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The Best Supplements for Young and Healthy Skin

It is well documented that eating a healthy and well-balanced diet that is high nutrients and antioxidants will slow the skin aging process. So while the following supplements have good research to show beneficial effects for the skin they cannot replace

2021-02-27 16:05:39

skinessential fatty acidscollagenskin healthantioxidant


The skin is the largest organ in the human body and serves the body through a variety of different functions. It protects its internal organs from harmful exposures in the outside world such as chemicals, viruses and bacteria and radiation from the sun and other sources. It plays a role in keeping your body in homeostatsis by absorbing helpful compounds into the body and functions as part of your detoxification system to eliminate things that are not wanted. While it supports and protects our bodies through these and many other functions, it faces an onslaught of damaging attacks.

These daily attacks are what cause signs of damage and aging like wrinkles, pigment changes and sagging. Age and genetics that play are role in skin aging are variables that we don’t have control over, but extrinsic factors such as the foods we eat, smoking, pollution and sunlight exposure are all variables that we have some control over that will affect how our skin looks and functions as we age. 

It is well documented that eating a healthy and well-balanced diet that is high nutrients and antioxidants will slow the skin aging process. So while the following supplements have good research to show beneficial effects for the skin they cannot replace the negative effects of poor diet and lifestyle on your skin and overall health.

Here are some supplements you can add to healthy diet and lifestyle to improve the health of your skin:

 

Antioxidants

There are many different things that have antioxidant activity in the human body. The best way to get a large variety of antioxidants in the body is always through a healthy diet that incorporates many fruits and vegetables in a variety of colours. Antioxidants serve to combat the formation of excessive oxidative free radicals, which are molecules that damage proteins, DNA and many other cells in the body including he complex skin structure(1). 

Some types of antioxidants include plant compounds like carotenoids and polyphenols, quercetin, curcumin, and resveratrol as well as vitamins such as A, C, E and minerals like zinc and selenium(1). There are so many different antioxidant compounds which are abundant in healthy plant based foods which is why it is so important to eat a healthy diet, but finding a supplement that has a variety of antioxidant compounds may be a great addition to a healthy lifestyle to support healthy looking skin. 

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are not made in the body and this need to be consumed in the diet or through supplementation. Their role in fighting inflammation is well known and this is one way in which they can help improve skin health. But EFA’s are also important for skins structure and function and can supplementation can improve skin hydration and protect skin cells from damaging UV rays(1). Lower intake of some unsaturated fatty acids like linoleic acid (LA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) are associated with dry skin, peeling, increased inflammation and slower healing. LA and GLA are found in plants and seeds like wheat germ, soybean, sunflower, borage and evening primrose oil. EPA and DHA are omega-3 fatty acids sourced from fish also play an important role in skin function and studies have shown that their metabolites do accumulate in the layers of the skin and can help decrease inflammation and damage from UV radiation(2). Again these beneficial fatty acids can be obtained through foods but supplementation is another way to ensure you are getting enough. 

 

Collagen

Collagen makes up around 30% of the protein in the human body and is the main protein found in connective tissues, which includes the skin. As we age there is a reduction of around 1% of collagen content each year (3). The collagen acts like a scaffolding structure to keep the skin supported and smooth and when that scaffolding breaks down this leads to sagging and wrinkles in the skin. There have been numerous studies that show that oral supplementation with hydrolyzed collage (smaller molecules of collagen) are easy to absorb, get into the connective tissues and stay there for several days even after single supplemental dose(4). Further studies have shown significant improvements in collagen synthesis, skin hydration and skin elasticity with collagen supplementation (5).

 

 

 

 

1.         Michalak M, Pierzak M, Kręcisz B, Suliga E. Bioactive Compounds for Skin Health: A Review. Nutrients [Internet]. 2021 Jan 12 [cited 2021 Feb 27];13(1). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7827176/

2.         Rhodes LE, Shahbakhti H, Azurdia RM, Moison RMW, Steenwinkel M-JST, Homburg MI, et al. Effect of eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, on UVR-related cancer risk in humans. An assessment of early genotoxic markers. Carcinogenesis. 2003 May 1;24(5):919–25. 

3.         Lin P, Hua N, Hsu Y-C, Kan K-W, Chen J-H, Lin Y-H, et al. Oral Collagen Drink for Antiaging: Antioxidation, Facilitation of the Increase of Collagen Synthesis, and Improvement of Protein Folding and DNA Repair in Human Skin Fibroblasts. Oxid Med Cell Longev [Internet]. 2020 May 11 [cited 2021 Feb 27];2020. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7238338/

4.         Czajka A, Kania EM, Genovese L, Corbo A, Merone G, Luci C, et al. Daily oral supplementation with collagen peptides combined with vitamins and other bioactive compounds improves skin elasticity and has a beneficial effect on joint and general wellbeing. Nutr Res. 2018 Sep 1;57:97–108. 

5.         Nomoto T, Iizaka S. Effect of an Oral Nutrition Supplement Containing Collagen Peptides on Stratum Corneum Hydration and Skin Elasticity in Hospitalized Older Adults: A Multicenter Open-label Randomized Controlled Study. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2020 Apr;33(4):186–91.


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