Why is it important to load up on nutrients when trying to heal the skin?
I explain to my clients that the skin is the last organ of the body to receive nutrition. This is because the body will prioritise the vital organs and processes first. For example, the brain requires 70% of the fat that we eat (and most of us are not eating enough!). What precious little is leftover will then be allocated to hormone production and lastly the cellular membranes. Cellular membrane health (particularly of Omega 3) is absolutely crucial in skin health. This is why I advocate a high fat diet for myself and my clients.
Therefore, we need to eat an overload of nutrition for adequate supplies to be allocated to the skin. We literally need to be overflowing and abundant in our daily diet to see the results in our skin!
Factors that increase our skin’s nutritional requirements:
- UV exposure
- Chemicals and Pesticides
- Inflammatory disorders
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- Oral Contraception & other medications
- Insulin resistance/Diabetes
My top 6 Skin Essential Nutrients
Omega 3 is a fundamental skin supplement and for inflammatory skin condition such as acne, rosacea, dermatitis and eczema dosage should be between 4-6grams per day. Stability is crucial so ensure that supplements are third party tested for purity and freshness. Many brands are also sustainably sourced.
When used in Acne, Omega 3 fatty acids will change the composition of the sebum (oil) from a thick and gluggy custard consistency, to a fluid and non-congestive liquid.
Fave food sources: oily fish (mackerel, sardines, anchovies) chia, purslane, parsley
This super skin nutrient encourages cellular turnover and healthy skin production. It is essential for acne and rosacea, both internally and topically (drip dosed topically and never on active rosacea).
Vitamin A is so wonderful for skin, as it is actually reprograms cellular function and restores DNA damage (particularly after UV exposure).
There are few sources of complete Vitamin A (most are betocarotene which requires conversion). Daily use of organic butter (for those without a dairy allergy) can be an essential part of skin rehabilitation.
Fave food sources: organic butter, ghee, egg yolks, liver
Vitamin C is a crucial element in collagen production and works together with Vitamin E to provide powerful antioxidant support to skin cells. Vitamin C reactivates Vitamin E.
Vitamin C is also used to treat pigmentation (externally) as it is a Tyrosinase blocker.
Stress depletes our reserves of Vitamin C, and as it is a water soluble Vitamin that cannot be stored, daily intake is highly recommended.
Fave food sources: goji berries, strawberries, kiwi fruit, broccoli, rosehips, acai, cacao
Zinc is an incredible acne mineral. It helps to reduce 5a Reductase which is responsible for increased and gluey sebum production.
Zinc also supports collagen and elastin production, and will assist with would healing of acne lesions. It is an essential internal and external supplement to reduce the risk of acne scarring.
Fave food sources: Organic beef & lamb, oysters, pumpkin seeds, cacao, hemp seeds
PC is an integral part of our cellular membrane. Membrane health and stability is the cornerstone of healthy, functional skin.
PC assists in the communication and repair of cell membranes.
Stress affects the percentage of PC in the cell membrane, so supplementation may be required.
PC contains linoleic acid which is helpful for healing dermatitis and mild to moderate acne.
Fave food sources: egg yolks, liver, kefir, lentils, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli
Low iron can impair the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to the skin. This can leave the skin nutritionally deficient and sallow and pale.
Iron is also essential for wound healing, making it a priority for Acne.
Fave food sources: red meat, parsley, goji berries, spinach, liver, nettle