Does Nutrition Affect Your Skin?

Good nutrition and skin. Often spoken in the same sentence, but do we really understand the ways in which our diet affects our skin?

Our skin is our largest organ, thereby has a huge need for correct nutrition and nourishment due to it being in a constant state of repair and renewal. The majority of foods in modern Western diets are now chemically processed and lack any substantial nutritional value. So, if you want great skin, you have to protect it from the inside out.

Omega 3 for Good Nutrition and Skin?

If our diets are lacking in Omega-3’s, our brain, heart, and skin will suffer. They’re essential for keeping skin radiant and healthy, as well as keeping the rest of your body nourished. Omega-3’s are long chains of ‘essential’ fatty acids, which can’t be made by the body, so must be consumed through our diet.

EPA and DHA for Good Nutrition and Skin?

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are the most important of the Omega-3’s. A sufficient supply of EPA in adulthood can prevent a range of chronic illnesses; such as mental health issues, cardiac disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases. It also helps our body manage stress, as well as protecting our genes and cells.

DHA is extremely important in infants under five as it’s a huge factor in developing the brain, central nervous system, and retinal health. The scientific evidence regarding adequate DHA prompted its addition into infant formulas in 2002.

Good Skin Health

Essential fatty acids are responsible for the cell membrane’s health. If your skin is lacking in Omega-3, it’ll be dry and lacklustre and vulnerable to attack from toxins and irritants. As well as acting as a barrier, cell membranes also act as a passageway for nutrients, an exit for waste, and influence how much water a cell holds. By having a fully functioning skin barrier, your skin will be more hydrated and youthful. It will help keep harmful irritants out, and moisture in and will maintain optimal waste disposal.

A study has shown that women who consumed half a teaspoon of flaxseed oil daily, experienced a 39% increase in skin hydration and their skin felt less sensitive and rough in just twelve weeks. This is because Omega-3 plays an important role in your skin’s health by reducing the production of the body’s inflammatory compounds, which are chemicals that affect the cellular ageing process.

Acne and Nutrition

Recent studies have shown that Omega-3 may have an important role when it comes to treating acne. When diets have been supplemented with EPA and DHA, acne and inflammatory lesions significantly improved.

The modern Western diet and lifestyle is said to be a major factor in why acne is so prevalent; in non-westernised societies where consumption of high levels of fatty acids and nutrients is common, acne levels are extremely low. Other studies have shown that sebum production and oily skin is connected to inflammation. Omega-3’s, especially EPA, have been found to be particularly important in the anti-inflammatory process.

Eczema, Psoriasis, and Dermatitis

Studies have also linked Omega-3’s with the improvement of inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Research carried out by the British Journal of Dermatology showed when diets were supplemented with Omega-3 fatty acids, a significant reduction in eczema symptoms was shown. The improvements are said to be down to the levels of pro-inflammatory in fish oils.

Sun Exposure

When looking further at good nutrition and skin; studies have shown healthy Omega-3 fatty acids can help diminish sun damage by protecting skin cells against inflammation and improve how the body responds to UV rays. Research has also suggested that the unprotected skin of people who take fish oil supplements is less likely to burn as quickly as those who don’t. It’s been found that, by taking Omega-3 regularly, your skin’s resistance to sunlight will increase.

However, the modern Western diet and lifestyle unfortunately doesn’t include a high level of healthy fatty acids, but instead, includes a high level of saturated fats. By consuming more Omega-3 rich foods, you can improve the look of your skin on the outside and nourish it from the inside.

We can help support this in the clinic with our range of supplements from the Advanced Nutrition Programme, including Skin Omegas. 

Skin by Dr Caroline is an advanced skin and aesthetics clinic covering the whole of Hertfordshire and north London. We understand the necessity of good nutrition as it plays such an important part in the care of your skin following any treatment. 

If you are looking for expert advice on skin, please do call the clinic at 01707 662477 or email to arrange an appointment with our senior skin therapists.

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