Three Supplements for Optimal Skin Health

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Woman Using Vitamins To Help Increase Skin Elasticity Cooper CompleteFor decades, skincare lines have been advertising and selling expensive topical concoctions that promise younger looking skin. Research has now proven you can achieve optimal skin health by simply increasing your intake of vitamins C and E and zeaxanthin with supplements.

Aging of skin is caused by two distinct processes—natural or ‘intrinsic’ aging, caused simply by the passage of time, and environmental aging. Lifestyle factors such as smoking and exposure to environmental pollutants increase the rate of environmental aging, and can have a marked impact on the function and appearance of skin.

Exposure to chronic ultraviolet radiation from sunlight is also a major environmental factor that prematurely damages our skin. Consuming vitamins C and E and zeaxanthin in your diet and/or through supplements naturally promotes healthy skin and protects against damage.

Vitamin C for improving skin elasticity

Vitamin C plays an important role in producing collagen which provides structure and elasticity in the skin. Transported into cells from the blood vessels in the dermal layer, high levels of vitamin C are found in normal skin.

This potent antioxidant neutralizes and removes oxidants, such as those found in environmental pollutants and after exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Research shows vitamin C levels are lower in aged or sun-damaged skin or even in skin that has been exposed excessively to pollutants and UV rays.

Vitamin C supplementation:

  • Helps limit potential damage from UV rays
  • Repairs skin by increasing the production of fibroblasts and elastin
  • Combats the appearance of wrinkles and roughness
  • Helps wounds heal faster
  • Decreases the risk of dryness, helping the skin retain water and hydration in

Vitamin E to counteract the effects of UV light exposure

Yet another powerful antioxidant, vitamin E fights off free radicals, or stressors from the environment such as unprotected sun exposure and air pollution that damage the skin. This fat-soluble, essential nutrient also has anti-inflammatory properties. UV light and sun exposure reduce vitamin E levels in the skin. Also with age, vitamin E levels decrease. While available in both natural and synthetic forms, natural vitamin E is more potent.

The amount of vitamin E needed is based on your age. According to the National Institutes of Health, teens, adults and pregnant women should consume approximately 15 milligrams per day. Most people in the United States where healthy food is available get enough vitamin E from food. Those with conditions such as cystic fibrosis or Crohn’s disease that affect their ability to digest or absorb fat may need more vitamin E. Talk to your doctor, especially if you have underlying health conditions, about your use of vitamin E supplements prior to taking them.

Vitamin E benefits include:

  • Aids in moisturizing and healing
  • Strengthens the skin’s barrier against the sun
  • Serves as a natural anti-inflammatory that calms and soothes dry, irritated skin
  • Helps widen blood vessels, reducing the risk of blood clots

Zeaxanthin to benefit skin color and feel

One of the most common carotenoids (antioxidants) found in food, zeaxanthin gives plants and foods their characteristic yellow and red colors. Many whole foods such as spinach, mustard greens, broccoli, pumpkin, winter squash, spirulina and egg yolks contain zeaxanthin. If you’re consuming a whole food, chances are good you’re eating enough of this carotenoid to reap the health benefits.

In addition to its promising eye-health benefits, zeaxanthin also:

  • Improves overall skin tone and brightness
  • Restores dry and dull skin to look and feel its best
  • Serves as an active protector against the damaging effects of UV rays
  • Works to reduces wrinkles

Good skin health is positively associated with eating fruits and vegetables which often include vitamins C and E. Cooper Clinic recommends a food first philosophy and taking supplements to fill in the gaps.

While topical applications of these vitamins are available in various lotions, creams and oils, they are proven to be most effective when taken through a healthy diet and supplements. Cooper Complete multivitamins, as well as Dermatologic Health, contain vitamins C and E and zeaxanthin. Remember, your doctor understands your health profile best, so it’s important to consult your health care provider about which supplements are best for you.

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