Nutrients for skin
Nutrients have many benefits in terms of your overall state of health. Strengthening your immune system and giving your body the depleted nutrients it needs to function better is very important. Nutrients are primarily found in foods, but the poor quality of soil depletes our food of vital nutrients. Hence the necessity to have a good nutritional program through a healthy diet and supplements. Nutritional supplements can help you correct the cause of your skin condition since they target your overall health.
Some of the best nutrients for skin
Research has shown that the skin reacts well to certain minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, especially in a whole food source. They nourish the skin, build a stronger immune system, and protect your body from toxins. Here is a list of nutrients that are among the very best for your skin:
Although zinc is a commonly mineral for prostate health, It is also one of the premier nutrients for skin, especially for acne, eczema, psoriasis and mouth ulcer sufferers. Zinc acts by controlling the production of oil in the skin, and may help control some of the hormones. As well as strengthening the immune system, this skin nutrient helps with burns, wounds, skin rashes, itching, and other skin irritations.
The carotene family is a group of red, yellow and orange pigments found naturally in all plants. Mixed carotenes contain vitamin A, betacarotene, and alphocarotene. They are essential for the development and renewal of the skin and mucous membrane, and deficiencies can result in a dry, flaky complexion. They act as powerful antioxidants and help protect against sunburns. Topical vitamin A treatments are actually often used to treat acne and other skin ailments. However some people prefer supplementing with betacarotene than vitamin A because of the overdose concerns of vitamin A.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that helps us manufacture collagen, the main protein substance of the skin. It is effective at reducing free radical damage – from overexposure to the sun or pollution for example. As a result, it is commonly used in many products for wrinkles and other signs of premature aging. Vitamin C is especially effective at protecting the skin from overexposure to the sun when combined with vitamin E. It also helps fortify the immune system and aids in the detoxification process.
Vitamin E is mainly used for wrinkles, skin elasticity, scars and damaged skin from the environmental elements.
Selenium is an antioxidant that works usually with vitamin E to fight free radical damage. It is also essential for the utilization of essential fatty acids and to treat inflammation. Usually selenium levels are low in inflammatory conditions sufferers.
This trace mineral works to make the skin firm and to improve its elasticity. It strengthens nails, hair, connective tissues, bones, and also stops the aging process in cells. It is used for wrinkles, burns, rashes, sunburns, cellulite, hair, nails, skin impurities, teeth & gums. A good source of silica is found in horsetail.
Good fats: vital nutrients for your skin
Good fats are very important for skin health. What are the good fats? The most common good fats you have probably ever heard of are the Essential fatty acids (EFAs). They are fats that we cannot make ourselves. EFAs are essential for skin membrane function, cell division, brain development, immune function, and anti-inflammatory responses. Dry skin, cracked nails, constipation, dry hair, sore joints: all these conditions can have benefits from essential fatty acids. There are two classes of EFAs : Omega 3 (alpha linolenic acid) and Omega 6 (linoleic acid). You can find good fats in fish oil but also in poly-unsatured and unrefined vegetal oils. They shouldn’t be heated to keep their medicinal properties.
It is important to consume all these good fats in proper proportion. If we get too much of one, we become deficient in the other. Most oils don’t have the proper balance and it is advisable to use a combination of different kinds of oils to get the ideal ratio. Most people get plenty of Omega-6 fatty acid but often this is of low quality, for example from food cooked in vegetable oil. It is important to compensate with a higher intake of omega 3 to get the ratio 2:1:1 (2:omega 3, 1:omega6, 1:omega9).
- Almond oil is high in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids and provides naturally occurring vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and Vitamin E. It is used topically for skin itch, dryness, stretch marks, and has moisturizing properties. Like most oils made from nuts, almond oil is a also a good oil for cooking because of its high smoke point. Fatty acid content in average: Omega-3 fatty acids = 0; Omega-6 fatty acids = 28%; Omega- 9 fatty acids = 65%; Saturated Fat = 7%; Smoke Point = 430 F.
- Apricot kernel oil is made from the pits of apricots. It is often used in skin care products for prematurely aged skin, dry and irritated skin. This oil is smooth and lightweight and is high in vitamin A and minerals. Fatty acid content in average: Omega-3 fatty acids = 0 ; Omega-6 fatty acids = 31% ; Omega- 9 fatty acids = 63%; Saturated Fat = 6%.
