Nutrition is essential for healthy and young-looking skin.
Vitally important for keeping the skin in good condition is
not just what you apply topically - more importantly, it is
what goes in. The skin needs good fats such as EPA (omega-3),
GLA (omega-6 from virgin evening primrose oil) and oleic acid
(omega-9), as well as wholefood nutrients from fresh fruit
The skin's make-up
The skin is the body"s largest organ, consisting
of the outer epidermis and the inner dermis. Skins cells in
the epidermis go through a constant cycle over approximately
one month, dividing to make new cells. Newer cells get pushed
towards the surface of the skin where they eventually flake
off, continuously being replaced with new cells. The principal
function of the epidermis is to act as a protective barrier
against environmental aggressors.
The dermis consists of strong collagen and a network of elastic
fibres. This layer is filled with hair follicles, sweat and
oil glands. The oil glands produce sebum (composed of lipids,
or fats, and cell fragments) which acts as a lubricant to
keep the skin soft and prevents hair from becoming brittle.
Beneath the skin is a fatty layer of loose connective tissue
called the hypodermis, acting as glue to loosely attach the
skin to the tissue beneath. As the skin ages, the number of
collagen and elastic fibres in the dermis decreases and the
fat in the hypodermis beneath the skin gradually declines.
As a result, the skin becomes less elastic and begins to sag
The importance of nutrition
Omega-3 fatty acids (most commonly derived from fish oil)
have become relatively scarce in many modern diets but they
are fundamental to health and wellbeing, supporting the cardiovascular
system, stabilising mood and oiling the joints. Together with
GLA, several unique health-giving properties make Vegepa essential
for those seeking to achieve younger looking skin, from the
1. Cell structure
EPA and GLA provide essential nourishment for maintaining
the correct structure of every cell membrane in the body.
Crucial for strengthening skin cell membranes, these fatty
acids ensure that the membranes are sufficiently permeable
for optimum nutrient absorption.
2. Collagen promotion
Studies suggest that EPA may benefit the skin by protecting
against UV-induced skin damage - the skin"s biggest enemy.
EPA also promotes the production of collagen and elastic fibres
in the dermis to actively combat skin wrinkling and sagging.
3. Free radical damage
A unique component of our patented range of supplements is
the family of botanical triterpenes present within the organic
virgin evening primrose oil. These phytonutrients help protect
against the oxidative cell damage which results from the harm
caused by free radicals, crucial for countering the effects
4. Improving oxygen flow
Renowned for its heart health benefits, EPA is converted into
prostaglandins which inhibit platelet aggregation, or blood
clotting. The result is a blood-thinning effect, which boosts
circulation and transports more oxygen to the skin, where
it nourishes and detoxifies, to rejuvenate the surface layer.
5. Countering inflammation
Whilst inflammation is a fundamental part of the body's healing
process at the cellular level, over-stimulation can wreak
havoc on our skin. Not only is chronic inflammation ageing,
but it is also a prime symptom of skin disorders such as eczema
and psoriasis. Inflammation in the skin is very visible; it
can cause redness, puffiness, uneven and blotchy skin tone,
sagging, fine lines, wrinkles and even enlarged pores.
Both EPA and DGLA (from GLA) produce prostaglandins which
actively combat the inflammatory process and help to reverse
the damage caused by chronic inflammation.
Changing your diet
Whilst we need both omega-3s and omega-6s in our diets because
they are not produced naturally by the body, according to
scientists it is absolutely vital to have the correct balance;
a significant excess of one type over the other can have a
detrimental impact upon health. Changes in food processing
methods, diet and lifestyle over the past century have dramatically
decreased our intake of omega-3, and increased our intake
of short-chain omega-6 (mainly in the form of vegetable oils).
Further inhibiting factors include smoking, caffeine, alcohol
and stress - all of which inhibit fatty acid metabolism.
Modern eating habits, however, can lead to an imbalance of
dietary fatty acids, with significant repercussions for health.
The body is unable to produce these good fats in sufficient
quantities, so they must be sourced from the diet. Too many
short-chain omega-6 fatty acids in the diet (in the form of
vegetable oils), may result in an excessive production of
pro-inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines - substances which
cause inflammation. EPA actively inhibits the production of
these inflammatory substances by competing with the omega-6s
for those enzymes responsible for the production of anti-inflammatory
eicosanoids - substances which relieve the inflammation symptomatic
of many skin conditions
By providing the EPA without DHA (another omega-3 fatty acid),
omega product is more bioavailable in the body. Crucial for countering
the inflammatory products derived from the short-chain omega-6
vegetable oils, which are so prevalent in the modern diet,
eicosanoids (important anti-inflammatory by-products of EPA)
compete with DHA for desaturase enzymes. By supplementing
the diet with pure EPA, the body is able to convert the EPA
into DHA as and when the body needs it, without interfering
with the healthy production of the anti-inflammatory eicosanoids.
Suggested foods to limit in the diet
- hydrogenated fats and margarines which can encourage inflammation
- refined carbohydrates
- sugary or salty foods
Of course, drinking lots of water to hydrate the skin and
eliminate toxins, as well as ensuring you get enough sleep
(to avoid stress) are also crucial for healthy, glowing skin.