Did you know that the skin is the largest organ of the body? It functions as a physical but also chemical barrier to protect the body from external aggressors such as ultraviolet (UV) light, pollution, chemicals, pathogens etc. It does its job as a barrier astonishingly well, but the skin has also other important purposes such as immune defence, antioxidant protection (enzymes), hydration and temperature regulation, hormone production (vitamin D), insulation etc (Vollmer 2018).
Just like any other organ of the body, the skin ages. However, unlike other organs, the skin ages because of both internal (intrinsic) and external (extrinsic) factors.
The internal factors are our own biology, such as genetics, gender and age. These are unavoidable, affecting everyone regardless and contribute about 20% to skin aging. Also, the passing of time is very much something we can’t change.
However, the external factors coming from our lifestyle choices and the environment we live in contribute about 80% to skin aging. This means that the biggest impact comes from avoidable or modifiable factors, such as nutrition, exercise, sleep, emotional wellbeing, beauty routine, sun, climate, and pollution. Lifestyle represents an area that we have the most control over; opportunity for you to really impact your skin and health!
Oxidative stress and inflammation are important features of skin aging and skin damage (Vollmer 2018). Skin aging is apparent in loss of elasticity and increased fragility, wrinkles and
dryness, degradation of functional proteins such as collagen and elastin, and increased risk of tumours, which is especially evident from excessive sun exposure (Pérez-Sánchez 2018).
Antioxidants, phytonutrients and other bioactive compounds, found in fruit, berries and vegetables protect against oxidative stress and therefore play crucial roles in supporting healthy skin (Faria-Silva 2020).
For healthy looking skin, it’s important to eliminate or avoid external aggressors as much as possible. Sun light is by far the most damaging but having poor nutrition also negatively impacts the skin (Pérez-Sánchez 2018, Park 2015). Making sure to get adequate nutrients and water is essential – a healthy diet is the foundation for healthy skin!
People who severely restrict their diets by avoiding food groups due to allergy or personal choice have an increased risk of becoming deficient in certain micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients) and early signs of nutritional deficiencies are often visible in the skin, hair and nails (DiBaise 2019). Some of the micronutrient deficiencies that give visible cues are:
• Vitamin B3 (niacin) acts as an antioxidant in the skin (Faria-Silva 2020). Lacking B vitamins can lead to dry, flaky skin, brittle nails and hair loss (DiBaise 2019).
• Vitamin C is required for biosynthesis of collagen, one of the main structural proteins in skin (Faria-Silva 2020). Deficiency can lead to fragile and dry skin, bleeding gums, poor wound healing and altered hair texture (DiBaise 2019, Pérez-Sánchez 2018, Park 2015).
• Vitamin D stimulates the innate immune defence present in the skin against pathogens such as microbes and bacteria, but also helps modulate wound healing (Park 2015). Deficiency is linked to eczema and bacterial skin infections (Park 2015, Katta 2018).
• Zinc is important for proper skin function and works as an antioxidant co-factor in the defence against lipid peroxidation (Faria-Silva 2020). Deficiency can lead to dry skin and hair loss (DiBaise 2019).
Scientists have realised that beauty comes from the inside and with that the importance of nutrition for healthy skin (Vollmer 2018). There is great interest in developing different ingredient solutions and food supplements to improve signs of skin aging and skin health – both within the beauty and food industry (Pérez-Sánchez 2018). Consumers have also become more aware of the importance of nutrition and are influencing innovation (Faria-Silva 2020).
The term “nutricosmetics” was coined in the late 1980’s by combining “nutrition” and “cosmetic”, and can be described as:
“...consumption of food or oral supplement to produce an appearance benefit...” Nutricosmetics are also often called “beauty from within”, “beauty pills” or “oral cosmetics” (Faria-Silva 2020).
The food-derived ingredients and bioactive compounds derived from plant and animal sources have shown potential in promoting overall health including skin health (Pérez-Sánchez 2018, Faria-Silva 2020). These include nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals, polyphenols, carotenoids, amino acids and peptides, fats and essential fatty acids, prebiotics and probiotics, water etc (Pérez-Sánchez 2018, Faria-Silva 2020).
As you probably understand by now, the micronutrients play important roles in supporting skin health. They protect the skin and prevent skin aging in several different ways, for example acting as antioxidants and co-factors, or being incorporated into structural proteins (Vollmer 2018, Park 2015).
But it’s not just the micronutrients that are essential for skin health, the macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates and water) are also important. Macronutrients serve a variety of functions:
• Amino acids and peptides from protein act as building blocks in all tissues. The biosynthesis of collagen is stimulated by supplementation with amino acids, which helps to prevent skin aging and accelerate wound healing (Park 2015). Also, oral supplementation of collagen peptides has shown beneficial effects on skin aging (Faria-Silva 2020).
• Essential fatty acids are incorporated into the cell membrane providing flexibility and function, help to absorb fat soluble vitamins and have anti-inflammatory effects. Deficiency can lead to eczema, hair loss and poor wound healing (DiBaise 2019). Emerging evidence supports the positive effects of supplementation with essential omega 3 fatty acids on skin health (Katta 2018).
• Dietary fibre, a type of carbohydrate, act as fuel for the good gut microbes. Emerging evidence has linked gut health with skin health, and both pro- and prebiotic supplementation have shown beneficial effects on different skin conditions (Katta 2018, Salem 2018). Do you know the difference between pro- and prebiotics? Well, they both provide beneficial health effects by helping to maintain a healthy gut environment. And to be able to be called a pro- or prebiotic, the effect must have been scientifically substantiated. PRObiotics are good gut microbes that when given in large enough doses give health benefits. PREbiotics are substrates “food” that the good gut microbes feed and thrive off. So, by taking care of your gut, your skin will also thank you!
