Skin vs Nutrition

Skin cells require specific vitamins, minerals and nutrients in order to produce what you're asking them to produce; and this principle applies for not only what you apply topically to the skin, but for what you're doing internally to support these imperative anti-ageing structures that produce collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans (hyaluronic acid).

Our skin cells are constantly undergoing intercellular communication with each other; sharing personal detailed information and relying on important internal nutrients in order to function at optimal health. When the skin is lacking in water for example, the enzymes that are responsible for naturally exfoliating the skin on a daily basis become compromised, and they are unable to fulfill their duty of 'eating' away at the tethering desmosomes (little pegs that hold each skin cell together) to allow for that natural process of desquamation. This in turn unfortunately will promote poor enzyme activity within the skin, increased skin build up and dry, sluggish and congested skin will be present… not something we want, hey!

Water isn't the only answer to happy, healthy skin. In order for the skin to produce wonderful anti-ageing growth factors, you need to be feeding the cell that is responsible for producing such imperative structures. The fibroblast cell (this is the cell that creates collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid) requires daily nutrients of substances like: Essential Fatty Acids, Amino Acids (building blocks of proteins), Magnesium, Bioflavonoids, Vitamins A,C,K,E and the list goes on!

Think of it like this, if you're wanting to make a dozen cupcakes but you only have enough for half, you're only going to be able to make X amounts of cupcakes; and this principle is exactly the same for the fibroblast cell. If you only have so much of the nutrients that are required for collagen synthesis, you're only going to get so far with your results!

Having a good skincare formulation is essential to deliver nutrients into the skin topically, but for targeting specific growth-factors on a much deeper level does require you to take a really good look at your diet and thinking to yourself, (or thinking out loud if you're like me), 'Is this substance that I'm about to ingest going to be good for my skin on a cellular level? Does it contain the essential building blocks that my skin requires to make good strong cellular proteins?’

If you don’t eat the right amount of Essential Fatty Acids in your diet, there will be poor absorption of nutrients leading to cellular inflammation; which in turn will cause the barrier defence systems of the skin to become compromised and the chronological age of the skin will be accelerated. Take the skin condition, Rosacea, for example. This inflammatory skin condition has a multitude of different causes and if for example your lungs are unhealthy, so too will be your large intestine and your liver.

Since this skin condition is the result of an overloaded system, staying off all processed foods and replacing them with good nutritional whole foods, drinking lots of good quality water, eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, walking in the sunshine and ensuring that you’re not smoking; your rosacea will show massive amounts of improvements and quite possibly, even go away!

You are what you eat. That's just a fact. You can't heal a skin that isn't functioning well from within as the bacteria that resides in your gut, communicates to the bacteria that resides on your skin... do be keeping that in the back of your mind the next time you go to reach for that chocolate bar or that delicious looking pizza on your co-workers desk; all will have a cellular impact on your skin cells and unfortunately, it won't be positive.

If you'd like to understand more about your skin, book in for an advanced skin analysis.

Written by SJM Skin Aesthetics Corneotherapist Kai.

Suzanne Smedley