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Not just skin deep: 3 tips for natural beauty from the inside out

Not just skin deep: 3 tips for natural beauty from the inside out

Beauty is about so much more than what you put on your skin

Pick up any women’s magazine or watch TV, and you’ll get the impression that beauty is something you apply topically.  Clear, smooth, glowing skin seems to just be a matter of using the right foundation, lotion, serum or scrub.

It’s true that external beauty routines – cleansing, exfoliation, moisturising and makeup – can give your skin an immediate, temporary boost.  But real beauty – the kind you see in the bathroom mirror before you apply cosmetics – works from the inside out.  And that kind of beauty starts with an all-important protein called collagen.

What is collagen and why is it so important?

You’ve probably seen collagen in beauty products and wondered what it is.  The answer is that it’s a protein that provides support and structure to all kinds of body tissues, including muscles, joints, bones and internal organs .  It’s also one of the key proteins that gives your skin its strength, suppleness and resilience.

As you get older, your body naturally produces less collagen – which then tends to have visible effects on your skin.  Stress, sunlight and poor diet can also affect your collagen levels. So how can you protect the collagen you have and cultivate natural beauty from the inside out?  Here are three tips that should help.

Tip #1: Don’t skimp on sleep

The term “beauty sleep” may be used sarcastically, but there’s actually scientific evidence behind it. Not only will going short on sleep leave you tired and twitchy, it can also deplete your collagen levels over time .  

That’s because sleeplessness makes your body produce more cortisol – a stress hormone –which can actually begin to break down the collagen in your skin.  Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night , although of course, there’s some individual variation.  

Figure out what your magic number is, and then give yourself – and your skin – the gift of actually getting it each night.

Tip #2: Get sun-smart, regardless of the season

Everyone knows it’s important to wear sunscreen and avoid too much sun exposure during  summer.  But – especially here in New Zealand – UV light can affect your skin even in the depths of winter.

That’s not to say you should avoid the sun altogether – the Ministry of Health recommends at least some sunlight each day to help you get enough Vitamin D .  But you’ll want to balance that against the need to protect the collagen in your skin.  The MoH suggests about 30 minutes of exposure at noon in winter, and the same earlier or later in the day during summer.

Other than that, aim to be sun-smart: cover up, wear sunscreen, or simply avoid sun exposure if you can.

Tip #3: Feed your skin the nutrients it craves

Your body can’t create new skin cells out of nothing – it needs the right nutritional building blocks, which it gets from your diet.  Specifically, it needs antioxidants (in particular, Vitamin C) and omega fats . Here’s why:

Antioxidants are a group of nutrients that occur naturally in many types of brightly coloured fruits, vegetables and herbs. In fact, they’re often the compounds that give foods their colour.  They work by helping to shield skin cells against the oxidative damage that unstable molecules called “free radicals” can wreak.  Support your skin by ensuring you get your 5+fruit-and-veg each day – and that you include a rainbow of food colours.

Vitamin C is not only a powerful antioxidant (and a key immunity vitamin), but it’s also one of the building blocks your body uses to create collagen.  Because Vitamin C is water soluble, however, it doesn’t last for long in your body, which means you need to get at least some of it in your diet each day.  Most fresh fruit and vegetables contain a little Vitamin C, but kiwifruit, blackcurrants and citrus fruits are some of the richest sources.

Omega fats – also known as essential fatty acids – are important nutrients that your body needs in the same way it needs vitamins and minerals.  Your body uses these fats as a building block for skin cell membranes, and to help “lock in” moisture so that skin stays smooth.  Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) is a rich source of Omega-6 fatty acids, and has traditionally been used to help maintain smooth, clear, supple skin.

Ideally, you’ll get all the nutrients your skin needs from your diet.  But if you know you could do with an antioxidant or omega top-up, ask your local pharmacy or health food store for advice.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262881.php 
http://www.webmd.com/beauty/aging/seven-years-younger?page=3 
http://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need 
http://sunsmart.org.nz/sites/default/files/u48/Consensus%20Statement%20final.pdf 
http://www.webmd.com/skin-foods 

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Not just skin deep: 3 tips for natural beauty from the inside out

Pick up any women’s magazine or watch TV, and you’ll get the impression that beauty is something you apply topically. Clear, smooth, glowing skin seems to just be a matter of using the right foundation, lotion, serum or scrub

Beauty is about so much more than what you put on your skin

Pick up any women’s magazine or watch TV, and you’ll get the impression that beauty is something you apply topically.  Clear, smooth, glowing skin seems to just be a matter of using the right foundation, lotion, serum or scrub.

