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There are many factors influencing skin condition, but in this post, we are going to share on tips on how to make your skin glow!
As much as smoking is bad to your lung so does it to your skin
Cigarette smoke contain many harmful substances to our body, as we know. However as for the skin, it releases carbon monoxide which displace oxygen in your skin and nicotine which reduce blood flow which will make skin dry and discolored. Smoking also triggers the destruction of collagen in the skin hence skin loss its elasticity and produce wrinkles and fine lines!
When you are younger and a smoker you cannot really see the difference but as you get older, the damage on your appearance will be obvious and you will be looking older as compared to your actual age (1).
Sunscreen is a must
Malaysia is a humid and warm country all year long; thus, wearing sunscreen is a must! Sunscreen helps protect skin from premature ageing like wrinkles, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation. Studies show that people who are under 55 years old and wear sunscreen regularly can lower their risk of premature ageing by 24% as compared to those who wear sunscreen occasionally or not at all.
If you are a newbie looking for sunscreen, look for sunscreen with at least SPF 30 (Sun Protecting Factor) and choose sunscreen according to your skin type, such as aqua sunscreen, which is meant for dry skin, etc. You also must apply sunscreen every 2 hours or after exercise. Sunscreen should also be applied at least 30 minutes before going out, as it requires time to be absorbed by the skin and activated in order to protect your skin (2).
Move, Move, Move
We know that exercising regularly can keep our bodies fit and healthy, but did you know that it can also keep your skin healthy?
Exercise increases blood circulation and flow throughout the body, hence making your skin radiant and glowing. Pssttt…you can kill twoi birds with one stone by doing this; you can keep your body lean while also getting healthy skin! (3)
Keep your body hydrated
Our skin is exposed to various conditions: cold due to the air conditioner, warm due to the water, etc., so drinking plenty of water will make our skin condition better. Everybody is born with a particular skin type, whether it is dry, oily, or a combination; however, all these surrounding factors and age factor can change skin condition as well (4, 5).
In order to see whether your skin is dry, try to pinch it in an area and see whether it has a wrinkle on it after your pinch or whether it bounces back after your pinch, which is an indicator for well-hydrated skin. Wrinkles and less bouncy skin are indicators of dry skin; it can also sometimes be seen based on your urine colour if it is too concentrated, meaning your body does not get a sufficient amount of water (4, 5).
Lifestyle changes can reverse this; drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. Limiting the intake of alcohol and drinking less caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea can improve the dry skin condition (4).
Face and manage your stress.
We used to believe that suppressing our feelings and emotions was better for everyone, including ourselves. However, that is not always the case; we have to deal with it and manage it. Talk to someone if you have a problem; share it with someone that you trust. Think positive.
Pick up some hobbies, distract yourself from overthinking about it, and slowly find solutions. Doing outdoor activities can help calm a person if their mind is too saturated with a lot of stuff, or spending time alone can de-clutter their mind and create more space. Cleaning can sometimes make you a lot happier and help you think better about the solution to your problem.
Established a skincare routine
Skin care is essential for keeping skin in good condition. A good skin care routine will improve skin condition, but only if the products used are of high quality.First, you have to find out your skin type. Normal skin, dry skin, oily skin, and combination skin are the four skin types.
To determine your skin type, start by washing your face and then waiting an hour. After it’s been an hour, dab your forehead and nose with a tissue and check to see if any oil has rubbed off. If it did, it’s a sign that you have oily skin. If there isn’t any oil but your face feels dry and tight, you may have dry skin (4,5).
Once you have figured out your skin type, find the right product for it. The common one should have cleanser, moisturizer, toner, sunscreen, exfoliator, and makeup removal. Start with cleansing your face at least twice per day. If you need to exfoliate your skin at least twice a week, this is a good time to remove all of the dead cells, dirt, and blemishes on your face (5).
Once you have done these, your skin is now ready to absorb all the good nutrients from your skincare, so now is the time for you to apply toner and moisturizer. Toner and moisturiser are good for hydrating the skin. After that, the skin is completely moisturized.You can now apply sunscreen.After sunscreen, it is time for you to wear makeup. If you are wearing make-up, make sure to thoroughly clean it at the end of the day using make-up removal and start your nighttime skin care routine as per daytime (5).
The only difference between a daytime and nighttime skincare routine is that moisturiser used on the skin is encouraged to be applied thickly at night so that the skin is not dry in the morning!
There are also people who want to give extra care and a boost to their skin; they can try to use serum. Serum is a product that is very concentrated with good vitamins for the skin, like vitamin A, C, and E. It’s usually used to fade scars or add more vitamins to the skin. However, the correct order of using skincare products is important; if not, skin cannot absorb the nutrients that the product has, and it will just go to waste (5).
Diet vs skin condition
As much as sugary food is bad for your waistline, so is it for your skin! Acne and breakouts can be exacerbated by sugary foods.Sugar and foods high on the glycemic index (meaning foods that, once ingested, convert quickly into glucose and cause your body’s insulin levels to elevate) lead to a burst of inflammation that goes throughout your entire body (6).
Vitamin C is a very common vitamin used to make skin become radiant and glow. Vitamin C-rich foods are often used to boost skin conditions. Fruits like guava are really rich with vitamin C; it even has twice the content of vitamin C in an orange!
However, if one is a picky eater, it is also best to actually consume a vitamin C supplement rather than apply it topically (topical application). On the market, there are many types of vitamin C supplements. Most of it has really high vitamin C content, such as 500 mg or 1000 mg. However, according to the RNI (recommended nutrient intake), our body only needs about 70 mg of vitamin C, so the higher dosage of the vitamin will just be excreted through urine.
On the supplement ingredients list, you can see whether the supplement is made from natural or synthetic ingredients.Synthetic vitamin C is called ascorbic acid; it usually irritates the stomach and has a higher dosage of vitamin C as compared to vitamin C that is derived from natural fruits like berries, guavas, oranges, etc.
Synthetic vitamin C or ascorbic acid is also usually coloured with food colouring to make the supplement look as if it has a high content of vitamin C. If you notice that your soluble vitamin C supplement stains your glass of water after being diluted in it, there is a high probability that the supplement that you are taking has food colouring in it.
So be wise in choosing your vitamin C supplements. In order to make your skin glow, know how to find good vitamin C. Remember, it has to be derived from a natural source with no coloring, and the content of the vitamin C does not need to be too high!
Types of collagen
There is various type of collagen, but the main type of collagen is type I, type II, type III, and type IV.
Type I: Most of your body’s collagen is made of type I. It is densely packed fibres which provides structure to skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth.
Type II: This type is made of more loosely packed fibres and found in elastic cartilage, which cushions the joints.
Type III: This type supports the structure of muscles, organs, and arteries.
Type IV: This type helps with filtration and is found in the layers of your skin.
Collagen in skin, do we need it?
Our body can produce its own collagen, however the production of collagen gradually declined as we aged, which explains among the sign of aging is wrinkles, that is coming from skin that is less elastic, supple, and firm.
Researchers also revealed that women lose collagen faster than men causing women’s skin aging faster than men. Apart from gender, nutrition and recreational drugs, environmental stress such as sun exposure and exposure to toxins such as pollutants, and cigarette smoke can also affect collagen in the body.
Where can we get collagen from?
Good news is, collagen can be gotten from food, there are foods which can stimulate production of collagen and break down collagen. Body makes collagen from combining proline and glycine (types of protein).Thus consuming food high with proline and glycine will help with restoring collagen level in the body.
According to Dr. Bradley from Cleveland Clinic, your body cannot make them if they don’t have them, which means all the nutrients such as glycine and proline are essential to produce collagen, but if we do not acquire it from diet then our body might not be able to produce collagen. Foods that are high with collagen are mostly diet from protein-rich foods such as bone broth, pork, chicken, beef, eggs, and fish. Plant based food also have added benefits to collagen rich food consumption since vegetables and fruits contain high level of antioxidants which can protect oxidative stress from reducing collagen. Whilst, food that can break down collagen are sugary foods and refined carbs.
As for supplement containing collagen, it is usually in the form of hydrolysed collagen. The source of hydrolysed collagen can be from fish, marine seaweed, pork skin and food source that has high collagen contents. It is also said that hydrolysed collagen is much easier to be absorbed by body as compared to food.
To date studies that report whether consumption of collagen has benefits to skin, joint health, muscle mass, bone and many more is inconsistent. It is depending on various factors such as the source of collagen, the bioavailability of collagen, the frequency of consuming it, the severity of skin condition or joint condition previously and many more. Thus, it is advisable for individual to check on the supplement ingredients prior consuming any kind of supplement.
Since consuming collagen supplement can also be harmful such as to individual with cyst problem and cancer problem. Again, which is why it is best to seek professionals helps before consuming any supplement. Certain supplement is contraindicated with medicine that you currently taking and many more.
Omega 3 rich foods
Omega 3 fatty acids are usually referring to as good fat. It serves to regulate skin’s oil production, improved balance hydration, subdue breakout and minimize signs of aging. Furthermore, it can also help to soften rough, dry skin, and have a soothing effect on irritation and dermatitis if apply topically. Omega 3 rich foods can improve the composition of skin by balancing its inflammatory response towards the effect of sun damage and also improve sensitive skin condition by making it less dehydrated and dry.
Foods that are rich with Omega 3 is fish! Fish oil specifically. Which is why if individual does not consuming fish at all or do not prefer to consume fish it is advisable to take Omega 3 and 6 supplements for their heart health. Fish such as mackerel, tuna, sardine and anchovies, salmon, and herring are good source of omega 3. In Malaysia, there are also freshwater fish which is rich with omega 3 such as catfish (ikan keli), patin fish, and terubok fish.
