Nutritional Skincare

Nutritional Skincare

Structurally, skin is comprised of two main layers,  epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis, the upper layer, is responsible for many of the barrier functions of skin. The dermis is the structural and nutritive support network underneath the epidermis. Since each layer has its own unique structure and function, the nutritive requirements of each must be considered separately. There is little metabolic activity present in the outer layers of the skin (often referred to as ‘dead’ cells).

Like any other organ in the body, skin too needs nourishment to keep it healthy.  Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants is good for whole body including skin. Taking over-the-counter (OTC) daily multivitamin with minerals can help boost your nutrient intake if one is  not eating a balanced diet. The ‘inside out’ through healthy food or OTC supplements can help only if bioavailability of nutrients is also high. Otherwise, ‘inside out’ approach would not help.   

Nutritional status plays an important role in the maintenance of healthy skin. Macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids) and micronutrients (vitamins and nutritionally essential minerals) work together to maintain the barrier functions of skin in the face of everyday challenges. The nutritional needs of skin would be high and critical if one spends a lot of time outdoors or are exposed to high levels of air pollution or any sort of stress. Changes in the nutritional status that alter skin structure and function can also directly affect skin appearance.

CytoPro believes that nutrients that are favourable to cells are the key to skin health, and improving skin wellness is the cornerstone of skincare. Healthy skin has the ability to respond to challenges that would otherwise undermine its structure and function. Balanced nutrition complements the host of endogenous factors that preserve skin health. Moreover, skin that functions properly has aesthetically pleasing properties, giving skin a healthful appearance and feel. Conversely, the conditions that adversely affect the biological functions of skin often correspond to a less attractive appearance of skin.

In short, skin cannot be beautiful without being healthy, and CytoPro knows that nutrition is the key to skin health. Hence, our brand tagline is “Nourish your skin 2 Cherish your beauty”. 

Nutrition Requirements of Skin

The primary fuel for skin cells is glucose. Glucose oxidation rates in skin are similar to those observed in resting skeletal muscle. Glucose also provides carbohydrate backbones for modification of proteins into glycoproteins and lipids into glycolipids that comprise the extracellular environment of the epidermis.  Aberrant glucose handling drastically affects skin structure and appearance.

Specialized lipids such as sterols and ceramides are required for the development of the stratum corneum (outermost layer of epidermis) and these are synthesized in the epidermis from amino acids, carbohydrates, and phospholipids. However, differentiating keratinocytes (cells in epidermis) also utilize fatty acids from circulating stores or dermal fat layers for energy. The extruded fatty acids that make up the mortar of the stratum corneum can absorb lipid-soluble materials placed on the external surface of this outermost skin layer. This is especially the case for sebum, a waxy substance secreted from the sebaceous glands that are attached to hair follicles, but it is also true for topically applied materials.

Much of the role of nutrition in skin health / wellness focuses on the effects of deficiency, since the structural components of the skin are supported by a variety of nutritive factors, such as small peptides, minerals, and vitamins, which serve as enzyme cofactors, activators, or inhibitors. The skin is also constantly exposed to high concentrations of oxygen, UV light, and oxidizing chemicals, highlighting a role for antioxidant vitamins in skin function. Antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins C, E, and A can curb the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. These molecules can harm skin cells and cause signs of aging. Amino acids are essential for the production of both dermal and epidermal structures, producing the extracellular matrix proteins and enzymes needed for the synthesis of the epidermal barrier. Omega-3 fatty acids help keep the top outer layer of the skin strong and intact so that external toxins and pollutants are kept out.  Further, nutritional support of the skin is important for inflammatory response (in wound healing) and anti-inflammatory ingredients to counter excess inflammation.

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