Everyone wants to look and feel healthy, youthful, and vibrant. A big part of that is diminishing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin due to the aging process, as well as the appearance of dark spots due to sun exposure. We also want our joints to be pain-free and flexible, and we want our immune system to be powerful.
The #1 Master Tip to Help Collagen
Several years ago, I had a patient in her early fifties walk into my office with two large bags of cosmeceutical and topical agents that she was applying as part of her daily routine. She was frustrated because she was spending hundreds of dollars a month and thousands of dollar a year on these anti-aging products, but not seeing the results the marketing material promised her.
“Dr. Shelton,” she asked, “Is there something else that I can do to improve the effectiveness of my skincare products?”
We sat down, and one by one, reviewed the topical ingredients of the products she was using. Some contained well-researched ingredients, but some were just a waste of her time and money.
At the time, I knew the importance of a diet that was high in antioxidants like vitamin C and E, green tea, lycopene, and coenzyme Q10. These antioxidants prevent the oxidative and pro-inflammatory chemical damage of the skin, collagen fibers, elastin fibers, and reticular fibers.
For this patient however, I dove deeper into the research and what I found was surprising. There were many research articles on the importance of oral supplements to promote healthy-looking skin. It makes sense, consider I’ve always believed that health and wellbeing start from the inside out, even for the skin. Let’s go over three oral supplements that are important for healthy skin.
1. Oral Collagen
Oral collagen has been shown to activate skin stem cells, improve the skin’s response to growth factors, stimulate collagen genes, neutralize free radicals, and decrease the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers.
Preliminary results are promising for both the short and long-term use of taking oral collagen supplements for wound healing and preventing the signs of aging skin. These supplements increase skin hydration, elasticity, and dermal collagen density. When dermal collagen and elastin fibers break down, we start to see the effects of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
Collagen supplementation is generally safe with no reported adverse effects. A randomized double-blind placebo control was conducted on 120 subjects who consumed either a test oral collagen supplement or a placebo for 90 days. Subjects who consumed the oral collagen had a significant increase in skin elasticity by 40% compared to those taking the placebo. In addition to the skin benefits, the consumption of the collagen product reduced joint pain by 43% and improved joint mobility by 39%.
In another study, after 12 weeks of taking an oral collagen supplement, visual assessment scores and three parameters of skin wrinkling were significantly improved compared to the placebo group. After just 12 weeks, skin elasticity, hydration, and wrinkling were significantly improved in the collagen supplement group compared to the baseline group.
You can get a range of antioxidants through a diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables, but certain antioxidants prevent the appearance of aging, fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. You can supplement your diet with Vitamins C and E, CoQ10, lycopene, and green tea. Just be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and drink at least two cups of green tea every day.
Polypodium is a herb, coming from a species of fern, that acts like an internal sunscreen when taken orally. To be clear, I’m not dismissing the importance of applying external sunscreen to protect against the damaging UVB rays of the sun, as those rays can cause dark spots along with exacerbating fine lines and wrinkles.
However, polypodium is one of the most studied herbal substances that has proven protective activity, along with green tea extract, carotenoids, and carotenes. In one study, the results showed that polypodium can be used as an agent to lessen the negative photobiological effects from UVB rays.
The use of polypodium has been reported to be beneficial in the treatment of atopic dermatitis, vitiligo, and psoriasis. It’s also useful for the prevention of polymorphic light eruption, sunburns, and squamous cell carcinoma. As I’ve already suggested to many of my patients, taking oral polypodium supplements can help with youthful, vibrant looking skin.
At Zenith Labs, we’ve created a supplement called Collagen Refresh that contains many of these helpful ingredients. With a lemon berry flavor, it has an enjoyable taste. My wife uses it daily and has seen significant positive changes to her skin’s health.
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I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!