Super Supplements: Eat Them, Wear Them, Inject ThemOct 03, 2022 11:59AM ● By Tanis Rhines
Whether in a pill or powder, liquid or lotion, supplements can support a healthy lifestyle both from the inside and out. Whether taken orally, applied topically, or even injected, supplements are intended to enhance the nutrient density of your diet and can accelerate positive outcomes both in your wellness and the appearance of your skin. Read on to learn about three super supplements that can enhance your youthfulness and health.
“Aging skin is skin that is losing its ability to hold water.” When first hearing this statement, upon which the antiaging philosophy of Dr. Howard Murad, founder of Murad Skincare, is based, you might be inclined to think that the easy remedy to this parched predicament is simply to drink more water. Unfortunately, after the body has reached its natural saturation point, drinking more simply means more trips to the bathroom and not necessarily more supple skin. (A quick way to determine hydration level is by the color of urine; the clearer it is, the higher the hydration.) So, if you are determined to find ways to trick the skin into staying as positively plump as possible, it’s time to get acquainted with the miracle molecule, hyaluronic acid.
First used as an eye lubricant, hyaluronic acid is a so-called “goo” molecule—a polymer of disaccharides (two sugars): glucuronic acid and glucosamine. You may have heard of the latter as a supplement for joint lubrication. Together with silicon, they form the ultimate hydrating particle, which can hold 1,000 times its weight in water. It is produced in the body and offers a natural way to keep skin youthful. It is highest in concentration in the skin, joints, eye sockets, and other tissues where it helps retain water and collagen, providing elasticity and flexibility.
Eat It. There is scientific support that taken orally, hyaluronic acid is useful in maintaining skin elasticity, sharp vision, and providing joint support. Here’s how it works: When taken orally, hyaluronic acid ramps up your body’s natural production of this protective polymer, presenting a noninvasive therapy for alleviating the symptoms of osteoarthritis. It also stimulates collagen production, helping to plump and firm your skin. Try the liquid berry-flavored hyaluronic acid made by NOW in your morning smoothie to soothe joints, hydrate tissues, and at a minimum, lubricate your digestive tube.
Wear It. Quench parched skin by using lotions and serums rich in hyaluronic acid. The molecule pulls moisture out of the air and onto the surface of the skin, alleviating dryness and flakiness. Look for it on labels under the name hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate.
Inject It. Hyaluronic acid can also be injected into the dermis to fill out wrinkles (thus, it is generally referred to as filler in the beauty industry). Since it exists naturally in tissue, hyaluronic acid is a safe way to fill in creases such as the laugh lines between the nose and mouth (known as nasolabial folds) and inflate areas of hollowness on cheeks and even puff your pout. According to Dr. Patrick Flaharty of Azul Cosmetic Surgery and Medical Spa in Southwest Florida, “Hyaluronic acid has revolutionized the field of aesthetic medicine. We can now reshape and rejuvenate the face with a few in-office injections with little to no downtime.”
Ever wonder what gives flamingos their pink color? Or shrimp, crabs, lobsters, and salmon? It’s what they’re eating: Haematococcus pluvialis, freshwater green algae that produces the carotenoid astaxanthin (which is blood red) to protect itself from UV radiation. When the aforementioned animals eat these algae, they turn pinkish too. The gastronomical green algae is among the strongest antioxidants on the planet. It provides protection and fights off free radicals more effectively than vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, a carotenoid found in carrots and bell peppers.
Eat It. Various benefits of astaxanthin have been recognized to date, including boosts to the brain, heart, eyes, and kidneys. Other benefits are anti-stress, anti-inflammation, and enhanced skin health. The best source of astaxanthin is through eating whole foods such as wild-caught sockeye salmon, krill, crawfish, salmon roe, red trout, red sea-bream, crab, and lobster.
You can also purchase astaxanthin supplements. Just make sure it is from the algae and not synthetic. Also make sure it’s mixed with an oil because it is fat-soluble and mixes well with fat, increasing its absorption in your body by as much as 12 times. Try the Dr. Mercola Astaxanthin, which is extracted from H. pluvialis algae and is mixed with organic olive oil. Buy online or visit the Mercola Market, located in Cape Coral.
Wear It. One study showed significant improvement in the skin when astaxanthin was both applied topically and ingested, 6 mg per day. All layers of the skin showed improvement, ranging from less wrinkling, more even texture, fewer age spots, higher moisture content, and increased elasticity. The pigment also offers protection from UV radiation and may reduce the chances of getting sunburned.
Pycnogenol is a registered trademark name for the phytonutrient extracted from the bark of the French maritime pine, Pinus pinaster. It contains compounds that increase blood circulation, stimulate the immune system, and protect DNA from degradation. Pycnogenol also exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, helping with ailments ranging from asthma to varicose veins, from ADHD to menstrual disorders, from erectile dysfunction and male infertility to athletic endurance and relief from hemorrhoids. Pycnogenol ranks right up there with vitamin C as a jack of all trades in the supplement world.
Eat It. In a study conducted in Italy, 100 mg of Pycnogenol reduced the duration and severity of the symptoms of the common cold, and when taken with 200 mg of vitamin C and 30 mg of zinc, the length was reduced from a week to five days.
Wear It. When applied topically, Pycnogenol provides substantial anti-inflammatory effects. In a study conducted on postmenopausal women, Pycnogenol increased not only collagen production but also hyaluronic acid. The participants’ skin became firmer and more hydrated with a more even skin tone and reduced hyperpigmentation. Pycnogenol is also said to help protect skin from UV radiation, warding off photo-aging. You can simultaneously apply both Pycnogenol and astaxanthin by using Derma-E Anti-Aging Regenerative Day Cream.
Check with your doctor about which supplements may help support your health routine so that you can stay vibrant and beautiful from the inside and out.
Tanis Rhines is a cellular and molecular scientist turned esthetician. She is the author of the irreverent esthetic exposé, Face It! Harsh Skincare Truths Every Esthetician Should Know... And So Should You.
FOR MORE INFO
NOW Liquid Hyaluronic Acid
Derma-E Anti-Aging Regenerative Day Cream
Azul Cosmetic Surgery and Medical Spas
Dr. Mercola Astaxanthin