Updated: May 20
Beautiful skin requires nurturing from the inside out.
Vitamin A A - is for Anti-ageing. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that occurs in two forms – pre-formed vitamin A, which is found in animal based foods and provitamin A or beta-carotene, found in plants, which is precursor to vitamin A that can be changed in the body. Vitamin A aids in the growth, maintenance and repair of all epithelial tissue (mucous membranes and the skin) by keeping it strong and moist. By maintaining healthy cell membranes Vitamin A also helps prevent invasion by disease-causing micro-organisms. Vitamin A helps cells reproduce normally in a process called differentiation. Cells that have not properly differentiated are more likely to undergo pre-cancerous changes, so vitamin A helps to prevent epithelial cancer (skin, breast, colon, lung, etc). It is interesting to note that people diagnosed with skin cancer have lower vitamin A concentrations than people without cancer. Although Vitamin A does not cure skin cancer, it has been shown to partially regress cultaneous tumours. Vitamin A has also been shown to facilitate healing by promoting an early inflammation response by the skin. This activates the macrophages to infiltrate the tissue more rapidly and release growth factors that stimulate fibroblast action and collagen synthesis. Ninety percent of Vitamin A is stored in the liver but Zinc is needed to metabolize it. This means that if you are deficient in Zinc you will be deficient in Vitamin A as well. Who is at risk of deficiency? People who limit their consumption of dairy foods, vegetables and liver. Other risk factors include drinking excessive alcohol, cortisone use and taking Vitamin E supplements in excess of 600IU. How can we improve our intake? We recommend a daily intake of several yellow or orange vegetables as well as one or two pieces of yellow or orange fruit. A serve of dark green, leafy vegetables, raw or cooked, will also increase beta-carotene intake.
Zinc From the point of view of physical beauty, many minerals such as zinc, sulphur, selenium, magnesium and calcium play a major role. These trace elements can make the difference between prematurely ageing skin – caused by rapid collagen and elastin breakdown – nails that split, or hair in poor condition and radiant looks flowing with strength and health. Among women, zinc is one of the most common deficiencies. This is because of a number of reasons:
Our modern intensely-processed diet does not provide adequate levels of this important mineral.
Zinc is water-soluble and can leach from food during the cooking process.
New Zealand soil is lacking in zinc and fruit and vegetables grown in our soil often reflect this deficiency.
Oral contraception has a marked effect on the body’s need for and use of zinc (and vitamin B6).
Zinc is the second most abundant trace metal in the body next to iron and it forms part of more than 2000 enzymes in the body. The minimum daily requirement is a mere 15 milligrams, but on average we only get 11 milligrams. Mild to moderate deficiencies are not readily obvious and it is very hard to test for deficiencies because you have to have really low levels for the blood serum levels to change. In regard to skin health, zinc plays a major role. Twenty percent of the total zinc the body contains is found in the skin, mainly as a constituent of enzymes. Seventy enzymes in the skin rely on zinc and this means that a zinc deficiency can have a huge impact on the normal functioning of the skin. Zinc is the keratinising mineral that builds the integrity of the skin starting at the stratum granulosum. Because of its role in the synthesis of DNA and RNA it is also essential for the production of new skin cells. This means that if the skin lacks zinc it can become very fragile and weak. Zinc is also necessary for the health of collagen tissue and for the maintenance of a high level of elasticity in the skin. Even a slight deficiency can impede the formation of this important skin fibre resulting in wrinkles or a tendency to develop stretch marks. In regard to skin health, zinc plays a major role. Twenty percent of the total zinc the body contains is found in the skin, mainly as a constituent of enzymes. Seventy enzymes in the skin rely on zinc and this means that a zinc deficiency can have a huge impact on the normal functioning of the skin. Zinc is also necessary for the health of collagen tissue and for the maintenance of a high level of elasticity in the skin. Even a slight deficiency can impede the formation of this important skin fibre resulting in wrinkles or a tendency to develop stretch marks. Sources of Zinc Animal sources are the best sources as they contain more zinc than plants and are more bio-available – absorbing four times better than non-animal sources.
