Naturopath and Nutritionist
With summer around the corner, there are a number of lifestyle and nutritional factors which you can implement to aid in achieving healthier summer skin.
• Hopefully with a lot more sunshine hours, you will be able to replenish your Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D can diminish significantly over the colder months, and in fact, supplementing with good levels of Vitamin D during winter is highly recommended (speak to your health practitioner about this).
• If you find it challenging to get adequate Vitamin D from sunshine daily, avoid using moisturisers and makeup which contain SPF as these products will further reduce your Vitamin D absorption.
• If you are sensitive to the sun, even exposing your hands or feet to some sunshine is beneficial, and better than nothing.
• Go for walks when the sun is out, if you can’t get out in nature, doing little things like parking your car further away from your destination (outdoors) will help increase your exposure to sunlight.
• Take advantage of fruits and vegetables in season, eat a range of colours (ideally organic) to ensure a wide variety of antioxidants are consumed.
• Vitamin C is a well known antioxidant due to it’s ability to enhance immune function. However, it’s lesser known action as a collagen enhancer makes it a superb nutrient for healthy skin. Additionally, it aids with wound healing and scar tissue formation. As Vitamin C is sensitive to heat, it is most beneficial to ensure you are including some raw or lightly cooked fruit and vegetables in your diet such as kiwi fruit, citrus fruits, brussel sprouts, broccoli, capsicums, and berries.
• Vitamin A is a popular nutrient for skin. In fact, synthetic vitamin A (retinoids) are used medically to treat acne. It helps to prevent multiple factors which contribute to acne formation including reducing androgens and excess oil, whilst promoting cellular turnover. Cod liver oil and other animal livers actually contain the highest levels of Vitamin A, however if you are not a fan of organ meats or oils, then egg yolks, carrots, sweet potatoes, and kidney beans are other options for you to consider.
• Increase your fat intake. Yes, that’s right. Fats are required for supple, and moist skin. Include foods in your diet such as avocado, raw nuts and seeds, grass fed organic meat, and oily fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel). Avoid trans-fats, and hydrogenated oils, usually labelled “partially hydrogenated oils” on product packaging.
• Zinc is an essential mineral for a multitude of biochemical pathways in the body, but with regards to skin, it is anti-inflammatory, and helps with new cell regeneration and growth. Red meats, shellfish and pumpkin seeds are all favourable sources of zinc.
Lifestyle and nutritional factors can contribute significantly towards the wellbeing and condition of your skin. Note that this is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Please seek advice from your healthcare professional if you have any other questions or queries regarding a medical condition.
Kimberly Kushner BHSc (Nutritional Medicine), BHSc (Naturopathy) is a clinical nutritionist and naturopath who aims to provide you with the finest holistic health care. Her approach in assisting you to optimal health is practical, compassionate, empathic, and scientific. Kimberly treats acute and chronic health conditions and her main areas of expertise include, but are not limited to: reproductive health (women’s and men’s), digestive complaints, food allergies, healthy weight management, detoxification, and more.