Whether you long for glossy locks or glowing skin, the real key to enhancing your appearance isn’t expensive beauty products or a jab of botox, but looking after your health. Your looks are a reflection of your body’s inner state, so a whole range of surface symptoms, from unsightly spots to sagging skin, could indicate deficiencies in the nutrition department. While there is no quick-fix cure all, looking after your body on the inside can have real beauty pay-offs on the outside. We’ve rounded up a whole host of nutrients to help you banish every beauty complaint, without a jar of cream in sight!
WARD OFF WRINKLES?
Beauty woe: ?Sagging skin and fine lines.
What you need: Vitamin C
The buzz: Famed for keeping colds and germs at bay, vitamin C is also the ultimate antioxidant and is involved in hundreds of processes carried out in the body. ‘This vitamin, from a beauty point of view, is essential in the manufacture of collagen. It also has mild antioxidant properties, which neutralise any harmful free radicals responsible for damaging your skin,’ says Shabir Daya, co-founder of Victoria Health and a registered pharmacist.
Pop this: ?Holland & Barrett Effervescent Vitamin C, £3.25, www.hollandandbarrett.com
IMPROVE HAIR HEALTH
Beauty woe: Brittle locks
What you need: Silica
The buzz: The mineral silica is especially good for keeping skin soft and locks lustrous. ‘Silica, in the form of silicon, is needed for the manufacture of collagen and is also a major component of all of the connective tissues within our bodies,’ reveals Shabir. In addition to this, silica helps to support strong bones and teeth by playing a part in the metabolism of calcium within the body.
Pop this: Qsilica Colloidal Silica Capsules, £19.95, www.revital.co.uk
BANISH WINTER SKIN
Beauty woe: Dry, flaky skin
What you need: Essential fatty acids
The buzz: The colder months are often seriously bad news for your skin. Cranking up the central heating and everyday exposure to cold air and wind can leave you with dry, scaly?skin. But help is at hand. The correct ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 can go a long way to counteracting the harsh effects of the winter months. ‘These essential fatty acids maintain lipid levels in skin, helping to alleviate dry and inflammatory skin problems,’ says Shabir.
Pop this: BioCare MicroCell Essential Fatty Acids, £10.25, www.totallynourish.com
MINIMISE STRETCH MARKS?
Beauty woe: Unsightly stretch marks
What you need: Vitamin E
The buzz: A powerful antioxidant, vitamin E is often used to help heal scars and to delay the skin’s ageing process. It’s also added into lots of pregnancy beauty products to help minimise stretch marks as it promotes skin elasticity, and works wonderfully when applied directly to the area. However, you can also get some of the good stuff through your diet, as well as through supplements, and it’s totally worth it. ‘Vitamin E is a free radical scavenger, protecting the skin and the body’s organs against harmful molecules,’ says Shabir. Great-looking, younger skin, what more could you want-
Pop this: Vitamin E-400iu Softgels, £14.50, www.victoriahealth.com
FIGHT UV DAMAGE?
Beauty woe: Sun-ravaged skin
What you need: Selenium
The buzz: Wearing an SPF all year round will help to combat the skin ageing that can be caused by exposure to UV rays, but eating the right foods can help too. Sun damage doesn’t occur solely during summer, but all year round. Selenium is one of the most crucial minerals for the protection of cells within our bodies, helping to counteract damaging free radicals, which are produced during UV exposure. ‘Selenium combines with glutathione to form one of the most potent free radical killers in the body called glutathione peroxidase. This helps to protect the skin from damage,’ says Shabir.
Pop this: BioCare Nutrisorb Selenium, £15.20, www.biocare.co.uk
Beauty woe: Acne
What you need: Zinc
The buzz: A zinc deficiency has been linked with numerous skin concerns, especially acne. In fact, up to 20 per cent of the zinc in our bodies is present in the skin, showing how vital it is for good skin. Signs you may be suffering from a lack of zinc include white spots on your nails, a poor immune system and a lack of appetite. ‘This mineral influences protein synthesis and encourages tissue regeneration helping to heal any wounds, and clear up any skin problems,’ says Shabir.
Pop this: Solgar Zinc Citrate, £7.05,?www.solgar.co.uk
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