When it comes to skincare, my face can be sometimes problematic.
Although I have been lucky in that I have clear skin, I am frequently guilty of neglecting it, using soap and make up remover wipes rather than really looking after it.
The issue for me is that my face sometimes reacts to products and there does not seem to be any indicator as to why. If my skin decides that it does not like a product my face immediately goes bright red and sore. Not a good look.
My skin is at its best when I use micellar water to remove my makeup and maintain a twice daily cleanse, toner and moisturiser routine. I use micellar water from the pound shop which does the job perfectly. I also use the Boots Essentials Cucumber cleanser, the Clinique No 2 Clarifying Lotion and the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel which is the best product I have ever used. My face feels like it is saying thank you when I apply it.
I did also try out the Clinique facial wash but unfortunately, it does not agree with my skin and turns me into a cherry tomorrow.
Now is the perfect time to spring clean your skincare and one of the ways I want to look at my skincare is from a nutritional point of view.
Your skin consists of billions of cells. Each cell is an organism that requires oxygen and nutrients in order to thrive.
While many creams exist to moisturise and help the anti-ageing process, it is possible to improve the condition of your skin from the inside with the right nutrition.
I have just completed a one month course of Lumity which I will talk about in a separate blog post, but here are some of the things that you can do on a nutritional level to improve your skin.
The Science Bit
Skin can be subject to damage from free radicals, particularly if exposed to strong sunlight. There are 25 types of collagen in the body and, along with elastin, they give skin texture and structure. Free radical damage causes collagen and elastin to break down, which leads to wrinkles and skin losing its firmness. Antioxidants such as vitamin C and coenzyme Q10 can protect cells from the damaging affects of these toxic chemicals.
Dietary sources of vitamin C include fruits and vegetables, however this vitamin is easily destroyed by cooking and food processing. Levels of vitamin C are also reduced by factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol and certain drugs such as antidepressants and oral contraceptives. As a result, supplements are a great way to ensure that you get enough of this vital nutrient. The Recommended DailyAllowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 60mg/day of 120mg/day if you are a smoker.
Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance which can be obtained from the diet, however most is manufactured within our bodies. Our ability to do this decreases from our mid-twenties, making supplements important. Coenzyme Q10 plays an important role in producing energy in our bodies and is also a powerful antioxidant. This means it protects the skin from free radical damage and promotes effective skin repair. Coenzyme Q10 has been proven to reduce the depth of fine lines and wrinkles over time.
Given that I am a smoker, taking a daily Vitamin C supplemental alongside some Coenzyme Q10 pills is something that I am going to implement into my daily life.
Fatty acids and skin repair
Essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 are required for healthy skin, hair and nails. The richest source of Omega 3 is fish oil from oily fish such as herring, salmon, tuna and sardines. Omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory, making it good for irritable, sore skin. Many people choose to take an Omega 3 fish oil supplement. Due to concern about environmental pollution in fish, it is safest to choose a supplement which contains oil from the flesh of the fish, rather than the liver.
Omega 7 fatty acids are perhaps less well known, but have a number of health benefits, including skincare. Omega 7 sea buckthorn oil capsules from Pharma Nord contain oil from a tiny berry and help with lubrication through the body, protecting the internal organs, as well as the linings of the eyes, mouth and skin. Sea buckthorn oil is one of the best natural oils for mature and wrinkled skin due to its essential fatty acid and vitamin E, C and A properties. It has nourishing, moisturising and restorative action, promoting tissue regeneration and reducing age-induced skin wrinkling and signs of premature ageing. Seabuckthorn oil also has natural sun protecting power.
The importance of blood flow
Blood supply to the skin is extremely important if the skin is to get all the oxygen and nutrients it needs. Pycnogenol is a plant-based extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree and can be taken as a supplement to improve blood circulation. This can help with skin hydration and vitality. Pycnogenol can also help to reduce wrinkles by binding with skin proteins collagen and elastin to protect from various harmful enzymes. It also rebuilds elasticity, which is essential for smooth, youthful skin. It has also been shown to reduce over-pigmentation for a more even complexion.
In terms of sun care, sunburn is an inflammation caused by free radical induced tissue damage. By neutralising these free radicals, pycnogenol helps protect the skin from the stress and damage of sunburn.
In the UK we are all guilty of forgetting to use sun cream, thinking somehow that the sun is not as strong as it is when we go abroad, which is of course ridiculous.
So my plan for healthy, glowing skin this summer, and continuing, is to start taking regular nutritional supplements and hopefully, I will soon have skin like a goddess!