By Melissa Fine, Nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box Health Editor.
Our skin is actually an organ, our largest one in fact. If yours needs some TLC, here are three nutrients that we’re putting on, or eating for our skin at GoodnessMe Box HQ.
1) Rosehip Oil
I’m a big fan of this oil, traditionally used for centuries to support skin health. Extracted from the seeds of the amber berry-like fruit of the Rosehip bush (Rosa Canina), the purest Rosehip Oil will be cold-pressed, with a nutty aroma and a deep-orange hue; This is thanks to its beta-carotene content, a plant pigment also in orange, yellow and green vegetables. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A, which can help regenerate the skin by promoting cell turnover.
Rosehip Oil is also naturally rich in what I call the ‘antiageing vitamin’, vitamin C; A powerful antioxidant that you’ll also find in plenty of fruit and veg (like kiwi fruit, strawberries, red capsicum and surprisingly potato), it protects our skin cells from damaging, highly reactive free radicals produced naturally in the body and that we’re exposed to in the environment (through toxins like pollution).
I like to use a couple drops of RosehipPLUS (Certified Organic Rosehip Oil) instead of an eye and night cream, because Vitamin C is involved in the production of skin-firming collagen, a protein that also improves skin elasticity. You can apply a Rosehip oil straight up or use a cream infused with Rosehip oil. RosehipPLUS recently launched their hydrating day cream and nourishing night cream both containing their pure Rosehip Oil.
Vitamin E is another bonus you get with Rosehip; An antioxidant that’s absorbed well by the skin, it protects our skin’s outer layer (the epidermis) from environmental damage, and may reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks when applied topically. And together with the essential fatty acids inherent to Rosehip, vitamin E serves as a rich moisturiser – Great after a day at the beach. Boost your vitamin E intake even further by incorporating vitamin E-rich foods into your diet – Olive oil, almonds, hazelnuts and avocado are good (and delicious ☺) sources.
2) Omega-3 Fats
The typical Western diet - High in refined vegetable oils (like sunflower and corn oil) and meat – is high in omega-6 fats, which can be inflammatory when eaten in abundance. This kind of diet lacks the essential, skin-quenching omega-3 fats that predominated back in hunter-gatherer or ‘paleo’ times, with oily fish like salmon, tuna and sardines being the richest sources of omega-3; This essential fatty acid can help to improve blood flow, in turn providing more oxygen to nourish the skin.
Also, omega-3 is an integral part of cell membranes, enabling important cell behavior that supports skin health, like:
- Taking beneficial nutrients into, and unwanted waste out of the cell
- Reducing inflammation, which can show up in skin conditions like eczema
- Moisture retention (for skin hydration)
- Cell renewal
- The even distribution of the pigment ‘melanin’, responsible for giving our skin colour
- Fighting unwanted, skin-ageing free radicals
So smash some canned sardines on your avocado toast at breakkie or grill some salmon for dinner tonight…Not such a fish fan? Although not as potent as oily fish, walnuts, ground flaxseed (AKA linseed) and chia seeds are the best plant-sources of omega-3 and are delicious stirred through yoghurt, muesli or porridge. I love walnuts in a salad too for some crunch.
If you’d like to supplement your diet with a fish oil supplement, speak to your health care professional.
3) Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) – The Unique Omega-6 Fat
I know I said that too much omega-6 can encourage inflammation if eaten in a higher ratio to omega-3, BUT there is one type of omega-6 where this is not the case, and that’s ‘GLA’ (Gamma-linolenic acid).
Found in the flower oils of Evening Primrose and Borage, GLA acts differently to the other omega-6’s, supporting cell membrane health and boosting skin hydration; EPO has also shown to improve skin barrier function in individuals with atopic dermatitis* (eczema), an inflammatory, allergenic skin condition involving red and itchy skin.
You wont find EPO with the cooking oils at the supermarket; It comes in capsule form and is available at health food stores. Speak to your health care practitioner to see if an Evening Primrose supplement is right for you.
RosehipPLUS™ journeyed to the other side of the world to the interior of the Andes Mountain range in Chile, South America, where some of the best organic Rosehips grow, to source their Rosehip Oil. RosehipPLUS™ Certified Organic Rosehip Oil is 100% pure and natural. We don’t add or take out anything. Cold pressing the seeds of the Rosehips without heat, solvents or chemicals ensures that the oil maintains the integrity of the potent antioxidants and essential fatty acids which may otherwise have been reduced during a chemical extraction process.
*Kawamura A, Ooyama K. et al. Dietary supplementation of gamma-linolenic acid improves skin parameters in subjects with dry skin and mild atopic dermatitis. J Oleo. Sci. 2011;60(12):597-607.