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Beauty, as they say, is only skin deep. With that said, it’s wise to work from the inside out not only to achieve radiant skin, but also to ensure you ​feel​ as good as you look. Here’s some key intel on building a digestible skincare routine to simultaneously reach your beauty and wellness goals.

Fast Facts on Ingestibles

Ingestible skincare products come in a myriad of forms. They include the likes of pills, capsules, tablets, liquids, powders, and gummies. In whichever form you choose, it helps to know if the beauty supplement is water- or fat-soluble. Your body will naturally excrete any unnecessary excesses of water-soluble forms, and fat-soluble forms absorb more readily when taken with food to which it can bind.

How to Start an Ingestible Skincare Routine

Similar to topical treatments, it’s important to do your homework before shopping for ingestible beauty products. Investigate important details—such as quality, potency, and clinical studies—to back up your selects and ensure their efficacy. Once you’re armed with proper research, it’s time to get to building an ingestible skincare routine. Begin by outlining your biggest beauty goals and wellness concerns.

If you suffer from breakouts, understand what kind they are and from where they stem. Does your stomach feel out of whack? Then your breakouts could be symptomatic of a compromised gut microbiome. A probiotic supplement that packs strains proven to optimize skin health, such as ​Skin Heroes by HUM Nutrition​, can simultaneously balance your gut and complexion. Otherwise, if your breakouts often cluster around your mouth and chin, the culprit could be hormonal. A ​2007 study​ shows that women who drank spearmint tea twice daily over five days experienced lowered androgen (male hormone) levels, which in turn can reduce excess sebum production resulting in hormonal breakouts. While further research is needed for a *clear* link to its positive effects for skin, I’ve noticed a world of improvement since I’ve started taking spearmint capsules by Swanson​.

If anti-aging is your top beauty goal, you can’t go wrong with ingesting more vitamin C and collagen. Supercharging collagen production can be as simple as ​eating more orange produce or sipping on bone broth, such as the ​powdered varieties by LonoLife​. This collagen-rich form of protein offers benefits not only your skin, hair, and nails, but also supports joint health.

Otherwise, is your primary concern is perpetually finding your best light? Then go for the glow with glutathione, such as ​Lypo-Spheric liquid sachets by Liv-On Labs​. This potent antioxidant dually combats hyperpigmentation and promotes overall brightness, all the while staving off oxidative stress and liver dysfunction.

A comprehensive list of beauty concerns is only outnumbered by the ingestible solutions on the market to address them. The more that people are privy to what they put ​inside​ their bodies matters as much as—if not more than—what they apply ​onto​ their skin, the greater the impact combining the two approaches will have. And of course, ​the cleaner they both are, the better!

Considerations and Concerns

Most beauty supplements—especially those from transparent, reputable companies—don’t pose major risks or adverse effects. But of course, you never want to compromise your health. As always, it’s advised to consult your physician when introducing new vitamins and supplements into your diet, especially if you take prescription medicine. Even further, such specialists can recommend specific blood tests to discover any deficiencies and/or excesses to tailor a unique regimen to optimize your overall well-being.

The Last Word

To truly maximize the benefits of your ingestible beauty routine, the greatest tip to remember is that consistency is key. Since your skin cells turnover about once a month, it’ll take that amount of time at the very least to notice positive results with daily use. However, to truly see if there’s real impact, try to stick with your chosen ingestibles for three to six months.

Being consistent isn’t always easy, so select your ingestible form of choice wisely. From there, make it a natural component of your daily routine. Whether you keep your skin probiotics next to your alarm clock, enhance your water during your mid-afternoon break, or get your collagen fix at each home-cooked dinner, let your ingestibles become part and parcel of the everyday.

Author Bio:
Michele Ross is a beauty and lifestyle writer based in Los Angeles. She’s passionate about clean skincare and hiking in the California sunshine (with adequate SPF, of course).

The Beginner’s Guide to Clean Living 

It’s clear that we’re in the midst of a beauty and lifestyle renaissance, and it’s all centered around this idea of “cleanliness”—that is, the cleanliness of our diets, our beauty routines, and our home and lifestyle products. This renaissance is due, at least in part, to research that has been steadily mounting over the past decade, which shows that the human body absorbs chemicals that go in and on it. Scientific studies have shown that the human skin is capable of absorbing a worrying percentage of chemicals on contact (in fact, research suggests the skin absorbs up 60% of the products we apply). Research conducted by a UK-based personal care brand famously made headlines when it concluded that the average women comes into contact with 515 chemicals per day through her beauty and grooming products alone. One Swedish study found that there are even potentially harmful chemicals found in our clothing. It’s all very scary (and overwhelming) stuff, and it’s only made worse by the amount of contradictory information, fear-mongering, and op-eds that are available in a sinlge Google search. So, what are we supposed to do?