Apart from this, certain plant-based food also containing high level of omega 3 such as spinach (bayam), mustard leave (sawi), and ‘salad roket.’ There is also certain oil which can be used for cooking that is rich with omega 3 such as canola oil. Also, if you are keen to improve your skin health, instead of snacking chips or any unhealthy things, you may try to consume walnuts that is rich with omega 3 for your skin as well.
Antioxidants and vitamins rich foods
Antioxidants and vitamins rich foods are usually found in plant-based food such as vegetables and fruits. Fruits and vegetables which contain vitamins such as vitamins C, E, and A are known for ‘skin best friends.’ The way in which how all these vitamins works are usually when they engulf free radical or reactive oxygen species (ROS). Free radical can produce through normal process in the body, or towards exposure of UV radiation and many more. In another words, it is commonly occurring to every human being. Which is why it is important to consume foods that are rich with vitamins and antioxidants to combat all the problem resulted from the formation of free radical.
According to Ministry of Health Malaysia, it is advisable to consume 2 servings of fruits and 3 servings of vegetables daily. Serving size for vegetables is according to the cupped hand size. So 2 cupped hand size is equivalent to 2 servings. Whilst for fruit the serving size is depending on the type of fruit, medium size fruit such as apple, pear, and orange, 1 serving is equivalent to 1 fruit, as for bigger fruit, it is depending on the normal cut sized. So, to make it easy, if you consume 2 apples or 2 pear, or 2 banana, or 2 oranges per day is already met the requirement serving.
Specifically, foods that are rich with vitamin C are guava, orange, and lemon. Do you know that guava has twice amount of vitamin C than orange of the same size? Consuming 2 servings size of guava or 1 small guava already makes you met the requirement of vitamin C needed daily (75mg).
Some of the food that is rich with vitamin E are almond, pumpkin, corn, collard, red bell pepper and soy-based foods. Study shows that Vitamin E or tocopherol works synergistically with Vitamin C against UV radiation or exposure to sun damage.
Since most of the antioxidant rich foods and vitamin rich foods are mainly fruits and vegetables, thus it is essential to consume fruits and vegetables as per suggested to have young looking skin!
As many knows already sugar is bad for your health, as it can raised your blood sugar level, which will lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and all other metabolic diseases. Butttttt, it is also bad for skin.
Sugar in any form influences the two major causes of acne: hormones and inflammation. As you eat refined and processed carbohydrates like white sugar, your blood sugar levels increase at a faster rate, and your pancreas responds by releasing insulin. By eliminating sugar, you may be able to decrease the amount of insulin that your body makes, and as a result, oil and acne production will be increased too.
Food that is rich with sugar are dessert such as cakes, tart, cookies, ‘traditional’ kuih and bakery products. Our daily staple foods are as well refined carbohydrates or refined sugar, white rice, white bread, noodles, flour rich food are all refined carbohydrates in which for certain individual with sensitive it might make harm the skin condition in the long run.
In conclusion, eating healthy and well balance meal is the go-to way for younger looking skin. Consume a lot of fresh products, limit processed food, limit oily food containing trans fat and sugary food will not only helps with having younger looking skin but also healthier body!
The placenta is an organ that connects the foetus to the mother. It transfers oxygen and nutrients to the foetus and removes foetal waste products to the mother. When the baby is born, the placenta will also be discharged from the mother’s body. There has been a growing interest in placenta extraction as it is said to have high nutritional value. The nutritional substance includes cytokines, hormones, bioactive peptides, enzymes, growth factors, vitamins, and minerals.
Culturally, humans rarely consume placenta, but recently there has been growing interest in consuming placenta, be it from humans or animals. Mammals have been consuming placenta since years ago; it is called placentophagia, while in humans it is called placentophagy. The placenta could be served raw, cooked, or encapsulated and taken as a supplement as it contains various nutritional benefits.
Rave on this started when many Hollywood celebrities started using placenta therapy as part of their skincare routine treatment. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Victoria Beckham, and even male celebrities like Harry Styles from One Direction have said they have been using this for their skin to get baby-soft skin.
Placenta consumption in Malaysia.
In Malaysia, it is rare for people to consume raw placenta. Usually, it comes in health supplement form and is derived from deer or sheep. Hence, as it is in health supplement form, any products containing placenta extract in a pharmaceutical dosage will require to be registered with the Drug Control Authority (DCA) before they are sold or used in Malaysia.
Benefits of placenta consumption.
Findings from research reported that nutrients that are delivered via the placenta could be retained even after the process of delivering the baby. The research also stated that the placenta contains collagen, elastin, laminin, and vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, and B12. All these vitamins, better known as B complex vitamins, play roles in cell metabolism, cell division, cell development, and energy production.
