If eyes are the window to the soul, then skin is the mirror to the body. The health of our skin imitates the overall health of our bodies and can be a great indication of how well or how poorly we are nourishing ourselves. This is one of the reasons why skin care is so important! Our largest organ is a hard-working part of our health, working to remove toxins, protect our insides, and produce vitamins that our bodies need.
Our primary concern with skin though, is that it’s visible! We care about our skin health because we care about how we look. When it comes to our skin, it is easy to see when something is wrong. Perhaps this is why when something is amiss internally, our bodies appeal to our own vanity to make us take notice and take better care of ourselves.
There are plenty of nutrients that our skin needs. Many of them are vitamins and various fatty acids that protect and regenerate skin, but our skin needs minerals as well. Minerals are essential to the physical structure of our skin, as well as its various functions.
Here are a few of the most skin-essential trace minerals:
Zinc is well known as the active ingredient in most natural sunscreens. It’s an antioxidant that blocks UV light from penetrating to the skin, commonly seen in those bright, white, facial sunscreens. Less commonly known is that zinc helps your skin heal wounds without scarring, reduces inflammation that exacerbates common skin issues such as acne and rosacea, and helps regulate sebum-production, making oily skin less oily.
This mineral is essential to proper skin function! Most acne prone people are zinc deficient. We recommend Source Naturals zinc supplement.
Copper is another mineral that is essential to healthy skin. Copper helps make up the building blocks of skin (along with zinc and Vitamin C), particularly elastin, which supports skin from underneath. The proper amount of copper in skin results in greater skin elasticity and thickness.
Copper also increases the effects of antioxidants, meaning the body has a better chance of fighting off free-radicals that cause skin damage. Swanson’s copper supplement will give you the correct daily dosage.
Sulfur is a mineral necessary to almost every function in the human body. In fact, it is present in every cell. The greatest concentration of sulfur, however, is in the hair, skin, and nails, where this mineral is especially needed.
One of sulfur’s essential functions is in helping the body shed excessive skin. This reduces pore blockages and dull-looking skin. Sulfur also fights bacteria and minimizes pore size. To add even one more benefit: sulfur helps the body produce collagen to keep skin firm and elastic.
This mineral is obviously necessary for healthy skin appearance and function, but many people eating today’s diets are deficient in it. MSM (Methylsulphonylmethane) is a form of organic sulfur that can be supplemented with. We recommend buying NOW’s MSM capsules.
Selenium is the second mineral that is typically deficient in acne-prone people, although it also has an effect on other skin conditions. Selenium reduces the effect of sun exposure on skin, as well as the healing damage that can occur. It is a key mineral in skin cancer prevention.
Selenium also has a major effect on age-related skin degeneration, and can make a big difference in the rate that skin ages. Like the other minerals we mentioned, it is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that helps the skin heal and stay smooth and strong.
It’s also used by the immune system to create white blood cells and to combat infections that may start at the skin. For a supplement, we prefer Puritan’s Pride selenium.
Best Means of Internal Application
Most of these minerals are best absorbed internally, where your body will then delegate the right amounts to your skin. As was said earlier, many people with skin conditions have low levels of zinc and selenium, but the skin problems are just an indication of that lack— they are not the only part of your body harmed. So it is best to treat your whole body. Your skin will look better and you will feel better too.
To naturally increase your mineral intake, consume foods filled with nutrients. Zinc is found in oysters and shellfish, liver, roast beef, lamb, and pumpkin seeds. Sulfur is found in grass-fed meats, pastured eggs, garlic, onions, brussel sprouts, and asparagus. Selenium is found in organ meats like liver, fish, pastured meats, and brazil nuts. Unfortunately, it is hard to determine the exact mineral content of every individual serving of food. Mineral concentrations vary significantly by region, depending on the soil quality. So eggs from one area may not have as much as eggs from another, etc.
To ensure adequate levels of these minerals, and to specifically address skin issues, you can take a liquid or capsule supplement. You can get individual supplements for each mineral, or you can take a multivitamin with each mineral.
For a multivitamin we recommend Pharmacist Formula’s Acne Block. It’s loaded with zinc, magnesium (another skin-essential mineral), and selenium. It works really well to balance hormones and restore the skin to its proper function, but isn’t limited to just acne. It works well for rosacea and other types of skin inflammation as well.
If taking a pill isn’t your thing, most minerals also come in liquid form and are really easy to add to water or your favorite drink. We recommend Dr. Berg’s Trace Minerals. It’s a liquid dropper that has all four of the skin-essential minerals present, and all you have to do is add some drops to your regular water.
To see if you are zinc deficient, try Premier Research Labs Liquid Zinc Assay. Take a teaspoon in your mouth and hold it there. If it tastes like metal, you aren’t zinc deficient. If you taste nothing but water, your body is absorbing the zinc and you are deficient. Count how long it takes for the flavor to show up to know how deficient you are in zinc.
Whichever method you decide to try, there’s a good chance your skin will thank you for it. So will the rest of your body, for that matter! Remember that skin health is a reflection of overall health, and isn’t to be overlooked. So take care of your skin by feeding it the minerals it needs. It will glow to thank you.