Top 7 nutrients for
optimal skin health
Have you ever heard the doctor say, “your skin doesn’t lie”?
Your skin reflects your overall health in many ways.
Products promising radiant skin come to a dime a dozen, but did you know that your nutrition is what has the most significant effect on the way you look?
In this blog, I want to give you the practical tips that work for men and women to keep you looking great from the inside out.
1. How can you protect your skin best while out in the sun?
2. How can you accelerate healing from a cut or a bruise?
3. Slow the natural thinning and dryness that happens with age?
These questions, and more, are answered here.
Diet Comes First For Healthy-Looking Skin
Supplement alone will not give you the holistic benefits of a well-formulated diet. What you eat is what your body has to work with, day in and day out. Also, no supplement will make up for a junk diet, so start off strong with a solid nutritional foundation.
Sugar and Skin: An Unhealthy Link
The worst offenders for skin health are the foods that cause permanent damage called glycation. Glycation stiffens your tissues and leads them to lose their elasticity and resilience. What is the cause of this glycation?
The damaged fats in deep-fried foods. The oxidized amino acids in a burnt and charred grilled protein. The high sugar content of soda, fast food, processed food, and refined grains. Each of these are contributors to the permanent glycation of your collagen tissues.
When you’re thinking about improving your skin routine that works from the root of your skin health, it’s a balance between eating less unhealthy food and eating more healthy foods.
Support your skin with the building blocks, the supportive nutrients, and the antioxidant landscape that regulates your healing process. So besides eating less sugar, burnt protein, and fats damaged by high heat, get more of the below nutrients and tell me how your next makeover goes!
Vitamin A (Retinol and Carotenoids)
Vitamin A and the related class of chemicals called “carotenoids” are necessary for smooth and moisturized skin. Liver is very high in preformed vitamin A, which is the kind your body uses most easily, but plant-based forms called “carotenoids” are also important, albeit less potent, forms of vitamin A.
The active form, retinol, has been used in a cream to enhance the thickness of skin made thin by age and damage. Along with that extra thickness comes more moisture, more lubricating proteins, and better collagen structure.
Topical vitamin A creams have been shown to reduce the discoloration that comes with age and sun exposure.
Supplemental astaxanthin — one of the many different types of carotenoids — is linked with improved moisture and fewer wrinkles in people with dry skin. Plus, plant-based beta-carotene (what gives most orange vegetables their color) may help prevent the damage caused by UV exposure.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin C is the front line of your antioxidant system. Not only does it prevent oxidative damage due to UV-rays directly, but vitamin C is also one of the most critical nutrients when your body makes collagen tissue. It plays so many important roles that the recommended daily allowance was recently increased form 90 mg per day to 110.
That’s particularly important because your ability to make new collagen declines as you age. Stay on top of your vitamin C intake to allow your body to make more collagen after the sun degrades it. One study even shows that getting 15mg vitamin C with a collagen supplement helps promote the growth of new collagen.
The best sources of vitamin C are acerola cherries, kiwi, citrus, colorful peppers, and leafy vegetables.
Vitamin E (Tocopherols and Tocotrienols)
Vitamin E, technically called “alpha-tocopherol”, works high up on the antioxidant chain. When oxidative damage escapes the front line antioxidants like vitamin C, they cause a damaging chain reaction that only more powerful antioxidants like vitamin E can stop.
You’ll find vitamin E most concentrated in sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts and spinach (especially red spinach!).
A collagen protein supplement is a sensible choice to support a tissue that’s made 75% of collagen. That’s probably why study after study shows that supplementing with 2.5 – 15 grams per day of high quality collagen improves thickness, moisture content, strength, and elasticity of skin while also reducing wrinkles and enhancing healing time. Adding on additional nutrients that support your collagen synthesis may promote even healthier collagen — and healthier skin — so check out our free course on supporting your collagen nutritionally here.
Besides providing the structural support that your tissues need, collagen also provides a substantial amount of glycine. Glycine is a key building block for creatine and glutathione - two key molecules for skin integrity, especially in older adults.
You may find it hard to get a consistent amount of collagen from food sources like bone broth. That’s why I recommend finding a standardized, 3rd-party tested (NSF Sport is best), supplemental source made with the most exacting standards.
B-complex vitamins are more than a single nutrient, so this list might be a bit longer depending on who’s counting. It’s important to have all of the B-vitamins for healthy metabolism and hormone production, but certain B-vitamins are more applicable to the health of your skin than others.
Some studies using a topical cream suggest that the amount of niacin you need increases with sun exposure. Nicotinamide riboside - a type of niacin - may also help raise glutathione levels if yours are low due to age.
Choline - a nutrient adjacent to the B-vitamins — and folate (B9) are both cofactors in making creatine. Creatine is critical for preserving the moisture of your skin.