Due to this aspect as well, it is said that it gives a lot of benefits to skin health. Placenta is even used in clinical settings, such as for burn injuries and wound healing. In one study, researchers compared the efficacy of topical placental extract dressings versus povidone iodine dressings in diabetic wounds in a variety of patients. Placenta wound dressings could significantly accelerate the rate of wound healing when compared to povidone-iodine dressings as they contained amino acids, vitamins, and nucleotides, which accelerated wound healing recovery by seven to ten days.
Due to all these effects, many skincare products have recently incorporated placenta, be it from sheep or deer, in their skincare or supplement products.
Caution with regard to placenta in the supplement
When it comes to placenta consumption as a health supplement, it is evaluated based on its safety of use and product quality. To be safe, sheep placenta products must be hormone-free. Because placenta typically contains hormones such as testosterone, oestrogen, and progesterone, being hormone-free is much more important for a placenta-based supplement. To confirm whether the products you are considering or consuming have been notified by the Ministry of Health, you can conduct an online product search on the National Pharmaceutical Registration Agency (NPRA). However, if the product is not listed in the DCA, it is not recommended that you consume it because its safety and quality have not been evaluated, and it may pose a health risk.
But, what if it is not in good condition? Is it hormonal in nature? Is it related to food? Is it hereditary? Is it any of these?
Yes, it is indeed all of these!
Skin that appears younger is closely related to lifestyle and genetics. According to research, there is a gene in the human body that controls our skin condition. Have you ever wondered why certain people of similar age but different appearances appear younger than their actual age while others appear older? The study by dermatologist professor Alexa B. Kimball from Harvard revealed that this has something to do with gene expressions.
According to the study, people with rapid gene expression speed up the skin-repairing process when exposed to external or internal stress, which is why they can maintain younger-looking skin. It has also been observed that some people who appear young have rapid gene expression that mimics those who are younger than their chronological age. According to the professor, the skin appears younger because it behaved younger (1)!
To elaborate, the one described above is known as intrinsic skin ageing, and it represents chronological ageing, with the same pattern affecting all internal organs. Extrinsic skin ageing, also known as aged skin, is caused by external factors such as environmental influence, particularly chronic sun exposure and ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, but also smoking, pollution, sleep deprivation, and poor nutrition. As a result, when it comes to skin, the best way to avoid harm is to avoid all of these extrinsic factors (1).
A study that compared sun-exposed skin (face and forearm) to sun-protected skin (buttock) among women aged 20 to 70 years old discovered that ultraviolet (UV) exposure is a major driver and accelerator of skin ageing. Although sun exposure without any skin protection, such as sunscreen, is harmful to the skin, there is a recommended amount of time spent outdoors without sunscreen so that UVB from the sun can activate vitamin D3 in the skin. The recommended exposure time is 5 - 30 minutes between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., at least twice a week, to the face, arms, legs, or back (2). In Malaysia, where the weather is sunny all year, excessive sun exposure can cause skin damage. As a result, if one of your 2021 resolutions is to avoid sun damage, you should start wearing sunscreen religiously!
Apart from smoking and pollution, which can both cause skin damage, sleep deprivation can also cause skin to appear older. Sleep serves as a reset button for our entire health, including our skin. During sleep, the blood flow to the skin increases, and the organ rebuilds collagen and repairs UV damage, reducing wrinkles and age spots. According to research, sleep deprivation affects wound healing, collagen growth, skin hydration, and skin texture. Inflammation is also higher in sleep-deprived individuals, causing acne outbreaks, eczema, psoriasis, and sin allergies. To combat this, health experts recommend 7 to 9 hours of beauty sleep per day to achieve fluffy baby skin (3,4)!
Poor nutrition is also a major contributor to the appearance of older skin, and the worst culprit of all is sugar! Glycation is the process by which sugar interacts with skin. Younger-looking skin is always associated with firm and elastic skin, which refers to the cross-linking structure of skin fibres. This structure can repair itself naturally; however, when sugar is consumed, the glycation process renders the structure and renders the skin unable to remodel into its original structure. As a result, the youthful skin condition has vanished! This explain, sugar consumption is not only bad for metabolic conditions like diabetes mellitus, but also for skin conditions.
To summarise, the skin is the largest and most delicate organ; it may appear strong and capable of withstanding all of the external and internal harm that we inflict on it, but it, too, requires pampering. A good skincare routine will help with its condition, but it also requires good food, hydration, and sleep to keep everything in check and balance!
Numerous studies have shown that grape seed extract contains a high level of antioxidants. Using punctured wounded mice, researchers discovered that mice treated with GSE in the wound affected area grew tissue faster than mice treated with only normal saline. Another difference between GSE-treated mice and placebo-treated mice was more organized tissue formation and a higher rate of collagen deposition.
