It must be true that ‘what you are is what you eat’, but this is clearly not the whole story.
More food, drink and supplement products today are designed to improve our skin appearance from within. Apparently, the global beauty supplements market alone is forecast to reach over $7 billion by 2023.
This has all been put into a fresh perspective in a review entitled ‘Nutraceuticals and skin appearance: Is there any evidence to support this growing trend?’ in the March issue of Nutrition Bulletin, published by the British Nutrition Foundation.
There were some positive findings. Vitamins A, B2, B3, B7 and C along with minerals iodine and zinc were ‘proven to contribute to the maintenance of normal skin’ and ‘deficiency of these essential micronutrients could result in skin abnormalities’.
But other ingredients such as borage oil, carotenoids, co-enzyme Q10, collagen, evening primrose oil, fish oil, green tea extract and pomegranate extract offered limited evidence ‘to suggest that, as nutraceutical ingredients, they could provide any real anti-ageing benefit to skin’.
The British Nutrition Foundation concluded that “while there is a body of research on the science of skin ageing, evidence for the benefit of nutraceuticals to skin appearance is currently not strong enough to draw firm conclusions”. It advised that eating a nutritious diet, not smoking, not drinking excess amounts of alcohol and using sunscreen were likely to be both more effective and healthier.