Healthy and Beautiful Skin from Within


A few days ago I was invited to organise a workshop the main goal of which was to talk about foods that are important for supporting and nourishing our skin. The enthusiasm, curiosity and overwhelming response of the people who attended the workshop made me realise that skin nutrition is a subject that interests people a lot. This experience inspired me to write this piece.

Nature has provided us with a wide range of nutrients that we need to include in our diet to support and nourish the skin. Lacking any of these nutrients can compromise the health and stability of the skin. However, maintaining a healthy skin is a much more complicated process that is affected by many other different factors.

Healthy skin depends enormously on a digestive system working effectively. If the foods that we eat cannot be properly digested and the nutrients in those foods cannot be absorbed then, we are not going to be able to supply the skin with the nutrients that it needs.

If any of the body's main detoxification and elimination pathways, the liver, lungs, kidneys or intestines are compromised, the body will try to find the means to get rid of toxins and wastes in some other way and this could be through the skin. This could be reflected in your skin as acne, skin outbreaks, dry skin, eczema, dark circles, puffy skin, and others.

Nutrients reach skin cells via an extensive capillary network. As the skin is a continually renewing layer, it is important to ensure that there is a constant supply of nutrients. Therefore, it is imperative to maintain healthy and flexible arteries, veins and capillaries so that nutrients can reach the skin cells and waste can be removed and eliminated.

A number of lifestyle factors also affect the appearance of your skin. Stress is believed to have an effect, as it can exacerbate several skin disorders and there is evidence that wound healing is impaired by chronic stress. UV radiation from the sun is well known to damage the connective tissue of your skin, contributing to the appearance of wrinkles and brown spots. Cigarette smoking extrinsically prematurely ages the skin. Cigarette smoke appears to activate enzymes in the skin that degrade the connective tissue of the skin's dermis (e.g., collagen).

Personal skincare habits may also have a profound effect on the skin. Some ingredients used in skin care products can be damaging to the skin, causing inflammation, irritation, dryness or an imbalance in the skin's protective acidic nature. Try to avoid those products that contain artificial colours and fragrances, Sodium Nitrite 3 and Formaldehyde, Parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Phthalates. If you consider that much of what we put onto our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream (this is how nicotine and contraceptive patches work!), it follows that we should be as concerned about the products we put onto our skin as we are about the foods that we eat.

To find out more about the harmful ingredients in your skincare products, visit the EGW's Skin Deep Guide to Cosmetics following this link

If you want to learn about how to 'listen' to what your skin may be trying to tell you and how internal and external factors affect your skin, follow the link to this very informative page: