Aging sure takes its toll on our skin.
Even if you’re in perfect health and feel fabulous, your skin can give your age away. Because no matter how young you FEEL thinning skin, deep wrinkles and sagging are all telltale signs of your true age.
But you CAN have younger looking skin, and I’ll show you how in just a moment.
Eating a healthy diet with plenty of skin-supporting foods is the first step. But in some cases, diet alone doesn’t provide quite enough of the specific nutrients you need to keep your skin looking young and supple.
Well, unless you plan on eating more than your weight in produce that is. That’s where supplements can help. The right ones can help keep your skin glowing.
Some skin-supporting supplements work best when taken by mouth. While others work even better topically, de-aging your skin from the outside in.
3 dietary supplements for younger looking skin
Let’s work from the inside out first. Following are three dietary supplements that help support supple younger looking skin.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy skin. They help fight the photoaging caused by overexposure to UV light. And as natural anti-inflammatories, omega-3s help reduce collagen damage and the unwanted redness and puffiness that can make you look old before your time.
If you aren’t getting enough omega-3 fatty acids from the foods in your diet—such as fish, walnuts, flax and chia seeds—you can try fish oil supplements or cod liver oil. For most folks we recommend 1,000 mg daily to ensure your skin gets the biggest benefit.
Look for one that contains both EPA and DHA. Be sure to take it with a meal that contains fat to help with absorption. And consider taking a mixed tocopherol vitamin E supplement too, to combat oxidation.
If you’re bothered by sagging skin or wrinkles consider adding a coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplement to your skincare routine. CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant, naturally produced by your body.
But your supplies of this important nutrient dwindle as the years go by. Taking 60 mg of CoQ10 every day boosts your levels, helping to protect against cell damage and tightening up your skin.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the journal BioFactors taking CoQ10 for 12 weeks successfully reduced visible signs of aging in a group of volunteers.1 According to the researchers, the CoQ10 “significantly reduced wrinkles and microrelief lines, and improved skin smoothness.”
In other words, CoQ10 could be your key to younger looking skin.
Now it’s time to bring an essential amino acid into the mix: L-glutamine.
This is another of those nutrients your body can produce itself, but production slacks off over time. Since one of L-glutamine’s main jobs is keeping up collagen levels—critical for beautiful skin—a deficiency can make your skin look older.
To rebuild collagen, and fight sagging and wrinkling, take 500 mg of L-glutamine twice a day on an empty stomach (at least one hour before eating, or two hours after).
Defy aging with 3 topicals for younger looking skin
I mentioned earlier that some supplements work better topically.
Researchers say in some cases topically applied antioxidants can have a bigger impact than popping a pill. When you put them directly on your skin, they go straight to the problem, deactivating the free radicals that make your skin age.
So let’s head out to the surface, where some supplements work even better.
Your skin naturally contains vitamin C. This vital vitamin helps your body produce collagen and fight the visible signs of aging.
As we age, the vitamin C levels in our skin tend to drop. And overexposure to UV light and pollution can cause those levels to plummet even further.
But studies have shown that when you apply this powerful antioxidant to your skin, it can:
- help minimize the appearance of wrinkles
- boost collagen production
- lighten dark spots
- reduce inflammation
- provide protection from UVA and UVB rays
In one placebo-controlled study, volunteers applied an ascorbic acid (vitamin C) preparation to their skin or a placebo. After 12 weeks, the folks using the vitamin C had a significant reduction in fine lines and wrinkles on their faces.2
According to some experts, combining vitamin C with vitamin E may be even more effective. You’ll find skincare products containing both vitamins online, and in stores. Keep reading for more on vitamin E.
Vitamin E has long been used to help to prevent scarring from burns and cuts. But experts say it’s good for far more than scar prevention. This antioxidant can also help reduce fine lines and wrinkles giving you younger looking skin.
Vitamin E is important for preventing oxidative damage in your cell membranes, which can age your skin.3 And combined with vitamin C, vitamin E effectively fights skin damage from overexposure to the UV rays as well as reduces dark under-eye circles.4,5,6,7,8
Vitamin E becomes less stable when exposed to air, so you may want to take an oral E supplement as well. Oral vitamin E fights the oxidation that makes your skin look visibly older. In one study, vitamin E supplements effectively reduced or eliminated the red, itchy inflamed skin of atopic dermatitis in a group of volunteers.9
Experts say dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) can help fight the fine lines, wrinkles and sagging that give away your age. Placebo controlled studies show it can help ease the appearance of forehead wrinkles, plump up your lips and improve skin firmness and appearance giving you younger looking skin.10,11
In one 16-week study, a DMAE facial gel significantly improved the appearance of wrinkles, dark under-eye circles, frown lines and sagging neck skin. And those improvements stick around. When study volunteers stopped using the gel for two weeks the improvements didn’t disappear.12
It’s true you can’t stop the march of time. But your skin doesn’t have to reveal how long you’ve been marching.
1. “The effect of dietary intake of coenzyme Q10 on skin parameters and condition: Results of a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study,” Biofactors. 2017 Jan 2;43(1):132-140
2. “Topical activity of ascorbic acid: from in vitro optimization to in vivo efficacy. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2004 Jul;17(4):200-6”
3. “Protection and recycling of alpha-tocopherol in human erythrocytes by intracellular ascorbic acid,” Arch Biochem Biophys. 1998 Jan 15;349(2):281-9
4. “Inhibition of UVR-induced tanning and immunosuppression by topical applications of vitamins C and E to the skin of hairless (hr/hr) mice,” Pigment Cell Res 2000;13:89-98
5. “Ferulic acid stabilizes a solution of vitamins C and E and doubles its photoprotection of skin.” J Invest Dermatol 2005;125:826-832
6. “UV photoprotection by combination topical antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E,” J Am Acad Dermatol 2003;48:866-874.
7. “Effectiveness of antioxidants (vitamin C and E) with and without sunscreens as topical photoprotectants,” Acta Derm Venereol 1996;76:264-268
8. “The effects of topical application of phytonadione, retinol and vitamins C and E on infraorbital dark circles and wrinkles of the lower eyelids,” J Cosmet Dermatol. 2004 Apr; 3(2):73-5
9. “Evaluation of dietary intake of vitamin E in the treatment of atopic dermatitis: a study of the clinical course and evaluation of the immunoglobulin E serum levels,” Int J Dermatol. 2002 Mar; 41(3):146-50
10. “Randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, split-face study on the clinical efficacy of Tricutan on skin firmness,” Phytomedicine. 2007 Nov; 14(11):711-5
11. “Split face study on the cutaneous tensile effect of 2-dimethylaminoethanol (deanol) gel,” Skin Res Technol. 2002 Aug; 8(3):164-7
12. “Safety and efficacy evaluation of a new skin firming technology: dimethylethanol and tyrosine” Grossman R, Gisoldi E, Cole C., 60th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Dermatology; 2002 Feb 22-27; New Orleans