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Five Necessary Vitamins for Skin Health

All health begins with the food you eat. We are excited to make a product that actively works to slow the role of aging in your skin's daily adventure, but the fact of the matter remains that there are many foods you can get into your system to help slow the aging process from the inside out. We are particularly interested in foods that do the following:

  • encourage skin to produce sebum, which maintains a healthy barrier to prevent moisture loss

  • stimulate the production of collagen, which improves elasticity

  • helps skin's natural defenses against toxins, temperature changes, moisture loss and sun exposure

Luckily, food has been our best medicine for millenia, and most whole foods can help in some way or another in the fight against skin rebellion. Here are some foods that pack a particular punch in this area.

Vitamin K

The delectable popsicles you see above are a fantastic way of getting this vitamin in your system every day. The color of kiwi is an indicator of its high levels of vitamin K, which is used topically in the skincare world to reduce undereye bruising and the appearance of varicose veins. Internally, it helps stimulate blood clotting. It also helps prevent calcium deposits in elastin fibers--the source of wrinkles. Its full-body reduction in calcification has numerous health benefits for veins and circulation. Vitamin K is also found in leafy greens (kale chips, anyone?) and broccoli. Vitamin K is most bio-available when the food containing it is eaten along with fat. For this reason, sauteing greens like collards or chard in vegetable or coconut oil can increase the nutritional benefit of the food.

Beta Carotene This powerful antioxidant is abundantly found in brightly colored veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and squash, and animal sources like liver, fish oil, eggs, and milk. It is in the carotenoid family, with other fabulous antioxidants like lycopene (responsible for the redness of tomatoes.) However, beta carotene has shown repeated positive results when it has been studied for its ability to block the more penetrative UVA rays. It does this by causing human cells to release chemicals that help block the rays and therefore prevent deep-level skin damage. In 2008, a study was published in the journal Photochemistry and Photobiology that showed a moderate resistance to the damages of sunburn when the test participants had routinely ingested high levels of beta carotene for ten weeks prior to exposure.

Vitamin C We know, we know, this little vitamin is passed out everywhere, but with good reason: our bodies don't make it at all, and our only sources are dietary. Vitamin C intake is essential for collagen synthesis. In layman's terms, this means that without vitaming C, your skin loses its suppleness. Vitamin C acts like a buddy to groups of antioxidants within the body. When you consume this valuable vitamin, the body can use it to replenish its stocks of other antioxidants. We already know its topical value, but internal consumption increases its power by triggering the body to absorb things it usually doesn't love, like iron from plant sources. There is no way to get too much of this vitamin; its water solubility means anything in excess of 1 g a day gets excreted with urine. Along with the list of citrus fruits that carry abundant vitamin C, you can also find it in strawberries, blueberries, guava and kiwi.

Vitamin E

This is often the first vitamin mentioned when skin health comes up. This is because Vitamin E and its main component, alpha-tocopherol, are vital antioxidants that boost immune reactions in the body and help protect against pollution. We use alpha-tocopherol in our products, but its internal benefits are also vast. By supplementing with nuts, seeds, wheat germ, and vegetables like squash and turnip greens, we are boosting our body's defenses against inflammation. By reducing inflammation we can reduce troublesome skin issues like eczema and acne. A 2002 study showed that Vitamin E appears affective against atopic dermatitis. Any type of oxidative stress in your body can cause issues like wrinkles and inflammation, and many benefits of alpha-tocopherols stem from their ability to reduce this stress.

Vitamin D We know this vitamin from our exposure to sun, but it plays a much more thorough role in our skin health. Its interaction is with what are known as keratinocytes, the cells that form several layers of your skin. Because of this, vitamin D has been effectively used to treat psoriasis, when topically applied. Internally, it helps form the keratinocytes that make up the bottom layer of your epidermis. Because of its interaction with the various skin layers, vitamin D is thought to help prevent mutations in the skin, it has been investigated for a role in preventing certain types of cancer. While you can find it added to milk and other dairy products, you can also obtain vitamin D from fatty fishes, egg yolks, and beef liver.

It's never too late to start slowing down the aging process. Why try to run backward when you could focus on improving your forward? The potent combination of great food + great skincare will keep you glowing for the next several decades.

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