There’s been a shift in the skincare and hair industry away from topical solutions (this face mask, that shampoo) to solutions that start on the inside and work their way out. After all, there’s good reason that the absence of a healthy glow or lustrous locks is often linked to a nutritional deficiency. For instance, no cream or ointment is going to solve for pale, dull complexion, or brittle hair or nails that comes from an iron deficiency or biotin deficiency.
But what you cannot accomplish with surface treatments, you may be able to overcome with some dietary changes. Beauty may be skin deep, but there are ways to nutritional support how you look on the outside by taking care of what you put in your insides.
Here are four ways to boost your natural beauty from the inside out, based on research.
1. Bring up your Antioxidant intake
When it comes to keeping our skin and hair from being as beautiful as it truly can be, one of the biggest offenders is oxidative stress. Unfortunately, many factors leading to oxidative stress are out of our control, such as exposure to pollution, UV rays, and radiation. Oxidative stress causes inflammation and accelerates physical signs of aging like sagging skin, wrinkles, and graying and thinning hair.
But on a more positive note, other factors contributing to oxidative stress are more in our control like poor diet, smoking, and having a stressful lifestyle. That’s where antioxidants can play an important part in our beauty routines. Like the name suggests, antioxidants work against the oxidation of cells, helping to protect them from damage. Regularly eating antioxidant rich foods (like blueberries) or taking supplements with potent antioxidants (like astaxanthin, CoQ10, and lutein) can help protect your skin and hair from aging.
Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful, well-researched antioxidants out there. This amazing carotenoid is 110x stronger than Vitamin E and 6000x stronger than Vitamin C for quenching certain types of oxidizing molecules. In fact, various studies show that daily astaxanthin intake offers significant support in the maintenance of youthful skin qualities, like elasticity. Natural sources of astaxanthin include algae, yeast, salmon, trout, krill, and shrimp. However, if eating those foods regularly is difficult, there are astaxanthin supplements that can be added to your daily vitamin regimen.
2. Take Collagen
If you want to take your skin, hair, and nails to a new level of radiance, eating collagen filled foods like bone broth, or investing the right collagen supplement, is a great long-term strategic move. Research has shown collagen helps reduce wrinkles, promotes skin hydration, and strengthens nails and hair. Collagen may also help against hair greying due to oxidative stress, according to studies.
On a basic level, collagen is the primary building block of connective tissue in your body. It plays a huge role in keeping the skin plump and elastic. Although our bodies naturally produce collagen, levels diminish due to a poor diet (specifically one lacking in protein-rich foods) and naturally decrease as a part of the aging process.
3. Make sure you get enough of the “good fats”
Deficiencies in essential fatty acids have been linked to hair loss, along with skin and nail issues as well. However, because your body can’t produce essential fatty acids on its own, they must be consumed through food or supplements. A great place to start is by getting enough Omega-3 through taking fish oil supplements; other oils like Borage Oil and flaxseed oil also contain essential fatty acids, such as ALA and other Omegas. Science has shown that the essential fatty acids DHA, EPA and DPA in fish oil promote youthful looking skin. Moreover, a 2005 study in the Journal of Lipid Research discovered that EPA may help block the release of the UV-induced enzymes that eat away at our collagen, causing lines and sagging skin. Fish oil could help solve any hair-related woes too. In a 2015 study, taking omega-3’s and omega-6 supplements for 6 months acts efficiently against hair loss and improved hair density.
4. Hydrate with Hyaluronic Acid
Welcome hyaluronic acid into your skin regimen and you’ll soon be enjoying dewier, well-nourished skin. Hyaluronic Acid works hard to quench dry skin by penetrating deep down to boost skin’s overall water content. A As the skin ages and naturally loses its ability contain moisture, taking HA orally has incredible hydration benefits. Plus, the benefits don’t stop at the skin; HA can lube up the joints too and help hair grow thicker and healthier by preventing a dry scalp.
Incorporating any of these four beauty strategies into your life can make a world of a difference. The benefits of taking hyaluronic acid, omega-3, collagen, or antioxidants each go far beyond better looking hair, skin or nails. These ingredients grant deeper benefits that manifest in the unmistakable glow of good health, and that's priceless.