Since I’ve been writing a lot of neurotic musings (beauty related or not) on Beyond Beauty by Gloria, I’m adding some guest posts to spice things up around here. Here’s the first installment from the one and only Nicki Zevola!
Nicki Zevola is a medical student with seven years of research experience and and the CEO of FutureDerm, Inc., a company devoted to innovative, effective beauty products and scientific, well-researched reviews.
People like to say, “You are what you eat,” but you may be just as much what you put on your face. According to a 2007 study in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, eating and topically applying antioxidants was found to be more beneficial for the skin than either factor alone.
WHAT TO EAT
To boost your chances of better skin, try eating these fruits. According to the American Chemical Society, these twelve fruits have the highest antioxidant capacity:
- Red grape
- Kiwi fruit
- Pink grapefruit
- White grape
- Honeydew melon
And these vegetables were found by the American Botanical Council to have better antioxidant potential than any of the other 22 compared:
- Red chicory
- Red chili
- Yellow pepper
WHAT TO APPLY
Yet research shows what it is best to eat and what is best to apply to your skin are sometimes two different things. As Dr. Debra Jaliman, M.D., a top NYC-based dermatologist once told me (source), “I have yet to find an all-natural product that works.”
The reasons for this are multiple: First, non-natural products have advanced chemical systems that help the skin better absorb beneficial ingredients. These include alcohols like propylene glycol, which are used in transdermal patches to help deliver medicine across the skin. Second, non-natural products often have concentrated ingredients. For instance, white willow bark is a natural anti-inflammatory agent, but the reason it works is because of acetylsalicyclic acid, a compound similar to aspirin. Of course concentrated 200 mg aspirin is going to work better at fighting pain than 200 mg white willow bark, because you’re getting very little of the active ingredient with the latter.
Finally, there is a lot more research documenting concentrated ingredients in skin care than from plant extracts. Look for the following, which all have strong research backing:
- Retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids (it is optimal not to use these together, but you can)
- Vitamin C and vitamin E together/other antioxidants
- Certain peptides
Both food and skin care are important for your skin. What’s crucial to remember here is that you can apply ingredients to your skin you wouldn’t eat – and you often should if you want to achieve the best skin possible!