While the multi-billion dollar Australian skincare industry continues to boom, consumers are awakening to a trend that’s leading them to the supermarket aisle instead of the beauty counter.
It’s what we put in our bodies, say some health and skincare experts, that can help wind back the clock, not products that simply address skin and ageing concerns from the outside in.
Superfoods and super supplements are beauty routine boons, said to boost nourishment of those who already follow healthy diets, while add in much-needed vitamins and minerals of those who don’t. However, while the industry continues to grow, so does consumer confusion.
With new brands being introduced seemingly en masse, health food stores and specialty supermarkets are no longer faithful to superfood and supplement stalwarts, instead giving wellness-conscious shoppers an array of choice, along with promises to boost energy, bring back libido and foster beauty.
Synthetic vs Natural
Many supplements on shelf are actually made in a laboratory—synthetic multivitamins, which are cheaper to produce and ensure good shelf life. Added to foods and sold in bottles, adorned with labels that are often misleading thanks to loopholes, which allow companies to market a product using the word “natural” even if it’s not from nature. According to one superfood pioneer, Sunwarrior, studies show synthetic supplements are not as “bioavailable, absorbable or useable, not recognisable to the body, hard on kidneys and can often be treated as toxins.”
Knowing the authentic from the profit-driven takes research, while listening to recommendations from trusted experts who’ve done their homework is also a must if cultivating beauty from within is top of list.
Rapid Ageing and Our Ability to Absorb
While adding organic and clean supplements and superfoods to a diet can address deficiencies that may lead to skin sagging, spots and dullness, being able to absorb what we’re putting in is a major consideration says Dr George Lamourex, who is considered as one of the world’s top authorities of Taoist tonic herbalism, health, longevity and nutrition. The Jing Herbs founder says while we are ageing faster than our ancestors, we are also absorbing less nutrients due to mineral deficient foods, stress and non-natural foods such as those genetically modified (GMO)—and even technology.
“A major contributor to our rapid ageing is the amount of stress we deal with daily—chronic stress has been definitively linked to major hormone dysregulation in the body and the development and enhancement of many disease states,” he says. “And technology, I am witnessing more and more, people are relating to their mobile devices to the exclusion of personal relationships…Where has our human connection gone and the ability to look into someone’s eyes and see that internal beauty shining back at us?”
Food or Supplement?
Knowing whether to add more superfoods to your diet or simply supplement is a matter of choice, however, visiting a qualified dietician, nutritionist or naturopath may help make the decision an easier one.
“We now fully realise that the basis for good health is nutrition from food—not from manufactured synthetic pills,” says Lifestream superfoods brand champion, TV chef, naturopath and nutritionist Janella Purcell. “The body is of nature therefore requires nature to nourish and heal. Putting anything synthetic into the body only adds to toxicity.”
She says while life is certainly busier than it was 30 years ago, it’s what you add into your daily diet that still counts.
“Replace unhealthy choices with a superfood smoothie, brimming with great-tasting greens and fruits. Habits take 21 days to form, so stick to it and notice how different you may begin to feel. Notice that these healthy habits will have a positive effect on your waistline as well.”
Getting Your Greens
However, if a busy schedule comes before getting the best nutrition on your plate, there are high quality superfood supplements available, such as alkalising super greens, The Super Elixir, sold by Elle Macpherson’s Welleco and Essential Greens+ from vegetarian and vegan superfood company, Lifestream, which boasts all natural wholefoods and herbs to support key body systems and their function; liver and digestion, immune support, cardiovascular and circulation, nervous system and antioxidant protection. These products are a synergistic blend of natural wholefood ingredients that are designed to alkalise and nourish the body and skin from the inside out.
A major contributor to our rapid ageing is the amount of stress we deal with daily—chronic stress has been definitively linked to major hormone dysregulation in the body and the development and enhancement of many disease states.
Beauty Superfoods & Supplements
Avocado: Containing high amounts of antioxidant lutein, protecting the skin for UVB damage, avocado is an ideal beauty food thanks to its high concentrations of skin-nourishing Vitamin E, Vitamin C and oleic acid. Try Avocado Oil topically or internally (see below).
Bee Pollen: Composed of 22 amino acids with higher amounts of the eight essential amino acids than most high protein foods, bee pollen is rich in B-complex, vitamin C, D, E, lecithin, cysteine, RNA, DNA, good calcium, magnesium, beta carotene, and selenium. It is thought to improve beauty by helping to clear acne and reverse wrinkling. Be sure to buy from an ethical, organic source. (see below)
Cacao: One of the best antioxidant foods, cacao’s beautifying properties come from high levels of magnesium, chromium, iron and manganese. Try Certified Organic Raw Cacao (see below).
Coconut Oil: High in antioxidants, coconut oil is also said to control blood sugar levels, assist the thyroid gland and skin repair. Eat it from the spoon, blend into smoothies, use for high-heat cooking and all over the skin after showering. Try Certified Organic Coconut Oil (see below).
Cucumbers: A powerful internal cleanser, cucumbers help to clear skin thanks to the high levels of silicon in the vegetable’s skin. Try juicing organic cucumbers with spinach, apple and a squeeze of lemon.
Figs: Alkalising and high in minerals such as calcium, figs are great for the digestion thanks to an abudance of fibre. Try soaking and blending into your favourite green smoothie.
Hemp Seeds: One of the most nutritionally complete foods, high-protein hemp seeds contain all nine essential amino acids. While their Omega 3 and 6 properties promote healthy skin. Try Certified Organic Hemp Seed Oil (see below).
Macadamia Nuts: High in selenium, zinc and fatty acids, macadamia nuts are highly beneficial for the skin. Try Cold Pressed Macadamia Oil (see below).
Pumpkin Seeds: Mineral-rich and a great source of B vitamins, pumpkin seeds also boast phytonutrients and fatty oils, which help to foster clear skin. Try Pumpkin Seed Oil (see below).
Super Beauty Herbs, Minerals & Supplements
Aloe Vera: Said to foster youthfulness and rapid healing, aloe vera is an anti-inflammatory succulent herb that can be used topically or added to a juice or smoothie. Try organic aloe vera (see below).
Ho Shu Wu: Taken for thousands of years for its nourishing effect on the hair, it is often used to keep hair from turning grey prematurely. Try Jing Herbs Beautiful Hair.
Silica: A natural form of silicon, silica is often revered for its beautifying properties that are said to foster elasticity in the cell walls, while boosting the health of hair, skin and nails. Often missing from the modern diet, silica is essential to help energise the body. Try QSilica’s Colloidial Silica.
Tumeric: Anti-inflammatory, tumeric is an antioxidant with anti-cancer and anti-microbial properties. It’s also loved for its ability to purify blood, which is essential for clear skin. Try Organic India Tumeric Formula.
Zinc: This mighty mineral promotes cell repair, division and growth, as well as production of white blood cells. It can help with conditions such as hair loss and acne. Try organic zinc with Vitamin C, 1000mg.
Sulfur: An essential mineral for connective tissue sulfur also drives nutrients in and out of cells, helps regulate blood sugar, strengthen the immune system and repair tissues. It’s also responsible for rebuilding keratin and collagen: essential for glowing skin, shiny hair and strong nails. Try MSM with organic sulphur.