The skin, hair and nails form what is called "the integumentary system". The skin is the largest organ of the human body and it plays a vital role for whole body:
- It protects the body, externally and internally
- It carries many nerve endings in the dermis (the layer of the skin which we cannot see) that allows for sensation
- It regulates body temperature
- It produces Vitamin D, melanin and sebum (oil)
- It excretes waste materials through perspiration
- It absorb substances through its contact with them: "Dermal absorption"
Anatomically the skin is divided into two layers:
- The epidermis: this is the part we can see and where there are hardly any blood supply and nerve endings. The cells on its surface are constantly shedding and replaced with new skin cells. All the nutrients that come to the epidermis are derived from the capillaries within the dermis.
- The dermis: also called the "true skin" is located below the epidermis and is connected with blood and lymphatic supply, as well as nerve endings and sweat glands, hair follicles and many living cells.
In order to nourish the skin completely I advice you to adopt these three strategies as much as possible:
- Drink plenty of pure water: keep your skin hydrated by proper hydration. Generally 30ml X Kg of body weight is what we need, but increase this amount if you exercise, live in a hot climate, you have a cold, etc. Our body's weight is 2/3 water and it makes 83% of our blood: water is essential to distribute nutrients to the skin efficiently and effectively.
- Eat healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids; The body cannot produce them essential fatty acids therefore you need to assure you have a decent dietary intake of it. The perfect ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 is between 1:1 to 3:1. Essential fatty acids have a moisturising effect to the skin, improves elasticity and provide anti-inflammatory support in case of skin-disorders such as psoriasis and eczema.
- Eat a diet rich in raw fruit and vegetables: This is on of the most powerful point for improving skin function and appearance, because raw, unprocessed, organic food contain antioxidants, phytochemicals and more nutrients including vitamins, minerals and enzymes per calorie than any other food. Anti-oxidants fights free radicals in the body and slow the aging process which on the skin is usually manifested in wrinkles. The bonus is a glowing effect to the skin as fresh, organic and raw food is rich in life-force which is transferred to your whole body.
Below are important nutritional assessment that you should also take into consideration:
- Check your Vitamin D levels: the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities of vitamin D result in optimising skin conditioning, and its positive effects on the immune system will create a healthy response in cases of an autoimmune condition affecting the skin.
- Iodine: this mineral is often overlooked, but it has lovely properties like maintaining healthy regeneration of skin cells, helps with detoxification, balance the hormonal system, improves skin and hair complexion and aids the immune system.
- MSM/sulfur rich foods: Sulfur and MSM (about 56% sulfur) stimulate the body's own production of collagen and keratin and is a great integumentary system's tonic with anti-inflammatory properties. It also improves detoxification and the complexion of skin, hair and nails by also improving their flexibility.
Food for the skin:
- Pure water
- Raw, fresh and organic fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds like cucumber, acai berry and flaxseeds.
- Food high in vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin D, biotin, zinc, calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium, sulphur and silica. Omega-3, GLA and don't forget good sources of protein every day
- Good source of "living" probiotic like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and kombucha
- Food rich in fibres
Support for the skin with: Natural clothing, exercise, dry skin brushing, hot sauna, Turkish bath, sea water, cold showers, healthy relationships, massage, aromatherapy and skin scrubs.
Have a glowing day!.