Thursday, May 13, 2010

Natural Beauty: Vitamins

The skincare biz is a multi-bajillion-dollar industry and it's not surprising: people have dealt with skin issues that have hundreds of creams, serums, and potions that promise to fix whatever problem you might have.  I have to admit that I have funneled quite a bit of my own income into this snake oil business.

As a teenager, I was one of those terribly lucky girls who had porcelain perfect skin.  I got maybe two zits a year and they seemed to come and go with the new fashion statement I was making.  I also was a lifeguard, which meant hours upon hours in the sun with minimal amounts of clothing on.  While I did wear sunblock, I usually only applied it once in the morning.  I was always so ridiculously tan by the end of the summer.  Gross.

All of the skin issues I was spared from in high school seemed to take their vengeance on me as an adult: sun spots, acne, sun damage, photo-aging, melasma, THE WORKS.  And while I was lured into the creams and potions way of dealing with these new fun issues, I found myself turning to root causes of many of these problems when the topical treatments fell short.

Enter vitamins.  While antibiotics are the go-to treatment for dermatologists, I have real issues constantly consuming antibiotics to deal with non-life threatening issues, i.e. my skin.  I have been using a more holistic approach to dealing with the horrible way I treated my skin ten years ago.  Here's a list of supplements that have worked well for me:
  • L-Lysine - helps with healing and inflammation of the skin
  • CoQ10 - functions as an antioxidant
  • Zinc - aids in healing and immunity
  • Probiotics - maintains your body's "good" bacteria and helps prevent skin infections
  • Flax Seed Oil - great for overall skin health
**Of course, I am not a doctor, so consult your physician before you start taking any supplements or vitamins, since there may be side effects when taking these supplements with other medications.  Dosages are also a personal decision and should be discussed with your physician, as well!**

Learning to care for my skin from the inside out was a true paradigm shift for me.  In a culture where miracle creams are being pushed to 9-year olds, it was liberating to realize my skin is a part of a bigger system that I should be taking good care of also: my body.

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