Tag Archives: healthy skin

Want Healthier Skin This Year?

Want Healthier Skin This Year?

I’m sure you know that a good home care routine and regular professional exfoliation helps your skin look and stay healthier and glowing. Maybe you even heard it from me! I’m sure you’ve heard that drinking water and keeping the body hydrated is important for younger looking, healthy skin. These things are true, but many people forget that what you eat can also have a significant impact on your skin.

Your skin is your body’s largest organ and it’s amazing. It has 5 main functions:

Protects against outside elements and microorganisms
Sensory Functions allow us to feel heat, cold, pain, touch etc
Temperature Regulation
Excretions through the sweat glands
Secretion of oils through the oil glands
Absorption of water and oxygen

Isn’t this an impressive list? So with all of these functions, taking care of your skin isn’t about vanity and it’s all about taking care of yourself so you are in your best shape to, in turn, take care of the people around you.

The skin on your face is usually the first thing people see when they meet you. I’m all about first impressions but my driving force to maintaining healthy and young looking skin is taking care of me. When I take care of my skin, I ‘m taking care of myself. It’s a trickle down effect. When I’m taking good care of myself, I have the reserves to take care of my family, friends and clients. So it makes sense to keep this important organ in top shape. Here are some tips for how eating right can help you and your skin stay healthy.

Key Vitamins and Minerals for Skin Health

Vitamin A is considered to be a very important vitamin for skin health. Carrots and other colorful vegetables have a lot of this vitamin. However, experts recommend low-fat dairy products for vitamin A, because it is said to be more readily absorbed in the form found in dairy foods. Low-fat yogurt is particularly recommended. In fact, plain yogurt is often an ingredient in topical skin preparations.

Vitamins C and E are also said to be important for skin health. They are considered “antioxidants,” which are discussed below. Vitamin C is found in citrus foods, bell peppers, tomatoes, and cantaloupe. Vitamin E occurs in avocados and most nuts and seeds.

Antioxidants

Health professionals across the board are recognizing the importance of antioxidant foods in the diet, and how these antioxidants affect skin health is coming to light. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there is a thing called Face Mapping. Recently, Face mapping is seeing the face as it relates to a person’s overall health. For instance, skin is said to be an indicator of a person’s liver and other digestive organs. It truly is. Puffy underlies can be a sign of retaining water in some people and this area corresponds to the kidney in TCM. Also, we know the liver acts as a filter and as the liver stores toxins that enter the body to keep them from circulating and causing harm. Antioxidants help boost liver health and, in turn, skin health.

Another way that antioxidants in the diet may help skin is by protecting the skin cells themselves. Damage from free radicals – pesky molecules that form as a result of toxin exposure, as a by-product of certain body processes, or from sun exposure – may be prevented by antioxidants in the diet. So eating foods rich in antioxidants may help prevent this free radical damage from occurring. Antioxidant-rich foods include berries, pinto beans, artichokes, and tea.

Fats and Oils

Remember when your dermatologist told you not to eat “greasy” foods, as that could worsen acne? There is a place for fat intake in a healthy skin diet – as long as it’s beneficial fat. The fatty acids found in salmon, nuts, seeds, and some oils (such as extra virgin olive and avocado) help build strong cell membranes. They also help the body digest and absorb fat-soluble vitamins, such as the above mentioned vitamin A and also vitamin D, another vitamin associated with healthy skin. So add a little garlic and olive oil to your green beans or bell peppers. You’ll benefit with easier absorption of the vitamins packed in veggies and also feel great about the added flavor.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking water and eating water filled vegetables all aid in keeping the skin healthy, hydrated and supple. Drinking half your weight in ounces of water is the generally accepted daily quantity one should drink.

Making an effort to reduce processed salty and sugary foods and to increase vitamin, antioxidant and water rich foods found in whole foods like colorful vegetables and fruits will certainly show in the glow of your complexion and the extra energy in your step.

