A Colorado winter includes dry skin, dehydrated faces that showcase wrinkles, cracked fingers and flaking shins. Most women have at least one bottle of lotion in their purse, one in their gym bag, one in the car, two at work, and five different ones on their bedside table. Take a winter vacation in Colorado with a couple of women friends, and you’ll need an extra bag just for all of their moisturizers and lotions. Nourishment and protection for your skin can be a full-time job in Colorado.
Effective nutrition for your skin should incorporate a three-fold stragegy:
- Internal nourishment
- Appropriate products
- Personal expertise
Does what you put in your mouth affect your skin?
Of course it does. You are what you eat after several chemical and enzymatic processes take place throughout your digestive system. Explore the mega-million bits of advice available about good nutrition, and you will find something useful. The basic message in all of it – consume more fresh raw, nutrient dense, high fiber foods. The more vitamins and minerals you include in your diet, the better for your skin.
Drinking more water definitely helps, however you need more than water for Colorado skin. Flax seed taken in liquid form can significantly improve your skin. Capsule supplements can work, but taking a couple of tablespoons per day of cold-pressed organic flaxseed oil will offer the most benefit. You will see a definite improvement in relief from dry skin, hair and nails after a few days. You can use it in smoothies, on top of salads, on toast, or just swallow it quickly and chase with juice.
Can you nourish your skin from the outside?
Absolutely! The trick is to understand the ingredient list on your products. It will show you exactly what you are delivering to the skin. The closer to the beginning of the list the ingredient is, the more of that ingredient will be in the product. (You can thank the FDA for this, it’s a law.) Most skin care products are formulated in water, and you will generally find it as the first ingredient. The nourishment levels follow.
For example, if a face cream says “Vitamin C Serum”, but the pharmaceutical name for vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate, Ascorbyl Palmitate to name a few) is next to last on the list, forget it. Vitamin C is a definite WOW for your skin, especially in anti-aging. It is expensive to formulate, manufacture and keep stabilized. In skincare products that promise vitamin C delivery, expect to pay a good price for visible results.
Hydrating and moisturizing products should contain ingredients like beta glucan (generally from oats), vegetable oils such as safflower or coconut, and other ingredients that bind moisture to the skin. You should avoid ingredients such as mineral oil, petrolatum and vaseline as these do nothing to nourish your skin.
Personal Expertise - The Road Less Traveled
The effectiveness of topical vitamin and nutrient delivery to the skin takes time and effort to understand. The delivery system that carries the nutrients beneath the surface must also be appropriate, as well as the potency and purity. Your Esthetician should be educated and passionate about understanding product ingredients. If you want the most bang for your buck in skin care products, find an Esthetician who believes in the skincare line they use, and who will tell you the truth about what it can do. Then hang onto them, be patient and follow your home care prescription. If you struggle with the concept of hiring someone to help you choose skin care products, consider all of the bottles and jars sitting in your bathroom cabinet that didn't work.
Topical nutrition for your skin really works when you follow an expert’s advice. There’s a marketing industry too huge to describe out there asking you to buy their product because it is the best. You are the expert in your field, whatever that may be. Find one in the field of skincare and you will experience a positive difference.