Keep your skin youthful by avoiding smoking, protecting your skin from sunlight, and eating a healthy diet full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Don’t avoid good old-fashioned soap and water either! To get a leg up on age, you might try a few of these vitamins and antioxidants to help improve the quality and health of your skin.
Skin Care Supplements
- Vitamins C and E plus selenium protect the skin against sun damage and ultimately skin cancer. These vitamins and mineral may actually reverse discoloration and wrinkles that are associated with growing older. Antioxidants work by speeding up the skins” ™ repair systems and stopping further damage. According to Karen E. Burke MD, PhD ( Mount Sinai School of Medicine) take supplements that contain 1000 to 3000 milligrams of vitamin C, 400 IUs of vitamin E in a D-alpha-tocopherol form (found in creams and topical preparations), and 100-200 micrograms of selenium.
- A natural antioxidant in the body that provides for cell growth and protects cells from cancer is Coenzyme Q10. As you age there is a natural drop in coenzyme Q10. Use as a preparation and apply to your skin to minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Purchase products that contain 0.3% concentrations of coenzyme Q10.
- Retinoic acid supplements for your skin are the active forms of vitamin A. Topical retinoic acid treats fine wrinkles, age spots and rough skin patches caused by everyday living. Using retinoic acid will restore elastic fibers and keep skin taut. These supplements come in cream and gel formulas and are used once a day. Do be careful you don’t apply retinoic acid in too high a concentration and too often. It will cause redness, dryness and peeling. Use a low concentration and gradually build up if you need to.
- Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant applied topically and helps protect skin from sun damage. Apply every other day to improve sun-induced changes and damage to the skin.
- Green teas and, yea!, chocolate have flavonoids that help improve the appearance of your skin. Research has found that the flavonoids in green tea protect skin from cancer and inflammation. Further studies indicate that women who drink hot cocoa with a high flavonoid concentration have softer and smoother skin than women who drink hot cocoa with lower flavonoid concentrations. Read the labels to determine what cocoa mix you should drink.
- B vitamins are essential for good health including skin health. Eat foods rich in B vitamins including eggs, chicken, and fortified grains. If you have a B vitamin deficiency, you might have dry and itchy skin. Try applying vitamin B preparations (cream or gel) directly to the skin. A decrease in skin damage and unsightly wrinkles just might be your reward.
- Other plant based extracts are being tested for positive effects on the skin. These products can either be applied topically or ingested. Some great examples are tomato paste, rosemary, grape seed extract, pomegranate and soy. Blending several of these products together might just be the answer to wrinkle free skin. It is not advised however to just open a can of tomato past and apply it to your skin.
Don’t get excited and go out and purchase all the latest and greatest from cosmetic companies. Nutritional supplements and cosmeceuticals are tested for safety, but their benefits aren’t not for everyone. Ask your dermatologist for advice about the best topical and ingestible supplements for your skin before you buy it. Best advice from most dermatologists? Eat healthy, protect your skin from sun damage, drink plenty of water and get the recommended amounts of sleep.