Beautifying Yourself from the Inside Out
Beautiful skin has always been a topic of conversation, something to strive for and admire. The beauty industry is a multibillion dollar industry; from eye creams and make-up, to chemical peels and facelifts, there are countless ways to beautify yourself. What you may not know, is that there are ways to promote your natural beauty from the inside out!
Before we delve into which nutrients are skin-specific, let me explain one of the skin’s most basic functions. Your skin is one of the primary organs of detoxification, along with the liver, kidneys, and lungs (which we will cover in a future post). Some visible signs that your body is detoxifying include the not-so-sexy processes of excretion and secretion. In other words, sweat, oily skin, and acne as well as rashes, eczema, and even boils. This explains why a weekend of bad eating and excessive drinking can wreak havoc on your skin.
Combating acne can be tricky when you are not certain of the exact origin of the problem. Your breakout may be caused by excess bacteria, like Propionibacterium acnes or Staph aureus. Us women are far too familiar with acne popping up during our monthly cycles, which is correlated to the cyclical fluctuations of our hormones. Perhaps the answer to clearer skin is as easy as switching your make-up brands or daily skin care routine. Whatever the reason, be it digestion, diet, hormones or hygiene, your naturopathic doctor will help you get to the root of the issue. In the meantime, here are a few vitamins that really stand out when it comes to promoting your body’s innate desire to purify itself of toxins.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A, also referred to as beta-carotene or retinol, is a key player in the health of your various epithelial tissues, which line your blood vessels, body cavities and organs. These tissues are found in the mucus membranes of the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary tracts. The job of these epithelial tissue is to protect your immune system from microbes, toxins and other pollutants. Therefore, it only makes sense that Vitamin A can help to combat P. acnes and S. aureus, two well-known bacterial culprits for acne. A serious word of caution, high dose vitamin A should be avoided in women who are pregnant or are trying to conceive.
Vitamin B7 / Biotin: Biotin is one of the best-known nutrients for strengthening your hair, skin and nails. This B vitamin helps specifically to combat brittleness, cracking, and excessively dry skin as well as seborrheic dermatitis, which is dry flaky skin affecting the scalp, face, and ears.
Vitamin C – This popular vitamin (aka – ascorbic acid) is known to help increase collagen production and deposition throughout your body. Collagen is the primary component of connective tissues and is found in not only the dermal and epidermal layers of your skin, but in your joints, bones and teeth, as well. Vitamin C also works with the immune system to quicken one’s healing time.
Vitamin E: When Vitamin E is supplemented in conjunction with Vitamin A, the healing powers increase exponentially. In fact, the A+E combination is not only more effective than taking Vitamin A by itself, it is also safer, due to the lower doses of Vitamin A used when pairing the vitamins.
Zinc – Adding Zinc to the Vitamin A + E combo increases the effectiveness even more so, by enhancing the production of the retinol-binding proteins throughout your body. Additionally, Zinc targets the more inflammatory-based pustules and lesions, making it a great addition for those dealing with more severe cases of acne.
Overall, there are many ways to improve your appearance from the inside out. These nutrients all play an important role in supplementing your body's detoxification process as well as ensuring the health of your delicate epithelial and epidermal tissues. By incorporating some or all of these vitamins into your beauty regimen, you are taking the first steps towards keeping your skin clear and glowing year round. Next week's blog article will cover skin-specific minerals and botanicals that you can also add to your daily routine. Speak with your naturopathic doctor regarding dosage instructions, as every case is individual and everyone has specific needs.
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