Collagen Supplements, Yes or No?

Collagen for Health

You have probably heard of collagen here and there, possibly from friends or co-workers, but what exactly is it? The collagen you see in stores, particularly health food stores or even online, is a powdered form of collagen that you actually already have in your body.
Why do you need a collagen supplement? Because it can break down in your body over time, which might cause symptoms like joint pain, premature signs of aging on your skin, and gut health issues.


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What Exactly is Collagen?

First thing’s first – let’s discuss what collagen is. This is a type of protein in your body that exists to help keep tissues together. It is often found in parts of the body where you have connective tissues, such as your joints, muscles, and even your skin and scalp.
Since it can break down over time, you might need to supplement with a powdered form of collagen, which luckily is very easy to use and now due to its popularity, easy to find as well.


What Can it do For You?

The reason collagen is so popular is because of how beneficial it is for your skin and body. When you don’t have enough collagen, it affects you in ways you might not have even thought of. The following information is going to give you an inside look into the 7 top health benefits of using a collagen supplement.

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1. Healthy Skin and Hair

The first health benefit of collagen happens to be one of the most popular and widely known advantages. You might have heard about collagen when doing research on anti-aging, or wondering why at a relatively young age, you are showing signs of aging like looser skin and wrinkles.
The reason might be lack of collagen. Yes, collagen is found in your connective tissues like your joints, but did you know it can also be found in your skin? It helps with the outer layer of skin, which is usually elastic in order to remain tight.
However, when you start losing collagen, the elasticity goes with it. As your skin loosens – even before you see a big difference – you start to get wrinkles and lines. 

Aging is Not Always Permanent
What you might not know is that some signs of aging are not permanent. If you have wrinkles and lines due to a loss of elasticity in your skin, finding a way to tighten it up just might reverse the signs of aging, allowing you to age more gracefully.
This is what collagen can do for you.
When you start using collagen on a daily basis, it can not only help with your skin’s elasticity, but it can also help you to retain more moisture in your skin, which as you know, is vital to protecting your skin from premature signs of aging.
There are many types of collagen, but for your skin, collagen peptides is the most popular option. This is good news, since it is easy to find!


Collagen for Your Hair

Before moving on to the next health benefit, you should know that collagen might also help with your hair. Your skin needs collagen, but that is not just on your face and body; don’t forget your scalp is skin too. You need to take good care of it just like your face, otherwise you might experience dry scalp, itching, breakage, and even thinning of your hair.
If you notice issues with your hair texture or the thickness, it might be due to needing more collagen. So, while you are using collagen to help your skin and other health conditions, you could also get the added benefit of increasing hair growth as well.

2. Stronger Nails

While we are talking about natural beauty benefits related to collagen, why not talk about your nails? Collagen can also help with your nail condition, most notably if you struggle with weak, chipped, and cracking nails. This is not usually a sign of not taking good care of them on the outside, but more about your health in general.
Issues with your health affects so many things, so when something is weak and brittle, like your nails, it is often a sign you are missing an important nutrient.

How Does Collagen Help?
With a collagen supplement, you are helping to provide essential nutrients and amino acids to your nails. This can help them strengthen, which greatly reduces the risk of having them break in the future. It is similar to the effect of using biotin for hair, skin, and nails.
Keep in mind that you might not notice these changes for several weeks, so keep using your collagen daily – you will soon notice a difference.

3. Improved Digestion and Gut Health

Moving on to another set of health benefits are your gut health. Gut health is another big topic for the health industry lately. Why? It is not an increase in people’s digestive issues, but more an increase in what scientists have discovered, as well as more natural and home remedies to help with your gut.
No more do you need to struggle with conditions like leaky gut and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as there are a lot of more natural options that are far more beneficial than any medications you could be taking.