First, take a deep breath, because no one lives a completely “clean” lifestyle. Even those clean beauty bloggers you follow on Instagram, who wear organic cotton and shop at local pesticide-free farmer’s markets aren’t 100% clean. Do you want to know why? Because the word “clean,” doesn’t even have a set definition. A clean diet can mean one thing to one person and something entirely different to another. Clean beauty is the same way. It generally refers to products made from only non-toxic ingredients. However, seeing as the FDA has only banned 11 chemicals in cosmetics, it’s up to brands (and consumers) to define the word for themselves.

The best thing we can do for ourselves is become conscious of our daily routines and the products that we make part of them. The worst thing we can do is stress out about how we can live a completely clean lifestyle (that won’t help anyone). Keep scrolling to see all of the easy swaps you can make on the journey to a cleaner life.

Diet

Let’s start with food, because there’s a lot of emphasis on so-called clean eating. Most experts agree that organic food is best, so if you can, consider incorporating more organic fruits and vegetables into your diet. Avoid processed foods, because they’re just as bad for your skin as they are for the rest of your body (fresh foods, on the other hand, provide vital nutrients and hydration to our skin). That means swapping out bags of crackers and chips for veggies and hummus or a handful of nuts, choosing wild-caught fish or lean meat instead of red meat, and drinking filtered water instead of flavored drinks that contain added sugar and dyes. Making these simple changes each day is an easy way to start on a cleaner, healthier path, without feeling deprived, overwhelmed, or frustrated.

Skincare

The US has banned 11 potentially harmful ingredients from skincare. The EU has banned over 1300, which is why an easy way to feel more confident in the cleanliness of your skincare products is to make sure they follow EU regulations (most brand will tell you in the FAQ section of the website). Keep in mind, though, there are many American skincare brands that are committed to producing healthy, non-toxic products as well, and all it takes to find them is a little research. Before buying, read up on a brand’s ethos and mission statement. Scroll through a product’s ingredient list. Ask for clean skincare recommendations from friends, family, and acquaintances. In short, a little research can go a long way.

On that note, if you’re unsure about whether or not a product is healthy or not even after doing thorough research, plug it in to EWG’s Skin Deep database. This database is operated by the Environmental Working Group, and it acts as a resource for health-conscious consumers. Thanks to a clear numeric rating system, it’s easy to see how your favorite cosmetics rank in terms of cleanliness.

To avoid overhauling your skincare routine all at once, Dr. Goldfaden recommends swapping out your cleanser and your treatment first, since these are the products that generally have the most impact on your skin. When it comes to cleanser, swap out your old one for Dr. G’s Pure Start Gentle Detoxifying Facial Cleanser, which is full of plant-based actives like rose hip oil, grapefruit, and seaweed. Because what’s left out is just as important as what’s left in, it’s important to note that this cleanser is formulated without any silicone, parabens, mineral oil, or alcohol, all of which can be potentially harmful to the skin.

As for treatment options, there are many. If you’re struggling with dullness and discoloration, try Dr. G’s Brightening Elixir Protect + Hydrate Brightening Serum, which uses ferulic acid and vitamin C to firm and brighten the skin and treat discrepancies in tone. If it’s dullness, dryness, and rough texture that you’re looking to fix, try Dr. G’s Fresh A Peel Multi Acid Resurfacing Peel. Lactic acid, sugar cane, and vitamin C will smooth the skin’s texture, unclog pores, and purify the surface of the skin.

We also want to mention that when it comes to skincare, simplicity is key. After all, your skin really only needs a few effective products to stay healthy and glowing. Don’t overdo it with steps and products you don’t need. Be conscious of what you’re using and listen to your skin. It’s really as simple as that.

