Beauty Within: Ingredients and supplements to protect the skin naturally 

More and more, people want to look fresher, more vibrant, more youthful. They want to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, zap away age spots, or put an end to redness, irritation or blemishes.

Yet, at the same time, many people are now starting to move towards a more natural skincare regime. As well as wanting to look younger, many want to do it in a more natural way, with little to no synthetic ingredients.

And, really, who can blame them? After all, wouldn’t we all like to know what we are smoothing on to our faces day and night?

For starters, our body absorbs what we put onto our skin – if we wouldn’t eat these chemicals, then why smear them onto our faces? Of course, these naturally-sourced ingredients are also better for the environment, and they can even be more effective when used properly.

Thankfully, our knowledge of natural ingredients is ever-growing, and there are plenty of options on the market. Here are some natural ingredients to help achieve fresher, brighter skin:

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid is also known as the fountain of youth, because it can make a huge difference to our complexion in a relatively short space of time.

It is a carbohydrate, which is produced naturally within our body’s tissues, helping with skin cell renewal, elasticity, and collagen production. Unfortunately, our levels of Hyaluronic Acid decline as we age, which is why the market is now full of serums and creams containing Hyaluronic acid to help us on the way.

Many creams are filled with synthetic forms of Hyaluronic Acid, which tend to sit on top of the skin without being fully absorbed. However, there are now naturally-derived forms of Hyaluronic Acid that are being added to skincare products, which are far more effective. One of these to look out for is a botanical form of Hyaluronic Acid, which comes from the Senna plant, and is native to India.

Omega-3s

These wonderful fatty acids – found in oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel, as well as many nuts – have long been touted for their miraculous effects on the skin.

This is because Omega-3s are needed to help to keep our skin soft and supple (when we are low in omega-3s, our skin may be dry and lacklustre). These omega-3s are also known to reduce inflammation, which can cause redness and even acne, and may even help to protect our skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays.

As well as eating a diet rich in omega-3s, try to ensure that you take a regular supplement. There are plenty of good quality omega-3 supplements on the market, including those rich in vegan forms of omega-3, which are sourced from the algae that oily fish eat.

Collagen

Like Hyaluronic Acid, collagen is also found naturally within the body, yet its levels slowly start to drop as we grow older. It is an essential protein found in bones, muscles, skin and tendons, and it helps boost elasticity within the skin, making it appear more youthful, vibrant and healthy. It can also ease the appearance of fine lines and even dryness.

Once collagen levels start to drop, you may want to consider adding a collagen supplement to you regime. By taking collagen regularly (and there are many forms of natural collagen, such as marine collagen and even bovine collagen), they can help to delay early signs of ageing, and enjoy brighter looking skin. It’s advisable to try and take a supplement with 10,000mg (the optimum dosage) of collagen each day for best results.

Squalane

While it may sound like an ingredient made in a lab, squalane actually comes from olives, rice bran and wheat germ and is the perfect natural moisturiser. Its structure is very similar to our skin’s own natural make-up (this is because squalane is actually found in our skin, although levels start to drop as we grow older), so it can penetrate deeply and boost skin from a cellular level. As a result, it can really freshen and rejuvenate grey or sensitive skins, without triggering any inflammation.

It also works as an antibacterial oil and is absorbed slowly into the skin, making it ideal to use in night serums or facial oils, or for use during dry weather or winter. It provides ultimate hydration for skin yet, happily, it also tends to be suitable for most skin types!

Vitamin C

Found in a variety of fruit and veggies (think berries, red pepper, broccoli), vitamin C is crucial in helping to strengthen the immune system. However, it also helps the skin to delay signs of ageing, including dullness. This is because vitamin C supports collagen synthesis and is an antioxidant, meaning it can fight free radicals.

Vitamin C may also help to regulate production of sebum and decrease inflammation, making it ideal for ageing skin and oily skin types. You can try an oil or cream rich in natural forms of Vitamin C to really reap the rewards. You may also want to try a Vitamin C-rich paste or mask to rejuvenate and brighten.