Topical application of 2% GSE cream in the area of a post-surgery surgical wound heals the wound completely in an average of 8 days, compared to 14 days for placebo. This is due to GSE's vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) properties, which promote the regeneration of damaged blood vessels while increasing the amount of free radicals present at the wound site. Free radicals aid in the killing and removal of pathogenic bacteria and endotoxin from the site, as well as in the healing of wounds.
Apart from wound healing and skin health properties, it also has anti-ageing properties. GSE proanthocyanidins delay skin ageing by reducing lipid oxidation on the skin structure.
Cardiovascular and antihypertensive properties.
Cardiovascular disorders (CVD) are among the major problems that arise due to modern, unhealthy lifestyles, which are the primary cause of death worldwide. It is a disorder that affects the condition and function of the heart and blood vessels in general. Changes in these two can result in cardiac arrest, heart stroke, hypertension, chest pain, and other complications. Studies show that GSE may prevent atherosclerosis (a condition where there is a build-up of fats, cholesterol, etc. in the blood vessel walls, which can restrict blood flow), inhibit or limit the oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol), reduce inflammation, inhibit platelet aggregation, and lower blood pressure. It lowers blood pressure by suppressing oxidative stress and inhibiting the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and nitric oxide, which mediate vasodilation, hence making the constricted blood vessels dilate and improving blood pressure.
GSE has been shown to have antimicrobial properties; for example, when applied topically, resveratrol in GSE increases the production of cathelicidin, which inhibits the growth of Staphylococcus aureus. In another study, quercetin, caffeic acid, and quercetin-3-0-rutinoside in GSE were responsible for the inhibition of Listeria monocytogenes. It is also worth noting that GSE had the highest inhibition activity against almost all Listeria species. The review on the benefits of GSE also reported that the antimicrobial effect of GSE is attributed to changes in cell morphology and DNA content.
Cosmetic and nutraceuticals
Skin ageing is a natural process which occurs due to the external and internal factors involving genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors. GSE is rich in proanthocyanidin help to reduces the lipid oxidation of cellular structure of the skin and inhibit the production of free radicals. A study was carried out in which the anti-ageing effect of GSE was investigate. The study concluded that GSE has a promising role as an anti-ageing compound.
GSE help skin structure by strengthening the collagen-based tissue (by increasing the collagen cross links). It also increases the synthesis of collagen and the conversion of collagen from soluble into insoluble one.
GSE has various benefits to health due to its high antioxidant properties, it is able to scavenge the free radicals which an essential feature that could help with various body functions.
So, this is the right time to start taking care and really pamper your skin so that its condition is top notch during hari raya!
TIP 1: Start drink and eat healthily!
During Ramadhan, many people tend to drink less water and consumed less healthy food which makes many are constipated. So, start now to drink 8 glasses of water everyday and consume healthy food. Water is essential in keeping skin moist and healthy!
Consume healthy food means to consume variety of food, in balance, and in moderation. Try to include more fiber into your diet which will make you not only lose weight but also will give you a better-looking skin.
Consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day (3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruits). Vegetables and fruits are rich with nutrients which can improve your radiance, skin texture, and moisten your skin. Consumption of fruits and vegetables especially pomegranate, guava, kiwi, orange, lemon, tomatoes, turnip greens, mustard green, and broccoli will help with your skin condition, as these are all vegetables and fruits that are rich with vitamin A, C, and E which we need not to talk about when it comes to its benefits to your skin!
Apart from the consumption of vitamin A, C, and E, antioxidant foods also will help with skin texture, radiance, and smoothness. Standard measure used to quantify antioxidant is ORAC value, the higher the ORAC value the more antioxidant a particular food posses, which is why certain patented ingredients such as red orange extract (red orange complex) and pomegranate fruit extract (viqua) are beneficial and can assure fast result as it contain about 12800 ORAC value.
Also, limit the consumption of sugary food, as sugary food can destroy the collagen in your skin thus making your skin less elastic and prone looking older.
TIP 2: Protect yourself from the sun.
According to study the number one thing which can really harm your skin is exposure to the sun. Which is why scientist suggest to limit activities outside from 10 AM to 4 PM as this is the prime time when the sun exposure is the greatest and can harm your skin. If you need to do activities outside and is exposed to the sun during this hour, it is best to apply sunscreen beforehand. Sunscreen generally takes 20 minutes to be activated, thus apply 20 minutes before you are out and reapply every 2 hourly or more if you sweat a lot or if you are swimming.
A lifetime sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots, increase risk of skin cancer and many more, but it is still not too late for you to start wearing your sunscreen every day, any time you think you are exposed to sun.
TIP 3: Treat yourself skin gently, pamper your skin.
It is also important to establish a good skincare regime by this time. Make sure it includes cleansing, toning, moisturizing and sunscreen. It is not a good idea to introduce your skin to any new active ingredients at this point of time since you do not want to gamble your skin purging time or after effect of using any active ingredient during raya right?
