Diet & Skin Health: What’s the Relationship?

If you’re a fan of Fraxel laser on Facebook like we are, maybe you saw this link to nutritionDaily Beauty: Lycopene for Fewer Lines. It’s about new research suggesting a correlation between smoother skin and lycopene, the carotenoid found in tomatoes.

The story got me thinking more about the relation between diet and healthy skin – how important is it?

Nutritionists say it’s very important. Every day, our bodies naturally exhibit evidence of our lifestyles. However, the process is much more complicated than the old adage “you are what you eat.” Research shows that a cell-level battle is raging within each of us, a battle between the natural process of aging and the natural systems that help us resist that very process.

Oxygen is everywhere – in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and in the food we eat.  Oxygen has a natural tendency to combine with other processes in our skin at the cellular level to produce (evil) free radicals, the enemies of our skin tissue. Like the effects of oxygen on metal that cause oxidation and rust, in our bodies a similar process leads to inflammation, and this inflammation can take many forms. On the skin, inflammation can make pores look bigger and skin look dull, discolored, or aged.

So what can one do about these seemingly inevitable processes?

Well, consider the fact that Vitamins A, C, and E are “antioxidant rich” adversaries of the free radicals that hide in our cells and attack our skin. Consider that Selenium is a mineral that experts agree is critical to the production of glutathione, another enemy of free radicals. Consider that Thiamine is a B vitamin that helps skin cells function normally. Consider that Zinc assists epidermal cell growth, that protein is essential for skin repair, and finally, that Vitamin C helps the body naturally manufacture collagen, a protein that keeps the skin supple and tight. If you’re trying to look as young as you feel, good nutrition is obviously the place to start.

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Dr. Lee B. Daniel, Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
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Eugene OR   97401