It’s all over Instagram as the new thing to incorporate into our #new (normal) routine – skincare vitamins. More and more research is coming to light that suggests we can all be doing so much more to achieve the skin of our dreams, and it starts from the inside out. We’ve all been there when we’ve eaten and drunk poorly for a few days (think: over Christmas or a blowout holiday) and the side effects take their toll on your skin in the form of dullness, dehydration, and unusual breakouts. On the other side of the coin, if we consume a varied and balanced diet our skin seems to behave – get the picture? Before you dismiss skincare supplements as yet another marketing ploy, keep an open mind. If you want to know if the whole supplement trend is for real, then you’re in the right place…
After all, it seems sensible to assume that skincare is way more complex than just simply putting topical formulas from various bottles on your face, right? Our emotions, lifestyle and diet all play a huge role in our skin health. If you’re not eating or sleeping well (for whatever reason) it will affect the organs in your body, and given your skin is actually your bodies largest organ chances are it will show in your skin. That’s not to mention our gut-brain connection which impacts nearly every system and process within our body. By nourishing our gut with nutritious ingredients in what we eat there is research to support that we are able to directly influence the skin. Good skin needs ingredients delivered through our blood supply in order to produce collagen, fight off free radicals (think anti-ageing) and stay at optimum health.
As many of your skincare fanatics will already know, the most important proteins within the skin that are responsible for great condition (collagen and elastin) begin to break down as we get older. Unfortunately, studies have shown that ‘getting older’ in terms of our skin begins from about our mid-twenties! Making matters worse, our bodies don’t produce these proteins as easily as we are blessed enough to advance in our years, so we often could use an extra boost. That’s where seriously clever skin supplements come in, because even the healthiest diet can’t provide the body with everything it needs all of the time…
WHAT EVEN ARE THEY THOUGH…?
Skincare supplements aren’t just your basic vitamins repackaged in a glossy box, contrary to popular belief. They generally are made up of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, or botanicals as well as any other (safe) substance that can be used to support your diet. So, of course whilst they’re absolutely not necessary (and we should all be pursuing a healthy and balanced diet regardless) they can provide the extra building blocks our body needs to help iron out any deficiencies and support your skin from the inside out!
WHAT DO WE NEED TO LOOK FOR?
A major question you might have is which nutrients and vitamins do we need to boost our skin health? Vitamins like A, C and E all play a vital role in good skin health, while others include vitamin B (including B3, which is niacinamide, that is both anti-inflammatory and an excellent antioxidant), and zinc. There are also certain nutrients like essential fatty acids that our bodies cannot synthesise (read: break down and absorb properly) yet are crucial to our body’s health.
An important thing to remember is not to take a one-size-fits-all approach. Remember the amount of time and energy you put into finding the right skincare products that worked for you? Finding the right skincare, or sometimes marketed as ‘beauty’, supplement isn’t as easy as popping a magic pill (sadly). First, you need to identify what you ideally want to target. For a general skin enhancer or combating dryness, look for supplements that contain antioxidants, fatty acids like Omegas, Vitamin D, and hyaluronic acid. Adding these ingredients alongside your existing skincare routine can help to hydrate you from the inside out by improving the skin’s barrier function! Alternatively, if you’re an acne sufferer, Accumax should be your go to supplement, extensive clinical trials have proven its benefit to acneic skin. Zinc is another fantastic ingredient making a bid for the top stop as its powerful at clearing out your pores. Clearer pores mean less bacteria and less bacteria means (you’ve guessed it) less breakouts.
ANYTHING ELSE WE NEED TO KNOW?
Firstly, a small ‘treat with caution’ public service announcement. If a supplement looks like it can promise to give you the skin of your dreams after one day taking it then unfortunately, it’s probably too good to be true. Put your wallet down and save your money. If you talk to a nutritionist like our lovely Eve (more on her later), they’ll tell you that one of the biggest mistakes they hear when it comes to supplementation is assuming that something you swallow turns into that same something in your body. Unfortunately, that’s not how digestion and biochemistry work! Take those immensely popular, mass market collagen supplements that seem to be everywhere right now and claim to (almost) be the fountain of youth. The collagen is going to be digested by your body and sadly isn’t built to survive the massive pH changes that take place in your gut. So, in this case collagen might well be best left to applying topically onto the face rather than ingesting in its ‘end’ form. Although of course, if you add targeted ingredients to your diet that support the production of collagen in the body, that’s probably money much better spent.
A collagen supplement we do recommend is Naturopathic Doctor Nigma Talib's Immortal Skin Collagen Powder which is a vitamin-rich supplement packed with 23 powerful ingredients including Marine Collagen and Probiotics to help slow down the signs of ageing.
Secondly, like many things in the beauty industry, it requires patience and consistency. Mainly: it could take time before you see results. It’s important to remember that it takes a few skin cycles to notice a change and that’s because supplements work at the lower levels of the skin. This can mean that the new healthy skin cells will come to the surface every four weeks so it’s best to give them a three-month trial period to notice significant results.
Lastly, we know that many of you are struggling with your skin right now during, yet another period of lockdown and we get it. It’s hard to know what to do to help our unhappy complexions. That’s why we’ve recently launched online skin consultations with our expert Tribe at Young LDN to help guide you and recommend the best skin journey to get you through. This way, whether you’re struggling with Mascne, hormonal breakouts or wanting advice on the best supplements for your skin, we can help! We are proud to be associated with the highly renowned Nutritional Therapist Eve Kalinik who is an expert in both Nutritional Therapy and Functional Medicine. If you have queries about how your food intake can affect your skin or want to discuss food & nutrition as well as lifestyle and emotional factors, Eve is the perfect professional.
As always, we can’t thank you all enough for your unrivalled support as we all go through this strange time (again!) and we can’t wait to welcome you into the salon soon!
Young LDN x