Healthy, glowing, radiant skin. No blemishes, no visible pores, no wrinkles. Can all of these be achieved if you swallow a pill? Contrary to what the advertising people would like us to believe the answer is no. All manner of food supplements have been cropping up over the last few years. Many of them are advertised as a solution to all of your skin woes. A healthy diet with plenty of veggies and fruits and a solid daily skincare routine can help to keep your skin beautiful. That said – from time to time we all need something extra to function at an optimum level and food supplements can give us that little push we need. Before you start on any type of supplements regimen it would be advisable to consult with your physician.
It is common knowledge Omega 3s are good for your heart and your brain. But Omega 3s can benefit your skin too. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties Omega 3s can promote wound healing. Omega 3s are also used to treat conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. Omega 3s regulate your skin’s oil production, boost hydration (which in turn means less fine lines) and promote collagen production. EPA (one of the main types of Omega 3s found in fish oil) is an antioxidant that can protect the skin against sun damage.
If you have a vitamin B deficiency often your skin will suffer. There are 8 forms of vitamin B.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) – known as the anti-stress vitamin because of its benefits for the immune and the nervous system. It is also an antioxidant and has anti-aging properties.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – important factor in maintaining healthy skin as vitamin B2 deficiency can lead to dry skin and acne breakouts. It also promotes cell turnover and has antioxidant properties.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – helps boost the ceramide and fatty acid levels in the skin (these both maintain the healthy protective barrier of the skin). This in turn means your skin will be soft and fine lines and wrinkles will be reduced. It can also treat acne.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) – has anti-inflammatory properties, functions as a humectant as it attracts and retains water and improves the elasticity of the skin.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) – has anti-inflammatory properties, it can help with hormonal breakouts.
Vitamin B7 (Biotin) – also known as the beauty vitamin, it is essential for healthy skin, hair and nails.
Vitamin B9 (Folate/Folic Acid) – helps promote healthy cell turnover.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) – can prevent hyperpigmentation.
If you spent any time lately browsing your local beauty store you might have noticed that a lot of products that treat acne contain zinc. With a good reason – zinc promotes wound healing and has anti-inflammatory properties. But zinc can also be taken orally. A study has shown that when taken as a supplement zinc can reduce acne.
Numerous studies have shown that using vitamin C products topically can benefit the skin – it is a powerful antioxidant that fades discoloration, prevents new wrinkles from forming and evens out the skin tone. But taken orally it will also help boost collagen production, speed up healing and protect against discoloration that may happen due to photo-aging.
It is a stretch to say one pill can solve all of our skin problems (that pill hasn’t been invented yet). But if your skin is out of sorts all of a sudden, in a consultation with your physician food supplements are an avenue worth exploring. Just don’t forget to make some dietary changes (more fruits and vegs never hurt anyone) and stick to your skincare routine.
Do you take any food supplements? If so, are you happy with the results?