We all want to have healthy skin, hair, and nails. How do we achieve this? Follow a healthy, balanced diet? Unfortunately, our diets are often not perfect and our dietary requirements vary according to our age, skin phototype, lifestyle, and where we live.
People with darker skin phototypes do not produce Vitamin D in the skin from UVB exposure as efficiently as people with paler skin. Therefore, if you have a darker skin type, are a female, who for religious purposes has to wear clothing that covers exposed skin, you live in a country in the northern hemisphere with long, dark winters, you would have a much higher risk of developing a Vitamin D deficiency. In light of the recent Covid pandemic, it is especially important during this time to not become Vitamin D deficient.
Similarly, I have patients who have had nasty skin cancers that avoid the sun obsessively and who do not take Vitamin D oral supplementation. On doing a blood test, I often find that these patients have a Vitamin D deficiency. In sunny South Africa, you only require approximately 20 minutes of sun exposure to both forearms twice a week to produce enough Vitamin D in the skin. High-risk individuals as described above, should take Vitamin D supplementation and also eat a diet high in Vitamin D foodstuffs.
You certainly do not want to become deficient of any of the essential vitamins or trace elements but at the same time, you can overdose on the fat-soluble vitamins, namely Vitamins A, D, or E. I have seen chronic Vitamin A toxicity in my dermatological practice. These patients often present with dry cracked skin, hair loss, and headaches. They have usually been taking multiple different vitamin supplements and they do not realise that they have accidentally overdosed on Vitamin A. It usually requires the regular ingestion of over 100 000 IU of Vitamin A daily to develop the symptoms and signs of Vitamin A toxicity. Fortunately, it is very difficult to overdose on water-soluble vitamins such as the B group of vitamins and Vitamin C.
So, what dietary supplements can help with specific skin concerns?
In patients with acne, the sebaceous glands produce too much sebum and the top layer of the skin becomes more sticky, blocking the pilosebaceous units. As a result of this blockage, you can get bacterial overgrowth and inflammatory skin lesions.
Nicotinamide taken orally can reduce sebum production and has anti-inflammatory actions. Zinc is taken orally also has anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, Nicotinamide and Zinc taken orally together, work synergistically to help reduce inflammatory acne lesions (papules and pustules).
Buy: Lamelle Acnevelle
Recent research has shown that inflammation of the skin is a major cause of Melasma as well as Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Therefore, powerful oral antioxidants can help for pigmentation.
Buy: Lamelle Ovelle D3
All of our skins age naturally over time. If you look at the skin on your buttocks, this is intrinsic or chronological ageing. Extrinsic skin ageing is caused by external environmental factors such as ultraviolet radiation, high energy visible light, infrared radiation as well as pollution. If you look at the skin on your face and forearms and compare it with the skin on your buttocks and you will see the difference.
Oral supplements that contain Fernblock, a potent antioxidant and photoprotector, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Nicotinamide can help lessen extrinsic skin ageing.
A liquid oral dietary supplement containing hydrolyzed Collagen, Hyaluronic acid, Vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Zinc and Vitamin D has been shown to improve the health of your joint cartilage, skin and nails.