Tips for A Healthy Complexion
Q: What do you suggest for healthy looking skin? -Veronica, Waterdown
A: My advice for healthy skin is to always start with the basics. These are things most of us know, but don’t always implement into our daily routine. So, here is a little reminder: Exercise and break a sweat regularly, aim for 7-9 hours of sleep nightly, stay well hydrated by drinking water, avoid or at least minimize the intake of processed foods and “junk” foods, and try and mostly eat a clean, colourful whole foods diet rich in a variety of fruits and veggies, complex carbs and organic sources of healthy fats and protein.
With regards to skin care supplementation, in a past article I mentioned the importance of the mineral silica for collagen production, and essential fatty acids like the Omega 3s and GLA for optimal skin health. In addition to these, here are a few other standouts to help keep skin healthy and radiant.
Type 1 Marine Collagen Peptides (Hydrolyzed Collagen) – Collagen is the most abundant protein of the body, and the main component of the skin’s structure. Sadly, its production naturally declines as we age, which can manifest as wrinkles and saggy skin. Supplementation with collagen peptides has been clinically found to enhance collagen and hyaluronic acid production in the skin and in turn improves the skin’s integrity, elasticity and moisture. Research has shown that due to its low molecular weight, type 1 marine collagen peptides have a higher efficacy of absorbing into the bloodstream, and circulating through the body more easily than other types and sources of collagen.
Antioxidants – Antioxidants are often touted as the warriors of anti-aging. Free radicals create oxidative damage to various cells in the body, including skin cells, and are said to “speed up the aging process”. Some sources of free radicals that we are exposed to are tobacco smoke, air pollution, radiation (sun and X-rays), and even the breakdown of food in the body. Antioxidants are substances that can help combat the effects of free radical damage. For skin specifically, antioxidants are said to help protect the skin’s moisture and elasticity, promote smoothness and decrease fine lines and wrinkles. Green tea and dark richly coloured berries like blackberries, blueberries and goji berries are some excellent natural sources of antioxidants. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that, aside from its important role in immune health, is an essential ingredient in collagen production and possesses antioxidant activity. Vitamin E is an important fat soluble vitamin, and is said to be the most abundant antioxidant found in the skin. Vitamin E and C together create a potent, synergistic effect in combating free radical production from UV radiation. Astaxanthin is an antioxidant in the carotenoid family that gives salmon and krill their red-orange colour. It has been labelled as one of the strongest antioxidants. Studies say its free radical-fighting effect may be 550 times stronger than Vitamin E and almost 6,000 times more potent than Vitamin C.
Dr. Michelle Pobega, ND, runs a naturopathic practice near the Annex neighbourhood of Toronto. Stay connected with her at drmichellend.ca, Facebook and Twitter @MPobegaND