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Could a dose of ingestible skincare take your skin to new heights?

Ingestible skincare is a growing trend that highlights the link between our inner health and our appearance. Here's everything you should know

When it comes to traditional skincare regimes, cleansers, serums and moisturisers are de rigueur, but there’s an addition to our skincare routines that’s causing a buzz.  

You are what you eat – or more specifically with this new trend your skin is what you eat (and drink), as ingestible beauty is a growing category within the skincare market, offering everything from vitamins, collagen and probiotics, to antioxidant powders and more. All with the aim of “supporting the normal skin structure and function from the inside out,” says Dr David Jack.

Skincare has gone 360 as brands recognise that while topical products can and do work miracles, “there is a direct relationship between skin health and our general health – with many conditions being linked to our nutritional status,” shares Jack. Dietary imbalances in the form of micronutrient deficiencies, specifically, can disturb the equilibrium of the skin, cue ingestible nutraceuticals.

You are what you eat

“Ensuring you eat a diet rich in everything from vitamins A, all the B’s, C, D, E and K, plus trace metals and other antioxidants is paramount to support normal function of the skin, and reduce free radical damage resulting from UV exposure – the skin’s biggest ager. While essential fatty acids, protein and carbohydrates are important for the maintenance of the normal structural molecules of the skin, such as collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans,” explains Jack.

Yes, we should attempt to eat what we need, but our modern diets don’t always get us there. You may well eat a ‘healthy’ diet but it might not be varied enough. While something as simple as not drinking enough water – which so many of us are guilty of – can impair blood flow to the skin, as this relies on adequate hydration levels, both to deliver nutrients to the skin and to remove waste molecules.

"Diets rich in processed foods can have negative effects on our skin, too. These tend to relate to things that increase inflammation and oxidative stress in the skin, which in turn can damage structural molecules such as collagen and elastin. Examples include consumption of excessive amounts of simple sugars, which bind to proteins in a process known as glycation – this glycation then causes inflammation, which in turn results in a cascade of chemical reactions resulting in breakdown of collagen and elastin.

"Similarly, foods that are exposed to dry heating methods such as grilling, baking and frying, particularly if there are burnt areas on the food, can result in the production of molecules known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which enter the bloodstream, reach the skin and other tissues and cause increased levels of inflammation, again resulting in damage to the structural molecules of the skin. This is particularly important if there are other inflammatory processes going on in the skin, e.g. as a result of UV exposure.

"Alcohol can also have negative effects on the skin, both directly as a result of inflammation and histamine release (resulting in redness), as well as generally dehydrating the body, but also indirectly through alterations in hormone levels with prolonged use of alcohol over time,” shares Jack.

Vitabiotics Perfectil Skin Extra Support, comes in capsules and contains biotin, Omega-3 fatty acids and Co-enzyme Q10, for the maintenance of normal skin function.

Ingestible options

Jack is a big fan of powders as he likes how many beneficial ingredients you can offer per serving (usually up to 30 grams) and how quickly powders are absorbed. Which is why he went for powders when formulating his yummy Dr David Jack Skinshake, made of pea and hemp protein for all the amino acids you need to help maintain the skin’s structure and function, plus a plethora of antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals to support repair.

Meanwhile, Dr David Jack Skinfusion powder makes for a refreshing berry flavoured drink filled with antioxidants and trace elements, that cleverly maximise the function and repair of the skin during exercise when blood flow is at its highest.

But addressing micronutrient deficiencies isn’t the only method of inside out skincare – probiotic supplements that target the gut microbiome are leading the charge too. The gut and our skin are both organs that play crucial roles in how well our immune system functions and they are in constant communication via our gut-skin axis. If your gut is thriving, so too will your skin.

The Gallinee Skin & Microbiome Supplement contains 25 billion skin-soothing, gut friendly probiotics, to put a stop to the issues that arise when our guts' microbiome is out of balance. Namely gut inflammation that studies have found is almost always linked to skin inflammation too. This, which Jack reminds us, accelerates the skin’s ageing process as collagen production and the cell repair wains.

So, if you’re experiencing redness, rashes, dryness, yellowing, puffiness, skin laxity and a lacklustre complexion, you may well benefit from a daily dose of ingestible skincare. But don't go overboard,  says Julie Scott, EV Expert and Clinical Director at Facial Aesthetics.

"Find one effective nutraceutical with a high absorption rate of all the recommended doses of ingredients such as collagen peptides, vitamin C, l-lysine, MSM. Then stick with just that one product, as there are certain ingredients you should be careful not to take too much of, such as vitamin B, so check with your skincare practitioner to see what they recommend."

Add an additional probiotic if your drink, power, or capsule doesn't include it, and you're good to go.

Julie Scott, Owner & Clinical Director

Julie Scott has over 25 years experience in the field of plastics and skin rejuvenation and is a member of the BACN...

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