One of my favorite poets, Pablo Neruda, penned that line in Ode to a Beautiful Nude.
How appropriate for this post! How can you feed your skin from within so you have that inner luminosity that no amount of expensive serum, sleep, or sex can create, and that poets write about?
In my experience, clean living and clean eating is the cheapest and most effective way – there’s no magic in it, just a lot of attention to detail (and Pinterest posts and reading the beautiful people’s blogs for recipes) and cooking. Which means cleaning up too, because your dude just eats it and falls asleep. Mainly because you didn’t train him right from the very beginning. But back to clean eating – we all strive for that, and should be doing it ALL THE TIME. But as usual, I have come up with a way to get around it if you happen to slip up once or twice. Or five times, or all year. It happens, because we have lives we have to live. We need solutions! That’s why I’m here. I understand you, AND your needs.
As you know, skin suffers from poor nutrition, lack of proper cleansing (inside and out), dry winter air, alcohol, sleepless nights, working too hard…basically, LIVING is bad for your skin. I’m going to focus on what you can do for your skin nutritionally that really works. This list serves as an addition – the “extras” – to a high-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement containing at least 10,000 units of Vitamin A, a good spectrum of B-vitamins, and adequate Zinc. This is your base. There are several out there that may fit your lifestyle, be it one-a-day, 6 a day, including digestive enzymes to prevent that vitamin burp, or containing supplemental herbs for women’s health. Pick a great one!
Number 1 on my list is a good MULTI:
What makes skin beautiful? The structural proteins of skin (collagen, elastin, and keratin) give it firmness and elasticity. You want the kind of skin that snaps back like a baby’s cheek. Collagen is the main structural protein of the connective tissue in the body created by epithelial cells and fibroblasts. The various collagens and the structures they form all serve the same purpose: to help tissues withstand stretching and GRAVITY.
The surface layers of the skin are supported from below by columns of fibers made up mostly of collagen and elastin. This network of fibers forms the molecular sponge known as connective tissue. The spaces within this sponge are filled with a composition of water, protein complexes, and hyaluronic acid. This jelly-like complex transports essential nutrients from the bloodstream, via the capillaries in your skin. Hyaluronic acid attracts and holds water, which is what plumps your skin so that wrinkles and lines are less visible.
To make collagen, the fibroblasts need amino acids (building blocks of protein) like proline, glycine, and lysine. They also need certain co-factors including ascorbic acid, or vitamin C. The thing about vitamin C is that we burn through it really quickly in the stressful world we live in today, and it’s water-soluble, which means what isn’t used in a few hours is excreted in your urine, NOT stored for later use. Fortunately, it’s easy to get in food and supplement form, and there’s a timed-release option available. BINGO.
So, Number 2 on my list is Timed-release Vitamin C:
Next is protein. Amino acids are found in all sources of protein. Some are more easily digested and absorbed than others, which increases the bioavailability. In general, animal proteins have a more complete amino acid profile, and plant proteins need to be combined. Collagen protein is 20 times higher in glycine and proline than other sources (remember the fibroblasts and their needs) and is very well-absorbed, which makes it ideal for boosting collagen production in the body. It’s derived from gelatin, which as we all know, makes your hair and nails grow. Take this stuff, 2 Tbsp a day, and you will be amazed. I am not kidding! It’s virtually tasteless. I mix it in my coffee, tea, soup, smoothies, and sometimes in the interest of just gettin’ it done, in some plain hot water. Two choices, both excellent.
Since collagen is a very cross-linked molecule with a lot of bonds to make it strong, you need sulfur to help make it. A good source of sulfur with several other health benefits is MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane. MSM helps make the skin cells more permeable, and therefore more absorbent and receptive to plumping and hydration. The sulfur provided by MSM produces generous quantities of collagen and keratin, both of which are vital for healthy hair, skin and nails. In fact, MSM is often referred to as the ‘beauty mineral’ owing to its ability to add to enhance the thickness and strength of nails as well as hair in a very short span of time.
Number 4 on my list is MSM:
Hyaluronic Acid is a viscous fluid carbohydrate (not one to avoid!!!) that attracts and holds water. Roughly 50% of the Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in our body is found in the skin. HA and Collagen are vital to maintaining the skin’s layers and structure. It is the collagen that gives the skin its firmness but it is the HA that nourishes and hydrates the collagen. HA is well absorbed orally when taken on an empty stomach. As an aside, it is also excellent for joints. Take 70-100 mg twice a day with other supplements that are absorbed best without food.
Number 7: Hyaluronic Acid
To wrap it up, if you had to pick one, it would be the Multi. The second one I would get is the Collagen Peptides. This is of utmost importance if you’re considering an aesthetic procedure or healing from one. The rest are icing on the cake!
Yours in safe beauty,