Updated: May 5, 2020
You may know your AHA's from your BHA's but how up-to-date are you with your skin supplements? I asked nutritionist, Jo Sharp to recommend her favourite skin supplements that can nourish your complexion, repair your skin barrier and improve your overall skin health.
Krill are tiny crustaceans found in the sea and make up the world's largest animal biomass. The oil extracted from Krill is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are essential to the body as it cannot make them on it's own. When the human body does not have enough Omega-3, elastin fibre production decreases and the skin loses its hydration and plumpness. This may lead to the appearance of signs of ageing, especially on the face.
Omega fatty acids are essential for visibly beautiful skin and hair and help to seal in moisture, improve the skin barriers function, and keeps out irritants. A deficiency of essential fatty acids—either omega-3s or omega-6s—may cause rough, scaly skin and dermatitis.
The cooking process can damage Omega-3 so it may be beneficial to take a supplement, on top of eating foods rich in Omega-3 (salmon, sardines, mackerel, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flaxseeds).
Krill oil helps to reduce inflammation, a major contributor to ageing and other inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and dermatitis. The oil also contains the powerful antioxidant Astaxanthin, is known for its health benefits. It is considered one of the most powerful antioxidants, especially for skin health as it belongs to the carotenoid family and may prevent damage from sun exposure, pollution or smoking.
LIPOSOMAL VITAMIN C
Lipsomal Vitamin C differs from the usual Vit C supplements in that it has a phospholipid membrane, which is exactly the same as the membranes in our cells. It is therefore much more bioavailable, does not cause the common gastrointestinal side-effects.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that contributes to normal collagen formation and protects our skin cells from oxidative stress from environmental damage which causes ageing, loss of skin firmness and elasticity.
PRE + PROBIOTICS
Probiotics are live bacteria that can be sourced from things such as live yoghurt, kefir or fermented foods such as sauerkraut and apple cider vinegar. It is important to avoid sugary versions of these products however, as this can be counteractive. These live bacteria and yeasts are important to balance the gut's microbiome and strengthen our immune system. An imbalance in our microbiome can impair our body's natural ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar, and store fat which in turn causes inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, psoriasis and dermatitis.
It's also good to remember that our microbiome isn’t just found in our gut but on our skin also, and there are many skin brands that now available that include live bacteria such as lactobacillus ferment, a wonderful probiotic that may help to support your skin.
Whilst probiotics often get most of our attention, prebiotics - the food for the live microorganisms that you want to cultivate - is paramount to induce a healthy growth of the live bacteria. Foods that can be included are asparagus, yam, banana, oats, honey, garlic, leek, apple and onion.
Zinc is an essential mineral and powerful antioxidant which may benefit acne skins with its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties whilst also regulating sebum production. Studies have shown that zinc can kill the bacteria that causes acne helping to clear breakouts whilst also reducing the inflammatory response to blocked pores which appear as acne and red swelling. It also can help with signs of ageing by supporting the growth of healthy skin cells by serving as a co-factor for collagen production and DNA repair.
There are studies to suggest that people suffering with acne have lower levels of zinc compared with those with little or no acne. Eating a diet which includes foods high in zinc such as oysters, crab, beef, oats, pumpkin seeds, cashews, chickpeas, should be enough to prevent a zinc deficiency. If your zinc levels are at normal levels, supplementation is unlikely to improve your skin appearance. However, for those with a zinc deficiency, zinc supplements may improve inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, eczema or dermatitis.
It should be noted that exceeding 40mg oF zinc daily can have serious side effects such as a lower immune response and nausea and vomiting and so it is always advisable to discuss this with your GP or nutritionist so they can properly advise you.
For anyone looking for nutritional support follow @josharpnutrtion_ DM her to arrange a nutrition consultation.
Jo Sharp is a member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine and registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council. She uses a 360° approach specialising in women's health, from pre/postnatal to menopause, weight, gut, skin, hormonal imbalances and mental health. She offers bespoke and personalised food, lifestyle and supplement recommendations, as well as functional testing where necessary.
This blog does not provide medical advice It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.