Liver / beef / lamb
Cheese / Pork / Chicken
Eggs / Salmon / Tuna
Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds / Pecans / Almonds
Muesli / Porridge / Wholegrains / Wheatgerm / Brewer’s Yeast
Who is at risk of deficiency? All Kiwi women! New Zealand soil is lacking in zinc and fruit and vegetables grown in our soil often reflect this deficiency. Meal Ideas to Improve Your Zinc Intake We recommend a daily intake of several yellow or orange vegetables as well as one or two pieces of yellow or orange fruit. A serve of dark green, leafy vegetables, raw or cooked, will also increase beta-carotene intake. Breakfast: Tahini on wholegrain bread. Eggs. Rolled oats or muesli with seeds and wheatgerm/yoghurt. Lunch: Hummus as a spread on wholegrain bread. Tuna or salmon sandwich or salad Snacks: Smoothie with Brewer’s Yeast. Squirrel mix. Dinner: Include beans and lentils or brown rice Beautyworx Recommends Zinc Capsules Zinc is very healing for the skin. These capsules include zinc blended with Vitamin A, beta carotene and Vitamin C for skin health.
B Complex The B Complex Vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that usually occur together in nature because of their biological interdependence. Because B Complex vitamins are all water-soluble they must be supplied to our bodies on a daily basis. B Complex Vitamins play a crucial role in skin health, especially B2 and B6, simply because of their interaction with Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s). They must be present in order for our bodies to utilize EFA’s and they also ensure that the sebum produced by the sebaceous glands gets out of the follicular canal and on to the skin’s surface. The Vitamin B family is synergistic and its components work together in a mutually supportive manner. For this reason you obtain the maximum benefits by taking the complete B Complex. However for optimum skin health it is important to ensure that you take a B Complex supplement that contains 50mg of B2 and 50mg of B6. Who is at risk of deficiency? People with diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugars, alcohol or coffee are most at risk of becoming deficient in these essential vitamins as are people on medication such as antibiotics, the contraceptive pill or sleeping pills. Pregnancy, breastfeeding and stress also increase your need for B Complex. Sources of B-Complex Vitamins
Leafy, green vegetable
Milk / Dairy products
Brewer’s Yeast (contains the entire B-complex group in large amounts with the exception of vitamin B12, which is only found in trace amounts.)
How can we improve our intake? Smoothies make an ideal snack and can be an important source of B Complex if they contain yoghurt and/or brewer’s yeast. Wholegrain breads, cereals and brown rice should be included in the diet. Squirrel mix makes a great snack – include pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, almonds and walnuts. Beautyworx Recommends Janesce B Complex Capsules For optimum skin health it is important to ensure that you take a B Complex supplement that contains 50mg of B2 and 50mg of B6. The Janesce B Complex Vitamin contains this exact formation and is perfect for skin health.
Vitamin C Vitamin C is one of nature’s essential nutrients for maintaining healthy skin and a well-nourished body. It is a water-soluble vitamin found in the water medium of fruits and vegetables. Interestingly, humans cannot manufacture vitamin C in our gut and are therefore totally dependent upon dietary sources. Vitamin C is best known for its aid in preventing many types of viral and bacterial infections by boosting the immune system, Vitamin C is often taken in supplement form to aid in preventing the common cold. Good news for us it that research has recently discovered the benefits of vitamin C in maintaining the health of the skin and it participation in warding off those fine lines and wrinkles! It plays a major role in the formation of collagen, that important skin component which keeps our skin firm and supple. Without adequate Vitamin C levels, fibroblasts produce unstable collagen molecules that are rapidly degraded. Because of the role it plays in the formation of connective tissue, Vitamin C also accelerates wound healing. One of the possible signs of a deficiency of Vitamin C is slow healing skin, so if you cut yourself and notice it takes time to heal up, reach for the Vitamin C! This essential nutrient is also capable of stimulating microcirculation. It strengthens the capillary walls and helps with the absorption of iron (vital for maintaining the health of the red blood cells) therefore ensuring our skin receives adequate supplies of oxygen. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant, capable of protecting cells from the damage caused by free radicals. It also enhances the action of other antioxidants such as Vitamin E. Vitamin C Food Sources
Kiwifruit/ Citrus Fruit/ Strawberries
Watercress/ Broccoli/ Brussels Sprouts
Who is at risk of deficiency? People who have a low intake of fruit and vegetables. Stress has been proven to increase the need for vitamin C. Smokers (every cigarette destroys 25mg) or people using steroids need more vitamin C. How can we improve our intake? Lemon water – juice of ½ a lemon in warm water upon rising. Include fresh fruit and vegetables in the diet.