- Avocado Oil is considered a monounsaturated fat and is only available through a mechanically extracted and refined process. When applied externally on the skin, avocado oil is healing and anti-bacterial.
It also has anti-wrinkle properties, high rate of skin penetration, strong UV absorption properties, and is a hair stimulant. Fatty acid content in average: Omega-3 fatty acids = 0; Omega-6 fatty acids = 18%; Omega- 9 fatty acids = 65%; Saturated Fat = 17%)
- Black current oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is used for acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis. Fatty acid content in average: Omega-3 = 0; Omega-6 = 80%; GLA = 18%; Omega- 9 fatty acids = 12%; Saturated Fat = 8%.
- Borage oil is commonly used topically for dry and damaged skin and chronic skin disorders such as eczema and atopic dermatitis. This is a good source of the derivative omega-6 fatty acid called GLA and contains twice as much as evening primrose oil. Fatty acid content in average: Omega-3 fatty acids = 0; Omega-6 fatty acids = 60%; GLA = 22%; Omega- 9 fatty acids = 26%; Saturated Fat = 14%.
- Fish oil usually comes from cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and cod liver. They should not be used for cooking and should be stored in the refrigerator. When you choose a fish oil, be sure it has been tested for mercury and other toxins. The fatty acid content will vary by which fish is used. Fatty acid content in average: Omega-3 content = 75%; Omega-6 content = 0 ; Saturated fat = 25%. Cod liver oil also contains some vitamin D and A, which are beneficial for the skin.
- Evening primrose oil is a rich source of the omega-6 fatty acid GLA, and is also used externally to improve skin elasticity and wrinkles. Fatty acid content in average: Omega-3 fatty acids = 0%; Omega-6 fatty acids = 81%; GLA: 10%; Omega- 9 fatty acids = 9%; Saturated Fat = 10%.
- Grapeseed oil is made from the seeds of grapes after the wine is pressed and is stable at high temperature. It is used topically for damaged and stressed tissues because of its regenerating, restructuring, moisturizing properties. Fatty acid content in average: Omega-3 fatty acids = 0; Omega-6 fatty acids = 76%; Omega- 9 fatty acids = 15%; Saturated Fat = 9%.
- Hazelnut oil is good for skin elasticity. Its characteristics: threads veins, astringent, toning, fast absorption, useful as base for oily skins, sun filter.
- Jojoba oil is used for chapped lips, cuticles, oil or dry skin, psoriasis on scalp, and acne.
It is odorless and is a good natural eye make-up remover.
- Neem oil is used for itchy, irritated and sensitive skin. It is high in EFAs and antioxidants and is a gentle alternative to tea tree oil. Neem oil has a nutty-garlic odor.
- Rose hip oil is used mainly for damaged skin and scars. It is hydrating, moisturizing, nourishing.
- Sea Buckthorn oil is used for all skin problems. It is very high in omega 7.
- Wheat germ oil contains much more omega-6 fatty acid than omega-3 fatty. It is used in skin care products for: dry and cracked skin, eczema, psoriasis, prematurely aged skin, stretch marks, dull complexion, tired and overexerted muscles, sunburn and burns, scars, and poor blood circulation. Fatty acid content in average: Omega-3 fatty acids = 8%; Omega-6 fatty acids = 53%; Omega- 9 fatty acids = 22%; Saturated Fat = 17%.
- Shea butter protects, mosturizes, nourishes and softens your skin. It is mainly used for: blemishes, itching, sunburns, small wounds, eczema, skin allergies and wrinkles. Shea butter is a natural anti-inflammatory agents and a minor sunscreen agent.
Causes of possible nutrient deficiencies
Keep in mind that you may be suffering from nutrient deficiencies due to the poor quality of soil, a health problem but also from medicines you have taken. For instance:
- High doses of aspirin can make you absorb less vitamin C
- The intake of antibiotics can deplete your flora of friendly bacteria
- Long-term use of the birth control pill can cause a deficiency of folate and other B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, and friendly bacteria. You may suffer from candidiasis as a result
- Stress can also deplete your body of vitamin B
- Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women (Source: the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Nutrition deficiency and its symptoms (Source: Total Wellness by Joseph Pizzorno, ND )