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Beautiful Skin Begins With Good Nutrition

beautiful skin2By Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Many of us think in terms of clear, glowing skin as a sign of overall health.  In fact, your skin can and often does reflect the general state of your health.  Stressed out?  Dehydrated?  Haven’t been sleeping well lately?  Eating on the run at fast food restaurants?  All of these factors can have a negative impact on your complexion.  Healthy skin has the ability to respond to challenges that might otherwise undermine its structure and function.  As our largest organ, our skin performs a variety of functions including protection, temperature regulation, insulation and sensation. The skin is constantly renewing and replenishing its cells at the astonishing rate of 30,000 to 40,000 cells per hour. At this rate, the entire epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin, is replaced approximately every 35 days. 

  • The skin is our first line of defense against external and environmental factors as it provides a major barrier against pathogens, viruses, and other foreign substances.
  • The ability of the skin to hold water, regulate the release of water from the body, as well as providing waterproofing protection, is critical for maintaining health. 
  • The skin contains an extensive network of nerve cells that allow us to feel the sensations of temperature, pressure, touch and injury. 
  • Melanocytes are the skin cells responsible for the production of melanin in response to ultraviolet light.  Melanin absorbs UV rays, shielding underlying tissues from damage. 
  • Just as the dermis regulates body temperature through the production of sweat and by evaporation to cool the body, it also maintains internal body temperature by controlling red blood cells.  When the body is hot, red blood cells in the dermis expand, allowing heat to be released through the surface of the skin.
  • Skin cells, with the assistance of sun’s ultraviolet B rays, produce vitamin D.  Ten to fifteen minutes of daily sun exposure without the use of sunscreen will produce approximately 10,000 IU’s of vitamin D, depending on individual skin color. 

Some of us are born with flawless skin.  While genetics does play a role in the look and condition of our skin, nutrition, good skin care and lifestyle habits all have an effect.  In fact, nutritional status plays a very important role when it comes to the maintenance of healthy skin. Macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients) work together to maintain the barrier function of the skin while dealing with the daily challenges of pathogens, chemicals and environmental pollution.  In other words, nutritional status that supports skin structure and function can also directly affect skin appearance in positive ways by fighting acne, minimizing wrinkles and enhancing your skin’s natural beauty.   To rejuvenate our skin and maintain a youthful appearance, we need to provide the right nutrients for our skin including these vitamins and minerals: 

  • Antioxidants –  The skin is constantly exposed to high concentrations of oxygen, UV light, and oxidizing chemicals, highlighting a role for antioxidant vitamins in skin function. 
  • Vitamin C  is critical for strong, healthy skin as it plays a role in the production of collagen which keeps skin supple and tight. 
  • Vitamin E helps to moisturize the skin and has the potential to overwhelm unstable free radicals believed to be destructive to skin tissue. 
  • Vitamin A  promotes cell turnover and is one of the most widely acknowledged nutrients for the skin.  Foods that support skin health include tropical fruits, broccoli, almonds, whole grains, carrots, pumpkins seeds, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. 
  • Thiamine  – Part of the B complex of vitamins, thiamine helps ensure normal cellular functioning of the skin, and strengthens the skin’s outer protective barrier, locking in moisture and keeping irritants out.  Foods high in thiamine include nuts and seeds, pork, and fish, such as tuna and pompano. 
  • Zinc – Normal epidermal cell growth relies on adequate amounts of zinc.  Zinc is an essential mineral that assists in the proper structure of proteins and cell membranes and improves wound healing.  Foods containing zinc include oysters, beef, peanuts and crab. 
  • Selenium –  Selenium is required in the production of glutathione, a free radical fighter.  Foods high in selenium include pork, shellfish, bran and fish. 
  • Essential fatty acids –  Known to be anti-inflammatory,  omega-3 fatty acids aid in the reduction of inflammatory skin conditions and improve overall skin health.  Foods that contain omega-3 essential fatty acids include flax seeds, walnuts, cold water fish and enriched eggs. 

Poor nutrition and unhealthy habits contribute to skin problems including sun damage, wrinkling and a dull complexion.  Take responsibility for skin health by eating a healthy amount of colorful plant foods, using sunscreen, exercising regularly, not smoking, hydrating with water, managing stress, and getting adequate amounts of sleep each night.  The beauty of skin is that you can care for it both internally and externally.  Lotions and creams with vitamins and minerals can help to lock in moisture, minimize wrinkles, smooth roughness, improve skin tone and give the appearance of younger, more youthful looking skin.  As you make the lifestyle changes necessary to prevent or minimize the signs of skin aging,  you should begin to see through that newly radiant, vibrant skin into a body full of health and vitality. 

