Nutraceuticals – Do They Help the Skin?

In Dermatology by Alim R. Devani, MD

A nutraceutical is a food containing health-giving ingredients and having a medical benefit.

To answer the question of whether or not nutraceuticals help the skin, all you have to do is look at the sales trends. In 2013, the industry earned $3.36 billion and is growing by over 10% every year.

If nutraceuticals for skin didn’t work, the word would be out on the street not to use them. But because of all the research studies linking diet and nutrition, many people are open to check out these oral supplements for great hair, skin and nails – and are finding a big difference.

How Long Does It Take to See A Difference?

Of course, just because you take a nutraceutical, it doesn’t mean your results will be instantaneous. If you’re looking for instantaneous results, try a session of dermal fillers or Ultherapy. But if you want to turn back the clock on aging, let’s face it – skin cells are made from within and it takes time for the new cells made in the dermis to be pushed to the top of the skin. The amount of time this takes increases the older you are.

What this means is that if you’re using vitamin nutraceuticals for skin and you’re in your 20s and 30s, you might see a difference in about two weeks. But if you’re in your 40s and 50s, better give yourself a trial of 6-8 weeks. And if you’re in your 60s and 70s, better give yourself a trial of 3-4 months; maybe even 6 months to truly give it a good test.

What New Skin Cells Need To Regenerate Healthily

When new skin cells are created, they need a strong collagen matrix upon which minerals, vitamins, lipids and other skin supporting nutrients can attach to. When the collagen is replaced in the skin, then you’ll get an automatic decrease in wrinkles and skin elasticity.

The vitamins will freshen a person’s look and give a healthy glow. And the lipids and hyaluronic acid will plump the skin and make it smooth. Skin should also be properly hydrated to retain a youthful look.

In one study, women between 35 and 55 years old received an oral collagen peptide study once daily for 2 months. The results started showing up after the first month. By the end of the study, some women had a 30% increase in skin elasticity and skin hydration improved by 28%.

Collagen peptides are only one type of nutraceutical for skin. On the shelves of dermatologist’s offices, beauty spas, and health food stores, you’ll find these as well:

1. Pcynogenol – increases hydration of the skin, decreases wrinkles and improves elasticity while stimulating collagen synthesis and hyaluronic acid production. Improves psoriasis, rosacea and under eye puffiness.
2. Rosemary – protects the skin from sun damage
3. Berries – Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and maqui berries all supply antioxidants that quench free radicals and can decrease inflammation This turns back the clock on aging.
4. Probiotics – may reduce the severity of atopic dermatitis. Probiotics do a lot more than just improve digestive function in the body.
5. Astaxanthin – much more powerful than vitamin E and also has anti-inflammatory actions.
6. Fern Extract – reverses DNA damage that causes wrinkling
7. Omega 3 Fats – Omega 3 fasts decrease inflammation in the skin and can possibly help improve acne, eczema and dry skin, as these can be deficiency signs that you need more of the nutrient.

Nutraceuticals are created in such a way to make a difference in the skin in the areas of aging, uneven pigmentation or to correct a certain type of skin condition such as eczema, acne, or psoriasis.

The best way to find out what nutraceuticals would benefit you the most is to check with your doctor or cosmetic dermatologist. Most of them will have an entire line of nutraceuticals that they recommend for their patients. At your appointment, your doctor will tell you what exactly will work for your skin.

If you don’t have a cosmetic dermatologist at the present time, give us a call at our office. We’d love to help you look your absolute best throughout your entire life. Give us a call at 403-271-3627.