• Water is essential to life and is also essential for the normal functioning of the skin. It has several important functions such as transporting nutrients, regulating temperature, hydrating the skin and reducing skin dryness (Liska 2019). So, make sure to keep hydrated throughout the day. Aim to drink 1-1.5 litres of water daily. If you live in a hotter climate or workout a lot – you need even more! Research shows that diets based on minimally processed whole foods, coming from fruit, berries, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, vegetable oils, low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, lean meats and water, support overall health, including healthy skin and prevent skin aging (Katta 2018).
Oriflame are Beauty by Sweden and what better way to obtain all these wonderful nutrients than by following the principles of the Nordic Diet, a diet renowned for its health benefits (Berild 2017, Kolehmainen 2015).
Beauty from within with Wellness by Oriflame
Wellness by Oriflame believe in developing food products and supplements that are inspired by nature and powered by science. As part of our heritage, we draw our inspiration from the principles of the Nordic Diet. We are proud to say that the ingredients we use are of high quality and are well researched. We believe in to first and foremost consume a healthy balanced diet that include lots of fibrous vegetables and whole grains, antioxidant rich fruit and berries, protein rich fish, eggs, poultry, legumes and dairy, omega 3 rich fatty fish – and to use supplements to fill the gap of any micro- and macronutrient shortfall in the diet.
Since we are a beauty company, all our products are designed to help you get even more beautiful by nourishing your body in the right way. Wellness by Oriflame have various supplements and foods that help to support healthy skin and overall health.
One of our best sellers is the WellnessPack that provides a valuable spectrum of nutrients – for both men and women - that helps bridge the gap of any micronutrient shortfalls in the diet*.
The WellnessPack is a convenient one-a-day sachet containing:
• Multivitamin & Mineral – gives valuable nutrients daily for men and women, respectively. It provides 12 essential vitamins and 10 essential minerals that helps bridge the gap of any
micronutrient shortfalls in the diet and helps support skin health.
• Astaxanthin & Bilberry Extract – provides a combination of antioxidants that includes nature’s most powerful antioxidant astaxanthin from microalgae (Haematococcus pluvialis L.) and extract from bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus L.). In addition, it contains vitamin C and E that contribute to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.
• Omega 3 – ensures a convenient daily intake of the essential omega 3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are vital parts of all cell membranes in the body, including the skin, and have important roles in a lot of organs and tissues, including maintenance of the normal function of the heart**, vision*** and brain***. In addition, the individual components are also available as single products.
**The beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 250 mg of EPA and DHA.
*** The beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 250 mg of DHA.
The Marine Calcium & Vitamin D ensures a convenient daily intake of the two important nutrients, calcium and vitamin D, that help support bone mineral density and healthy teeth*. It contains the unique sustainably sourced marine derived multi-mineral complex called Aquamin TG™ that offers highly bioavailable calcium and +70 trace minerals. The addition of vitamin D further helps enhance the absorption of calcium. Taken alongside a balanced diet and regular exercise, adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D help build and maintain strong and healthy bones. In addition, the vitamin D helps to support the normal function of the immune system.
The Hair & Nail NutriComplex provides a combination of different nutrients that are beneficial for hair and nail health*. It contains the amino acids L-Lysine and L-Cysteine, flavonoid rich apple extract, the antioxidant vitamin C, and the mineral iron. In addition, it also contains the minerals selenium and zinc that contribute to the maintenance of normal hair and nails*. Taken alongside a balanced diet, regular exercise and stress management, the blend helps support beautiful hair and nails!
The Natural Balance range contains easy, tasty and convenient snacks, high in high-quality protein and dietary fibre*. The range consists of:
• Natural Balance Shakes & Protein Blend
• Natural Balance Soups
*Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a balanced and varied diet.
Make sure to eat a healthy balanced and varied diet abundant in nutrient rich whole foods representing all the colours of the rainbow, with the addition of food supplements if needed, to help support not only your overall health but also your internal and external beauty.
Berild A, Holven KB, Ulven SM. Recommended Nordic diet and risk markers for cardiovascular disease. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2017 May 23;137(10):721-26.
DiBaise M, Tarleton SM. Hair, Nails, and Skin: Differentiating Cutaneous Manifestations of Micronutrient Deficiency. Nutr Clin Pract. 2019 Aug;34(4):490-503.
Faria-Silva, Ascenso A, Costa AM, et al. Feeding the skin: A new trend in food and cosmetics convergence. Trends Food Sci &Technol. 2020;95:21-32.
Katta R, Kramer MJ. Skin and Diet: An Update on the Role of Dietary Change as a Treatment Strategy for Skin Disease. Skin Therapy Lett. 2018 Jan;23(1):1-5.
Kolehmainen M, Ulven SM, Paananen J, et aI. Healthy Nordic diet downregulates the expression of genes involved in inflammation in subcutaneous adipose tissue in individuals with features of the metabolic syndrome. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jan;101(1):228-39.
Liska D, Mah E, Brisbois T, et al. Narrative Review of Hydration and Selected Health Outcomes in the General Population. Nutrients. 2019 Jan 1;11(1):70.
Park K. Role of micronutrients in skin health and function. Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2015 May;23(3):207-17.
Pérez-Sánchez A, Barrajón-Catalán E, Herranz-López M, et al. Nutraceuticals for Skin Care: A Comprehensive Review of Human Clinical Studies. Nutrients. 2018;10(4):403.
Salem I, Ramser A, Isham N, et al. The Gut Microbiome as a Major Regulator of the Gut-Skin Axis. Front Microbiol. 2018 Jul 10;9:1459.
Vollmer DL, West VA, Lephart ED. Enhancing Skin Health: By Oral Administration of Natural Compounds and Minerals with Implications to the Dermal Microbiome. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(10):3059.