SkinB5 Acne Control Extra Strength Tablets got a shout out in GQ Australia magazine this month. That’s really exciting, but it’s not unusual, because right now skincare is about starting with what goes in you. Protein balls, pepitas, pineapple salsa and all kinds of foods are becoming trendy for making you look good.
What does edible skincare do for me?
The short answer: Nutritional supplementation for healthy glowing skin from head to toe. Since I talk about food so much, let’s start with the thing we’re healing. SkinB5 Founder, Inventor and MD Judy Cheung-Wood is a skin expert with a lot to say about the body’s biggest and heaviest organ:
“It requires regular attention to stay young, blemish-free and healthy.
“The skin has three main functions: protection, regulation and sensation. Importantly, the skin also protects the underlying organs, a function necessary for one’s survival.
“The primary function of the skin is to act as a barrier. The skin provides protection from: mechanical impacts and pressure, variations in temperature, micro-organisms, radiation and chemicals.
“The skin consists of two layers: the epidermis and the dermis. Beneath the dermis lies the hypodermis or subcutaneous fatty tissue.
“The thickness of skin varies greatly throughout the body – the delicate skin around eyes is only as thick as a few sheets of paper while the pads on your feet are about the thickness of a pencil eraser.
“As an organ, skin is made up of everything that covers the body, including the nails and hair.”
“And the skin absolutely needs to draw nutrients from within the body to function properly.’’
What needs to be in a skin-friendly food?
“Vitamin A and Vitamin B5 increase firmness and build moisture levels.
Antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E help protect new skin and fight skin damage.
Omega-3 fatty acids help protect the skin barrier.
“Supplementation of essential skin nutrients including Vitamin B5, A, C, E, biotin, silica can visibly improve skin tone, texture, smoothness and clear up acne much more so than just using skincare products or diet changes alone.”
The best foods
Almonds. I need to mention these bite sized gems first because I love them. The word superfood is controversial, but almonds definitely count. In all those antioxidants almonds use to keep you young you’ll find a big dose of vitamin E, an all-rounder that keeps your skin healthy. That keeps down the breakouts, grease and redness. Almonds are also recognized by most experts as one of the only two alkaline-forming nuts. Nuts are high in calories, but just about every diet plan mentions almonds because they’re so great.
Cocoa powder is similarly good for antioxidants. Okay, you’re probably going to just eat chocolate now. Make it dark and keep it around an ounce, and watch the sugar content!
You may be wondering how nutritious food is delicious and in vogue. Weren’t we raised to think bland is beneficial? Aren’t salads so boring we have to photograph them with people laughing?
Nope, edible skincare has always been delicious because of fats.
Remember what Judy said about fatty tissue under the skin? Healthy fats will protect you in all kinds of ways. Olive oil contains fatty acids. There’s omega-3, which you can find in a whole ecosystem from sardines to walnuts to steak (which, like fatty fish, also has omega-6). Salad dressings tend to have vitamin B9. But watch that dairy, it increases inflammation, even though your morning cappuccino decreases melanoma risk by 30%.
There’s another secret ingredient in healthy food: Collagen. Judy says,
“Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, found in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. Collagen is critical to keep your skin elastic and give it a plump, youthful look. Collagen production declines with age. Cosmetic creams that claim to increase collagen levels are unlikely to do so, because collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin.”
Collagen is in so much. Soy — get amongst some soy sauce, tempeh, tofu, soybeans and edamame, soy milk, natto. But for guys, please overdo soy. Orange/red/blue/purple vegetables and green vegetables and berries and garlic. Don’t overlook seeds. Omega-3 helps too.
Basically, pick any brunch food. Even eggs are an omega-3 food and nutrient dense, with the elusive B12 that adds to your glow.
What else can we be doing? Judy has advice on that too:
“To help protect the skin barrier, do not smoke, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and drink enough water.
After cleansing, always rehydrate the skin with moisturiser and use 1-2 drops of high-quality skin oil to maintain the skin barrier and prevent moisture loss.
Drinking alcohol can dehydrate skin.
Stress and lack of sleep disrupts hormonal balance and lead to acne breakouts.
Exercise increase blood circulation and brings essential nutrients to skin cells, sweating can also help clear the pores of toxins.
Acne breakouts are wounds on the skin, so avoid harsh exfoliating and scrubbing when you have active breakouts.
Avoid soap and other stripping cleansers, moisturise face and body immediately after cleansing before the skin dries completely to help lock moisturise in the skin before evaporating.
It may take three months to a year to really see an improvement in your skin if you make any lifestyle and diet changes to improve skincare health. If you have acne, you will also need a potent supplement specifically formulated for clear skin, and not all clear skin supplements are equal because most products on the market lack the potency and synergistic effects to make it work.”
It’s nice to have a holistic fix. That’s the thing about nature, it’s built out of the things it needs, and the things that make you strong occur all around you. That’s why so many cures work from the inside out.
Peter Matthews is a writer and occasional bruncher living in Melbourne. He’s a tea guy. Did you know white tea is the perfect drink to preserve your collagen?