Healthy Skin and Nails
Healthy Skin and Nails
Who doesn’t want healthy skin and nails? The skin is the body’s largest organ, whose primary function is to act as a barrier, protecting us from pollution, UV radiation, and pathogens.
While genetics definitely plays a role in skin health, it is the choices we make in our diet and lifestyle that plays the greatest role in our, and our childrens’, skin health.
Here are some useful tips:
- Drink plenty of water! Dehydrated skin is dry skin, especially during the warmer and/or windier times of year. And limit caffeinated beverages to 1 or 2 per day.
- Avoid prolonged sun exposure, especially during the peak hours of 10 am until 3 pm. When in the sun, use a mineral-based sunscreen (with zinc oxide or titanium oxide as the primary ingredient).
- Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, organic whenever possible.
- Avoid lotions with lots of unpronounceable chemicals and synthetic “fragrances”
- Consider a collagen peptide supplement. For adults, 2.5 grams once daily can make a noticeable difference in skin health within 8 weeks. The proper amount for children is unknown, but a safe bet is half of the adult dosage.
- Vitamin C is essential for skin health, and most kids and adults don’t get enough of it. Vitamin C improves resistance to UV radiation, reduces wrinkles, increases collagen production, and improves roughness and dryness. The best forms of Vitamin C are citrus fruits, red bell peppers, and melons. A daily supplement is a reasonable option if your child is not a good fruit eater.
- Biotin supplements can maintain healthy hair and nails, and should be considered for children or adults with dry thin hair, or brittle nails
- Astaxanthin supplements, 6 mg daily, does wonders for skin health, by reducing wrinkles, reducing age spots, improving elasticity, and improving skin moisture.
- Lutein does amazing things for eye health, especially for the health of our retinas, which are so susceptible to damage from the blue-light in today’s everywhere electronic screens. But lutein is also wonderful for skin health, and for adults a supplement of 10 mg per day will likely improve skin within 8-12 weeks. Once again, for children consider a dosage half the adult amount.
- Probiotics, in particular, Lactobacillus casei, taken daily improves skin barrier function within 12 weeks. Lactobacillus rhamnosus taken daily can make a big difference in reducing acne, psoriasis, and overall dry skin problems.