We're all aware that what we eat has major impact on the skin. There are plenty of foods that we can try to eat more of for our skin. We're also getting better and better at using topical products cleverly. We are savvy consumers when it comes to skincare, and an increasing number of Irish women are spending more on their skin. And why wouldn't we? Clear skin is beautiful on any person of any age,and we all covet it (with the exception,perhaps, of people who have a thing for facial tattoos...).
My skincare routine varies throughout the year as I alter it in response to my skin's changing needs. I'm pretty good about that. I also make sure to eat a lot of foods that will help and improve my skin. Of course, I also eat a lot of foods which definitely won't, like delicious sugar (which is a demon when it comes to skin) and other foods designed solely to make me fat and slow so that I can't run away from predators when the apocalypse comes. But I've made my bed...
If you don't want to cut out the bad stuff -though your skin will thank you if you do - then at least try to take in more of the good stuff. Of course it's great to do this in your diet, but adding some supplements certainly won't hurt. Here's what I take daily for my skin and general wellbeing (though if I'm honest, it's mostly for my skin, because I'm weirdly obsessed about that) -
- Kelkin Pure Omega Oil 3-6-9
This is available in liquid form, but it's gagarific, so I'd recommend sticking with capsules. Our friend and magical skin superhero Caroline Hirons takes up to 9000 milligrams of fish oils a day, which is an enormous volume. That would equate to thirty capsules, or half a box per day, of this version from Kelkin.
The woman has the best skin I've ever seen, so I'm certainly not going to argue with her. That said, I just can't stomach (or afford - jaysus, the cost!) that volume of fish oil every day. But I do try to take over 1000 milligrams a day - two capsules in the morning, and two at night.
Omega oils are incredible for skin, joints, the brain, and in large volumes are an effective appetite suppressant. And no, they won't make you smell like a halibut. Omega oils are perfect for anyone of any age - pump your children full of them to help with brain development, and give them to your granny for her joints and skin. If you're a vegetarian, you still need your omegas, so opt for flax seed oil instead.
- Imedeen Derma One
This is a new addition to my supplements cupboard, so I can't report yet on its results. That said, these contain zinc ( a really underestimated ingredient for good skin) and Vitamin C and are rich in proteins and polysaccharides. The Derma One Range is also tailored for those who are concerned about aging skin but also are interested in maintaining the skin as it is now, so this is a good choice for anyone who is 25 or over.
I take two of these at breakfast time.
- David Kirsch B-12 Spray
B12 is the forgotten vitamin. It is good for literally everything from your nervous and immune systems to your heart and the production of red blood cells. Deficiency of B12 has also been linked in studies to low mood and low energy levels.
I find myself on planes a lot, and they just aren't good for your immune system, so I keep this in my bag and use it daily. You just pop five sprays under your tongue, then swallow. This spray version is much more quickly absorbed than a capsule would be, and it's easy to take any time and anywhere. You can find it at Ireland's glorious new Space NK store on Grafton Street, or online. This one was a Hirons recommendation, and you just don't ignore those.
- Floradix Herbal Iron and Vitamin Formula
Having been quite anaemic since my teens, I've been taking various iron supplements on and off for years. The anaemia doesn't play up quite as much as it used to, but sometimes, when the moon be full and a lady's innards become her outards (Yes. Graphic), iron gets very low.
As you know, iron deficiency makes skin and gums very pale, and since I'd be transparent if I were any paler, I have to keep on top of my iron levels. It also makes you generally exhausted and a bit sad.
Floradix Herbal Iron and Vitamin Formula contains Vitamins B2, B6 and B12 as well as Vitamin C which helps the body to absorb the iron. Most iron supplements give me headaches or other nasty physical symptoms, but this one doesn't.
That said, it tastes like licking the inside of the bin at a butcher's shop, but I suppose you can't have it all... I enjoy four teaspoons of this delicious, poo-coloured slush per day when I'm on the brink of a horrible bout of lady agony and for a few days after the agony has subsided, if I still look like a bloated corpse. Hurrah!
- Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is an amazing hydrating ingredient. You'll find it in all the best hydrating skincare. It's found naturally in the body as a cushion for joints. It also keeps skin plump and youthful looking, holding up to 1000 times its weight in water.
I love using skincare which is rich in hyaluronic acid, but ingesting it is another way to keep skin at its best. I've been using this liquid Hyaluronic Acid supplement by Fountain since I reviewed it here last October. It's quickly absorbed and has a mild and pleasant ginger flavour.
Certainly beats the Floradix! Two teaspoonsof Fountain per day will help keep skin at its best. you'll find it at Boots or Brown Thomas stores.
So that's my supplement menu on a day-to-day basis. Let us convene like elderly people in the day room of a retirement home,and ask the following question - what are you on? To the comments!
(Always check with a medical practitioner before taking any supplements)