Skin Nutrition: How do I feed my skin?

We all know that we are supposed to take vitamins and minerals to keep our bodies healthy but what can we do to keep our skin as healthy as possible? The answer is simple: vitamins!

Primary Nourishment (covers the basics first!):

Vitamin A- feeds fibroblasts, anti-oxidative, regulates and improves skin cell turnover rate.

Vitamin C-  feeds fibroblasts, anti-oxidative, builds skin immunity to the sun, oxygenates, speeds healing, lightens skin.

These two vitamins are the most important vitamins for your skin. C is used in the morning (as it boosts your skin’s ability to protect itself from free-radical and UV damage), Vitamin A is used in the evening (to allow restful penetration).  There are several forms of each vitamin with Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate being the best, least irritating forms of Vitamin A and Ascorbyl Palmitate or Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate being the best penetrating forms of Vitamin C.

 Secondary Nourishment (these boost and support the effects of Vitamins A and C):

Vitamin D- strengthens skin, regulates skin cell turnover, speeds healing

Vitamin E- supports Vitamins C and A, anti-oxidative, healing

Vitamin K- supports vascular health, strengthens capillary walls, reduces bruising and purpling, reduces puffiness under eyes

Additional Secondary Nourishment should include ingredients that support and encourage your body’s own ability to hydrate itself.  These additional ingredients include:

Natural Moisture Facture, Sodium PCA (NaPCA), Gamma Linoleic Acid, Glycerin, CoQ10, sugars and protein sugars like Alpha Lipoic Acid, Arabinogalactan,  Galactoarabinan, Beta Glucan, and Hyaluronic Acid/Sodium Hyaluronate.

These all work bind water to the skin and retain moisture without clogging the pores.

 Tertiary Nourishment (this is where the fine-tuning comes into play):

After the basics are covered, then you have the option of adding treatment ingredients into your skin care regimen.  There are treatment ingredients for acneic skin and aging skin as well as treatments for lightening hyperpigmentation, reducing capillary redness and/or rosacea, etc.  Treatment ingredients for each of those conditions  are many and varied however, the number one anti-aging treatment ingredient you can add in is PEPTIDES!  Peptides are awesome for the following reasons:

  1. Block nerve changes that initiate small muscle contractions (reduces wrinkles)
  2. Increase collagen and spongy tissue synthesis.
  3. Inhibit enzymes that block lymphatic drainage reducing micro-swelling/puffiness.
  4. Regulate inflammatory factors, reduce micro-swelling
  5. Amplify stimulating effects of other products.

*Concentrations are important.  Look for high concentrations of peptides in your products. Be wary of products that have preservatives, emulsifiers, and extracts before the peptides in the ingredient deck!

Be wary of products that have preservatives before the “active ingredients” as a general rule as that is an indication that there is more of the non-active ingredient than the “active”.  In order for any topical ingredient to penetrate you have to have more on the outside than you do on the inside of your skin to create the drawing in or absorbing action (penetration), otherwise, your product sits on top of the skin and rinses off when you wash your face.

And those are the basics of skin nourishment. Stay tuned for blogs on preservatives, treatment ingredients for acne, rosacea, hyper pigmentation and ingredients in general 🙂

-Author, Karyn Blanco 2012

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