As the largest organ, the skin is exposed to elements that cause ageing. For example changes in season, especially during summer and winter could take a toll on skin health. Humidity can prevent it from retaining enough moisture to keep it supple and lower its skin barrier function (1), while over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, especially during summer, can damage skin cells (2).
Let’s take a look at how you can have healthy and youthful-looking skin, plus steps you can take to reduce the skin-ageing process.
Skin ageing is a natural occurrence. As we age, our skin is less able to recover from stress and repair itself due to several factors, like losing moisture at a quicker rate or producing ess nutrients such as biotin and collagen that keep it looking supple. It is a form of degeneration experienced by the body over time.
Ageing happens to each of us, albeit at different speeds and stages. There are a variety of factors that impact the rate at which our skin ages, including the environment and changes in the body (19).
Signs of ageing skin include thinning and sagging of the skin, the appearance of wrinkles, age spots and broken vessels, and dryness (3).
With age, the cell production of the epidermis will slow down and make it look thinner, paler and more translucent (3). Some experience sagging as the skin’s elasticity and strength lessens, due to lower levels of elastin and collagen being produced. Gravity also affects how the skin hangs on one’s body over time (4). Thinning can also cause broken blood vessels to appear as bruises (4).
Thinning and less cell production make the skin more prone to wrinkles. Areas which crease more such as the forehead, and around the eyes and mouth are more likely to have fine lines and wrinkles (4).
Melanin in the skin helps in protecting it from UV rays. These are produced by melanocytes. During the ageing process, these pigment-containing cells not only reduce in number but also increase in size (3). They appear as age spots on the skin and are seen mostly in areas that are frequently exposed to the sun.
When the skin ages, less sweat and oil glands are produced in the skin. This makes the skin less moist and can be itchy and dry at times (3).
Depending on exposure to the sun, as well as these other factors, the skin may experience premature ageing. That is why being able to identify the warning signs can help you take immediate steps to prevent it from worsening.
The signs of ageing skin are caused by two factors: intrinsic and extrinsic ageing (5). Intrinsic ageing is the natural occurrence of ageing. It’s when cell production decreases, the epidermis becomes thinner, and collagen production decreases (5).
On the other hand, extrinsic ageing is an external factor that affects the skin such as the environment and lifestyle choices (6). This includes exposure to UV rays, skincare routine, and diet, among other things.
While intrinsic ageing occurs naturally, we can take steps to address extrinsic ageing.
One way is to be careful when exposed to the sun. Applying sunscreen with the right SPF, wearing protective clothing, and using umbrellas can avoid direct exposure to the sun.
Taking care of your skin also involves being mindful of your skincare routine. Make sure to apply creams and lotions which are gentle to your skin. Washing your face can also remove irritants and keep the skin clean. Using moisturiser also helps the skin to retain moisture.
A healthy and well-rounded diet can also provide benefits for your skin. There are nutrients found in food that can support and maintain skin health.
While a balanced diet should be the priority when consuming vitamins and minerals, supplementation can help you achieve your recommended daily amounts. Here are some vitamins and minerals you can consider as part of your supplementation plan:
Zinc supports skin health by playing a role in wound healing and cellular repair (7). A study shows that it has anti-inflammatory effects which prevent skin illnesses with daily use (8).
Iron, like zinc, can help the skin through wound healing. It is an essential part of collagen formation and metabolism (9).
*Iron should only be taken if prescribed by your doctor.
Collagen is one of the building blocks of skin. Increasing collagen through food and supplementation can further boost skin health. It aids in skin hydration to minimise fine lines and wrinkles (16). It also keeps the skin elastic to improve its outer appearance (17).
Astaxanthin, which gives salmon its reddish tinge, supports the skin with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to minimise skin ageing (10). It also provides skin moisture and elasticity (11) which makes skin look more youthful.
Vitamin B complex supports skin health as one of the treatments for skin lesions (12). It maintains skin health by minimising skin discoloration (13) and improving its firmness (14).
Vitamin C supports the skin from signs of ageing by keeping the collagen density at its optimal level and strengthening the collagen network (15). Cranberries and citrus fruits are some of the food sources of vitamin C which can improve skin health.
Biotin provides a natural barrier in the skin which protects it from the sun and other toxins. This can help minimise the effects of the sun’s rays, which is one of the major contributors to skin ageing (18).
These nutrients can be found in the food that we eat on a daily basis. In cases where nutrients are not within the recommended daily intake, supplementation can be considered to avoid a nutritional shortfall.
You can include supplements alongside your healthy and well-rounded diet with Vitable. We provide supplement subscriptions so that you get the right amount of nutrients when you need them to support skin health.
Create your own vitamin plan by identifying what your body needs. Vitable can assist you on which ones you need through a quick assessment you can take any time. From there, your custom multivitamins packs will be ready and sent to your home through vitamin delivery within Australia and even selected countries abroad.
Find out more about other areas that the above supplements can help you with:
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.