The amount of Riboflavin you need increases with sun exposure.
Folate helps spare glycine excretion - which is great for collagenous tissues that are about ⅓rd glycine.
is one of those nutrients that gets a lot of lime light, but honestly, it doesn’t make the top of my list. Supplementing may have a small effect for some people, but really it only has a positive effect if you’re deficient or if your body doesn’t use it properly - which is very, very rare.
B-vitamins come highly concentrated in beans, nuts, legumes, high quality animal products and leafy vegetables like spinach. To know how much to take,either check out the official source, or take a look at some of our educational materials. The best sources in the world are liver and nutritional yeast — one serving of either is enough to top off your daily levels. As you can see, with how important the B-vitamins are, make sure to eat these daily!
Copper is an important cofactor in collagen formation. It also works in the melanin-making process, so if you want to help your body bronze - not burn - then make sure you’re getting enough copper from sources like liver, oysters, and seeds.
Looking for great recipes on how to include more of the best B-vitamins for your collagen health. Take a look at a sample of the Resync Recovery ebook for more!
Sulfur is critical for more than just your skin. It’s a fundamental component of your antiinflammatory and antioxidant systems as a way for your cells to sense oxidation and inflammation. It may also work as an antioxidant itself, and it is a critical nutrient for the function of glutathione. Low levels of sulfur may play a role in aging skin. Most people get enough sulfur in their diet, but you can find additional sulfur in animal products and in the cabbage family of vegetables.
Other Nutrients for Healthy Skin
These are just the top 7 nutrients that can make a difference. In Resync’s new course on Nutrition and Skin Health, we get into the details of every single nutrient that helps skin health, from recovering from an injury, to maintaining moisturized and radiant skin. Some examples:
- Zinc is known to accelerate the healing of wounds when used in a concentrated cream.
- Specific strains of probiotics (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria genera, plus Bacillus coagulans) have been clinically researched for their positive effect on the skin.
- Selenium may help reduce the damage done by moderate UV exposure.
The complete list is available with the new course. If you like the kind of content that provides you with evidence-based strategies to improve your physical health, you will love the Resync course on nutrition for skin health. It contains the newest research on skin health.
ESSENTIAL NUTRITION FOR SKIN HEALTH
What You Need To Support Skin Health & Strengthen Every Layer of Your Body
Nutrition for Skin Health
Coming SoonNotify Me When Available
About This Class
This class considers vital nutritional factors that impact every layer of connective tissues health, with a deep dive into the importance of healthy collagen tissues and skin health. Nutrition plays a significant role in maintaining skin elasticity, structure, appearance, and health. This course provides evidence-based nutrition recommendations to optimize your overall skin and connective tissue health.
- An effective strategy for healthy skin has to include breakfast in your morning routine.
- Moisture, thickness, strength, and resilience — these are all properties that you’ll only find with a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle.
- Various potions and creams are meant to mask the damage, rather than address its root source.
- Antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E, supportive nutrients like the B-complex vitamins, sulfur, and copper, and the fundamental building blocks of collagen protein are each clinically researched solutions for supporting total skin health.
Want the practical details on how to eat and supplement to support your exercise recovery, heart health, beauty, and energy levels? Subscribe to our feed and never miss out!
While other companies push clickbait and fake news, what we say is backed by research. When you have the right information, you are empowered to make the right decision. That’s why we break down complex science into practical takeaways you can use today.
Helping you lead a healthier life,
The Resync Team
Resync Recovery BlendLearn More
Resync Collagen PeptidesLearn More
Resync Functional BeverageLearn More
Increase your nutritional knowledge
Get The Best Collagen For Your Skin, Nails & JointsRead this blog
Does Your Collagen Deliver Results?Read this blog
What Are The Vitamins That Actually Keep Your Skin Glowing & Young?Read this blog
Bissett, Donald L., et al. “Niacinamide: A B Vitamin That Improves Aging Facial Skin Appearance.” Dermatologic Surgery: Official Publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et Al.], vol. 31, no. 7 Pt 2, July 2005, pp. 860–65; discussion 865. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1524-4725.2005.31732.
Choi, Franchesca D., et al. “Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications.” Journal of Drugs in Dermatology: JDD, vol. 18, no. 1, Jan. 2019, pp. 9–16.
Damian, Diona L., et al. “Topical Riboflavin Attenuates Ultraviolet B- and Ultraviolet A-Induced Immunosuppression in Humans.” Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine, vol. 26, no. 2, Apr. 2010, pp. 66–69. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0781.2010.00486.x.
