This isn’t a typical “Top ten rules for beautiful skin” list.
I want great skin that is smooth, even, and healthy, beautiful skin that glows with or without makeup. There is nothing wrong with aging, I just want to age well. When my skin is irritable or overreacts, my mood mirrors that. Great skin helps me feel great.
If you’re like me, you’ve tried tips like drink water, sleep, and eat healthy fats and were not blown away by the results. Those tips are a start, but I did them all and still struggled with sensitive, dry skin and needed to level up my skincare know-how.
As a nutritionist, a researcher, and a woman over 40, I have an intense interest in learning how modifying what you ingest can transform your skin. If you want amazing skin too, I did the research, so luckily, now you don’t have to.
Note: this inner approach is my jam. For the 411 on topical skincare, please consult an external beauty expert.
Now, here’s how to revolutionize your skincare and glow like the beautiful soul you are.
Level 1 – Fat Fundamentals
Get healthy fats. Soft, smooth, healthy, beautiful skin requires healthy fats. Why? Fat-soluble nutrients require them.
What to get: Healthy fats. While damaged fats contribute to skin aging1, including carefully made flax, sacha inchi, olive, avocado, and MCT oil in your diet helps the skin absorb nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Level 2 – Nutrient Novice
Understand the skin nutrients. Nutrients like the vitamin E mentioned above work together with others to help your body make collagen, enzymes, DGLA, and prostaglandins to reduce skin inflammation and irritability. They also help us use the fatty acids LA and GLA to their full potential.
Level 3 – Beautiful Skin Beginner
Level up your fats. For beautiful skin as bright as you are, you want two fatty acids, GLA (Gamma linolenic acid) and LA (Linoleic acid).
GLA has moisture-enhancing properties which aid elasticity and firmness6 for skin that is smooth, not dry or flaky. GLA helps dry, saggy skin and has effectively reduced symptoms of dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, acne, and redness due to UV radiation. GLA is so important, some body parts can make it. Unfairly, the skin does not. To have GLA-rich skin, you must consume it.
LA intake is associated with better skin appearance1 —looking less wrinkled, dry, scaly, or aged—and with less skin thinning. LA is also crucial for the barrier function of our skin2. Barrier function is what keeps all the water you drink in your skin. It protects against elements like sun, wind, pollution, and irritants to reduce their aging effects. To have optimal GLA levels in the body, you need LA too! If you don’t consume LA, you’ll deplete GLA.
What to get: A rich source of GLA & LA fatty acids. Dial-in your fat intake and get both GLA and LA skin-nourishing fatty acids from a source like evening primrose oil. Even though olive and avocado are healthy fats, they do not provide these fatty acids. Getting GLA and LA from evening primrose oil can regenerate skin, fight irritation,, the look of aging, and skin conditions5. This oil is delicate and best taken in capsule form.
Level 4 – Savvy Sourcing Skin Expert
Get the best LA and GLA from the right source. Not all LA and GLA are the same5. Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) is a source of GLA and LA from yellow wildflower seed. It is shown to help prevent wrinkles4 and improve eczema3. EPO is a safer source of GLA than borage which can have dangerous pyrrolizidine alkaloids. EPO is also a richer source of GLA than black currant seed. It even contains both fatty acids. One variety of EPO, Rigel®, has up to 31% more GLA than other types, making it more concentrated and preferred over other EPOs.
What to get: Seek out the clinically proven brand of evening primrose oil: Efamol® Beautiful Skin Evening Primrose Oil. Efamol is the exact oil used in the human clinical studies that proved the benefits of EPO. This brand uses a patented, high-quality Rigel® variety seed, and more importantly, their oil contains all the special seed compounds and vitamin E intact—not stripped, refined, or heat-damaged like other brands.
Level 5: Advanced Age-Appropriate Amount
Get the right amount of LA and GLA. Not everyone needs the same amount; men and women’s skin differ, and aging is a factor. Men’s skin tends to be stable through life, but women have a huge drop in collagen production starting around age 40, making it easier for our skin, hair, and nails to become weak, dry, fragile, or less resilient. Women in perimenopause start to have a huge drop in fatty acids, and post-menopausal women no longer make the fatty acid GLA from other dietary sources!
How much to get: Two grams of Efamol Beautiful-Skin Evening Primrose Oil daily is average, but those with sensitive skin, eczema or psoriasis need 3 or 4 grams daily. The evidence suggests that women should take an age-appropriate amount. After menopause or during perimenopausal hormone swings I suggest 3 to 4 grams of Efamol Beautiful-Skin Evening Primrose Oil daily.
Now that your inner game of gorgeous is all dialed in, give it some time and these tweaks should alter the fatty acid composition of the skin significantly. Getting the right fatty acids from Efamol Beautiful-Skin Evening Primrose Oil helps you put your best face forward!
Look for reduced roughness and rejoice at how well your skin maintains moisture, elasticity, and firmness6. Oh yes, and a bigger smile.
Dana Green Remedios, RHN, RNCP, NNCP, is a Vancouver-based educator and coach. She is a regular contributor to the FloraHealthy blog and can answer your questions in English, French, and Spanish as a Product Information Specialist at Flora.
- Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. Maeve C Cosgrove, Oscar H Franco, Stewart P Granger, Peter G Murray, Andrew E Mayes. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/86/4/1225/4649573
- Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. Tzu-Kai Lin, 1 Lily Zhong,2,* and Juan Luis Santiago3,* https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/
- A meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials of Efamol evening primrose oil* in atopic eczema. Where do we go from here in light of more recent discoveries? Morse NL1, Clough PM. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17168667
- Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging. Silke K. Schagen, 1, † Vasiliki A. Zampeli, 1, 2, † Evgenia Makrantonaki, 1, 2 and Christos C. Zouboulis 1,* https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583891/
- Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) Biological Activity Dependent on Chemical Composition. Magdalena Timoszuk, Katarzyna Bielawska, and Elżbieta Skrzydlewska*https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6116039/
- Systemic evening primrose oil improves the biophysical skin parameters of healthy adults. Muggli R. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18492193
*Note: This product is now named Efamol® Beautiful-Skin Evening Primrose Oil