What we put in our body is just as important as what we put on our body for improving our complexion. Here are some of the foods and dietary supplements that I’ve found most effective at improving my skin appearance.
Pine bark extract – After using this, my skin became so smooth and soft, people started wondering if I was getting botox injections.
Just kidding, but this deserves a spot at the top of the list. It noticeably smooths and softens the skin soon after ingestion. The most active ingredient in the pine bark is the oligomeric proanthocyanidin compounds (OPCs), so look for products with a high OPC content when selecting a pine bark extract.
Some pine bark extract contains more tannins, which make your mouth pucker more than usual and may negatively impact the absorption of the active ingredients and important minerals like zinc and iron. Many standardized pine bark supplements use pycnogenol, a patented pine bark extract used in many research studies.
Cacao/Dark chocolate – Contains flavanols and polyphenols which increase collagen synthesis and make the skin appear plump and firm. For the best benefits, choose chocolate that has a higher cacao and lower sugar content, for example, a bar that contains 85% cacao or more. I like Lindt chocolate brand and my go-to is the 90% cacao bar they sell. Although it is alkalized, so has fewer flavanols than the 85%, which isn’t alkalized, it also has less sugar and tastes better in my opinion.
Wheat Germ Oil – Contains phytoceramides which boost collagen production.
Gamma tocopherol (type of vitamin E) which is a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant that can accumulate in your fatty tissues, ie. your brain, and endodermis and protect against cellular damage which keeps the skin and other tissues healthy.
Spermidine – Stimulates autophagy and helps keep cells healthy.
Olive oil – Contains molecules like hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein which have many health benefits and may improve skin health. Touted as a daily routine by the longest living human, who claimed to only have one wrinkle.
Vitamin C – Necessary for collagen synthesis (the main structural protein in the skin). Prevents free radicals from damaging the skin. For the best benefits use both internally and externally.
Vitamin E (supplement and oil) – Protects against oxidative damage and photo-aging, by protecting the skin from oxidative damage. Can also be used externally and may reduce the appearance of scars and wrinkles.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26492562 French Maritime Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol®) Effects on Human Skin: Clinical and Molecular Evidence.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12530550 Supplementation with a pine bark extract rich in polyphenols increases plasma antioxidant capacity and alters the plasma lipoprotein profile.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22270036 Pycnogenol® effects on skin elasticity and hydration coincide with increased gene expressions of collagen type I and hyaluronic acid synthase in women.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22270036 “Pycnogenol® effects on skin elasticity and hydration coincide with increased gene expressions of collagen type I and hyaluronic acid synthase.
http://www.centerchem.com/Products/DownloadFile.aspx?FileID=7105 wheat getm oil info.
Hydroxytyrosol, a natural antioxidant from olive oil, prevents protein damage induced by long-wave ultraviolet radiation in melanoma cells.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/28707186/?i=18&from=olive%20oil%20and%20skin Natural Oils for Skin-Barrier Repair: Ancient Compounds Now Backed by Modern Science.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/29104718/?i=14&from=vitamin%20e%20and%20skin Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications.
In vitro antioxidant activity and in vivo efficacy of topical formulations containing vitamin C and its derivatives studied by non-invasive methods.
Oral Supplementation with Cocoa Extract Reduces UVB-Induced Wrinkles in Hairless Mouse Skin.
Cocoa bioactive compounds: significance and potential for the maintenance of skin health.
A new potent natural antioxidant mixture provides global protection against oxidative skin cell damage.
Eating chocolate can significantly protect the skin from UV light.
Cocoa polyphenols and their influence on parameters involved in ex vivo skin restructuring.
Consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa acutely increases microcirculation in human skin.
Vitamin E in human skin: organ-specific physiology and considerations for its use in dermatology.
Skin bioavailability of dietary vitamin E, carotenoids, polyphenols, vitamin C, zinc and selenium.
Potential Applications of Phyto-Derived Ceramides in Improving Epidermal Barrier Function.