Dermo-Nutrition is the New Black
The power of nutrition to transform our skin from within can never be overestimated. Janine Tait – holistic skin coach and skin-nutritionist has been championing the wellness trend in beauty therapy for decades. In this piece, she shares why it is important for therapists and their clients to become educated in the art of dermo-nutrition.
When you run into a problem with your skin, what is the first thing you do? Most women instinctively look for a new skincare product or treatment. While of course, the right topical skincare strategy is essential, it is still only half of the story.
True skin transformation is only possible when we work from the inside out with skin nutrition. Our skin needs a wide range of nutrients in order to thrive, heal and resist premature ageing. Dull, lifeless, inflamed or spotty skin are indications that your body is not getting enough of the nutrients it needs for health, or that poor diet is actively working against a clear, glowing complexion.
Discovering how to change the skin at a cellular level through skin nutrition was a game changer for me, and I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with beauty therapists and their clients.
The Problem with Our Modern Diet
Even if we eat a basically healthy diet, we are still fighting an uphill battle against modern food production methods. The fruit and vegetables our grandparents ate were very different in nutritional quality to what we eat today. For starters, they usually grew their own fruit and vegetables themselves in compost rich soils. Food scraps went straight back into the soil which ensured that the plants were rich in the vitamins and minerals our body needs.
Today, the produce we buy from the supermarket is often not locally grown. By the time our food reaches us and is stored for months, many of the nutrients are degraded. On top of that, most of our soils are fed with fertiliser, not compost. Fertiliser provides only a limited range of nutrients compared to the organic feast that compost fed plants offer.
I encourage my clients to eat a balanced diet with plenty of locally grown, organic produce – but even the best diet often needs a boost.
Key Nutrients for Anti-Ageing
When I studied dermo-nutrition (nutritional medicine), I discovered that there are specific nutrients the skin requires to produce good quality collagen and elastin. The fibroblast cells are basically anti-ageing factories, pumping out collagen and elastin – if, and only if, they have the key nutrients required to produce them. Some of these key nutrients are copper, calcium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, silicon, zinc, iron, Vitamins A, C, K, E, B-complex, bio-flavanoids and amino acids. That’s a long list of nutrients, and if your body is low in even one of them, it will limit the amount of collagen and elastin your skin cells can produce.
I recommend my clients harness the power of super-foods to fill the nutritional gaps left by our modern diet and provide these key nutrients. Super-foods like organic cold pressed flaxseed, pumpkin and coconut flour, blackcurrant extract, organic spirulina and kelp, alfalfa leaf and organic wheat leaf – which between them contain an extraordinary amount of nutritional value for skin.
EFA’s Moisturise Your Skin From Within
When I began working from within, one of the first things I learnt was that Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) deficiencies are the most common cause of skin problems. Because EFA’s are responsible for oil regulation, a deficiency can present as either oily or dry skin and will contribute to premature ageing.
A good quality EFA supplement will moisturise your skin from the inside out by feeding the skin cell at the deepest layer of the epidermis. As this cell progresses to the upper layers of the skin it releases its beautiful oils creating plump, supple, smooth, glowing skin.
Both omega 6 and omega 3 families of fats are crucial for healthy skin. Good sources of omega 6 are safflower oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil, pumpkin seeds, almond and wheat-germ. Good sources of omega 3 are cold water fish, flax oil, hemp oil, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and wheatgerm.
These edible oils are best utilized by our bodies when they are delivered in liquid form rather than in capsules. As a liquid they can be mixed into smoothies or dressings for a daily skin boost. This pre-emulsifies the precious fats and makes it twice as likely they will be absorbed by our digestive system and made available to our skin.
Nourish Your Skin From Within
So, if your skin is not as good as you would like it to be, first of all, take a good, honest look at your diet and secondly take a look at skin super-food blends. They are designed to complement topical skincare and to naturally support a clear, glowing complexion. Like all wellness journeys, learning to work holistically requires change, patience and dedication in the beginning, but it is truly a beautiful way to live.