Moisturized, radiant, with even color, firm and without breakouts. That should be our skin. However, not everyone can boast of a flawless complexion. Many factors affect the condition of the skin, some of them are also associated with diet. Do you know what products positively affect the condition of the skin and which do not serve it? We invite you to read!
Leather – construction and properties
Seemingly delicate and extremely sensitive, it protects the rest of the body against the harmful effects of mechanical, chemical and biological factors. Its main task is to maintain the balance between the external and internal environment. It is also a key element of the immune system, it creates the first barrier for microorganisms. Thanks to the secretory capabilities, it participates in the removal of many substances from the body and regulates the body temperature. The skin in the thickest place on the body is only 5 mm thick and is made up of three layers. These layers are the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue. The stratum corneum of the epidermis contains in its structure lipids and keratinocytes, which are responsible for water retention and proper hydration of the skin. The most important lipids present in the epidermis are ceramides and phospholipids. In addition to the regulation of hydration, they are responsible for barrier capacity, maintaining proper pH, proper skin breathing and metabolite exchange. The dermis is responsible for maintaining the immunological barrier, and due to the presence of collagen fibers, it is responsible for firmness and proper hydration.
The skin layers also include sebaceous and sweat glands, receptors sensitive both to cold and heat, nerve endings and capillary blood vessels. Their proper functioning and cooperation is a prerequisite for a good skin condition and, consequently, for a nice look. Properly moisturized and nourished skin fulfills all its functions even in extreme conditions.
Problems arise when the skin does not receive all the necessary ingredients and compounds. Then it begins to signal irregularities by the appearance of stains, discolorations, and breakouts on its surface. Other symptoms to which attention must be paid include redness and dryness of the skin.
Factors negatively affecting the appearance and condition of the skin
The skin is affected by both external and internal factors. Belong to them
– addictions (alcohol abuse, smoking),
– UV radiation (no use of sunblock, frequent visits to the tanning bed),
– hormonal conditions,
– genetic predisposition,
– ceramide metabolism disorders,
– diseases and inflammation.
To be able to enjoy smooth skin with even color, it is necessary to comprehensively care for your body and if possible minimize the harmful effects of these factors, which are also responsible for the aging process and the loss of some skin properties.
Food ingredients favorably affecting the condition of the skin:
Water is the main component of the human body. An adequate supply of water during the day has a positive effect on the functioning of the body. Water provides, among others maintenance of the correct thermoregulation process, maintenance of water-electrolyte balance and acid-base balance. Also, it is very important in maintaining the proper condition of the skin. It has been proven that the consumption of the right amount of water maintains proper skin tension. It also contributes to the increase of blood flow in the capillary vessels, which is associated with maintaining an adequate blood supply, elasticity, and firmness of the skin. Water shortages in the body affect the increase of dryness of the skin.
Particular attention should be paid to vitamins known for their strong antioxidant activity. This is about vitamins A, C and E. They have a significant impact on the proper functioning of the skin and its regeneration.
Vitamin A not only affects the color and nice appearance of the skin, additionally eliminates sun discoloration, stimulates the production of collagen and elastin in the proper skin layer, regulates sebaceous glands, accelerates the process of healing the skin and mucous membranes, and is an important part of acne and psoriasis treatment. Vitamin A is present in animal products and red, yellow and green vegetables and fruits (in the form of beta-carotene).
Vitamin E protects the skin against free radicals, accelerates its regeneration, slows down the aging process and prevents skin keratosis. Its source is vegetable oils, fatty fish and nuts.
Vitamin C also shows a similar effect. As a powerful antioxidant, it eliminates the effects of the presence of free radicals. The body is supplied by eating vegetables and fruits. However, it should be remembered that it is very sensitive to exposure to oxygen, temperature, and light, therefore the most vitamin C will have unprocessed vegetables and fruits collected in the season of their natural maturation.
The research carried out in 2000 and 2003 by the National Food and Agriculture Organization suggested that the intake of vitamins among Poles does not coincide with the recommended norms. Deficiencies of B group vitamins and vitamin C are very common.
In turn, there is excessive consumption of vitamins A and E, especially in women, which may be the result of making preparations to improve the condition of hair, skin, and nails.
In addition to vitamins, proper supply of macro- and micronutrients is very important. Calcium, potassium, iron, selenium, copper, zinc, iodine and silicon affect the proper skin condition and maintain its properties. These mineral ingredients allow you to maintain skin elasticity, prevent drying and scaling, alleviate the symptoms of acne and accelerate its treatment and have a positive effect on the processes of wound healing and skin damage. To maintain the proper levels of individual elements in the body, the diet should include whole grains, lean meat, fish, eggs, legume seeds as well as nuts and seeds.
Essential unsaturated fatty acids
As the name suggests, it should necessarily appear in our diet. They have an extremely wide spectrum of action and have a positive effect on the entire body. Today, however, we are interested in their impact on the skin. In the dermis layer, some ceramides and phospholipids require linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids, which are obtained by the body as a result of transformations of essential fatty acids, namely omega-3 EPA and DHA.
