|By Janine Tait, supplier of Janesce Skin Care, Cozmetic Lab mineral makeup and Bestow Beauty Oil.
Enjoy a glass of wine with your salmon and provide protection for your skin from harmful UV rays, says a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
That’s the good news from researchers who studied the diets of 1000 people and found that those who ate oily fish at least once a week were 28% less likely to develop skin cancer. Half a glass of wine daily reduced your risk by 27%. The reason is thought to be the Omega 3 found in oily fish and the polyphenols in wine are able to enhance the skin’s ability to cope with UV radiation.
These aren’t the only foods that help your skin protect itself from these damaging rays. A number of nutrients play a role in delivering photo-protective benefits to the skin.
Brazil nuts are nature’s richest source of selenium, an anti-oxidant mineral that may have the ability to lessen the damage that UV rays have on skin. In 2009 a study published in the journal ‘Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention’ showed that higher levels of selenium in the blood reduced the risk of skin cancer by half.
Green tea is another wonderful skin food. The polyphenols it contains not only improve the incidence of corneocyte maturation (therefore slowing down trans-epidermal water loss), but they also reduce the skin inflammation and DNA damage caused by excessive sun exposure.
Carotenoids are a valuable group of nutrients that consist of more than 600 compounds that give fruit and vegetables their bright colours (yellow, green, red or orange). Many studies have shown that this complex group of nutrients offers photo-protective benefits by efficiently scavenging free radicals and preventing lipid peroxidation. The following carotenoids have been tested and shown that they have many skin benefits.
Daily supplementation with betacarotene, one of the best-known carotenoids, resulted in a significant improvement in the skin’s ability to protect itself from sun damage. Betacarotene is the most efficient vitamin A precursor among the carotenoids. It is found in orange and yellow fruits (mangoes and papayas), orange and yellow vegetables and green leafy vegetables.
Lycopene, known for giving tomatoes their red colour, has been shown to greatly reduce and in some cases, prevent the formation of erythema on exposure to UV. In one study, subjects that consumed tomato paste daily showed an average of 40% less erythema than the control group.
Another study of 40 to 50-year-olds showed additional benefits where subjects with higher skin lycopene levels also had smoother skin. It is also worth noting that natural lycopene from tomatoes was found to be more effective than the synthetic version.
Astaxanthin, a red carotenoid found in plants and algae, demonstrated anti-proliferative properties against skin and breast cancer. Studies performed over the past 20 years have shown astaxanthin to be a very powerful antioxidant and it exhibits one of the strongest protective actions of all the carotenoids.
Essentially, the importance that good nutrition plays is a vital part in ensuring you have healthy, beautiful skin, but more research needs to be done on this subject as to date the science of nutritional skincare has been relatively neglected.
What hasn’t been neglected, however, is the market for ingestible skincare products. Products designed to create radiant skin from the inside (nutricosmetics or skingestibles) account for $1-2 billion of the total skincare market. This is a rapidly growing market fuelled by increased media exposure and a rising number of health-conscious consumers.
More and more our clients will expect us to be educated in this exciting new tool that is so readily available to us all.