TIP 4: Exercise and manage your stress.
Exercise regularly can improve blood circulation and blood flow in your body which makes skin appear more healthy, pinkish, and at the same time will reduce your stress. So, start exercise now!
It might be tricky to exercise during fasting month, so you must choose your exercise time wisely. Always try to exercise before you break your fast perhaps 30 minutes – 1 hour before or at night.
Lastly, it is still not too late to start your healthy-looking skin for hari raya project! Gather all the necessary equipment and start now and you will be thanking yourself for looking all fabulous this coming Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. Also, Happy Hari Raya Aidil Fitri in advance.
But, according to study there are various hindrance to the absorption of vitamin C apply topically, such as skin pH, penetration of vitamin C into skin layers, oxidation due to exposure to harsh environment before the skincare is even apply on skin and many more.
Which is why people started to dig what about the consumption of vitamin C? Will it help with skin health even better?
Study on roles of vitamin C in skin found that, the consumption of vitamin C helps with skin health via various pathways.
Vitamin C acts as a co-factor for the proline and lysine hydroxylase (enzyme) that stabilise the collagen structure in skin. In skin, collagen formation is carried mostly in dermis, it requires the enzyme lysine hydroxylase to form collagen, which is dependent on vitamin C. Which is why consumption of sufficient amount of vitamin C helps with intact looking skin due to the formation of collagen.
Another important role of vitamin C is that it acts as potent antioxidant which can neutralise and remove oxidants from environmental pollutants and after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. But most intervention studies carried out on to see the effect or the prevention of the damage using cocktail of other ingredients as well such as glutathione and vitamin E). Which is why, it is said that vitamin C is particularly effective when it is used in conjunction with vitamin E.
Vitamin C and its derivates including the weak one (magnesium phosphate ascorbyl derivatives) has been showed that it can treat skin hyperpigmentation in condition such as melisma or better known as age spot. This is due to that; it has been showed that it reduces melanin synthesis in skin by interfering with the action of tyrosinase (the rate limiting enzyme in the production of melanin).
These are all pathways in which vitamin C could helps with skin health. During the course of life, the skin is exposed to various challenges that affect structure, function, and appearance of skin including:
Which with all the factors from internal and external being addressed, it is thought that can makes things clear that the consumption of vitamin C, is able to help with prevention of skin further damaged but at the same time must limit or reduced external factors which cause harm to skin, after all, prevention is better than cure, right?
Apart from this, 16 studies that investigate the consumption of vitamin C supplement or food shows that it improves skin appearance by improving: skin elasticity, facial wrinkling, roughness, and discoloration.
Another double-blind nutrition intervention using cocktails of supplementation such as that is high with antioxidants such as 10mg trans resveratrol, 60 mcg selenium, 10 mg vitamin E, and 50 mg vitamin C in papaya extraction among population between 40 to 65 years old, shows improved skin surface, brown spots, evenness, moisture, and elasticity after 90 days of supplementation.
Based on all these data, the study stated that the efficacy of consumption of vitamin C is better in improving skin health as compared to topical application only. As the efficacy of topical application is based on the prior skin condition. In one study, it suggests that when the health status is already optimal, meaning enough vitamin C, the topical application of vitamin C will not be absorbed into the skin. Hence ‘beauty form the inside’, via nutrition, may be more effective that topical application.
According to America Academy of Dermatology, common hair falls per day is about 50 to 100 strands of hair, as we have more than about 100 000 hair follicles on head only, thus losing about 50 – 100 strands of hair per day will not causing you bald, patchiness, and spots, but of course if you have longer hair, losing hair is more noticeable as compared to if you have shorter hair. Also, formation of spots, patchiness, bald in your hair area, and pattern of clumps of hair loss, is a sign that you need to seek primary care doctors or dermatologist.
Generally, according to scientist it is hard to quantify normal number of hair loss since it is still depending on gender, the way hair is style and frequency of hair styling, frequency of hair colouring, washing, bleaches, brushing, and heat styling. It is also noted that, women tend to loss hair more than man as 40% of women style hair a lot more than men and because women experience certain life events which makes them losing more hair such as during pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause.
But, if you are experiencing more hair loss than usual and it is not something due to diseases, or life events that makes you stress you might need to find solution in making your hair grow healthier again!
The answer to this is by improving your diet!
According to studies, minerals, and micronutrients such as biotin is responsible for keratin production which will help with hair growth. Vitamin C act as strong antioxidants to scavenge free radical in hair follicles resulting in strong hair root, it also helps to produce collagen which strengthen and prevent hair from becoming brittle and breaking. Vitamin C also helps to absorb more iron into the body which can prevent anaemia, that can lead to more hair loss.
