The concept of treating the skin from the inside out is not a new one. With the rise of non-invasive cosmetic procedures and the popularity of those procedures growing every year, Beauty and skin health is considered serious business. There has been a very one dimensional approach to treating some common skin concerns. These days the world is slowly realizing that treating the cause and symptom, and not just providing symptomatic relief to the skin condition is crucially important.
The professional environment for doctors is changing rapidly and patients are becoming more involved in the decision making process over which procedures are done on them. The “frozen” botox face is rapidly becoming something most people want to avoid and therefore there is an increased movement toward collagen induction therapies, a more conservative approach towards injectables, and a holistic approach in treating the skin. A holistic approach takes everything into consideration, from the patient’s homecare topical products to their diet and lifestyle. The source of skin concerns such as acne, eczema, rosacea, hyperpigmentation and ageing can often be traced to a hormonal imbalance, poor dietary choices and chronic inflammation caused by disease and medication. It is therefore necessary to treat each client and patient on a case by case basis, taking everything about them into consideration before deciding on the approach to take.
Perhaps the most common reason for treatment failure or resistance to treatment of skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation, ageing and acne can be traced back to inadequate treatment of the skin barrier function. Our first line of defense is our stratum corneum and the acid mantle. A slightly acidic pH will prevent harmful bacteria and allergens to compromise the barrier. Adequate hydration and enzymatic functioning within the skin will ensure a healthy keratinocyte and perhaps the most important factor in skin barrier function, the lipid bi layer. But what does our skin need to have a perfectly functioning Epidermis?
Our skin, like everything else in the body is dependent on nutrients for it’s health. There are some areas where nutritional deficiencies can be identified depending on the skin condition. In the case of skin barrier disorders, there is a clear link between too little water intake and a poor cell turnover. This is due to ineffective enzymatic activity in the skin that initiates the shedding of dead keratinocytes from the skin. A lack of essential fatty acids in the diet can cause a poor lipid composition in the upper layers of the epidermis and thus influence dryness and sensitivity of the skin. A lack of certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can lead to accelerated ageing in the skin. We can also look at the role that certain food groups play in exacerbating certain skin conditions.
Acne is a skin condition that differs in severity from person to person and making certain changes to someone’s diet that suffers from severe acne, may have a beneficial effect. Some clinical studies suggest that dairy can have a detrimental effect on acne prone skin. Most of the milk we consume contains growth hormones and steroids and may adversely affect the hormone production of a person with an already sensitive hormonal balance. As we know increased levels of sebum production can be attributed to certain hormones. According to another clinical study, foods with a high glycaemic index, such as sugar, white bread, and white rice, are rapidly absorbed, leading to higher serum glucose levels and corresponding elevated levels of insulin. Insulin and IGF-1 have been shown to augment sebum production, stimulate adrenal androgen synthesis, and increase androgen bioavailability, all of which play a role in the pathogenesis of acne. excess sugar consumption is linked to accelerated ageing, and Diabetics are particularly prone to advanced signs of ageing due to their High Insulin levels.
Enter Nutricosmetics, or ingestible beauty products. It’s predicted that things you eat and swallow will become much more important than the things you apply topically. Due to the poor dietary choices we make, the deficiency of minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids in our diet and our increased consumption of refined carbohydrates we are seeing more and more troublesome skin conditions emerging. Topical product do not seem to be doing the job by themselves, and even if you do get good results, they are rarely long lasting. Ingestible beauty products contain trace elements, minerals and vitamins, antioxidants, essential fatty acids and collagen. These ingredients can assist in restoring the health of the skin from the inside out, and partners up perfectly with topical skincare to provide longer lasting results. They also have obvious health benefits.
Some of these products also contain Pre and pro biotics which can assist in normalising gut health, which can have beneficial effects on certain skin conditions such as acne, Hyperpigmentation and accelerated signs of ageing. The future of treating skin conditions effectively lies in our approach. Taking every aspect of the patient’s health into consideration, and providing them with the correct solutions to treat their skin’s from the inside out.