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA'S) As research continues, more and more comes to light about the wonders of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s), and the benefits they offer the skin. Unfortunately these precious oils are often lacking in the Kiwi diet. The first barrier we often need to overcome is a cultural aversion to fats! From teenage years right through to maturity, a good portion of women ‘watch what they eat’. Often instead of being selective about the fats we cut out, everything goes, including our precious EFAs. In pursuit of a trim figure we often unknowingly creating a bigger monster for our later years – aging and sagging skin. Taken in moderation EFAs do not create a weight problem. In fact, EFAs help our bodies burn saturated fats, thereby aiding in weight loss. Also, has anyone ever told you how important EFA’s are for our skin, hair, wound healing, and immunity? The truth is, you’ll find that every important biological function in our bodies is governed by EFA’s. The name Essential Fatty Acids refers to two polyunsaturated fatty acids, Omega 3 and Omega 6 both of which are very beneficial to the skin. Omega 3 can be very helpful at resolving dry skin problems. Oils high in Omega 6 are less inclined to aggregate or stick together due to the fact that the molecules repel each other making it more inclined to disperse or remain fluid. This means that sebum rich in Omega 6 finds its way easily up the follicular canal and out onto the skins surface, preventing congestion and even helping to dissolve existing blockages. This make oils rich in Omega 6 ideal for people suffering from all sorts of skin conditions ranging from acne to excessive dryness and inflammation. EFA’s are very healing and protective of the skin, helping to buffer it from the environment, keeping it smooth, supple and free from abrasions. This protective coating also prevents the skin’s surface from coming into contact with allergens, reducing the chance of any reactions or sensitivities. EFA’s form part of the cell wall and assist in keeping the cell membranes fluid and permeable. This results in better cell nourishment and improved waste removal. EFA’s also encourage the transport of oxygen through the body and across cell membrane to assist with the oxidation of foods for energy. An increased metabolic rate means that more fat is burned forming carbon dioxide, water and energy. Essential as these vital fats are, we cannot produce them ourselves and the only source is through our foods, supplements or topical application. How can we improve our intake? Bestow Beauty Oil or safflower oil can be added to foods such as yoghurt, mashed potato, stir fried vegetables, porridge or soup as long as it is added when the food is cool enough to eat and not piping hot from the stove. Other great sources of Omega 6 are seeds and nuts like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, almonds and walnuts. Omega 3 is found in deep sea fish – tuna, salmon, mackeral and sardines so make an effort to include these EFA rich foods in your diet. Beautyworx Recommends: Bestow Beauty Oil This is a blend of organic, unrefined, extra virgin seed oils cold-pressed from flax and golden flax to provide you with a beautiful source of EFA’s. It’s your edible moisturiser – making your skin soft, smooth and velvety. We also recommend Nordic Naturals as our preffered EFA's.
Water Water is the most important nutrient for skin health and general well being. Our bodies are made up of 45-55% by weight of water and this water needs to be continuously replenished in order to prevent stagnation and toxic build up in our cells and tissues. Our bodies constantly excrete water. On average, 1 ½ large glasses per day are lost through our breath – the humid air leaving our lungs can be easily seen on a cold day. Our bowel and kidneys excrete six glasses of water every day and depending on the temperature, at least two glasses is lost through our skin. Our bodies aim to maintain fluid balance. This means that fluid output must equal fluid intake. As long as output and intake are equal the total amount of water in the body does not change. The main way the body can regulate this is to alter the amount of water excreted form the kidneys. So if you don’t drink enough water your body will compensate by reducing the quantity of urine you produce and this has an impact on the amount of wastes able to leave your body. We need to ensure that we are drinking enough to enable our body to replace and refresh the water it contains. If our intake of water falls too low, dehydration will occur because, despite every effort, our body cannot compensate for this imbalance, as some output (loss) of fluid will occur as long as life continues. Dehydration or lack of water causes the chemical reactions in our cells to become sluggish, cells can no longer rebuild tissue, toxic products accumulate in our bloodstream, enzyme action is inhibited and we can feel weak and tired. It is however, important not to drink too much water. This can overtax our kidneys and risk flushing out important water-soluble vitamins and minerals. Our dermis is very reliant on water. It is made up of an interfibrillary fluid called glycosamioglycans, which is made up of a large amount of water. Our collagen and elastin fibers are embedded in the jelly-like fluid and correct water levels are crucial in maintaining the moisture and flexibility of these fibers. Water is also crucial for our epidermal health. Enzymes naturally found within the epidermis are reliant on water in order for them to remain active. Without adequate water levels enzyme action is inhibited and the skin begins to suffer. Optimum water content is crucial to ensure enzymes found in the epidermis are able to carry out their action. The health and appearance of the skin is therefore dependent on the epidermis being sufficiently hydrated. Unfortunately, it is difficult for the upper layers of the epidermis to tap into the body’s internal reservoir of water. Because of this the hydration of the epidermis is more influenced by the environment in which we live (air conditioning etc) and the skin care products we choose to use. Considering all of the health benefits of water there are no doubts as to why this is one of our best beauty aids – taken both internally and externally.