I swear it's true that one day you wake up and go "Where did those wrinkles come from?" One day they're just suddenly there. And there's nothing wrong with that, it's part of the aging process. But it's sort of shocking, that first day. Don't worry, I promise you are still exactly the age you feel inside.
Let me be the first to dispel the notion that there is some magic bullet cream or serum that will make your skin look like it used to. I know, I make such wonderful products! Can't they fix it? A) there's nothing to fix, you're beautiful. B) Yes of course they will help, but not as dramatically as supporting your skin from the inside out. The skin is mainly a reflection of what's going on inside. Which is why we're going to talk about a few supplements that support a healthy aging process, and assist the skin with resilience, hydration, and cell metabolism.
Before we dive in, remember I'm an esthetician, not a doctor. I offer these suggestions based on my own personal experiences. I hope you'll talk with your doctor before foraying into the wide world of supplements to make sure you're on the right track (and avoid any harmful interactions if you're on a prescription medication).
S T R E S S
Oxidative stress. Our bodies have natural protections against oxidative stress, which is a natural (but damaging) chemical reaction that is happening all the time in our bodies; and is caused by everything from the sun, to pollution, chronic infections, diet, and even emotional stress. Basically antioxidants are essential, and we don't really get enough in our modern diet.
My favorite antioxidants: glutathione, alpha lipoic acid, green tea phytosome, milk thistle (silymarin), astaxanthin, and grapeseed OPCs.
Emotional stress. It's a major health concern, even though it seems pretty easy to live with it day in and day out. If you're reading this and you know you're chronically stressed or anxious, please let this be the push you need to ask yourself WHY you're stressed, to ask yourself WHAT you could be doing to mitigate that stress, and then DO THAT and do it daily. If you are able to quit that stressful job/partner/whatever and find something that doesn't harm your health, run don't walk to the nearest exit. My faves for stress:
Ashwagandha for daily adrenal/exhaustion support.
Kava kava for stressful social situations (social anxiety savior).
B complex for daily mood support.
My favorite aggravation taming nervine is Motherwort.
C E L L M E T A B O L I S M
Mostly cell metabolism is about those antioxidants that we talked about, but there's this supplement called Niacel which is really amazing and cell-metabolism-specific. Lecithin is a key player in cell metabolism, and keeps skin well hydrated.
I N F L A M M A T I O N
Inflammation is sneaky! It's caused by diet, food sensitivities/allergies, stress, infections... Lots of things cause inflammation and it's not always clear which thing is causing your inflammation. How can you tell if you have inflammation? Is your skin flaky, red, irritated, super dry, etc? Are you sore? Are you tired all the time? Do you have digestive issues? Maybe you've got some inflammation. If you're curious and unsure, you can get a blood test and look at white blood cell count, sedimentation rate (ESR), and c-reactive protein (hsCRP). My favorite anti-inflammatory supplement is a pineapple enzyme called bromelain, which must be taken on an empty stomach (drink plenty of water when you take it). I also love these boswellia resin capsules.
P R O T E I N S
If you're not vegan, a grass-fed collagen is amazing for skin firming, and it makes smoothies super fluffy and awesome. If you're vegan, it's more challenging to get all the building blocks in one place, but there are some vegan collagen supplements like this one. Also necessary for building collagen: vitamin c, zinc, manganese. I'm going to talk about silica later (minerals section) but I want to mention it here, as it's super clutch for connective tissue & healthy skin.
F A T S
Good fats are amazing for keeping skin glowy & hydrated. My favorites are black cumin, evening primrose, avocado, coconut, black sesame, and ye olde olive.
F I B E R S
Fiber is just amazing in general, and I absolutely love this Blue Heron stuff. Apple pectin is another great gut-healing fiber. Fiber can help keep blood sugar balanced, along with keeping the gut & skin hydrated.
M I N E R A L S
Minerals help build resilient, firm skin. This trace mineral supplement tastes pretty gross, I won't lie, but it’s a very good multimineral formula. Jarro-Sil is my all-time favorite hair/skin/nails supplement ever ever. It is also incredibly gross tasting, so I buy empty gelatin capsules and fill them on-demand and I find it's worth it to avoid the taste. See the protein section for zinc & manganese recs.
Please don't forget that you are beautiful. Aging is not a problem that needs to be fixed, but we can and should lovingly tend our bodies in all their phases. <3