What is the key to healthy, radiant skin?
We studied, tested, theorised, analysed, and obsessed over this exact question during our two years in development and, ultimately, we discovered that optimal skin health can be supported by addressing four key pillars:
- Healthy gut and microbiome
- Collagen production
- Protection against free radical damage
- Optimal nutrition for overall health and wellbeing
These four pillars work together to help protect and nourish our skin. However, there is one pillar that all the other pillars depend on for their own success, and it’s important that we always address this pillar first on our journey to healthier, happier skin.
Pillar 1 – Healthy gut and microbiome
At the very heart of healthy, vibrant skin is pillar number one – a healthy gut. One simply cannot exist without the other. A healthy gut and microbiome sets up the important foundation that all three other pillars need to perform at their peak.
In order for our skin to stay healthy and perform its vital functions, it needs an abundance of essential nutrients delivered to its deep layers. As our primary barrier to the external environment, our skin is naturally designed to keep things out and does not readily absorb nutrients through its outer layers. Instead, it must gather all the nutrition it needs from within, via the foods and supplements we ingest.
Now, here’s where our gut health plays a vital role. Our gut and skin share a special relationship known as the gut-skin axis. Messages are constantly sent between our gut, our microbiome, and our skin via the immune system, the nervous system and the endocrine system to help keep our body working in harmony (or homeostasis).
When our gut is in good health and functioning optimally, it is not only able to more efficiently absorb all the essential nutrients our skin and body needs to thrive, but it also helps to regulate our immune system, excrete toxins and signal to the rest of the body to maintain this state of harmony.
However, our gut and the delicate balance of good and bad bacteria in our microbiome can be easily upset by a number of common factors such as poor diet, stress, lack of sleep, drugs, alcohol and certain medications. When we experience these microbiome imbalances or poor gut health, this can significantly disrupt the gut-skin axis and absorption process, meaning our skin misses out on all the essential nutrients it needs to look and feel healthy.
A happy, healthy gut is vital in the quest for happy, healthy skin, and one way we can support our gut and maintain balance in our microbiome is by feeding our good bacteria with prebiotics and probiotics.
When we nourish our gut and microbiome with pre and probiotics, we are taking the best steps to ensure optimal nutrient absorption and delivery within our body. So, by improving our gut health, we are actually also improving the overall performance of the supplements we take.
The Ultimate 1.0 – Complete Skin Food Elixir™ boasts a combination of pre and probiotics, as well as soothing aloe vera to encourage a healthy gut microbiome. Not only does this establish a strong foundation for the other ingredients to perform optimally, it also helps to improve digestion, combat bloating, and reduce skin sensitivity, breakouts and dehydration.
Pillar 2 – Supporting collagen production
After water, collagen is the most abundant substance in our body. Collagen fibres are essentially the building blocks for our skin, tendons and bones, made up of amino acids that provide structure and hold moisture.
However, from around 30 years of age, our body’s ability to produce collagen begins to diminish at a rate of 1.5% per year, leading to visible signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles, loss of structure and elasticity, sagging skin, and dehydration.
As we age, our collagen fibres can also become weak and fragmented, resulting in increased oxidative stress, thinning of the skin, impaired wound healing and reduced vascularisation.
Sounds like a pretty bleak future for our poor skin, right?
Fortunately, we can help our skin to stimulate increased production of better quality collagen and elastin by supplementing with collagen peptides.
Increased quality and quantity of collagen will not only help smooth out fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin texture, it will also help boost skin hydration, improve skin barrier function, and encourage more resilient skin as we age.
The Ultimate 1.0 – Complete Skin Food Elixir™ offers 10,000 mg MSC certified sustainable marine collagen peptides. A review of the available evidence supporting the use of marine collagen peptides to enhance skin hydration and elasticity, and reduce wrinkle volume, concluded that this effect is dose-dependent – meaning the more you take, the better the outcome.
However, let’s not forget the importance of pillar one in this process. In order to receive all the benefits of supplementing with collagen peptides, you must first have the foundation of good gut health to ensure they are properly absorbed into your body and delivered to your skin.
Pillar 3 – Protection against free radical damage
From UV exposure and pollution, to emotional stress, lack of sleep and poor nutrition, modern life comes with a whole host of stressors our skin must contend with on a daily basis. These stressors give way to free radical damage and oxidative stress which can wreak havoc on our skin.
So, what exactly are free radicals and how can we help protect our skin?
Essentially, free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to our cells. Free radicals are considered unstable because they are missing electrons from their outer shell. In order to stabilise themselves, they try to seek out and bond to other atoms or molecules that have these electrons – including in our skin cells. This results in oxidative stress which weakens the living cells and tissues, and in our skin’s case, also damages collagen and accelerates skin ageing.
To help our skin in its never-ending battle against free radical damage, it’s important that we give our body a daily boost of potent antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect our skin from within by scavenging for free radicals and donating electrons to neutralise them, ultimately, rendering them mostly harmless.
But, in order to ensure that the powerful antioxidants we consume are delivered to our deep skin layers for protection against oxidative stress, we must first focus on building that healthy gut and microbiome to ensure proper absorption. Without the strong foundation of pillar one, our protection against free radical damage would be significantly limited.
Pillar 4 – Optimal nutrition for overall wellness
Finally, our fourth pillar focuses on our overall health and wellness, and how we can achieve an optimal state of health by nourishing our body with potent, bioavailable, food-based sources of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Of course, nothing beats a varied diet rich in plant foods to give our body all of the nutrients it needs for healthy functioning. However, according to The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, most Australian adults are not receiving their recommended daily intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
So, this is where natural, food-based supplements can step up to fill these nutritional gaps in our diet and ensure we are receiving all the essential nutrients we need for a healthy gut, a well-functioning immune system, steady energy levels, healthy skin, hair and nails, and much more.
When selecting supplements, it’s important to choose food-based sources over synthetic or isolated vitamins. This is because natural sources have a higher bioavailability, meaning they are more effectively absorbed and metabolised within our body.
Again, we come back to the importance of proper absorption. For our body to receive the full benefits of the nutrients we’re ingesting and for us to see and feel the positive impact they can have on our health and wellbeing, we must first set ourselves up with a healthy gut, ready to absorb all the good stuff.
Not only does this ensure your body actually receives the nutrients you’re feeding it, but you’ll also receive more bang for your buck from your supplements in terms of product performance and efficacy.
While each of the key pillars play an extremely important role in our skin’s health, it’s vital that we understand just how big of an impact pillar one – our gut health – can have on the success of all three other pillars. When you create a healthy gut and microbiome, you create the best environment on the inside for healthy, vibrant skin on the outside.