Collagen for Your Gut Health
Collagen can help many gut conditions, but it has been especially useful with leaky gut syndrome. When you have leaky gut, nutrients are passing right through your body, without being properly absorbed. This along with many negative side effects like nausea, upset stomach, fatigue, and bloating, can make life extremely difficult to deal with.
When you start taking collagen each day, you might notice a difference in how your stomach feels. Maybe you don’t have as much diarrhea and constipation, or you experience a relief in the bloating you have been dealing with.
Another good thing about collagen for gut health is that you might not need as much of the supplement for your gut. While you can still use the powdered form of collagen, you might also see benefits with bone broth.

How to Know Your Gut Needs Help?
For some people, they either don’t notice little changes with their digestive health, or it has been going on so long, they didn’t realize there was something they could do about it.
Have you ever told people you “just have a sensitive stomach?” It is very possible that this is true, but you might also have a gut that just needs a little TLC. Symptoms like constant nausea, constipation and diarrhea, stomach cramps, bloating, and just overall discomfort of the belly are not normal, and most likely related to a gut condition.

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4. Reduced Joint Pain

You need collagen in your body as it helps with the connective tissues like tendons and ligaments, so what happens when it starts breaking down? You start feeling the pain in certain areas of your body.
If you have noticed an increase in joint pain recently, such as more stiffness in your joints when getting up or bending your knees, or just general joint pain, it might be from a loss of collagen.
The collagen in your body is in a gel-like form, similar to gelatin. This helps your bones and joints to work together, gliding from one position to another, without incident. When you feel stiffness, pain, or hear creaking when moving your arms or legs, this could be from not having enough of that collagen to move things along.
Not only can collagen supplements help with joint pain and stiffness you are already experiencing, but some studies are being done to show a positive effect in preventing or reducing the risk of degenerative diseases.

5. Prevention of Heart Disease

While there is still some research being done on this benefit, studies have shown that collagen can also affect your cardiovascular health. Collagen provides essential amino acids to your body, which are very important when it comes to the fat buildup in your arteries and bloodstream.
As you know, this could potentially increase your risk for heart disease. With collagen, you are getting the benefit of helping to shrink fat in the arteries thanks to these amazing amino acids. There has also been some evidence to show that your blood pressure can be reduced with tissue repair thanks to the collagen in your connective tissues.
This is an amazing and possible life-saving health benefit even when you are using collagen primarily for other purposes.

6. Boost in Brain Health

Yes – collagen can also help with your brain health! This is when specific types of collagen come into play. There is a type of collagen, type 4, that helps with the tissues around your heart, organs, and brain. This is the collagen that can be useful in helping to protect your brain health by reducing your risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease currently has no cure, though there are ways to reduce the risk of getting it. One of them might be collagen, as studies are showing excellent progress. 

How Does it Help?
With more collagen in your body, you are allowing those tissues to be protected around your brain, which might just prevent Alzheimer’s, or at least prolong it.
It never hurts to have these added benefits with something you were already going to take every day anyway.

7. Protection of Bone and Muscle Health

The last health benefit that is worth noting is protection of your bones and muscles. This probably comes as no surprise since we have been talking about how collagen helps protect the connective tissues around your ligaments, muscles, tendons, and joints. It works in a similar way to help with your muscle health and even prevent bone loss.

Did You Know?
Your bones are actually made up primarily of collagen. This is what makes your bones so strong and able to withstand a lot of weight and pressure. As you age, the collagen gradually breaks down and deteriorates, which is why you become at greater risk for bone-related conditions like osteoporosis.
It can also mean a higher risk of breaking bones even in minor accidents that previously would not have caused such a serious injury.
In order to protect your bones, you need to be sure you have enough collagen production in your body, which sometimes means using a collagen supplement.
Improve Your Muscle Mass
The other benefit is that it might help boost your muscle mass. Muscles also have a high amount of the collagen protein in them, so it makes sense that you would lose muscle mass as you lose collagen in your body. As you age, it becomes even more important to take a collagen supplement.