THE BLOG

Natural Ingredients for Great Skin

06/28/2012 12:01 EDT | Updated 08/28/2012 05:12 EDT

Chances are that soft, supple skin that feels good and looks healthy (not to mention youthful) is on your most wanted list for summer. However, to really turn dry, unhealthy skin around you have to start from the inside out. This is true primarily because the skin's inner layers, like the dermis, are heavily involved in its structural support, elasticity and resiliency. Luckily you don't have to buy expensive creams and potions to turn it around, a few simple additions to your supplement and dietary plan will do the trick.

Nature's natural de-wrinkler: Your skin responds remarkably well to an increase in good dietary fats and a decrease in bad ones. In fact, after just one month on fish oils I had one patient ask me if I gave her some special anti-wrinkling pills. Omega-3 fish oils are an absolute superfood for your skin. Research published in the Journal of Investigational Dermatology emphasizes the importance of fish oils as potent anti-inflammatory and moisturizing agents. Another study found fish oil to be effective in reducing wrinkle formation and preventing chronological aging, such as thinning of the skin. Fish oils are certainly your secret to smooth, radiant, healthy looking skin. Take 2-4 capsules (or 1 teaspoon) of Omega-3's twice daily with food.

Get fat -- and lots of it: In addition to avocado, olives, olive oil, walnuts, almonds and coconut oil, you can add in macadamia nut oil into your diet (available at specialty and health food stores). Macadamia nut oil has the highest concentration of monounsaturated fats (85 per cent) than any other oil, including olive oil which contains up to 75 per cent monounsaturated fats. These fats make your skin fresh, supple, and elastic. One study found that macadamia nut oils are rich sources of both vitamin E and squalene, a naturally occurring antioxidant that protects us from sun damage. As an added benefit, it has a high heat point (401F) so I often recommend it for cooking.

Don't forget your multi. A daily multivitamin to provide all the nutrients your skin cells need and protect you from the nutrient deficiencies that can lead to skin problems. For instance, insufficient intake of vitamin A, zinc, vitamin B complex, vitamin B12, folic acid or chromium is linked to dermatitis, abnormal alterations in skin cell DNA and acne. Even mild deficiencies can impede your skin's ability to heal and repair itself. The fat-soluble vitamins you get from your multi -- especially vitamins A and E -- help prevent dryness and wrinkling and Vitamin C is known to prevent bruising and broken blood vessels and support the production of collagen (in conjunction with copper and iron). Vitamin C has documented antioxidant effects on our skin cells, as well. In fact, the antioxidants A, E, selenium and zinc work synergistically with vitamin C to protect us from skin cancer and aging.

Add in some krill oil: Krill oil made a recent appearance on Dr. Oz, and for good reason. It can do wonders for attacking inflammation, cholesterol, PMS and wrinkles. Three of the most important nutrients in krill oil are: omega-3 fatty acids similar to those of fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids attached to phospholipids and astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant. In fact, the ORAC score (antioxidant capacity) of krill oil has been shown to be 300 times greater than vitamins E or A alone and 48 times greater than regular fish oil. Its high phospholipid content makes it an ideal supplement choice for delivering moisture and hydration to the skin. It's high astaxanthin content has also been shown to prevent UV sun damage from occurring, and may actually help to reverse external signs of aging from the inside out. Take 1-2 capsules twice daily with food in conjunction with your fish oil. Avoid if you have an allergy to shellfish and as with all supplements, you should consult your health practitioner.