To stay firm and toned, the skin requires daily nourishment - in fact, our various skin tissues have a range of needs. For example, the formation of collagen and elastin fibres depends on an adequate intake of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Collagen and elastin are two types of fibrous protein that play a key role in the skin’s structure, giving it its suppleness, elasticity, firmness and resistance.
Nutritional deficiency can therefore have important consequences for the quality of our skin. Alongside a healthy, balanced diet, nutritional supplements can be vital in plugging any gaps. One such product is the multivitamin Daily 6® which provides a concentrate of vitamins and minerals in a single capsule. Proper hydration of skin cells is also essential and benefits not only from regular application of a moisturising cream, but from supplementation with natural ceramides which help to moisturise the skin at a deep level.
Sagging skin can also be minimised if we combat premature ageing of skin cells. To do so, we need to counteract oxidative stress, a process known to cause significant cellular damage. The stresses of daily life, air pollution, excessive exposure to UV rays, poor diet … these are all factors that can promote oxidative stress, and as a result, premature ageing of the skin.
The good news is that there are powerful natural antioxidants that can combat oxidative stress. They include a number of plant polyphenols such as resveratrol from grapes, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) from green tea and curcumin from turmeric. These natural antioxidants, which feature in the formulation of dietary supplements such as AntiOxidant Synergy, help protect the skin by tackling oxidation and ageing of skin cells.
Premature ageing of the skin can also be caused by another reaction called glycation. While this mechanism is perhaps less well-known than oxidative stress, it can nonetheless have a significant impact on the integrity of the skin. Scientists have shown that glycation of elastin and collagen fibres may speed up loss of elasticity and tone in the skin.
Fighting glycation is thus a key element in preventing sagging of the skin, and for this, we need carnosine, a peptide known for its anti-glycation effect. Carnosine can be produced in the body when we digest protein-rich foods but it can also be provided by dietary supplements. One such product is carnicine, a stable form of carnosine available from the SuperSmart catalogue.
As mentioned, the skin loses its firmness for a variety of reasons. In addition to oxidative stress, and premature ageing of cells through glycation, physical inactivity and weight loss are also contributing factors. Following a long period of inactivity, or after losing weight, it’s not unusual for the skin to appear untoned.
Experts often recommend taking exercise in order to maintain firm, toned skin. Among the sports recognised for having toning, firming effects is swimming which has the advantage of mobilising every part of the body: the arms, thighs, hips, stomach … Fitness and strengthening exercises can also be effective and are often a popular choice for tightening the skin after weight loss or extended periods of inactivity.
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