Supplements for healthy hair, skin and nails:

HairSkinWilsonsHair, Skin and Nails Plus Formula by Dr. Wilson’s Original Formulations –  In this physician designed formula, bioavailable forms of nutrients are combined into a dynamic, balanced supplement that delivers the nutrients in the optimal amounts and proportions for creating healthy tissue structure in newly forming skin, hair and nails.  Dr. Wilson’s suggests this product be used for a minimum of 3 months to give the newly nourished tissues time to emerge and visibly replace the old cells. 
Hair, Skin and Nails Plus Formula by Douglas Laboratories –  This formula supplies beneficial amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients specifically formulated to support healthy hair, skin and nails.
ArcticOmegaArctic Omega – Original 1000 mg by Nordic NaturalsThese essential fatty acids (EFAs) reside in the membranes that surround skin cells, where they regulate a large number of cellular processes that directly impact skin health.  Benefits of these omega-3’s for the skin include nourishment, hydration, free radical protection, production of healthy skin cells and support of healthy complexion. 

Featured Brand: Dr. Wilson’s Original Formulations

Dr Wilsons Original FormulationsBy Susan Brown

Dr. Wilson’s unique dietary supplements are based on decades of careful research and the belief in the healing powers of the human body. These specifically formulated supplements are designed to effectively target imbalances brought about by stress, inadequate nutrition, poor digestion, and diminished immune and endocrine function.  The philosophy behind every formula is to deliver effective and reliable support to the precise areas of the body needed to create optimum health and vitality.

All Doctor Wilson’s supplements incorporate high quality ingredients selected for their demonstrated ability to meet the targeted health need.  Every ingredient is in a bioavailable form and in a proportion that combines optimally with the other ingredients to enhance their usefulness and overall effectiveness.  These formulas comprehensively nourish, support and promote proper functioning of specific biological processes that renew and sustain your health. By working with your body, these supplements encourage the reliable, deep wellbeing that comes from physiological balance and superior nutrition.

Super Adrenal Stress Formula –  This sustained release, vegetarian formula contains specific forms and ratios of nutrients that enhance energy, support healthy adrenal hormone production, and facilitate other biochemical processes involved in stress without over-stimulating your system.  Super Adrenal Stress Formula makes it as easy as possible for your adrenals to get the nutrients they need to function well.  Every nutrient is delivered in the optimal form and proportion for adrenal use. 

Hair, Skin and Nails Plus Formula –  This formula provides the specific nutrients and other natural factors the body needs to build healthy skin, strong nails and beautiful hair.  Bioavailable forms of these nutrients are combined into a dynamic, balanced supplement that delivers the precise amounts and proportions for optimal absorption to create healthy tissue structure in newly forming skin, hair and nails.  Consistent use of Hair, Skin and Nails Plus Formula™ brings out a difference you can really see and feel within weeks.

Squeaky Clean –  Healthy intestinal function and a balanced intestinal environment are essential to your overall health and proper immune function.  Squeaky Clean® balanced formula offers  a complete range of natural ingredients that work together to promote and revitalize optimal intestinal function, promote regularity, and support overall intestinal health.  Squeaky Clean® gently promotes a healthy intestinal environment for normal function and nutrient absorption without dependency. 

Good Sugar –  Good Sugar® is a sugar-free dietary supplement containing nutrients and plant extracts that support the body’s ability to properly metabolize sugars and maintain blood sugar levels within the normal “good sugar” range.  It also provides crucial but often deficient nutrients needed for optimal sugar metabolism, and delivers powerful antioxidants that can help prevent oxidative damage.  This is a completely natural formula containing only nutrients and botanical substances that support healthy functioning of your body’s own processes.

Land, Sea and Air –  Land, Sea and Air® naturally promotes a sense of wellbeing while riding in cars, planes or boats. It contains simple yet very effective ingredients that work together to relieve symptoms of any kind of motion discomfort.  This unique formula is the perfect solution for anyone who would like to be able to enjoy land, sea or air travel.  It provides a nontoxic, non-habit forming aid to the traveler with no negative side effects. 

Are You The Picture of Health?

Are You The Picture Of HealthBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Glowing skin and healthy hair can improve our appearance and boost our overall self esteem. How we present ourselves to others is of primary importance to many of us.  Healthy skin and hair are powerful indicators of overall health.  Changes in skin and hair conditions can alert us to potential health problems.  Poor diet can affect skin very quickly by causing acne flare ups, inflammation or sallowness.  Diabetes and thyroid disease can contribute to hair loss.  Nutritional deficiency, hormonal imbalances, smoking and sleep deprivation all have negative impacts on skin and hair health.

