The global beauty industry is worth US $532 billion1 and is set to rapidly increase, but although a good skincare regimen is important, the skin is the largest organ of the body and like all organs it responds to changes – in environment, pollution, diet and stress. So while it can be luxurious to try out a new face cream, the key to the clear, youthful and glowing skin promised on every skincare product is actually all in how we treat our insides.
Drink plenty of water, really!
Yes, we’ve all heard it a thousand times but why is it so important for skin? Think of a dry sponge versus one soaked in water – your skin is an awful lot like that. Hydrating every cell causes the cells to swell, meaning eventually when skin cells receive that H20, they plump up. Water is the primary component of all cells and tissues of the body and adequate water content of the skin is linked to healthy skin function.2 Water is also vital to organ function, including organs that help to eliminate waste such as the kidneys, liver and intestines. When these vital organs are properly hydrated, toxins are eliminated effectively and will not come through skin – the body’s other channel of elimination.3
Include collagen in your diet
Collagen has caused quite a stir in recent years as the ingredient, long known in health circles for a variety of uses, has crossed over to the beauty aisle. Collagen is certainly a secret weapon for keeping skin plump, maintaining skin elasticity and reducing appearance of fine lines4 – but collagen also goes to work internally by supporting the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, proving the adage once again that true beauty comes from the inside out.
Free radicals are a fact of life, but overproduction of free radicals can cause significant damage to the body over time. When we consider what causes free radical damage – stress, poor diet, smoking, environmental pollution (to name a few!) – including antioxidants in the diet is absolutely essential to good health. Collagen’s antioxidant properties help to ‘scavenge’ free radicals to protect the body’s tissues against potential damage.5 Vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant with numerous actions in the body, including being a vital component of the body’s own natural collagen production.6,7
Zinc and vitamin A also act as antioxidant nutrients that help to maintain skin health. Zinc plays an important role in skin integrity, connective tissue formation and wound healing,8 while vitamin A supports healthy skin membranes and helps to maintain normal skin cell growth.9
Whether you’re considering what products to include to support your skin preventatively, or are well and truly in eye cream territory, look beyond the beauty aisle and consider a ‘from the inside out’ approach to maintain truly healthy, glowing skin.
- Byron B. Beauty has blown up to be a $532 billion industry — and analysts say that these 4 trends will make it even bigger. Business Insider. Viewed 10th April 2020 https://www.businessinsider.com.au/beauty-multibillion-industry-trends-future-2019-7?r=US&IR=T
- Palma L, Tavara Marques L, Bujan J, et al. Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol 2015;8:413-421.
- Better Health Channel. Water – a vital nutrient. Viewed 1st April 2020 https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/water-a-vital-nutrient
- Bolke L, Schlippe G, Gerb J, et al. A collagen supplement improves skin hydration, elasticity, roughness and density: Results from a randomized, placebo-controlled, blind study. Nutrients 2019;11(10):2494.
- Zhang L, Zheng Y, Cheng X, et al. The anti-photoaging effect of antioxidant collagen peptides from silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) skin is preferable to tea polyphenols and casein peptides. Food Funct, 2017;8(4):1698-1707.
- Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The roles of vitamin C in skin health. Nutrients, 2017;9
- Seo HJ, Cho YE, Kim T, et al. Zinc may increase bone formation through stimulating cell proliferation, alkaline phosphatase activity and collagen synthesis in osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells. Nutr Res Pract 2010;4(5):356-361.
- Lin PH, Sermersheim M, Haichang L, et al. Zinc in wound healing modulation. Nutrients 2018;10(1):16.
- Gilbert C. What is vitamin A and why do we need it? Community Eye Health 2013;26(84):65.