Makeup

There are a lot of clean makeup brands that we admire. These include such brands as RMS Beauty, Kosas, tenoverten, W3ll People, and Ilia. To us, they’ve struck the perfect balance between clean beauty and effective beauty, because at the end of the day, we need products that work. If you’re shopping RMS, try the iconic Lip2Cheek, which is a creamy lip and cheek tint that comes in an array of flattering colors. When it comes to Kosas, try the brand’s Weightless Lip Color, which really does feel weightless on the lips. We like tenoverten’s non-toxic nail polish, W3ll People’s Expressionist Volumizing Mascara, and Ilia’s Polka Dots & Moonbeams Illuminator. Like we said, there are a lot of clean makeup products out there, but these are just a few of our personal favorites.

Homecare

We can’t talk about clean living without talking about homecare. This could be anything from cleaning supplies to personal care and beyond. Some of the worst chemicals we keep in our homes fall under this category (just think of how many chemicals you could be keeping in the cabinet under the sink…from bleach to bathroom cleaners and beyond). So, in order to avoid using unnecessarily harsh cleaning products, we like ordering from Grove Collaborative. It’s a site that curates a wide-range of non-toxic homecare and lifestyle products, so you can shop (and swap) with confidence.

One more thing. There’s also a consumer database for homecare products. It’s called GoodGuide, and it gives personal care items, homecare products, and even childcare products a simple health rating, which is very useful when you’re shopping for a product or brand that you’re unfamiliar with. We recommend looking up new products on the database to make an educated decision. After all, a swap is only as good as the product you’re incorporating into your routine.

If there’s one thing we want to leave you with, it’s this: don’t beat yourself up about being perfectly clean in all of its definitions. Simply stay cognizant of the products you’re using each day and make simple swaps in favor of healthier products. Your body and your skin will be all the better for it.

Written by, Kaitlyn McLintock

ABOUT THE WRITER:

Kaitlyn McLintock is a beauty and wellness writer based in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in such publications as Popsugar, Byrdie, Hello Giggles, Who What Wear, and more. When she’s not writing, researching, and editing, or testing out the latest skincare and makeup products, she’s drinking coffee and spritzing Goldfaden’s Mist RX all over her skin.

Why does our skin lose elasticity as we age and what does this lead to visibly? 

Overall, the amount of new collagen that your skin produces declines with age, while the rate of its destruction increases. Environmental aggressors are one of the main causes of aging skin damage and cancer. Daily aggressors like the sun, the air, pollution, exhaust, smoking, second hand smoke, radiation, the ozone, unclean skincare products (ingredients ie: phalates, mineral oil), ingested food and water all contribute to the demise of our healthy skin cells. Environmental aggressors deliver free radicals to the skin, which in turn cause the breakdown of collagen, onset of wrinkles, cell mutation, aging, dark spots, dehydration, inflammation, immune function damage and in some instances cancer.

By 25 years of age human production of collagen starts to naturally decrease, this increase even more for women post menopause. Collagen is one of three structural proteins that our bodies produce. Elastin and Glycosaminoglycans are the other two, which we will get to. Collagen is responsible for providing tissue and organs strength. As we age collagen is produced less and tissue begins to disconnect thus creating wrinkles, dryness and sagging skin. Elastin also plays a big role in aging, although not as plentiful in the skin as collagen, it is still important. Elastin is responsible for stretching abilities and ‘snapping back’, think of the word ‘elastic’. Once elastin starts to diminish, skin will look saggy, sunken and limp. Glycosaminoglycans are responsible for keeping collagen and elastin supported in the cellular space. Starting early is beneficial but the good news is it is never too late to start an anti-aging regimen!

What are the most effective topical ingredients to seek in elasticity-promoting skincare ingredients?

  • Vitamin B3 is one of the most effective ingredients in reducing collagen breakdown while simultaneously increasing fibroblast production. Vitamin B appears in just two main forms: nicotinic acid (also known as niacin) and nicotinamide (also called niacinamide).
  • The ability of vitamin C to revitalize aging skin is largely due to its beneficial effects on collagen. Collagen is a tough, fibrous protein that is relatively inelastic and very strong. It supplies the basic framework that gives your skin its form, firmness, and strength, while elastin provides flexibility. Fortunately, topical vitamin C has been scientifically proven to help stimulate collagen synthesis. It also helps block the production of enzymes the break down collagen, making it one of nature’s most effective anti-aging nutrients.
  • Plant-based stem cells contain high levels of active proteins, which work topically to regulate the stem-cell division in our skin cells. They essentially act as a massive protective barrier for the skin to allow our cells to regenerate at a healthy speed without being compromised by external factors including pollution and UVA/UVB rays. They aid in the reduction of the appearance of wrinkle depth, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, an even complexion, plumper appearing skin and the longevity of healthy human skin cells. Some of my favorites to formulate with (found in our proprietary PURFLORA complex) are Raspberry Leaf Extract, Comfrey Stem Cells, White Tea Leaf Extract, Garden Crest Sprouts and Birds of Paradise extract.
  • Retinol is a form of Vitamin A. Retinol can improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles and increases collagen production. Retinol delivers an overall tighter, firmer, plumper appearance to the skin.