Another important nutrient is vitamin A, vitamin A is abundance in yellowish -orange food, such as carrot but it is also in greenish food such as spinach. It helps skin gland to produce sebum, which will make hair less frizzy, brittle, and easily broken. Although vitamin A, can improve your hair condition but too much vitamin A might be dangerous to your body and can harm your hair! So, consume vitamin A rich food moderately.
Minerals that play an important role for hair growth and repair is zinc. It also helps to keep the oil glands around the follicles working properly. Zinc rich food such as oysters, spinach, beef, and meat, helps to reduce hair loss caused by zinc deficiencies.
In conclusion, by identifying the type of nutrient that is beneficial for your hair health might give idea on what can you improve and what are you lacking on your diet. In effort to improve hair health, hair care routine, such as washing hair when needed, avoid heat styling and excessive hair styling, avoid exposure of hair to colorant, chemical etc that can harm for some time can help to improve hair condition.
As we age, the production of collagen in the body decreases, it causes skin to become wrinkled. For certain people, even when they are still young due to exposure of skin to various harsh environments and conditions both internally and externally, collagen level in skin tend to diminish even quickly.
Collagen and skin
Collagen is the central element in the dermis layer (one of the skin layer), it comprises about 70%-80% of skin. Whenever skin is wounded, collagen helps in wound healing through providing an ideal environment for cells to proliferate, which will help with the healing process. It also plays a significant role in all phases of wound healing, including haemostasis, inflammation, proliferation, and remodelling.
Studies shows that application of collagen in wounded skin is very beneficial since the collagen is highly porous and have interconnected pore structure. It is said that collagen is beneficial to wound healing to the extent of, there is study noted that collagen potentially can be used for skin substitute in full thickness wound healing.
Collagen and hair
Building block of hair is protein keratin, by consuming collagen rich food and/or collagen supplement, it will then be break down into variety types of amino acids compound.
There are 11 types of non- essential amino acids, which body can produce itself, and there are 9 types of essential amino acids which need to be consumed from diet since body cannot produced it. Collagen is made up from three types of essential amino acids, which is why it is best to consume collagen, collagen rich foods, or variety of protein rich foods, so you may get different types of amino acids compound especially the essential amino acids compound which body cannot synthesized, so that we can improve level of collagen in the body.
Collagen helps to fight damage to hair follicles by functioning as antioxidants which helps to fight free radical. Free radical could develop due to stress, smoking, dietary habits and many more. These are all factors that we are at risk of everyday, by consuming collagen it helps to reduce damage in the hair follicles thus lead to a healthier hair growth. It may also help to prevent thinning due to ageing and slow down the appearance of greying.
Collagen and nails
A study that was conducted among men and women who experience brittle nail syndrome, where their nail exhibits rough surface, raggedness, and peeling, noted that consumption of collagen promoted an increase of 12% nail growth rate and a decrease of 42% in the frequency of broken nails. Additionally, 64% of participants experienced an improvement 4-week post treatment. Most participants (80%) agreed that the use of collagen help with their brittle nail syndrome.
In conclusion, collagen consumption may helps with hair, nails, and skin condition since it is the building block of it. So, apart from practicing ‘prevention is better than cure’ measure once you have seen the symptoms in your hair, skin and nails, it is still not too late to help it with collagen.
Although the saying that our bodies make less collagen as we age is true, but the production of collagen drops most not only because of this but also due to excessive exposure to sun, smoking including second hand smoke, excessive consumption of alcohol, lack of sleep and lack of exercise. As the collagen level in our skin diminish, the deep skin layers change from a tightly organized network of fibers to an unorganized maze. Environmental exposure to skin such as harsh weather can also damage collagen fibers by reducing their thickness and strength which can lead to wrinkles on the skin surface (1).
Research on collagen supplementation are mostly on joint and skin health. Although studies pertaining to this using human subjects are still lacking, but some randomized controlled trials have found that collagen supplementation improve skin elasticity. In one study, women who took a supplement containing 2.5 – 5 grams of collagen for 8 weeks experienced less skin dryness and a significant increase in skin elasticity as compared to those who did not. Another study found out that women who consume it for 12 weeks experienced increased skin hydration and a significant reduction in wrinkle depth as compared with a control group (1,2, 3,4).
Trials on collagen supplement and joint health also found that it can improve joint mobility and decrease joint pain for people with osteoarthritis or in athletes (5). Collagen comprises about 60% of cartilage, a very firm tissue that surrounds bones and cushions them from the shock of high-impact movements; so a breakdown in collagen could lead to a loss of cartilage and joint problems.
Other than consumption of collagen based supplement, there are also foods that is rich with collagen, or that encourage collagen production other than lifestyles modification mentioned above. Food such as tough cuts of meat full of connective tissue like pot roast, brisket, and chuck steak. However, a high intake of red meat is not recommended as part of a long-term healthy diet. Collagen is also found in the bones and skin of fresh and saltwater fish. Bone broth which require animal bones to simmer in water with small amount of vinegar for 4 – 24hours also is said to have high collagen properties. However, the amount of amino acids will vary among batches, depending on types of bones used, cooking period, and many more. Other foods that can help to with production of collagen are foods that is rich with zinc such as legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and vitamin c rich food such as citrus fruits, bell peppers and tomatoes.
