Which Vitamins Give Me Healthy Younger Skin
There are a variety of vitamins that help the condition of our skin. Ideally we should be getting these vitamins in the foods we eat on a daily basis. But seriously how many of us really eat a healthy diet like we should. If we aren't getting enough of these vitamins in our daily diet then our skin and cells suffer and the result is unhealthy, aging, wrinkled, saggy skin.
If we aren't eating a healthy diet, we can still supplement our diet with vitamins and minerals that will help us to have healthier skin.
Why Does Our Skin Age
Our skin is made up of 3 layers. The outer layer is called the epidermus. At the bottom of the epidermus new skin cells are constantly forming. These new skin cells travel to the top of the epidermus which takes about 2 to 4 weeks. As the new cells rise to the top of the epidermus, the outer cells die and flake off. We typically lose about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells a day.
If our skin is constantly renewing itself, why does our skin become dry and lifeless? As we age things such as sun exposure, stress and a poor diet, begin to slow the cell turnover rate. The dead skin layer becomes thicker because the dead cells stay on the surface of our skin longer. The moisture flow also slows resulting in dull, uneven skin, including fine lines and wrinkles. Loss of hydration also causes loss of elasticty and sagging.
Essential Vitamins for Healthy Skin
Vitamins A, C, E, K and B Complex are all known to improve the look and feel of your skin.
Vitamin C and E have been found to counter the effects of sun damage and improve the texture of your skin. These two vitamins have also been found to protect against damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals destroy the collagen and elastin in your skin, making your skin wrinkle and sag. Your diet should include foods rich in Vitamin C such as citrus fruits, leafy greens and vegetables including broccoli, brussel sprouts and peppers. You can also take vitamin C supplements of 500 - 1000 ml. per day.
The best way to get Vitamin A is in your diet. There are many fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin A such as sweet potatos, carrots, cantaloupe, dark leafy greens, asparagus, spinach, watermelon, broccoli, apricots, beef liver and green beans. Vitamin A applied topically is also very beneficial to the look and feel of your skin.
Vitamin E can be found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. Because it is harder to get Vitamin E in your diet, you may want to take a supplement. There are recent studies that show high doses of vitamin E can be harmful, so check with your doctor or pharmacist on the proper doseage. Vitamin E can also be applied topically to help prevent damage from the environment, improve elasticity and help heal damaged skin.
The best source of Vitamin K is raw fruits and vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach. The minerals from these foods are more easily absorbed. Other sources include, yogurt, wheat, oat, meat and some nuts. Vitamin K deficiancy is very rare, as it is abundant in many everyday foods, so you will probably not need a supplement.
Viamin B Complex
Because our skin is constantly flaking off and renewing itself, Vitamin B Complex is essential for cell reproduction. Vitamin B Complex constists of Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B9, Vitamin B12, Biotin and Choline. Some good sources can be found in whole grain cereals, green leafy vegetables, liver, bananas, potatoes, dairy, and eggs. Of course you can always take a Vitamin B supplement, but check with your doctor or pharmacist, as to the correct dosage for you.
Protect Your Skin & Eyes
Sun exposure is a primary cause of skin damage and premature aging. Your daily skin care routine should include, applying a generous layer of sunscreen to any exposed skin. An SPF of at least 15 is recommended. Many of todays makeup foundations contain sunscreen, but it is still recommended that you apply a sunscreen under your makeup to ensure your skin is well protected. Some of the commercial sunscreens contain many chemicals that are not really good for your skin. I have posted a video below on how to make a homemade sunscreen from natural ingredients.
It is also a good idea to wear sunglasses that have UV protection. Not only can long term exposure to UV rays lead to cataracts and macular degeneration, but it can also cause wrinkles from squinting.
Smoke and Pollution
Cigarette smoking is the second fastest way of aging our skin. If you are a smoker you can expect your skin to age much more quickly than a non smoker. Like sun exposure, smoke exposes your skin to free radicals which breaks down your skins collagen. Nicotine constricts blood vessels and decreases the oxygen flow to your skin. Exposure to secondhand smoke is also bad for your skin.
Steaming your face helps to loosen the dirt, clean your pores and moisturize. You can use a Facial Steamer or just cover your head with a towel and lean over a bowl of steaming water for 5-6 minutes. Be careful not to lean too close and burn yourself. You can add a few drops of peppermint, lavender or rose essential oil. This also helps to stimulate circulation.
Blot your face with a towel, don't rub. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your moisturizer and apply while your face is still slightly damp, to help hold the moisture in.
Making sure you are drinking plenty of water is extremely important to the condition of your skin. Your cells need plenty of hydration in order to function properly.
You have probably heard this a million times, but it's true. You need to drink about 8 8oz glasses of water a day to get the proper hydration. This will help your cells stay hydrated, which in turn will plump up your skin cells and make your skin look younger and healthier.