We’ve all heard the saying “You are what you eat”. And when it comes to skincare it couldn’t be more true. Vitamins are essential for our bodies to function, and deficiencies can cause adverse effects on the skin, such as irritation and rashes. But of all the nutrients, vitamin A is the most important for skin health because it works by normalising skin functions and correcting all skin conditions, so it’s important that we have enough of it in our diet or through supplements, and over 90% of women in the UK aren’t getting enough. Vitamin A thickens and stimulates the dermis – the layer underneath the epidermis where your collagen, elastin and blood vessels are – so it increases blood flow to the surface of the skin reducing wrinkles, effectively repairing it from the inside. It also increases your collagen, slowing down the normal ageing breakdown of your collagen and elastin. There are two main sources of vitamin A in our food: animal sources, which contain preformed vitamin A as retinol and plant sources containing carotenoids, like beta-carotene, that the body converts into retinol.
When introducing Vitamin A in the form of a supplement, however, ensure that you consult with an expert (beautician, dermatologist or doctor) as it takes time – sometimes months – for your skin to build up its strength to receive it correctly, so it needs to monitored. Skin Complete from The Advanced Nutrition Programme, has been researched by experts and cosmetic surgeons, so you know you’re in good hands with it. It’s a supplement that contains both vitamins A and D to reduce the risk of overdosing on vitamin A. They also recommend that you use a sunblock while taking a it (or any Vitamin A supplement) because a day in the sun or wind will increase cellular activity. For more information go to www.advancednutritionprogramme.com.
Skin Complete 160 capsules includes 1 pack of Skin Vit A+ (60 Capsules) and 1 pack of Skin Antioxidant (60 Capsules) and is priced at £45.
**** WARNING *** If pregnant, thinking of being so or breastfeeding, please discuss the use of any Vitamin A serum with your doctor. We recommend that you cease their use during this period, as it is not known conclusively whether a developing foetus will be affected; the research is still happening.
Remember: Vitamin A supplements can interact with certain medications. Always tell your doctor if you are considering taking a new supplement to ensure it is right for you.
My guess would be that if you asked any Beauty Editor to share with you their top skin care secret it might be that they wear sun protection all year round. And I’m not talking about a day cream or make-up containing and low SPF, I’m talking about sun protection in its own right, straight down the line. Again, I’m not talking about your greasy holiday Tropical Oil, I’m talking about a much more sophisticated cream or powder you can use daily and incorporate into your day to day routine. You can really protect your skin from premature ageing by getting into this habit – that and drinking water, of course. I’ve been shopping around for great sun protection and here are two of the best I’ve come across.
Environ Sun Care RAD SPF15
This is a cream you’ll love to wear, because of its light, creamy texture and subtle scent. You can wear it under your make-up as a base layer or on its own as it provides a very slight satiny sheen. It contains antioxidants to protect from damaging UVA and UVB rays, photo damage and free radical damage. It’s suitable for all ages – including children – face and body and all skin types, and it’s also water resistant. It’s one of those products you can get into using daily without noticing, as it’s not heavily scented, thick or greasy. But what you will notice, a few months down the line, are the effects of a well protected skin: beautifully healthy, plump and hydrated.
For more information go to www.environskincare.com. Environ Sun Care RAD SPF15 is priced at £19.95. Available at environ stockists nationwide.
Jane Iredale Powder-Me Dry Sunscreen SPF30
This is a great find, and one that may transform your beauty routine. It’s a translucent powder (it also comes in Golden and Tanned) that can be applied on your face, body and scalp to give you dry sun protection. It couldn’t be easier: the container has a foam sponge attached to it and you just shake it lightly and then press it onto the area you want to protect. It can be applied over your make-up or on moisturised skin to give it a finishing touch. The top of the lid has a mirror so you can ensure you haven’t missed any bits 🙂 It’s ideal to take in your handbag or in your hand luggage when travelling as it won’t spill or leak, and being a powder it can be taken safely through customs. For more information go to janeiredale.com. Jane Iredale Powder-Me Dry Sunscreen SPF30 is priced at £35.00 (175g).
Environ® cannot be purchased directly online, and must always follow a consultation and product recommendation by a trained Environ® Skin Care Professional. Our unique STEP-UP SYSTEM™ helps skin become gradually more comfortable with increasing doses of vitamin A and other ingredients thereby reducing the likelihood of a skin reaction.