What are some of the best types of food to eat for healthy skin, and what are the benefits of each?

Eating fried foods, processed foods and sugar can wreak havoc on your skin causing puffiness, redness, blemishes, blotchiness, and in all cases Glycation. The Glycation process is sugar (from food and alcohol) breaking down the collagen fibers in the skin and speeding up the aging process – think premature wrinkles and loss of elasticity. Eating ‘superfoods’ will benefit the internal health as well as the external glow. 

Salmon: rich in Omega-3 fatty acids is none of the most beneficial due to its ability to greatly reduce inflammation and dryness and increase circulation – a key attribute to healthy, youthful-looking skin.

Fermented foods: Think kimchee, sauerkraut or pickled vegetables. These foods contain probiotics which help keep the gut healthy.  A healthy gut helps the digestive system and immune system. Probiotics have been shown to help with skin issues such as eczema, rosacea, acne and aging skin.

Foods rich in antioxidants:  Leafy green blueberries, blackberries, avocado, broccoli, nuts. These all contain high levels of antioxidants which are crucial for overall help and fighting off free radical damage.

Are there any other holistic treatments or lifestyle practices that can also promote elasticity outside of our skincare regimen? 

The Sun is the number one environmental damage for skin.  Both UVA/UVB rays are harmful. Protect yourself by wearing a hat and sunglasses. Shielding your skin, head and eyes can help with sun damage and pollution-based aging. Always wash you face to remove the residue and makeup from the day.

Eat a diet high in anti-oxidant rich foods such as leafy greens and berries and foods high in essential fatty acids (salmon and almonds). Stay away form foods that can encourage and cause Glycation. The Glycation process, which is basically, sugars (from food and alcohol) breaking down the collagen fibers in the skin and therefore speeding up the aging process. Foods that feed Glycation and cause inflammation in the body and the skin are carbohydrates, fried foods, sugar, fatty meats and alcohol.

Exfoliation is a must! As you grow older, the rate of skin cell turnover slows down dramatically. Dead cells on your skin’s surface hang around much longer, a fact that tends to accentuate those fine lines and make your complexion look dull and lifeless. By removing these dead skin cells, exfoliation helps make up for the gradual slowing down of your natural skin renewal process, improving the tone and texture of your skin.

Are there any supplements that you would suggest incorporating into a regime to help boost the body’s overall ability to support overall skin health? 

am a big proponent of vitamins and recommend them to my patients, friends and family. Vitamin D, my personal favorite, more closely resembles a hormone than a vitamin. The active form of vitamin D, called calcitriol, is the most powerful hormone produced by the human body. It has the ability to activate over 2000 genes, many of which are involved in critical aspects of skin cell metabolism, growth, repair, and protection.  Vitamin D in addition to being a key factor in skin cell growth and replacement, vitamin D also plays a major role in skin repair and protection (and can be found in our Vital Boost product). When microorganisms attack the skin, they secrete certain extracts that stimulate your skin to produce vitamin D. This vitamin D signals your skin’s innate immune system to start manufacturing a substance called cathelicidin, a very powerful germicide. Cathelicidin disrupts the integrity of bacterial cell membranes, resulting in the death of the microbes. Cathelicidin also helps promote the development of blood vessels and encourages new cell growth, both of which are essential for proper wound healing.

Probiotics: Ingesting daily probiotics is one of the healthiest supplements. Probiotics keep the gut bacteria and yeast in balance while targeting inflammation, strengthening immune functions, allergies and urinary tract health. Probiotics are beneficial for certain skin issues as they can help decrease redness and the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Probiotics also aid in increasing elasticity of the skin and smoothness.

Glucosamine: Delivers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in promoting joint health, crucial as we age.

Curcumin: A powerful compound found in the Turmeric plant, Curcumin may help to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Curcumin delivers super high levels of  potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant protection.

LED lights, micro-current, regular exercise, and lymphatic drainage can all help to ward off and decrease the appearance of aging and sagging skin.