Trinny & Shabir Live: Supplements For Healthy Skin
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In terms of chemical composition, skin is 70% water, 25% proteins (mostly collagen) and 2% lipids. So it’s logical that in order to have healthy skin, we need to ensure that skin is hydrated, moisturised and try and prevent collagen breakdown.
So how do you hydrate skin?
Scientific studies have shown that hyaluronic acid improves skin hydration by holding onto water (it can hold some 1000 times its weight in water) and thus helps to plump and hydrates skin cells. The average human body contains roughly 15 grams of HA, one third of which is degraded and synthesized on a daily basis. This is where the problem arises because whilst degradation occurs continuously, the manufacture of HA is dependent upon several enzyme processes which unfortunately do not work efficiently as we age, with the result that we simply do not manufacture sufficient hyaluronic acid as we age.
We should therefore consider hyaluronic acid supplements to ensure that we always get sufficient of the hydrating nutrient in the body. Incidentally, hyaluronic acid does not just benefit skin but it also works to protect our cartilage matrix, our eyes and so many other structures within the body.
Hyaluronic Acid Capsules High Strength £35.00 for 30 Vegecaps
The next step is to moisturise skin:
Lipids are tiny oil-based particles that play a vital role in skin especially in maintaining the skin barrier function. The skin barrier function is an extremely important concept in skincare. Like the acid mantle on skin’s surface which protects skin against microorganisms and irritants, the skin’s barrier function serves to protect skin from loss of moisture and to prevent bacteria from entering the body. The easiest analogy of what lipids are is to look at a brick wall; the cells are the bricks and the mortar is composed of lipids. These lipids serve to:
- Prevent water loss keeping skin healthy, hydrated and firm
- Prevent the loss of Natural Moisturising Factors – these are a collection of chemicals that sit on the outer layer of skin composed of amino acids, lactic acid and inorganic salts that keep skin moist by attracting and holding water from the atmosphere
- Prevent bacteria and irritants from entering skin
Once we have past our 40s, we tend to produce less lipids within skin which is why many women and men are more prone to dry skin as they age. Age is not the only cause; cleansing skin removes lipids, cold weather especially windy weather breaks down lipids and so on. One particular lipid responsible for moisturising skin and maintaining its hydration by preventing water loss is a ceramide. Ceramides are tiny lipids that have been used for a couple of decades in creams, but now scientists have discovered that ceramides obtained from wheat are nearly identical to those found in skin – these wheat ceramides are found in the supplement Skin Restoring Ceramides.
In trials, 95% of participants experienced complete rehydration of stubbornly dry, flaky skin after 90 days with total elimination of itching and cracking because it takes this length for sufficient amounts of ceramides to reach the skin barrier.
There are many lipids in this skin barrier and one of them is essential fatty acids. Most of us have heard of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids, however there is one called omega 7 which rapidly helps to moisturise dry skin. We normally obtain omega 7 from foods such as anchovies, salmon, olives and macadamia nuts, however if you are suffering from dry or very dry skin, it would be clear that you are not getting sufficient omega 7 from your diet or that your skin barrier function is highly compromised. Nature is at hand in the help of omega 7 from sea buckthorn seeds which has been the subject for numerous studies for all dry skin conditions. Studies have found that this rarer unsaturated essential fatty acid (we cannot manufacture these fats – they have to be obtained from our diet like omega 3 from fish oils) combats all dry skin conditions including dry skin on face and body, dry eyes, vaginal dryness and dry mouth.
Omega 7 Sea Buckthorn Oil capsules by Pharma Nord contains this fatty acid from the seeds as well as containing nutrients found within the fruit.
Skin Restoring Ceramides £25 for 30 Capsules, Omega 7 Sea Buckthorn Oil capsules £19.99 for 60 Capsules
Why does skin have protein?
As mentioned above, skin contains almost 25% protein. The most abundant protein in our body is collagen and it is found in skin, muscles, blood vessels and other structures. Collagen gives skin its firmness and elasticity. Our body produces collagen naturally until about the age of 30 and then we roughly lose 1% of collagen per year of age. This decline thins the skin and starts the cycle of fine lines and sagging of skin.
But it’s not just age that impacts on collagen:
- Stress triggers inflammatory cortisol which breaks down collagen fibres
- Excessive exposure to sun limits the manufacture of collagen
- A diet poor in vitamins, minerals and protein
So which collagen supplement should you take?
Collagen is a large molecule which is ill-absorbed by the body. There are two sources of collagen that are widely used in supplements; bovine collagen and marine collagen. Marine collagen is a smaller molecule and so is absorbed more efficiently than bovine forms especially as it is hydrolysed – hydrolysation is a process that breaks down collagen into small molecules to enhance absorption. Marine collagen is also rich in Type 1 collagen which is the most abundant form of collagen.
I recommend Zooki Collagen because:
- It contains marine collagen hydrosylate which is smaller in size
- It contains vitamin C which we know is important for collagen production
- Both collagen and vitamin C are encased in a liposome which deliver these two important nutrients to all the tissues in the body
Collagen Zooki £27.99 for 14 Sachets
So we have covered the skin’s needs are far as hydration, natural oils and protein are concerned, however how do we give our cells enough energy to replicate. Our energy reserves dwindle with age and the same applies to our cells which replicate at a much slower pace as we age.
