Written By: Alessia Donato
Does food affect the skin? What does it truly mean to eat the rainbow? Let’s take a look at how the Key vitamins A, C and E also known as Antioxidants play a key role in skin care.
Antioxidants are molecules which can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before vital molecules are damaged. Although there are several enzyme systems within the body that fight off free radicals, the main antioxidants are Vitamin A,C and E. Free radicals can be caused by smoking, excessive sun exposure, stress, and an unhealthy diet of junk food and not enough fresh whole foods. Antioxidants can be found in all colorful fruits and vegetables especially yellow, orange and red. Lots of minerals can be found in the greener vegetables and the more you consume raw the better your body will absorb them. Eating from the rainbow truly is the key to youthful skin and a healthy glow.
Antioxidants broken down by vitamins and how they affect your skin.
Vitamin A (Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Dark Leafy Greens, Butternut Squash)
Many face creams contain Vitamin A, and drugs derived from Vitamin A are used to treat severe acne. As an anti oxidant, it neutralizes free radicals (which destroy collagen), which in turn prevent the formation of wrinkles and pre mature ageing. Also helps fade age spots and pigmentation. Retinol is rejuvenating, anti ageing and helps with pigmentation due to sun damage. Retinol when applied to the skin is thought to work both by stimulating new collagen formation as well as preventing the breakdown of existing collagen. It appears to have a stimulatory effect on the fibroblasts that produce collagen as well as an inhibitory effect on enzymes that break down the collagen support structure. What makes retinol unique is that its molecular structure is small enough to allow it to penetrate the skin which is a limiting factor for some skin care ingredients. If a substance can’t penetrate the epidermis and gain access to the dermis, it’s not going to have any real effect on skin aging. Thus, one major benefit of retinol that distinguishes it from other skin care ingredients is its ability to reach the areas of the skin where it can actually have an effect on collagen production and breakdown. Retinol also appears to have the ability to counteract some of the solar damage inflicted by the sun, although retinol shouldn’t be used if you spend time in the sun since it can increase sun sensitivity.
Vitamin C (Red/Green Hot Chili Peppers, Guavas, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Dark Leafy Greens, Kiwi, Oranges, Strawberries)
A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is involved in a number of biological processes, which is so essential to health. Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen, a key structural protein of the skin. Adding vitamin C to a culture of skin cells (fibroblasts) dramatically increases the synthesis of collagen. Secondly, vitamin C is an antioxidant and can help reduce skin damage caused by free radicals. So, when vitamin C is properly delivered into skin cells, there is a good chance to reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture. It moisturizes the skin, softens, exfoliates and cleanses and helps to smooth out wrinkles and fine lines.
A number of skin care companies offer highly concentrated stabilized Vitamin C products, which (at least in theory) are supposed to be consistently effective. However, these products are usually quite expensive. Furthermore, even stabilized Vitamin C products may be at least somewhat oxidized by the time you use them. When Vitamin C oxidizes, it eventually acquires a yellowish tint indicating an advanced stage of oxidation. Interestingly, some manufacturers add coloring to their Vitamin C products, in which case it becomes hard to spot advanced Vitamin C oxidation. So it is advisable to pick a trustworthy source when buying or consuming Vitamin A skin care products and be careful with expiration dates and storage of products.
Vitamin E (Tofu, Spinach, Nuts, Avocados, Sunflower Seeds, Fish, Shellfish, Olive Oil, Broccoli)
A key antioxidant, Vitamin E is particularly good for a healthy heart and blood supply since it is an anticoagulant which reduces abnormal blood clotting but it also very good for skin. It works in conjunction with Vitamin A therefore helps to improve the activity of Vitamin A. Vitamin E added to lotions, creams, and other skin care products, as well as taken orally, plays a role in the anti-aging of skin. It helps skin look younger by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin E lotions provide some benefit in preventing and treating sunburns. These lotions protect the epidermis layer of the skin from early stages of ultra violet light damage. Vitamin E preparations also increase the effectiveness of sunscreens. Such lotions do not work immediately. Vitamin E can aid in the treatment of various skin diseases or skin conditions. Topical applications such as those used to treat psoriasis is one of the benefits of Vitamin E. Orally ingested Vitamin E can help treat erythema (a skin inflammation that results in reddish, painful, and tender lumps). There are a variety of other benefits of Vitamin E for skin care:
- Vitamin E products help reduce the appearance of stretch marks
- Vitamin E can help prevent the appearance of age spots
- Helps maintain the skin’s oil balance during the cleansing process
- Reduces transepidermal water loss from skin and strengthens the skin’s barrier function
Overall for skin care, more benefit is obtained from topical application of Vitamin E through creams or lotions rather than taking Vitamin E orally. Skin is able to absorb natural Vitamin E effectively. However, taking Vitamin E orally is important for the good health of other areas of the body.
At home facial masks with Vitamins
Facial masks should be an integral part of every woman’s beauty regime. Not only do they replenish our skin, but they force us, in an unobtrusive way, to take time for ourselves and relax; after all, it’s impossible to get much of anything done with a layer of creamy goodness slathered over your face, and cucumbers over your eyes.
Here are my favorite do it yourself at home facial masks that can instantly boost your skin and give you that healthy glow. Remember that these ingredients are natural, and although great to put on the skin nothing beats actually eating them so your body can absorb the nutrients and therefore feed your cells and in turn feed your skin.
Banana and Vitamin E healing mask: we know how healing vitamin E is so try using some of those vitamin E capsules break them open and mix them in with some bananas. Make sure to avoid the eye are and this mask can be calming, soothing and moisturizing for anyone with dry sensitive skin. The banana is great for wrinkles!
Vitamin C pumpkin facial mask: Pumpkin makes an excellent face mask ingredient for all skin types, especially environmentally damaged or sensitive skin. High in Vitamin A (skin healing), C (anti-oxidant) and Zinc, the pumpkin soothes, moisturizes and acts as a carrier, assisting the other mask ingredients to absorb deeper into the skin and intensifying the results. Combine the pumpkin pulp with honey, and milk. Mix pumpkin in with whipping cream for dry skin or for oily skin mix in some apple cider vinegar which is a great astringent.
Avocado treatments: Avocado is super rich in vitamins A B C and E as well as the mineral phosphorus. So if you want, create a homemade mask, try mixing avocado with some honey for some serious moisture benefits. It super rich and will give your skin a soft supple texture and glow.
As a makeup artist, it is so important to understand and have knowledge of skin care. Prepping the skin before makeup is the key component in achieving a flawless foundation base and application and amazing makeup to follow suit. Always have a good rich moisturizer in your kit, such as Embryollise lait crème concentre. It suits all skin types and leaves the skin fresh, moisturized, and gets rid of flakiness. A good cleanser such as Bioderma H20 removes all traces of makeup without stripping the skin and it is especially good for dry and sensitive skins. To quickly exfoliate without the use of water, the Dermalogica daily resurfacer is great for those days you’re on set and you need to quickly exfoliate the model’s skin. Always have a good eye cream, we love MAC fast response eye cream. It contains caffeine which helps to restrict the blood vessels helping to tighten fine lines and wrinkles.
Never skip the skin care part of a makeup application!! It is so important and really makes the difference.
Your Makeup Artist, Alessia Donato