Dolopikou, C. F., et al. “Acute Nicotinamide Riboside Supplementation Improves Redox Homeostasis and Exercise Performance in Old Individuals: A Double-Blind Cross-over Study.” European Journal of Nutrition, vol. 59, no. 2, Mar. 2020, pp. 505–15. Springer Link, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-019-01919-4.
Hakozaki, T., et al. “The Effect of Niacinamide on Reducing Cutaneous Pigmentation and Suppression of Melanosome Transfer.” The British Journal of Dermatology, vol. 147, no. 1, July 2002, pp. 20–31. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2133.2002.04834.x.
Ito, Naoki, et al. “The Protective Role of Astaxanthin for UV-Induced Skin Deterioration in Healthy People-A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” Nutrients, vol. 10, no. 7, June 2018, p. E817. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10070817.
Kafi, Reza, et al. “Improvement of Naturally Aged Skin with Vitamin A (Retinol).” Archives of Dermatology, vol. 143, no. 5, May 2007, pp. 606–12. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1001/archderm.143.5.606.“
Improvement of Naturally Aged Skin with Vitamin A (Retinol).” Archives of Dermatology, vol. 143, no. 5, May 2007, pp. 606–12. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1001/archderm.143.5.606.la Ruche, G., and J. P. Césarini. “Protective Effect of Oral Selenium plus Copper Associated with Vitamin Complex on Sunburn Cell Formation in Human Skin.” Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine, vol. 8, no. 6, Dec. 1991, pp. 232–35.
Lamprecht, Manfred, editor. Antioxidants in Sport Nutrition. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, 2015. PubMed, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK299052/.
Liakou, Aikaterini I., et al. “Nutritional Clinical Studies in Dermatology.” Journal of Drugs in Dermatology : JDD, vol. 12, Oct. 2013, pp. 1104–09. ResearchGate, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-7967-4_14.
Lipner, Shari R. “Rethinking Biotin Therapy for Hair, Nail, and Skin Disorders.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vol. 78, no. 6, Elsevier, June 2018, pp. 1236–38. www.jaad.org, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2018.02.018.
McCarty, Mark F., et al. “Dietary Glycine Is Rate-Limiting for Glutathione Synthesis and May Have Broad Potential for Health Protection.” The Ochsner Journal, vol. 18, no. 1, Ochsner Clinic, L.L.C. and Alton Ochsner Medical Foundation, Spring 2018, p. 81.
McCarty, Mark F., and James J. DiNicolantonio. “An Increased Need for Dietary Cysteine in Support of Glutathione Synthesis May Underlie the Increased Risk for Mortality Associated with Low Protein Intake in the Elderly.” Age, vol. 37, no. 5, Springer, Oct. 2015. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-015-9823-8.
Moran, L. K., et al. “Thiols in Cellular Redox Signalling and Control.” Current Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 8, no. 7, June 2001, pp. 763–72. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.2174/0929867013372904.
Rackett, Scott C., et al. “Diet and Dermatology: The Role of Dietary Manipulation in the Prevention and Treatment of Cutaneous Disorders.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vol. 29, no. 3, Elsevier, Sept. 1993, pp. 447–61. www.jaad.org, https://doi.org/10.1016/0190-9622(93)70210-K.
Sekhar, Rajagopal V., et al. “Deficient Synthesis of Glutathione Underlies Oxidative Stress in Aging and Can Be Corrected by Dietary Cysteine and Glycine Supplementation1–4.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 94, no. 3, Sept. 2011, pp. 847–53. Silverchair, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.110.003483.
Shaw, Gregory, et al. “Vitamin C–Enriched Gelatin Supplementation before Intermittent Activity Augments Collagen Synthesis.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 105, no. 1, American Society for Nutrition, Jan. 2017, p. 136. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.116.138594.
Solano, Francisco. “On the Metal Cofactor in the Tyrosinase Family.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 19, no. 2, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI), Feb. 2018. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020633.
Tesseraud, Sophie, et al. “Role of Sulfur Amino Acids in Controlling Nutrient Metabolism and Cell Functions: Implications for Nutrition.” The British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 101, no. 8, Apr. 2009, pp. 1132–39. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114508159025.
Tominaga, Kumi, et al. “Cosmetic Benefits of Astaxanthin on Humans Subjects.” Acta Biochimica Polonica, vol. 59, no. 1, 2012, pp. 43–47.
Weinstein, G. D., et al. “Topical Tretinoin for Treatment of Photodamaged Skin. A Multicenter Study.” Archives of Dermatology, vol. 127, no. 5, May 1991, pp. 659–65.
This content is for general informational purposes only, and does not constitute the practice of any professional healthcare service, INCLUDING the giving of medical advice. No provider-patient relationship is formed. The use of this information, and the materials linked to this content is at the user's own risk. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should abide by the advice of their healthcare provider, and should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition they may have.