The skin is our body’s largest organ. It provides a barrier to infection. When it absorbs the sun’s rays, it helps our body manufacture vitamin D. But the skin needs tender loving care.
Besides internal nutrients, whatever we put on the skin is also important. Anything the skin absorbs bypasses the liver, meaning that toxins can then directly affect the rest of the body. This is one reason so many of us now try to avoid petrochemicals like parabens in our beauty products. The hormone-like qualities of these chemicals absorbed through the skin can definitely have negative effects on our endocrine systems.
In these studies, researchers looked at nutrients to help maintain healthy skin.
Collagen, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid reduce signs of aging, fine lines, and increase elasticity
Many cosmetic and supplement companies claim skin anti-aging benefits, but there is little research to back these claims. This study, conducted in a clinical facility specializing in dermatological testing and analysis, gave 113 women, aged 39 to 59, with visible signs of skin aging, a placebo or 300 mg of hydrolyzed collagen type II, 100 mg of chondroitin sulfate, plus 50 mg of hyaluronic acid, twice per day.
After 12 weeks the supplement group saw a 12 percent increase in skin collagen content, and compared to placebo, significantly reduced facial lines and wrinkles, reduced width of “crow’s feet,” improved skin elasticity, with less redness and dryness. Both the supplement and placebo groups retained the same skin surface water content.
Discussing the findings, doctors said, “This landmark research is especially encouraging for women seeking safe, effective options for meeting their skin health and appearance goals, including those considering or already using cosmetic procedures to address skin aging.”
Reference: Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine; 2019, Vol. 25, No. 5, 12-29
Collagen, antioxidants, and elasticity
The skin loses collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid with age, creating wrinkles, sagging, discoloration, and dryness. In this study, 60 healthy men and women took a daily liquid collagen supplement, or a placebo.
After 90 days, while the placebo group had not changed, those taking the collagen supplement saw skin elasticity increase by 7.5 percent, and skin texture improve. Participants reported being able to see and feel improvements to the skin.
The collagen supplement also contained glucosamine, chondroitin, L-carnitine, hyaluronic acid, copper, zinc, B-complex vitamins, and vitamins C and D.
Discussing the findings, doctors said the bioactive peptides in collagen, plus other antioxidants, may help protect the skin from the effects of aging, and improve skin health.
Reference: Skin Pharmacology and Physiology; 2017, Vol. 30, No. 3, 146-58
Astaxanthin and UV rays
Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun and other sources can damage the skin, reducing its biological barrier function. In this study, 23 healthy Japanese men and women, aged 30 to 59, took 4 mg of astaxanthin per day, or a placebo.
At the beginning of the study, doctors tested participants’ skin to determine the smallest amount of UVR that would induce reddening, yet still fully recover within 24 hours. After nine weeks, skin in the astaxanthin group could be exposed to UVR longer without reddening, compared to placebo. Those taking astaxanthin also retained more skin moisture in the area exposed to UVR. In areas not exposed to UVR, the astaxanthin group also saw improved skin texture compared to placebo.
Reference: Nutrients; 2018, Vol. 10, No. 7, 817
BetsyHealth Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before using a supplement, especially if you take prescription or over-the-counter medication or have a medical condition (including being pregnant or nursing). For example, many of the supplements mentioned in this article also thin blood.
Article copyright 2019 by Natural Insights for Well Being. All rights reserved. Used with permission.