Healthy skin…how can we achieve it? As consumers, we become more demanding about cosmetics and toiletries we use on our skin and hair – thus the expanding demand of mineral makeup and an alternative market that strives for a healthy body and preservation of a green environment.

Why is it important to have healthy skin? It protects us from the external environment, prevents germs from invading our body and aesthetically, it feels smooth, has even coloration, while emotionally, makes us feel secure and confident.

We don’t realize how much harm we place on our skin by damaging this barrier function. A third of the outer layer of skin is made of lipids or fats. Our skin can get flaky or irritated when we wash them with soaps or solvents – some people with eroded skin are more likely to get secondary infections. What to do? Use a mild bar soap and a night cream containing copper peptide (increased the thickness of the dermal layer), squalene, cholesterol, lecithin or shea butter for healthy, smooth skin.

The sun’s rays, ultraviolet A and B rays (UVA and UVB rays) damage our skin, leading to early wrinkles, skin problems or even worst, cancer. Use an ultrahigh SPF sunscreen daily.

The new era has begun – and it’s called nutricosmetics, linking beauty with a healthy body. The products are taken orally as pills or liquids. The nutricosmetic products have several active ingredients – some may sound familiar, such as soy isoflavone proteins, lutein, lycopene, vitamins (A, B6, E), omega 3 fatty acids, sterol esters, coenzyme Q10.  Acting as antioxidants, they control free radicals, these byproducts of biochemical reactions from our bodies that can produce damage, such as premature aging or wrinkles. Another benefit? Nutricosmetics have anti-inflammatory action that protects our skin against the strong sun rays.

Although this concept is relatively new for us, it dates back to the ancient Egyptians, when natural foods were used to cure acne or rashes. Currently, the key concept to a beautiful, glowing face is a healthy body.
Think about the two types of nutricosmetics, the drinkable ones (fluid type) and the oral ones (as pills). Drinkable nutricosmetics include yogurt, its active live cultures and vitamin enhanced properties can help look after your skin from within. Some well-known food brands have partnered with the cosmetics industry to produce beauty beverages, including a tea based skin care drink, yogurt sources and the inclusion of GABA, an ingredient used extensively in skin care products for its anti-wrinkle properties.

What about the second group, the oral nutricosmetics? Ingested as pills for purposes as antiageing and skin care.

Ahhh…the wonders of herbs. Not only are they tasty in foods, but such is the case of the herb Glycyrrihiza, commonly known as licorice, is appearing frequently in skin care products, as a lightening and smoothing ingredient in skin care. Have you thought about ginger, key ingredient for skin radiance and anti-cellulite, also emerging in novelty products?

This market may still be relatively new in United States, having gained its market in Europe and Japan, yet it will focus its energy on combining a healthy body and skin, while protecting our environment. Are you ready for it?