Today was a beautiful sunny day, and it felt amazing to get some sunshine on my skin. While sitting in the sun I reflected on how important our skin is, and how important it is to focus on keeping it in good shape. Our skin keeps us in one piece and protects our delicate insides from the world. As we age our skin becomes drier, but there are some easy ways of keeping it well moisturised and in supple and healthy condition. This month I decided to do some research into the different ways we can maintain our skin’s natural beauty.
In Organico we have always advocated aiming for beauty from within - moisturising your skin by taking omega oils, supporting cleansing by taking certain herbs. More recently the focus is on improving the structure and elasticity. One of the most effective methods of improving these is by consuming Collagen, which is a natural protein that is hugely abundant in our bodies and has a particular affinity to our skin. Collagen is popping up everywhere in the natural health and beauty sector, in skin creams, supplements and even in Lattes (OK, the Lattes is mainly in the US, but still!!)
Collagen is an important building block for the skin. It makes up to 30% of the protein in our body and 70% of the protein within our skin. Collagen helps our skin stay toned and supple. The dermis, which provides the foundation for the skin, is closely involved in the skin’s elasticity and flexibility, and is the main source of collagen in the skin. Once we reach the age of 50 we have lost up to 40% of the collagen from our skin. Hence the interest in adding collagen to our diets in order to try and balance the scales a little.
There are lots of ways to increase your body’s access to collagen. Unless you have been living off-grid for the last while you will have heard about the health benefits of Bone Broth, which is an excellent source of collagen. I don’t have space to include a recipe for Bone Broth here today, but you will find plenty online (or have a chat with your grandmother!). To make a super tasty and nutritious hot drink with your broth, stir in a teaspoon of miso and pop some chopped scallions on top for a bit of crunch. Don’t cook the miso though, it kills off important enzymes. Drink a cup daily for a Collagen boost.
Another way to boost your body’s own own production of Collagen is to eat foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus, red peppers, strawberries, guava and kale as well as foods high in sulfur, such as broccoli, cauliflower, onions and garlic aid in the development of collagen. In general, eating lots of veggies and a variety of fruits will enhance collagen production. Cutting sugar is also helpful as sugar destroys collagen and elastin.
Apart from drinking bone broth and eating collagen promoting vegetables you can take a collagen supplement. We have a number of different Collagen supplements in Organico, mostly in the form of powders. Interestingly, two of the most popular are from Irish companies. One that is getting a lot of attention recently is called Your Beauty Tonic, also called Botox in a Box, which contains 5,000mg of marine fish collagen per sachet which is scientifically and clinically shown to improve skin moisture level, and skin smoothness, plus it can help prevent the formation of deep wrinkles and help skin suppleness. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which when taken with other powerhouse ingredients like natural anti-inflammatory MSM can support both skin and joint health. I’m trying this supplement myself at the moment.
When you read the ingredient lists for collagen supplements you will see that it always comes from either animal or fish sources. So what if you are a vegetarian? Well, Collagen is the critical building block for beautiful skin, hair, and nails – but you need silica to build collagen! Animal sources of silica actually have less than plant sources, making this an easy choice even for non-vegetarians. The highest content for silica from an edible source comes from the common horsetail (Equisetum arvense) stem – which sounds kind of non-vegetarian, ironically. I remember paying with Horsetail as a child - it’s the grass-like plant that kids love to pull apart and put back together. That’s why it makes sense that it’s a herb that helps maintain our skin’s elasticity - your skin needs to stretch and heal and bounce back, something that this herb is very good at! You can take Horsetail as a Herbal tea, as well as a herbal supplement. Apart from helping build strong bones and skin it’s also used as a mild diuretic and kidney tonic.
If you want to try taking a collagen supplement or silicea supplement or if you would like to know more about natural approaches to healthy skin, do call in and have a chat to us about your needs.