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Care of skin, hair and nails Advice

7 natural skin care substances

Beyond the classic moisturising creams, what more can I do to look after my skin effectively, without using any chemicals? Discover 7 natural compounds indispensable to your skincare routine.
Smiling woman with beautiful, moisturised skin
Certain natural compounds play an active role in maintaining healthy-looking skin.
Rédaction Supersmart.
2021-02-02Comments (0)

To keep your skin hydrated … drink plenty of water!

Let’s start with a simple yet essential tip: if you want to have well-hydrated skin, it’s imperative to ... drink enough water every day.

It’s thought adults need to drink around 1.5 litres of water a day (approximately 6-8 glasses) in order to maintain an adequate water supply to the dermis, the skin’s deeper layer.

Conversely, it’s important to avoid alcohol, cigarettes, excessive sun exposure … in short, anything that increases water evaporation and impairs hydration in general, and hydration of the skin in particular (1).

Half a lemon applied to the face

Endowed with natural cleansing properties, lemons are rich in acids, flavonoids and vitamin C. Used topically, lemon juice’s acids remove dead skin cells, and reduce dandruff and bruising (2).

Do you have oily skin or problem blackheads? To purify your skin, add a teaspoon of sugar and a few drops of sweet almond oil to half a lemon (organic and untreated). Gently rub the moistened lemon on your face using circular movements to exfoliate your epidermis.

Which are the best vitamins for the skin?

Healthy skin also requires a vitamin-rich diet. Vitamins A, B2 and B3 are recognised for helping to maintain normal skin, while vitamin C plays a role in normal collagen formation which is needed for healthy skin function (3-4). A probiotic formulation such as Derma Relief, for example, is enriched with vitamins B2 and C.

In terms of skin health, the most popular vitamin remains B8, or biotin. This essential ‘beauty vitamin’ helps maintain healthy skin, mucous membranes and even hair. It is found in foods such as chicken livers, beef kidneys, brewer’s yeast...

Certain dietary supplements offer a convenient way of increasing your biotin intake. They include, for example, Biotin, the beauty supplement Daily Beauty (which also contains collagen peptides), and Natural Skin Formula (also rich in hyaluronic acid).

The secrets of a cucumber mask

With a composition that’s 95% water, as well as being packed with vitamins and minerals, cucumber has long been used for its beauty benefits(5).

Placing slices of cucumber on your eyes for a short time can, for example, help reduce puffiness and dark rings. Applying a mask of crushed cucumber mixed with natural yogurt to the face can help smooth the skin and brighten the complexion.

An extra little tip – chill your cucumber in the fridge for 15 minutes before applying to your face. The coldness conferred by the cucumber helps to decrease blood flow and reduce bags under the eyes... You can also use cold compresses or ice cubes wrapped in a towel.

Consume turmeric

Did you know that in addition to its key antioxidant properties, turmeric also helps to maintain healthy skin? (6). In fact, one of its main active ingredients, curcumin, is regularly used to treat dermatological problems (7).

All of which makes cooking up a delicious curry even more appealing, right? And to gain even more of turmeric root’s benefits on a daily basis, you could also take a course of turmeric supplements (such as Super Curcuma).

The power of organic aloe vera

A familiar ingredient in restorative skin creams, aloe vera is a succulent plant widely used since ancient times.

This special plant can also be ingested in the form of dietary supplements to help maintain healthy skin (particularly the epithelial layer), as well as to stimulate metabolism and improve immunity (8-10). To ensure good quality, choose a natural organic aloe vera gel (such as Organic Aloe Vera).

What role does zinc play in skin health?

Last but not least, the trace element zinc also helps to maintain healthy skin and is thus a great ally to your skincare regimen.

In fact, the skin undergoes constant cell renewal, a process which places great demands on enzymes and zinc based proteins, hence the importance of this mineral (11).

In terms of zinc-rich foods, good sources include oysters, calves’ liver, braised beef and rye bread. To boost your intake, you could take a beauty supplement that contains zinc. Choose, for example, the excellent Skin Ceramides, rich in zinc as well as ceramides, essential components of the skin’s hydrolipidic barrier.

References

  1. Goodman GD, Kaufman J, Day D, et al. Impact of Smoking and Alcohol Use on Facial Aging in Women: Results of a Large Multinational, Multiracial, Cross-sectional Survey. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2019;12(8):28-39.
  2. M.Mohanapriya, Dr. Lalitha Ramaswamy, Dr.R. Rajendran, HEALTH AND MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF LEMON (CITRUS LIMONUM), International Journal Of Ayurvedic And Herbal Medicine 3:1 (2013)1095:1100
  3. Shapiro SS, Saliou C. Role of vitamins in skin care. Nutrition. 2001 Oct;17(10):839-44. doi: 10.1016/s0899-9007(01)00660-8. PMID: 11684391.
  4. EFSA Register of Questions – europa.eu
  5. H. Murad, M.A. Nyc, EVALUATING THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF CUCUMBERS FOR IMPROVED HEALTH AND SKIN CARE, Journal of Aging Research & Clinical Practice©, Volume 5, Number 3, 2016
  6. EFSA Register of Questions – europa.eu
  7. Vaughn AR, Branum A, Sivamani RK. Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Skin Health: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence. Phytother Res. 2016 Aug;30(8):1243-64. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5640. Epub 2016 May 23. PMID: 27213821.
  8. Foster M, Hunter D, Samman S. Evaluation of the Nutritional and Metabolic Effects of Aloe vera. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 3
  9. Sánchez M, González-Burgos E, Iglesias I, Gómez-Serranillos MP. Pharmacological Update Properties of Aloe Vera and its Major Active Constituents. Molecules. 2020;25(6):1324. Published 2020 Mar 13. doi:10.3390/molecules25061324
  10. EFSA Register of Questions – europa.eu
  11. James R. Schwartz PhD  Randall G. Marsh PhD  Zoe Diana Draelos MD, Zinc and Skin Health: Overview of Physiology and Pharmacology, Dermatologic Surgery, Volume31, Issue s1, July 2005, Pages 837-847
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