Your skin reflects the state of health of your body. Although topical applications do have their place in maintaining the health of your skin, internal nourishment is the key to beautiful, radiant skin. So what are my top 5 nutrients for smoother, glowing, younger looking skin?
1. Essential Fatty Acids must be supplied in our diet, as the body cannot synthesize these from other nutrients. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are important in regards to skin health as they function to hydrate the skin and prevent epidermal water loss. A deficiency of omega 6 fatty acids results in dry, scaling of the skin.
2. Vitamin A maintains the health the skin by restoring the integrity and function of epithelial cells. Vitamin A plays an integral role in epithelial proliferation and keratinization of the skin. A deficiency of this fat soluble vitamin results in hyper-proliferation and hyper-keratosis of the skin and mucous membranes, causing the skin to dry and harden.
3. Vitamin C is responsible for the maintenance of connective tissue and collagen synthesis. If collagen is formed without adequate vitamin C, the cross-linking reaction of collagen synthesis does not occur and skin integrity is reduced. Vitamin C is also involved in the synthesis of other connective tissue substances such as elastin, proteoglycans and fibronectin that give the skin proper structure and tone.
4. Vitamin E is a potent lipid-soluble antioxidant and protects the skin from fatty acid oxidation. Vitamin E also promotes wound healing and collagen synthesis, which makes it useful for nourishing dry, cracked skin, assist in the repair of wound, lesions and burns, as well as to prevent or treat stretch marks and scar tissue.
5. Zinc is vital mineral for skin health, as a deficiency of this nutrient can result in skin rashes. Zinc plays an important role in both fibroplasia and epithelialization of the skin, so a deficiency of this nutrient may also delay the wound healing process.