Plus What You Need to Know About Retinol
We’ve reached the time of year when the air turns dry and chilly. And while it might feel nice to pull a cozy sweater on and relax in front of a fire, it also means dreaded dry skin.
There’s a big misconception that the right serum, or good moisturizer, or collagen supplements is the key to getting glowing, soft, beautiful skin.
This myth is widely accepted by most people, and the numbers back that up. Americans spend $2.1 billion a year on anti-aging skin care products alone. And women in the US spend an average of $8 per day on their face.
Listen, using a good quality moisturizer with clean ingredients on your skin is important, and I’m all for it. But it’s not the cure-all people assume it is.
What lies beneath is actually a much better predictor for how your skin behaves. Whether you’re seeing more fine lines than usual, or dry, flaky skin, or even problems like eczema or rosacea, the real key to fixing your skin is treating it from within.
We will get to what I mean by that in a moment, but first let me back up and explain why beauty is not only skin deep. People assume that what you apply to the surface of your skin stays on the surface. But in fact, many of the ingredients in moisturizers and other skin care products seep into your bloodstream and travel around your body.
Testing routinely finds that Americans have dangerous chemicals like parabens and phthalates in their bodies, and once there, they can mess with your hormones, your organs, and even fetal development for pregnant women.
Trust me, you don’t want harmful chemicals in or anywhere around your body. So lets talk about what’s in the skin products you use that you want to avoid at all costs.
This information isn’t just coming from me. The Environmental Working Group provides a ton of resources if you are interested in learning more. I’ve distilled some of the most important things to know here, but their website is a great resource.
Ingredients You Don’t Want Anywhere Near Your Skin
You might not be happy to see the first offender on this list!
- Retinol (AKA Retinyl acetate, Retinoic acid, Retinyl palmitate, and Vitamin A) – This is so popular these days, so it seems like it must be safe. And when it goes by the name vitamin A, it sounds natural. In fact, retinol is the name for the synthetic form of vitamin A. But it’s not safe for skin, especially when exposed to sunlight. It produces toxic free radicals that can actually damage your DNA! You might be surprised to know that the FDA has recommended women of child-bearing age limit the use of retinol products because of its effect on the reproductive system and the possible link to cancer.
- Alpha and beta hydroxy acids (AKA Lactic acid or Glycolic acid) – These are restricted in Canada, and yet, here in the US, we allow this potential carcinogen in our anti-aging products.
- Triclosan – This endocrine disruptor and persistent organ system toxin is banned in many other countries, but we allow it in our deodorants, soaps, and acne-fighting skin care products.
- Parabens – These endocrine disruptors are present in nearly all American bodies, thanks to their common use in skin and hair products.
- “Fragrance” as a listed ingredient – This means a chemical mixture that contains phthalates, which are potentially damaging to reproductive systems.
- Oxybenzone – Common in moisturizers with sunscreen and shave products, this hormone disruptor is present in most American’s bodies and can affect fetal weight development. Some products with oxybenzone were recalled earlier this year, but not all, so read ingredient lists carefully.
- PEG (AKA ceteareth and polyethylene) – This carcinogen that can readily penetrate the skin can easily be replaced in products with natural alternatives, so be vigilant about this one.
Now that you know the worst offenders that you should avoid in skincare, let’s talk briefly about another popular product that lots of people turn to for improving fine lines and wrinkles…
Collagen supplements are everywhere these days, and lots of people swear by them. And collagen is important. But that’s different than collagen supplements.
Collagen is a type of protein that is used in connective tissue in the hair, skin, nails, teeth, and joints to keep them plump, strong, and working properly. Although your body naturally produces collagen, that slows as we age. By 40, we’ve already lost 15% of our production. That’s why people turn to collagen powders. But I’ve got some bad news for you.
Collagen supplements don’t work!