It’s true that external beauty routines – cleansing, exfoliation, moisturising and makeup – can give your skin an immediate, temporary boost.  But real beauty – the kind you see in the bathroom mirror before you apply cosmetics – works from the inside out.  And that kind of beauty starts with an all-important protein called collagen.

What is collagen and why is it so important?

You’ve probably seen collagen in beauty products and wondered what it is.  The answer is that it’s a protein that provides support and structure to all kinds of body tissues, including muscles, joints, bones and internal organs .  It’s also one of the key proteins that gives your skin its strength, suppleness and resilience.

As you get older, your body naturally produces less collagen – which then tends to have visible effects on your skin.  Stress, sunlight and poor diet can also affect your collagen levels. So how can you protect the collagen you have and cultivate natural beauty from the inside out?  Here are three tips that should help.

Tip #1: Don’t skimp on sleep

The term “beauty sleep” may be used sarcastically, but there’s actually scientific evidence behind it. Not only will going short on sleep leave you tired and twitchy, it can also deplete your collagen levels over time .  

That’s because sleeplessness makes your body produce more cortisol – a stress hormone –which can actually begin to break down the collagen in your skin.  Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night , although of course, there’s some individual variation.  

Figure out what your magic number is, and then give yourself – and your skin – the gift of actually getting it each night.

Tip #2: Get sun-smart, regardless of the season

Everyone knows it’s important to wear sunscreen and avoid too much sun exposure during  summer.  But – especially here in New Zealand – UV light can affect your skin even in the depths of winter.

That’s not to say you should avoid the sun altogether – the Ministry of Health recommends at least some sunlight each day to help you get enough Vitamin D .  But you’ll want to balance that against the need to protect the collagen in your skin.  The MoH suggests about 30 minutes of exposure at noon in winter, and the same earlier or later in the day during summer.

Other than that, aim to be sun-smart: cover up, wear sunscreen, or simply avoid sun exposure if you can.

Tip #3: Feed your skin the nutrients it craves

Your body can’t create new skin cells out of nothing – it needs the right nutritional building blocks, which it gets from your diet.  Specifically, it needs antioxidants (in particular, Vitamin C) and omega fats . Here’s why:

Antioxidants are a group of nutrients that occur naturally in many types of brightly coloured fruits, vegetables and herbs. In fact, they’re often the compounds that give foods their colour.  They work by helping to shield skin cells against the oxidative damage that unstable molecules called “free radicals” can wreak.  Support your skin by ensuring you get your 5+fruit-and-veg each day – and that you include a rainbow of food colours.

Vitamin C is not only a powerful antioxidant (and a key immunity vitamin), but it’s also one of the building blocks your body uses to create collagen.  Because Vitamin C is water soluble, however, it doesn’t last for long in your body, which means you need to get at least some of it in your diet each day.  Most fresh fruit and vegetables contain a little Vitamin C, but kiwifruit, blackcurrants and citrus fruits are some of the richest sources.

Omega fats – also known as essential fatty acids – are important nutrients that your body needs in the same way it needs vitamins and minerals.  Your body uses these fats as a building block for skin cell membranes, and to help “lock in” moisture so that skin stays smooth.  Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) is a rich source of Omega-6 fatty acids, and has traditionally been used to help maintain smooth, clear, supple skin.

Ideally, you’ll get all the nutrients your skin needs from your diet.  But if you know you could do with an antioxidant or omega top-up, ask your local pharmacy or health food store for advice.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262881.php 
http://www.webmd.com/beauty/aging/seven-years-younger?page=3 
http://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need 
http://sunsmart.org.nz/sites/default/files/u48/Consensus%20Statement%20final.pdf 
http://www.webmd.com/skin-foods 

Not just skin deep: 3 tips for natural beauty from the inside out