Summer Skin Secrets
Summer is nearly here. For many of us, that means more outdoor activities… more exposure to the sun… and maybe slipping a little on skin care. After all, the summer isn’t as drying to your skin as winter, right?
Well, not necessarily. Here are a few tips – and surprises – to help you keep your skin looking smooth, fresh and youthful this summer.
One reason summer can lead to dry skin may be right in your back yard. It’s your pool.
I’ve written to you about how chlorine in your household water can damage your skin. Chlorine breaks down cell walls. In small amounts, it leaves your skin feeling rougher and dryer.
Spending time in the pool multiplies your chlorine exposure tremendously. And because more chlorine is released when water is warmer, lounging in the pool is the worst for your skin just when you want to do it the most.
There are non-chlorine pool treatments available, but some are expensive. And they may involve installing new equipment for your pool. In the long run, though, minimizing chlorine exposure will help keep your skin looking younger longer.
After using the pool, be sure to apply a moisturizer that contains natural ingredients to promote skin healing. Aloe vera gel, glycerin and resveratrol all actively promote skin health.
Your food choices can also support supple, young-looking skin. And summer is the best time to load up on nutrients that super-charge your skin’s natural defenses.
Vitamins C and E, Omega-3 fatty acids and carotinoids – cousins of vitamin A – can all boost your skin’s resistance to sun damage.1 That means eating lots of colorful vegetables from your garden and some fresh-caught fish is not only a summer treat… it’s also a perfect way to help keep your skin looking smoother and more youthful.
Vitamin C is especially important. You should get plenty of this vitamin year-round to keep your skin looking its best.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant… and your body uses it to mop up damaging free radicals created by exposure to UV rays. But vitamin C does much more for your skin.
Vitamin C stimulates production of new skin cells and a protein called collagen. Collagen helps keep your skin taut and elastic. In other words, looking more youthful.
Researchers discovered that vitamin C actually fights the effects of age on skin-cell production.2
Vitamin C helps keep your skin looking younger in another way, too. It helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
In a study of 4,025 women, those with higher vitamin C intakes also had smoother, softer skin. And the volunteers in this study ranged in age from 40 – 74. Bat the researchers found that even women in their 70’s had softer, smoother skin with higher vitamin C intake.3
CoQ10 is another nutrient that can help you keep your skin looking younger.
You need CoQ10 to power your cells. Your body uses it to make ATP – your cellular energy source. But it’s also a powerful antioxidant. As an antioxidant, your skin uses CoQ10 to battle the damage of UV rays. And it’s remarkably effective.
A German study found that CoQ10 effectively reduces the appearance of wrinkles when applied to human skin.4
But CoQ10 does more than help your skin look younger. It actually helps aging skin act younger.
Energy production in aging skin cells slows down. But adding CoQ10 appears to promote a reversal of this process. When scientists applied CoQ10 to aging human skin, it actually began cranking out energy more like young cells!5
Since your body’s ability to make CoQ10 drops starting about age 40, I often recommend it to my patients. You can get some CoQ10 from your food… but not much if you’re a vegetarian.
Beef, oily fish and chicken are good sources of CoQ10. But it’s also available as a supplement. The best form to take is called “ubiquinol.” That’s the reduced form your body uses, and you can absorb it better than ordinary CoQ10.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Sies, H. and Stahl, W., “Nutritional protection against skin damage from sunlight,” Annu Rev Nutr. 2004; 24: 173-200.
2 Phillips, C.L., et al, “Effects of Ascorbic Acid on Proliferation and Collagen Synthesis in Relation to the Donor Age of Human Dermal Fibroblasts,” Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 1994; 103: 228–232.
3 Cosgrove, M.C., et al, “Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Oct 2007; 86(4): 1225-1231.
4 Hoppe, U., et al, “Coenzyme Q10, a cutaneous antioxidant and energizer,” Biofactors. 1999; 9(2-4): 371-378.
5 Prahl, S., et al, “Aging skin is functionally anaerobic: importance of coenzyme Q10 for anti aging skin care,” Biofactors. 2008; 32(1-4): 245-255.