Supplements: What We Take
Our bathroom shelves may be lined with the latest wonder-in-a-jar miracle-promising products, packed with antixoidants, herbs and vitamins – but trust me: it’s only half the battle. True beauty is more than skin deep and over the years, the two of us at Beauty Bible have come to believe that for truly amazing skin, it’s also what you put inside your system that really counts.
Hands down, experts agree that healthy skin is the product of good nutrition. Why? Epidermal tissue – which makes up the outer body – is synthesised from proteins (collagen and elastin), fats, vitamins and minerals. Skimp on those and you’ll short-change skin. Not so long ago, we saw for ourselves just what a difference dieting can make, during a five-day pop-up shop at Selfridges for the launch of our latest book, The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible.
We did 160 back-to-back anti-ageing consultations with real women – and there’s no question: in those who ate well and supplemented their diet, this literally shone out through their healthy complexions. (By contrast, fascinatingly, one woman who came to see us – I’d call her fat-phobic, as she’s eaten a virtually entirely fat-free diet for the past 20 years – looked a good 20 years older than she is, with deep wrinkles. And no, she doesn’t sunbathe: it can only be her fat-restricted diet that is the culprit.)
In a perfect world, of course, we’d get all the nutrients we need for healthy skin (and a healthy body) from our daily diet. But life isn’t like that. We skip meals, rush around from A to B grabbing snacks, and rarely manage to sit down for three wholesome platefuls each day. Supplements, then, are like an insurance policy – and frankly, even if we did eat a perfect diet, we would still take this ‘magnificent 7’…
Power of Krill. Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids are – well, essential for good skin, keeping it supple and well-nourished, lubricated from within. As dermatologist Dr. Mary Lupo observes: ‘When taken orally, Essential Fatty Acids travel to skin cells and act as a barrier against allergens and irritants, often improving skin texture.’ So beyond that, omega-3s may also prove extremely helpful for anyone who suffers from eczema or other skin conditions. (They’re just as essential for brain efficiency: an estimated 8% of the brain is made up of omega-3s.). Krill Oil is free from toxins and Shabir has written an article about it, which you can read here.
Viridian Ultimate Beauty Oil. The vegan alternative to fish oil EFAs: an excellent organic blend, packed with golden flaxseed oil, hemp oil, avocado oil, evening primrose oil and pumpkin seed oil. We both slosh this onto food (it’s great on salads), as well as taking spoonfuls of it.
Sibergin. When you feel energetic, your skin looks more radiant. End. We discovered this extraordinary energiser when we were nearly exhausted writing our last book, The Green Beauty Bible. It contains Siberian Ginseng, which stimulates the adrenal glands to produce enzymes which give you more energy. It also helps you deal with stress factors of all kinds – physical, mental and environmental. You won’t go into rocket mode – but, if you’re like us, you will find you can do what you need without getting exhausted. It’s also brilliant if you’ve been ill, particularly with an infection of any kind.
NHS Labs Hyaluronic Acid Capsules High Strength. Hyaluronic acid frequently crops up in skin creams as a topical – but taken from within, it’s a super-booster for the complexion. ‘HA’ is found in virtually every part of the body, and scientific studies have shown that it improves skin hydration, boosts collagen production, works as an anti-free radical scavenger (mopping up UV/pollution damage), cushions nerves and joints and maintains fluid in the eyes, too. By the time we’re 40, HA production is around half of what we need – so it makes sense to supplement, and this is a super-high-quality version. In an article by nutrition author Bill Sardi called ‘HA: How To Live To 100 Years Without Growing Old’, HA was referred to as ‘the modern day fountain of youth’. Go figure. We definitely agree.
Sun Chlorella. This ‘green food’ from Japan is a very ancient – over five billions years old – algae (like seaweed and spirulina), which contains a range of vital nutrients our bodies need. As well as helping energy levels, it helps upset tummies (with irritable bowel syndrome symptoms), and both of us have seen with our own eyes how this improves skin condition (as well as hair and nails) quite remarkably. Actually, it also seems to give you a mini facelift: one practitioner of Chinese medicine says this may be through its stomach-calming action as the stomach meridians run down either side of your face and from under your eyes to your jawline. Start at 15 tiny green tablets a day, then build up to 40. (PS Don’t fret about the fact it’s sourced in Japan; all Japanese foodstuffs are undergoing compulsory testing before they’re allowed to be imported.)
Ferrosan Imedeen Time Perfection. Imedeen was the original ‘skin supplement’, and just celebrated its 20th birthday. It’s truly impressive for skin density: Jo has taken it for years, and regularly gets her skin assessed by Imedeen at press events – where they’re constantly blown away by the ‘integrity’ of her skin barrier, which in turn helps keep skin’s natural moisture locked in.
Femergy. Not a skin vit, as such: an energising stress-buster, invaluable for helping ‘rebalance’ us. We include it here because so many skin woes are stress-related (outbreaks of acne, sensitivities, etc.), so if taking this can rebalance you and turbo-charge energy levels, it should have a positive knock-on effect on your skin’s general health.
NB If you’re not currently taking any vitamins, don’t start on this lot all at once; perhaps go for Power of Krill or Ultimate Beauty Oil, with HA, and then add in Sun Chlorella, and take it from there. It’s true that ‘beauty supplementation’ isn’t cheap, but remember: if a nutrient is reaching your skin, it’s also bathing every cell in your body in its goodness, first – because the skin’s generally the last organ on the receiving line. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions and warnings, too. Remember: it takes at least 28 days for skin cells to turn over, so results may take a while to become visible.
And yes, maybe sometimes you’ll feel like you rattle. But your skin will thank you for it…