As part of our largest organ system,  our skin has many functions.  Skin, hair and nails are part of the integumentary system that helps support life.  The skin protects our internal organs from injury, bacteria and viruses.  It regulates body temperature, maintains fluid and electrolyte balance and provides protection from the environment.  Skin allows the sensations of touch, pain and pressure and is instrumental in the production of vitamin D.  Hair protects the head from harmful ultra-violet rays, provides sensors that alert the body to potentially damaging objects and helps to regulate body temperature by serving as a source of heat insulation and cooling.

Basic skin and hair care are part of a healthy lifestyle.  Here are some tips for maintaining healthy skin and hair:

Nutritional Support

Cells and processes that support healthy function depend on a balanced diet.  Proper nutrition is vital for the maintenance of skin health. 

  • Silica helps strengthen connective tissues and is fundamental for skin and hair health.  Food sources include beans, berries, asparagus and rhubarb.
  • Zinc is an important component of skin health acting to control oil production and immune system function.  Foods rich in zinc include oysters, brazil nuts, eggs and ginger.  Oysters contain a high level of protein which promotes hair growth and strength. 
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids are responsible for skin repair, moisture content and flexibility.  Essential fatty acids can be found in cold water fish such as salmon and mackerel, flaxseeds and safflower oil.  Fatty acids are essential for hair growth and production of natural oils that hydrate your hair and scalp.  
  • Selenium is an antioxidant mineral responsible for skin elasticity and prevention of cell damage from free radicals.  Dietary sources of selenium include whole grains, brazil nuts and garlic. 
  • Vitamin C is effective at reducing the free radical damage that affects collagen and elastin which support skin structure. Vitamin C helps keep hair follicles healthy and scalp oils circulating.  Broccoli, peppers, blueberries and dark leafy greens are all good sources of vitamin C.
  • Vitamin D foods such as yogurt are high in pantothenic acid also known as vitamin B5.  Pantothenic acid, often found in hair products, is thought to be helpful for hair loss and dandruff. 
  • Vitamin E  is a powerful antioxidant that protects and repairs cells damaged by sun exposure.  Rich sources of vitamin E include wheat germ, walnuts, spinach, avocados, almonds and tomatoes.  Walnuts also contain biotin and copper which  support hair growth and color.
  • Vitamin A  promotes proper repair and maintenance of the skin and helps protect and produce oils that sustain the scalp.  Foods high in vitamin A are apricots, carrots, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe.

Sun protection

Over a lifetime, too much time spent in the sun advances the aging process, causes wrinkles and age spots and increases the risk of skin cancer. Use sunscreen whenever you go outdoors. Look for shade when the sun’s rays are strongest. Try to avoid prolonged exposure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wear clothing that protects your skin such as hats and long sleeved shirts. 

Quit smoking

Smoking damages collagen and elastin, depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients and contributes to premature aging and wrinkling.  If you desire younger, healthier looking skin, the best thing you can do is stop smoking. 

Stress management

Just as stress can give you stomach upset, it can also impact skin health by causing acne and eczema flare ups and hives.  Skin disorders are impacted by emotions as your body releases stress hormones including cortisol that can increase oil production. 

Soothe your skin

Use warm, not hot, water and limit the amount of time you spend in the shower or bath.  Use mild cleansers as opposed to strong soaps, gently pat your skin dry and apply moisturizers that are appropriate for your skin type.  Consider a moisturizer that contains sunscreen for daily use. 


Exercise promotes circulation which helps to keep your skin vibrant and healthy.  Exercise eases stress and helps cleanse your skin from the inside by increasing blood flow that carries oxygen and nutrients to the skin and removes waste products and free radicals.

Following these simple guidelines can help you put your best face forward.   Drink water to hydrate and opt for healthy lifestyle choices that can help you look and feel your best. Vitamins and minerals can nourish the skin helping it appear more youthful. Remember, your skin is the fingerprint of internal health.  When it comes to healthy hair, it’s not just what you put on your tresses that counts, it’s what you put in your body, too.

Here are some helpful products to try:

Hair/Skin/Nails Ultra by Pure Encapsulations provides key building blocks and nutrients to support skin elasticity and hydration, healthy hair, nail strength and thickness. 

Hair, Skin and Nails Plus Formula by Douglas Laboratories supplies beneficial amounts of  vitamins, minerals and other nutrients specially formulated to support healthy hair, skin and nails.

Skin, Nails & Hair by Innate Response Formulas is a whole food product that contains vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and ginger to support skin, nail and hair health.

MSM by Pure Encapsulations contains sulfur,  a key nutrient needed to maintain connective tissue health,  particularly those containing significant amounts of collagen and keratin, such as hair, skin, and nails.