“The saying ‘you are what you eat’ is so much more than just a saying,” says Ruthie Harper, MD, creator of Skinshift, the first DNA-based skincare line in the United States and a renowned Texas-based physician with accomplishments in the areas of nutritional medicine, non-surgical aesthetic transformation and genetically based skincare. “Your skin is the largest organ in your body; it is a reflection of your health and wellbeing. What is ingested is at times far more important than what is applied topically.”
Dr. Harper, who has developed a specialized line of nutritional supplements to treat various concerns, offers a guide of dietary elements that will help improve different complexion issues:
THE PROBLEM: WRINKLES
Collagen levels are critical for maintaining your skin’s youthful texture, tone and elasticity.
Foods to Fix: Collagen production depends on adequate levels of amino acids. There are nine essential amino acids, which can’t be manufactured by the body and must be obtained through diet. Generally, animal sources such as poultry, fish, cheese, milk, and eggs provide all nine essential amino acids.
The Supplement: Collagen Defense – This scientifically designed formula contains an activated form of silica to stimulate collagen production, strengthen skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
THE PROBLEM: DULL AND UNEVEN SKIN
Free radical damage is one of the leading causes of aging skin.
Foods to Fix: Antioxidants: Prevent infection and degenerative diseases like cancer or heart disease. Vitamin C and resveratrol are powerful antioxidants which can be found in berries, broccoli, carrots, raisins, peas, and tomatoes, açai berry, green tea, and coffee. Maqui berries, a super fruit from Chile, have been found to have the highest levels of antioxidants in fruits, more so than Acai berries and Goji berries.
The Supplement: Antioxidant Defense – A proven combination of full-spectrum antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenols are combined in this formula to provide powerful protection against free radical damage from oxidative stress while promoting cellular repair for a smooth, glowing complexion.
THE PROBLEM: DRY AND THINNING SKIN
Excess sugar in the body is a primary cause of premature skin aging because of its role in a process called glycation, which causes cracking, thinning, redness and inability of skin to self-repair.
Foods to Fix: Polyphenols: These powerful antioxidants are rich in green tea, olives, grapes, onions, chocolate and red wine. Polyphenols help prevent glycation of the skin to prevent the visible signs of aging and protect the heart, kidneys and other vital structures necessary for optimal health.
The Supplement: Glycation Defense – A combination of herbs, polyphenols and antioxidants in this formula promote healthy blood sugar levels, improving skin firmness, elasticity, moisture and appearance.
THE PROBLEM: REDNESS AND INFLAMMATION
Subtle signs of inflammation include skin sensitivity, redness, irritation, acne, rosacea and eczema.
Foods to Fix: Foods containing anti-inflammatory agents include kelp, turmeric, wild salmon, shiitake mushroom, green tea, papaya, blue berries, extra virgin olive oil, broccoli and sweet potato. These foods contain a rich supply of polyphenols, flavonoids, and vitamins that prevent inflammation.
The Supplement: Inflammation Defense – This powerful combination of nutrients, antioxidants and proteolytic enzymes promotes calming, self-healing and repair in damaged cells to reduce signs of inflammation and aging.
THE PROBLEM: DARK SPOTS AND PIGMENTATION:
UV exposure from the sun causes skin deterioration and photo-aging, robbing your skin of a youthful appearance and leading to unsightly pigment changes.
Foods to Fix: Capers, chamomile tea and apple contain a very high concentration of quercetin. When consumed, quercetin acts as an antioxidant in the body which helps rid the body of free radicals that damage cells and cause health issues such as heart disease, cancer and premature aging.
The Supplement: Sun Defense – This formula contains a potent combination of trans-resveratrol and quercetin, two plant-based polyphenols proven to slow the aging process by protecting against the negative effects of UV damage. The result is a reduction in wrinkles and hyper-pigmentation, improvement in texture and tone and reduction of broken capillaries.