Beauty is more than skin deep. In fact, the role our internal health plays in our skin health is just as important as what we put on the surface.
“As our bodies change through the decades, our skin care routine needs to change too,” says CHFA Holistic Nutritionist, Michelle W. Book. “CHFA recommends a holistic approach to promoting radiant, healthy skin; including protecting your skin on the outside, and nourishing yourself from within by eating specific organic foods and taking natural health products to promote healthy skin.”
1. Try tea for tender skin
Tea consumption has long been associated with anti-aging and anti-cancer benefits, and new research suggests that drinking certain teas may benefit our skin. The skin-benefits of tea are linked to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic effects of compounds found in tea, called polyphenols. These natural compounds have been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation caused by sun exposure. Green tea in particular, has high levels of a potent polyphenol known as EGCG. To unlock the anti-aging power of green tea you can use it topically as well.
2. Nourish skin from the inside with natural health products
The first and most commonly cited vitamin for skin health is vitamin C. This vitamin is essential for stimulating the formation of collagen. Extensive research has shown collagen helps to reduce the appearance of skin wrinkles and improves skin texture and strength. Another common “skin-sational” nutrient is vitamin A. Vitamin A is the most important nutrient for the healthy growth of new cells. Despite this, Health Canada reports that many Canadians do not get enough vitamin A from diet alone. Vitamin A is one of the first-line approaches for stimulating collagen synthesis in the skin, promoting strong connective tissue and, in turn, producing fuller, healthier skin.
A few lesser known natural health products that boast benefits to skin health include: vitamin B3, or nicotinamide and Spirulina. Numerous studies have found that topical application of nicotinamide can improve the appearance of age spots, reduce wrinkles and improve skin elasticity. Spirulina is a blue-green algae superstar that is often found in tablet form or as an ingredient in Greens powder supplements. As a natural health product, Spirulina plantensis is high in protein, vitamins and antioxidants, and is highly nutritious. NASA considered it as a key food source for long-term space travel.
3. Opt for natural oils to lock in moisture
Natural oils give our skin a radiant glow. Complementing our body’s natural protection with oils like coconut oil, sea buckthorn oil, argan oil, and foods rich in omega-3s, like salmon and mackerel, can help protect our skin from drying out. Healthy fats from plant-sources, like avocados and olives, also help our body to produce these important oils. Sea-buckthorn oil is rich in a host of nutrients and phytonutrients that have been shown to improve skin hydration and promote healing. This shrub’s orange berries have been used throughout the world to nourish, revitalize, and restore damaged skin. Best of all, it can be applied topically or taken as a supplement.
4. Align your skin care routine with your moral compass
From food to natural health products, to clothing, ethics are more than ever a top-of-mind ingredient. This link has led to a boom in natural body care products carrying a variety of certifications. Certifications can give consumers the confidence their purchase is organic, sustainable, cruelty-free, vegan, or gluten-free, among others. Many cosmetics may carry an organic certification, from a third party certifier, for the entire product or for certain ingredients. Some products are also created using sustainable practices, bearing cruelty-free and eco-friendly certifications.
5. Adapt your routine to age ‘au naturel’ through the decades
As we grow older, our bodies go through tremendous change. Hormonal ups and downs, temperature extremes, and natural signs of aging, like wrinkles, begin to appear on once-youthful skin. At each life stage, our nutritional needs also shift. Getting the right nutritional balance can help us to enhance overall health and maintain beautiful skin as we age. Because of this, we need to rethink and refresh our skincare routine as we age to ensure we always glow from the inside out.
“Maintaining the health of our skin is essential and it takes a holistic approach to skincare to promote radiant, healthy skin,” says Book. “Our skin is the window to the world and tells the story of our life. CHFA wants your skin to tell a story of health and wellness this spring and throughout your life.”