Although studies on the effectiveness of collagen to health is still not in the solid, but many available research has not shown negative side effects in individuals given collagen supplements (6). Thus, it is worth to try for its said benefits especially if the benefits is your health concerns! But be sure to talk to your healthcare professionals on this based on your medication intake and your health issues before consuming any health supplement.
Vitamin C has many functions in the body, including function related to the skin health. It acts as a co -factor in collagen to stabilize the collagen structure on the skin. Vitamin C is required in the formation of an enzyme which is essential in forming collagen, which explains why sufficient consumption of vitamin C helps with wrinkle free looking skin due to the formation of collagen.
When choosing vitamin C supplementation, it is best to choose natural vitamin C, that derived from plant based vitamin C rich foods such as guava, berries, orange, pomegranate, etc., this will give better absorption of skin as compared to synthetic vitamin C to the body and will also give various function of antioxidants properties to overall body health not only skin!
High dosage of vitamin C, does not necessarily means that it is better. We are recommended to consume about 70 mg of vitamin C daily according to the Ministry of Health. It can be consumed from fruits, vegetables, and fortified food, however, for certain people it is hard to consume fruits and vegetables on daily basis due to various reasons. Thus consumption of vitamin C from supplement can be used as an alternative.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are usually referring to as good fat. It serves to regulate the skin’s oil production, improved balance hydration, subdue breakout and minimize signs of aging. Furthermore, it can also help to soften rough, dry skin, and have a soothing effect on irritation and dermatitis if apply topically. Omega 3 rich foods can improve the composition of skin by balancing its inflammatory response towards the effect of sun damage and also improve sensitive skin condition by making it less dehydrated and dry.
Omega 3 rich foods can be found in food such as cat fish, terubok fish, patin fish, mackerel, spinach, mustard green, tofu and tempeh. People who consume lack of fish in their diet or who does not consume fish at all are at risk of lacking omega 3 nutrient (DHA & EPA) in their body. Thus, should actually obtain this from supplement.
When choosing supplement with omega 3, it is important to make sure that the supplement has enteric coated technology which will allow the nutrients to metabolize at its designated place that is small intestine and will not be broken down by stomach acid. A good Omega 3 supplementation also must undergo molecular distillation process to avoid any contamination such as mercury contamination from the fish oil source.
Our body can produce its own collagen, however the production of collagen gradually declined as we aged, which explains among the sign of aging is wrinkles, that is coming from skin that is less elastic, supple, and firm. We can get collagen from food and there are also foods which can stimulate production of collagen and break down existing collagen. Body makes collagen from combining proline and glycine (types of protein).Thus consuming food high with proline and glycine will help with restoring collagen level in the body.
Foods that are high with collagen are mostly diet from protein-rich foods such as bone broth, pork, chicken, beef, eggs, and fish. Plant based food also have added benefits to collagen rich food consumption since vegetables and fruits contain high level of antioxidants which can protect oxidative stress from reducing collagen.
Apart from these, you may consume collagen supplement for maintenance of your skin health and help with slowing wrinkle formation. It is hard to identify criteria for good collagen supplementation, but among things that one need to consider in choosing collagen supplementation is the other ingredients combining with it and for what purposes. Since combination of collagen with other ingredients might increase its bioavailability and making it has more functions not only to skin but also to overall body health.
Dry skin need both hydrating ingredients and moisturizing ingredients in order keep skin moist and healthy. Whereas for oily and combination skin, application skincare is depending on the type of skincare, its ingredients and also type of skin at the particular area.
All in all, there are three types of hydrating and moisturizing ingredients in the market. This includes humectants, emollient, and occlusive.
Other that these, newly discovered ingredients that raved the skincare industry is the ceramide, thus many skincare company started to incorporate this holy ingredients into the skincare formulation. Study shows that the application of ceramide in 24h can lessen the Trans-epidermal Water Loss, which is a good indicator in order to moisturized and hydrates skin.
Other than this, study also look at the relationship between consumption of ceramide whether it can improve skin condition. Surprisingly, consumption of ceramide also helps in improving skin condition. Study found out that consumption of ceramide in 12 weeks is beneficial to especially dry skin condition as compared to placebo.
The study also look at the safety of ceramide consumption to the body and found out that ceramide is safe for consumption.
In conclusion, hydration and moisturization is important for skin. Combination of emollient, humectants, occlusive and ceramides is important in maintaining skin barrier and moisture. Consumption of supplements product containing high antioxidants properties and ceramides also help to improve skin condition.