The collagen you're taking in supplement form is almost definitely not getting to your skin. Most collagen supplements are not absorbed into your bloodstream, but even if they were, that doesn't mean they make it from there to your skin, which is a much lower priority than the heart, diaphragm, and brain.
So if retinol and collagen aren’t the answers, what is?
Instead, what you need to do is boost the skin’s natural defense mechanisms and provide moisture, hydration, and natural collagen production from the inside out.
The Best Way to Moisturize: From the Inside Out
I’m going to give you an advantage over the people who think that all skin needs to look glowing and gorgeous is a bunch of lotions and potions. There are 2 highly under-rated factors that contribute to the appearance, feel, and overall quality of skin.
The First Is Hydration.
If your skin is looking dull, dry, uneven, or chapped as the days get colder, the best solution is also the simplest. And it’s not found on the beauty aisle or through online shopping.
When a flower starts to wilt, what’s the first thing you do to bring it back to life? Water it, of course. The minute your skin starts to look parched, rough, or flaky, water should be the first thing you turn to.
I know what you’re thinking… Of course a doctor says to drink more water, but does it really lead to better skin?
Ask any esthetician and they’ll tell you. Drinking plenty of water fills in lines, gives your skin elasticity, and evens surface texture, keeping skin balanced and bright.
One of the first places you’ll start to see signs of dehydration and an imbalance of your body’s pH level is your skin. Think of it as a warning light telling you to take action before bigger problems occur.
Fortunately, taking action could not be easier. All you need to do is drink filtered water, preferably with a slice of lemon or lime to increase the pH.
The Second Is Healthy Fats
If you want great skin, I’ve got news for you… You need a HIGH fat diet!
That’s right – I said high fat. You need plenty of healthy fats that contain essential fatty acids like omega-3s to get the glowing skin you want, free from redness, dryness, and visible lines.
Here are good sources of fat to increase in your diet if you want flawless skin:
- Wild-caught fish like fresh, cold-water salmon
- Micro-algae oil (this is the best source for vegans and vegetarians)
- Chia, flax, and hemp seeds
- Almonds – packed with Vitamin E, a powerful free radical fighter, almonds are your skin’s best friends
By eating a diet rich in good fats, you’ll get plenty of collagen, naturally from a source that your body can ABSORB, unlike from supplements.
With that said, there are lots of foods that boost your body’s natural collagen supply:
- Dark, green, leafy vegetables
- Chia seeds
- Pumpkin seeds – these also contain zinc, which prevents skin dryness
- Carrots – also contain vitamin A, which provides you with a natural source of retinol from the inside out, preventing aging skin changes.
Get all of your supplements for beauty from the inside out in one bundle!
This easy, all in one supplement bundle is the natural way to heal skin damage, fill in lines and wrinkles, and improve skin clarity, texture, and tone.
It’s everything you need to get younger looking skin while promoting health and vitality:
- Acid-Kicking Omega-3: An omega-3 supplement is essential for your health in so many ways, but one area it will have immediate effects on is your skin because dry skin is the canary in the coal mine for an overall deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids that can lead to heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and more.
- Acid-Kicking Greens: Greens are such a powerful skin healer because they are a potent source of chlorophyll, which heals the skin from the inside out! Chlorophyll has strong antioxidant effects, neutralizing free radicals, which are responsible for disrupting collagen production and DNA, which causes wrinkling and promotes skin cancer. Chlorophyll has also been shown to help enhance wound healing when applied topically so, by extension, it may have some pretty potent anti-aging benefits, as many topicals used to treat wrinkles have roots in skin healing.
- Acid-Kicking Minerals: Slow decline on a cellular level by alkalizing the body with minerals to stave off the aging process.
- Acid-Kicking Black Seed Oil: Reduce inflammation in the skin that exacerbates signs of aging, rosacea, and redness.
- Acid-Kicking Plant-Based Protein: Build lean muscle to tone your beautiful skin as you burn fat.
GET OFF YOUR ACID!