. 21 For topical use, the Alitura Gold Serum features potent antioxidants including Astaxanthin. Regular, daily use can protect the outer layer of the skin.
Coenzyme Q10 was discovered in the mid-1950s as a novel quinone that is actually a precursor to mitochondrial enzymes. In regards to the skin, it actually improves the functioning of the mitochondria of skin cells, naturally of course. Furthermore, it has been found to reduce skin DNA damage and UVA-induced skin damage as well as enhance collagen and elastin expression. It also inhibits inflammatory cytokines IL-1α, IL-6, improves melanin synthesis as well as enhances cellular function, homeostasis, skin hydration, and thickness. 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 In addition to taking internally, Coenzyme Q10 is one of the powerhouse ingredients in our Alitura Gold Serum.
Our last supplement for beautiful skin is colostrum. Colostrum is referred to as the “first milk” produced by mammals (including humans) immediately following parturition. It is said to contain an abundance of immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, growth factors, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and many other important nutrients for the newly born organism.
As a nutritional supplement, it has been found to improve the immunity of the skin, reduce inflammation and promote wound healing. These make it a great regenerative substance for people with acne, scars or damaged skin. 30,31,32, 33 Discover the power of colostrum applied externally in our detoxifying Alitura Clay Mask.
Since the year 2000, we have been aiming to discover the healing, anti-aging effects of nutrition. Although the pursuit lives on, along the way we have discovered that there are many medicinal properties to food such as strong antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory activities that safeguard against the inflammation and ROS production. This can improve skin pigmentation, prevent wrinkles, and enhance the overall skin barrier. As the future unfolds, we will likely see more studies that reveal the complex mechanisms of the skin and how we can best care for it. For now, we have a very simple starting point that is focused on wholesome nutrition and natural living. Download our 'Natural Path to Perfect Skin' e-book to learn more about optimal skin health.
The Natural Path to Perfect Skin
30 PAGES FULL OF SKINCARE SECRETS