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We all know what skin is and, in principle, what it is for, but are we really aware of all its functions and its meaning?

In a biology textbook, you would probably read that the skin is the largest organ responsible for detecting temperature changes, protecting muscles, bones, and internal organs from infections and injuries. However, you may not have known that the skin is constantly peeling and regenerating. In fact, 30,000 to 40,000 cells exfoliate every minute, applying more than 4 kg of skin per year! It is estimated that about half of the house dust that accumulates in your apartment is just dead skin cells. Yeah, you read that right. In that aaaaaalways dirty corner of the apartment it‘s actually skin that lies around! In about 28 days, our skin is regenerated and replaced, which is why it is really important to provide the body with the right nutrients at all times.

The skin, however, is special in another respect, namely that it is the only organ that can be nourished from the outside and from the inside. Proper skin care cosmetics and a balanced diet are recommended for good skin health, and we will highlight some nutrients that are especially important.

Collagen

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body and is also present in the skin. The addition of collagen in the form of a dietary supplement has a number of positive effects that have been proven in various scientific studies.

As we age, the body's own production of collagen decreases, which can manifest itself as dry skin, and wrinkles also begin to form (source 1). By adding collagen, we can slow down aging and improve hydration (source 2, 3, 4). The effect of reducing the wrinkles visibility is mainly attributed to the fact that taking collagen increases the body's own collagen production (source 1), and also has a positive effect on the production of two other important proteins in the skin, elastin and fibrillin (source 1, 5). UV rays accelerate the breakdown of collagen in the skin, which leaves visible consequences. It has been shown that even in cases of photo aging due to UV exposure, the addition of collagen can improve the appearance of the skin (source 6)

MSM

Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM is named as a beauty mineral for good reason. It helps producing its own collagen and keratin, which are key components of hair, nails and skin. The MSM molecule is an organic source of sulfur for the body, which is needed in the synthesis of some important amino acids, such as cysteine. Vitamin C is recommended to be taken along MSM, to increase its effect.

Hyaluronic acid

It can be ingested, can be applied directly to the skin, and is also used in cosmetic surgery in the form of hyaluronic fillers that are injected directly into the skin, giving it a toned and youthful appearance. Hyaluronic acid reduces the visibility of wrinkles and helps hydrate the skin. When the skin is properly hydrated, the production of new skin cells is also accelerated, which makes the skin look fresher.

Biotin

elps maintain healthy skin and hair. Also known as vitamin H, it helps convert certain nutrients into energy.

Zinc

A mineral that helps maintain healthy skin, hair and nails. Since the body doesn‘t store zinc, it should be taken every day.

Vitamin C

Plays a role in the formation of collagen for normal skin. One of the most important nutrients.

Vitamin E

Plays a role in protecting cells from oxidative stress.


Sources

  1. Ganceviciene R, Liakou AI, Theodoridis A, Makrantonaki E, Zouboulis CC. Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012;4(3):308–319. doi:10.4161/derm.22804
  2. Borumand M, Sibilla S. Daily consumption of the collagen supplement Pure Gold Collagen® reduces visible signs of aging. Clin Interv Aging. 2014;9:1747–1758. Published 2014 Oct 13. doi:10.2147/CIA.S65939
  3. Proksch ESegger DDegwert JSchunck MZague VOesser S. Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. 2014;27(1):47-55. Epub 2013 Aug 14. doi: 10.1159/000351376
  4. Borumand M, Sibilla S. Effects of a nutritional supplement containing collagen peptides on skin elasticity, hydration and wrinkles. 2015;4(1):47-53. DOI: 10.4103/2278-019X.146161
  5. E. Proksch, M. Schunck, V. Zague, D. Segger, J. Degwert, S. Oesser. Oral Intake of Specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides Reduces Skin Wrinkles and Increases Dermal Matrix Synthesis. Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2014;27:113–119. DOI: 10.1159/000355523
  6. Midori TANAKA, Yoh-ichi KOYAMA & Yoshihiro NOMURA (2009) Effects of Collagen Peptide Ingestion on UV-B-Induced Skin Damage, Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, 73:4, 930-932, DOI: 10.1271/bbb.80649
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