What effect do the fatty acids have on the skin? They prevent and alleviate inflammation and irritation, reduce dry skin occurring at hand and foot keratoderma, ichthyosis, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis or acne, maintain proper skin hydration and regulate the process of keratinization of the epidermis. To provide the body with adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, the diet should contain nuts, linseed, and linseed oil, pumpkin seeds, and fatty sea fish.
These compounds are also strong antioxidants and are responsible for maintaining the close skin barrier and its condition. Neutralizing the action of free radicals, they slow down the aging process and condition the proper functioning of the skin. Polyphenols additionally protect the skin against the occurrence of discoloration. The source of polyphenols in the diet are tea (green and black) and fruits and vegetables of dark and intense color (peppers, beets, Aronia, cherries, blackcurrant, without). The darker the color, the higher the content of polyphenolic compounds.
Food products adversely affecting the condition of the skin
To visibly improve the condition of the skin it is necessary to exclude highly processed products from the diet, with the addition of preservatives, artificial colors and flavor enhancers. Consuming such foods in large quantities may result in the intensification or occurrence of acne lesions, allergies, allergies, urticaria, and even inflammation.
The recommendations of the NGOs inform about the health benefits of limiting or even eliminating the consumption of simple sugars. Normalizing blood glucose in this way supports and facilitates weight loss and general health. Another benefit of reducing the number of simple sugars in the diet is improving the condition of the skin. This is due to the presence of different hormones in the skin layers. Both excess and hormone deficiency disturbs the work of receptors, which leads to dryness and flaking of the skin, excessive secretion of sebum, the appearance of breakouts and other skin changes.
Plants improving the condition of the skin
Not only food has a positive effect on the appearance and overall condition of the skin. To improve its condition, it is also worth reaching for medicinal plants. They are often more effective and safer than the cosmetics for care that are popular in drugstores.
Medicinal plants affecting the skin
– aloe vera,
– mountain arnica,
– regular onion,
– tea tree,
– St John’s wort,
– three-colored violet,
– purple coneflower,
– red oak,
– stopper rhizome,
– white jasmine,
– lemon balm,
– witch hazel,
– poplar buds,
– horse’s thigh,
– two-year evening primrose,
The aforementioned medicinal plants are mostly applied locally to the skin as compresses or compresses. They can also be used as infusions, baths, tonics or oils. Some of them (oats, nuts, chamomile, onion, etc.) can be included in the daily menu if possible. The substances contained in the discussed plants have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, soothing properties and also accelerate wound healing and regeneration. Before using medicinal plants, we advise you to go to the attending physician or a dermatologist to consult safety and possible interactions with medications and to rule out possible allergic reactions.
Non-nutritional factors affecting the condition of the skin
There is a close relationship between the level of stress and the condition of the skin. Stress, both caused by physical and mental factors, affects the functioning of the immune system. The neurotransmitters secreted as a result of this have a significant impact on the occurrence of dermatological diseases, especially those with an inflammatory basis. It is believed that diseases such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, alopecia areata, urticaria, acne, lichen planus or albinism can develop due to emotional factors affecting our psyche and not cope with severe, chronic stress. Stressful conditions not only contribute to the occurrence of dermatoses but also exacerbate the course of those already occurring.
The skin is located in sex hormone receptors. Most of them are around the face. The occurrence of abnormalities in the secretion of hormones may initially be manifested by dryness and redness of the skin. Over time, there is visible loss of skin firmness and acceleration of aging processes manifested by the occurrence of wrinkles and slower regeneration (healing of wounds and skin damage). According to the authors of the study, also the high intake of simple sugars that affect the problems associated with the secretion and sensitivity of cells to insulin leads to dysregulation of the entire hormonal balance of the body.
In scientific research it has been proven that tobacco smoke, and specifically the compounds contained in it, cause problems with wound healing, acceleration of skin aging, psoriasis Vulgaris, pustular pustules of hands and feet, skin and mucous membrane tumors, multiple axillary embryoids, warts and genital organs, and even Buerger’s disease. It is also suspected that smoking may have a significant impact on the development of acne, hand eczema, and malignant melanoma. Substances contained in tobacco smoke can cause a significant exacerbation of the course of these diseases. Such a strongly negative effect of cigarette smoking on the condition of the skin is associated with a wide range of activities, including nicotine stimulates the secretion of acetylcholine affecting the secretion of sweat, sebum, microcirculation, and angiogenesis. At the same time, it can also modulate the proliferation, migration, and differentiation of keratinocytes. Another effect of smoking is a significant decrease in the level of antioxidative vitamins in the body, especially A, C and E, which protect the skin against free radicals and condition its proper regeneration.
The style and way of feeding people with skin problems should be based on the recommendations of the Institute of Food and Nutrition. Specifically, it’s here for a varied diet based on unprocessed products and with the largest share of fresh vegetables and fruits. It may be helpful to stop smoking and reduce stress in helping to treat or relieve symptoms. It is good to do a hormone level test that also affects the appearance and condition of the skin.
Detailed recommendations will certainly be given to us by a dermatologist, so you should seek the advice of an expert in this field to change your lifestyle for healthier skin.