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Vitamins and Minerals for Beautiful Skin
Dr. WuAs a dermatologist (and lifelong beauty-product junkie), my patients often ask me for skin care advice. In fact, I encourage them to bring in their products, so I can see exactly what they’re putting on their skin. However, in addition to looking through their makeup bags, I also make it a point to give my patients advice about their diet, since there is increasing scientific evidence that what you eat can affect the way you look and feel. For instance, we all know that vitamins and minerals are essential for overall health. But did you know that compounds like Zinc, Vitamin C and Vitamin K are also important for healthy, beautiful skin? While these are available as dietary supplements, your body can absorb vitamins and minerals more effectively when they’re eaten in foods, so a well-chosen diet can help you look your best. In addition, some of these ingredients can also be found in topical skin care products, where they help your skin from the outside in.

Here are the top three most essential vitamins and minerals that I recommend to my patients. For healthy, beautiful skin, make sure you include these in your daily diet and skin care routine:

  1. Zinc: This mineral is essential for collagen and elastic tissue production. Collagen is the “scaffolding” in your skin that helps to keep it smooth, while elastic fibers help your skin to “spring back” into shape every time you smile or move your face. As we get older, our skin produces less collagen and elastic tissue, resulting in thinner skin, loss of firmness and elasticity, and wrinkles. Now there’s a way to supplement your skin with zinc from the outside. Relastin Skin Revitalizer and Relastin Eye Silk contain a patent-pending Zinc Firming Complex. Studies have shown that skin that’s been treated with Relastin has more elastic tissue and is firmer than untreated skin. After 2 weeks, people who used the product around their eyes noticed diminished appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, smoother skin, and decreased puffiness. Research has also suggested that zinc deficiency is associated with acne breakouts. For smooth, clear, younger-looking skin, make sure you are including sufficient zinc in your diet. Foods that are rich in zinc include red meat, kidney beans, and oysters. In addition, zinc oxide is a good broad-spectrum sunscreen ingredient, since it protects against UVA (aging) as well as UVB (burning) rays.

  2. Vitamin C: This vitamin is an essential co-factor in the production of collagen. Your body needs Vitamin C to produce healthy skin, bones, tendons, and blood vessels. Individuals with Vitamin C deficiency can develop bumpy rashes and bleeding gums. Vitamin C is also a potent anti-oxidant, which means that it helps protect your skin’s collagen from being broken down. Be sure to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Good sources of Vitamin C include broccoli, red peppers, citrus fruits, and strawberries.

  3. Vitamin K: This vitamin is important for good circulation, and helps to keep your veins healthy. Studies show that Vitamin K strengthens blood vessels and helps prevent varicose veins. In addition, topical Vitamin K has been shown to prevent bruising after laser procedures. Look for Vitamin K in leafy green vegetables such as Swiss chard and spinach, as well as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, pistachios, and soybeans.

Dr. Jessica Wu is a private practice dermatologist as well as the Clinical Instructor in Dermatology at USC Medical Center. As a Harvard-educated, board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Wu is a recognized authority on cosmetic dermatology and skin care. Every product in her Cosmeceuticals collection is personally researched, developed, formulated and tested in her medical practice. Dr. Wu has appeared as a featured medical expert on Inside Edition, EXTRA, E! Entertainment Television, Lifetime Channel for Woman and many other programs.
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