A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a presentation on the key to vibrant skin, called Vibrant Skin: Outside and In. It was an hour-long presentation organized by the Natural Food Pantry in Ottawa and presented by Emily Kielbiski, a Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and self-described skincare enthusiast. We learned about the composition and function of skin, different skin issues, and key nutrients that heal and nourish skin cells. I learned a lot from it and wanted to share some of that information, given PureNaturalist is all about holistic benefits of natural foods and overall wellness. This post will summarize skin composition and functions, discuss key nutrients promoting radiant skin naturally and give some tips to help achieve vibrant skin inside-out for different skin types.
Skin Composition and Functions
As most know, your skin is your largest organ. It’s made up of 3 layers that have different functions but work all together to reflect how healthy you really are. The epidermis is the outer-most layer that is visible to you and everyone else. It is actually made up of dead skin cells and houses melanocytes, which are cells responsible for melanin production. The epidermis also works with the sun to produce vitamin D. The second and middle layer is the dermis, which contains oil & sweat glands, hair follicles, blood vessels, and proteins. It helps provide nutrients to the epidermis, and helps strengthen your skin while providing its elasticity. The hypodermis is the deepest layer, which is a layer of fat and connective tissue that helps with regulating body temperature and protecting muscles & bones.
Given your skin is made up of different layers with different functions, it is imperative to know which nutrients nourish your skin, internally and topically.
The main nutrients that nourish skin include Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Omega-3 Oils, which have different functions that promote healthy skin. Other beneficial nutrients worth mentioning that help maintain that radiancy are probiotics, Zinc, Omega-6 oils, Protein, and Sulphur.
Vibrant Skin from Within
Here are some tips to achieve vibrant skin based on what you’re ingesting and your skin type.
- Dry skin – needs hydration. To avoid skin flakiness, maintain skin elasticity by drinking water and eating foods high in essential fats, protein and vitamin C.
- Oily skin – must avoid processed and greasy foods. Nourish your skin with anti-inflammatory foods such as cruciferous vegetables and drink plenty of water.
- Sensitive skin – can be strengthened with antioxidants. Eat foods that are naturally high in the key-nutrients mentioned above.
Vibrant Skin Topically
Here are a few tips of what ingredients to use or avoid in skincare products.
- Dry skin – Use gentle exfoliation for flakiness. It needs deep and rich hydration to have elasticity and suppleness. Use richer oils like Shea butter or Evening Primrose oil to moisturize.
- Oily skin – Use gentle cleansers to not strip skin and alter pH level. Use fast absorbing light moisturizers like Jojoba oil. Products that contain anti-bacterial essential oils (e.g. tea tree, lavender) are also beneficial.
- Sensitive skin – Use soothing products free of irritants like alcohol and fragrances. Anti-inflammatory ingredients like chamomile, sage, calendula are beneficial.
This information was part of the presentation and I hope that it gives a better understanding of skin nutrition. It’s also a reminder that eh-ve-ry-thing starts from within and eating foods that are naturally rich in nutrients have holistic benefits. Being mindful of ingredients used in skincare products and cosmetology will ensure that you’re truly protecting and nourishing your skin rather than harming it. After all, it is the largest organ and has many essential functions.