6 SUPPLEMENTS FOR BETTER SKIN
We're often so focussed upon the products we're layering onto our skin to remedy our skincare concerns that we neglect to acknowledge that what goes in to our bodies can have just as much effect upon our complexions. Whilst no pill can compensate for a poor diet or lack of sleep, the case for supplementation is that our lifestyles are packed with variables that are more often that not contributing towards the depletion of those vitamins and minerals vital to maintaining good skin health.
I first started supplementing my skincare routine back in February, whilst suffering a particularly nasty bout of hormonal acne. As regards hormonal acne there really is only so much that products applied topically can do; as a rule, lotions and potions can help to clear and soothe existing blemishes, but as the cause lies within, they are rarely preventative. There are a wealth of easily obtained medications, which offer a speedy but short-term fix, but supplements offer a kinder, more natural course of treatment, which will result in far better skin in the long-term. Almost a year down the line, and thanks to a combination of the below and a dairy-free diet, my skin is at the best it's been in years. Aside from clearing and preventing hormonal breakouts, my once combination skin is [for the first time since my teens] 'normal' and balanced. Breakouts are few and far between, my blemish marks are barely discernible and I no longer suffer from dry cheeks or an oily T-zone.
All of the below are relatively inexpensive and can easily be picked up in a large pharmacy or supermarket. I typically purchase mine from Boots where a seemingly infinite '3 for 2' offer [and my ever helpful staff discount card] render them a real bargain.
Zinc is [clinically proven to be] one of the best supplements you can take if you suffer from acne or blemish-prone skin. Not only does it help to balance hormones, but it also speeds up the healing process by encouraging cell renewal - making a dramatic impact upon the appearance of blemish marks and scars. A common ingredient found in skincare products that seek to calm redness and inflammation, zinc is a fast-worker, and will make a difference within a matter of days. I'm a particularly fervent advocate of zinc supplements, and would particularly recommend it to anyone suffering from hormonal acne breakouts - it cleared up a particularly nasty bout I suffered late last year.
Vitamin C vastly benefits skin due to its collagen synthesising properties; collagen is the tissue found naturally within skin that helps it to remain supple and firm. Due to environmental damage, collagen production decreases as we age, typically leading to the appearance of loose, lined skin. Vitamin C helps not only to strengthen and encourage collagen production, but also to neutralise the free radicals that seek to damage it. Additionally, it also helps to decrease sensitivity to sunburn, speed up the skin's healing process, and calm inflammation [can you spot the theme emerging here?].
Omegas were originally recommended to me by an ophthalmologist for preventing dry eyes, but had a much more beneficial impact upon my skin. Fantastic for reducing inflammation, these are another must for those suffering from acne - particularly of the hormonal variety - and [whilst I can't personally speak for their efficiency in these areas] are also frequently recommended to those suffering from similar inflammatory skincare issues such as rosacea and psoriasis. Working on the premise that oily skin is typically overproducing oil in reaction to an oil deficiency, taking Omegas can hugely help to regulate and prevent excess oil production. Note also that Omegas are incredibly rich in fatty acids, which act as a natural moisturiser and keep skin hydrated from inside out - so can be extremely beneficial to those suffering from dry as well as oily complexions.
An ingredient we're well-versed in ensuring ranks high within the moisturising additions to our daily skincare routines; swallowing the stuff can result in healthier, more hydrated skin thanks to its ability to retain a hundred times its weight in water. Typically a supplement recommended to those concerned with 'anti-ageing' [it promotes collagen production], hyaluronic acid is also extremely beneficial to those looking to combat the appearance of dry and dehydrated skin, and hugely benefits tissue repair and cell protection.
Skin is often said to be the outer reflection of the body's inner ailments, so it's a no-brainer that maintaining a good level of general health and physical functionality will have a beneficial impact upon the complexion. A multivitamin blend is an excellent way to ensure that everything is catered for, without overloading on any one thing. Typically look for a multivitamin blend containing at least Vitamins A, B3, D, and E. Vitamin A is commonly found within topical acne treatments, and serves to reduce inflammation and excess oil production, whilst Vitamin B3 is renowned for its ability to calm redness and prevent blemish marks and dark spots from forming. Commonly known as 'the sunshine vitamin', Vitamin D helps to reduce inflammation, and Vitamin E is an antioxidant that fights the free radical damage that leads to the appearance of 'aged' skin, and helps to quell dryness by encouraging skin to retain moisture. All bases covered, no matter what your skincare concern.
The most recent addition to my stash of supplements, I've long since championed the positive effect that drinking green tea has upon skin so decided to see how effective green tea extract would be. Rich in cell-protecting antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, green tea helps to fight free radicals, neutralise UV light, and encourage cell renewal - all of which will significantly improve skin's health and condition. Green tea is also rich in catechins which are antibacterial and calm hormone activity, so this is another great one for hormonal acne sufferers.
Note that vitamins should not be seen as a 'cure' and may not demonstrate the same levels of success for everyone who uses them. They can also be dangerous if you overdo them, so do ensure that your supplements remain just that - an additional step to complement a healthy, balanced diet and efficient skincare routine.
How do you supplement your skincare regime?