So how can we enhance cell turnover to reveal fresher, newer and healthier cells?
Within each cell of the body, there are mitochondria, which are tiny organ like structures that manufacture the power-house molecule called ATP. What happens is that as we age, we simply do not produce sufficient of the energising molecule which is why our energy levels decline generally with age. The same applies to our cells, they simply do not produce sufficient energy for producing fresh new cells and the result is:
- There are two nutrients required for the manufacture of this energy enhancing molecule which are magnesium and Co-Q10
- Magnesium is a mineral that is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions within the body so it is not uncommon to find that most of us are deficient in this important mineral
Co-Q10 is a nutrient that we normally have sufficient amounts of until we reach our 40s. This nutrient is converted into its active state called ubiquinol however as we reach our 40s, we do not have sufficient enzymes to converted Co-Q10 into ubiquinol and so we have to ensure that we use the right Q10 in order to enhance cell turnover.
For magnesium, I would recommend a quality magnesium such as Neuro-Mag which has been found to achieve high absorption levels in the body and for Q10, I would recommend taking Super Ubiquinol Super Strength which provides 100mg of this important nutrient.
Neuro-Mag £32 for 90 Capsules, Super Ubiquinol CoEnzyme Q10 £20 for 30 Softgels
What else can we do to protect our skin?
So we have now covered nourishing skin to ensure hydration, natural oils, collagen and to enhance cell turnover thereby revealing softer, smoother skin however our skin is prone to both external and internal aggressions.
- External aggressions on skin are free radicals from pollutants in the air, smoking, chemical exposure and heavy metals that damage our skin and our bodies.
- Internal aggressions are free radicals that we produce as a result of metabolism. Every time we eat food, we metabolise this for energy and what’s left behind are damaging free radicals.
This is why we are constantly reminded to have an antioxidant rich diet of vegetables and fruits however whilst vitamins C and E are good antioxidants, the body primarily uses an antioxidant called glutathione to neutralise free radicals.
Why is glutathione important?
- It is a master antioxidant – the primary one the body uses to neutralise damaging radicals
- It is a potent detoxifier working on all aspects of detoxification especially the three phases of liver detoxification.
- It ensures healthy energy production by protecting the mitochondria which produce energy
- Active glutathione works to strengthen our immune system – it primes our white blood cells that attack bacteria and viruses
- Inflammation – we know that inflammation ages our whole body, its glands including skin.
- It inhibits an enzyme called tyrosinase which causes pigment build-up leading to age spots and hyperpigmentation.
Ageing, cooking vegetables (some like broccoli and asparagus are sources of glutathione), stress, smoking, alcohol and exposure to pollutants can all result in depleted glutathione levels in the body which is why I recommend Liposomal Glutathione by YourZooki.
This provides the glutathione in a liposome which is protected from the harsh environment of the stomach and so is absorbed intact into the bloodstream where it can enter the cells and perform its myriad of roles.
Liposomal Glutathione £39.99 for 30 Servings
So we have now discussed ways at keeping skin healthy and protected, but of course there are some very real concerns at the moment and one of the big concerns is stressed skin.
Going through this pandemic, it has become very clear that vast numbers of people are experiencing stress and this is clearly affecting their skin. Stress causes skin concerns and skin concerns cause stress!
Their skin looks sallow, pale, dull, lifeless and inflamed, and there is a good reason for this. At times of stress, cortisol is released in the body and in the upper layers of skin. It is an inflammatory hormone; inflammation causes excess oil production in those with oily skin or it can cause acne even for dry skin types because in this skin type the cells are shed quickly and end up clogging the pores.
The reason for dull, lifeless skin is because cortisol sends blood to the muscles of the body due to the flight/fright syndrome associated with stress rather than skin. Whilst you may consider meditation and other avenues, if you are constantly on adrenaline, it might be a good idea to consider a supplement called Magnolia Rhodiola Complex which reduces cortisol and helps to balance the adrenal hormones.
Magnolia Rhodiola Complex £28 for 60 Capsules
What about compromised skin?
There are many people who suffer from skin concerns such as acne, rosacea, dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis. Whatever the causal factors for these, whether hormonal, choosing the wrong skin care products or something else, I would highly recommend the use of Clear Skin Complex to help achieve a clearer complexion. Clear Skin Complex is the supplement of choice for acne skin, rosacea-prone skin, dermatitis and eczema-prone skin.
Clear Skin Complex contains:
- Burdock root which helps to cleanse and purify the bloodstream of hormonal waste and toxins that inflame skin. Burdock also displays antibacterial activity which means it helps to reduce the numbers of acne-causing bacteria that live on skin’s surface.
- Probiotic bacteria including lactobacillus which was one of the first probiotic strains to be studied for its ability to reduce the symptoms of acne successfully. Probiotic bacteria work to reduce inflammatory chemicals being released into skin though the gut-skin axis; they also work to ensure regularity of bowel movements (people with acne are more likely to suffer with constipation, bloating and acid reflux)
- Zinc is one of the most studied minerals for treating acne. It works to reduce inflammation when applied topically and likewise when taken internally in a supplement. Zinc also displays antibacterial properties which helps prevent the acne-causing bacteria to thrive on skin’s surface.
Clear Skin Complex £24.70 for 60 Capsules