Skin care emanates from the inside out. Of course how you treat your skin externally might have a more immediate payoff (a sheet mask that instantly boosts hydration, a peel that fades dark spots ASAP), but supporting skin health from the inside has the long-term benefits. Here, seven research-backed tips to keep your skin healthy from the inside. Your skin will thank you—later. 

1.
Consume antioxidants.

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radical damage—caused by pollution, sun, stress, or food—is the leading cause of premature aging, dark spots, dullness, and elasticity loss. You can consume these in antioxidant-rich foods—like berries, dark greens, carrots, and nuts—or supplement them. A few of our favorite antioxidants:

  • Astaxanthin: a potent antioxidant, protects the skin’s collagen layer and has been shown to help reduce fine lines and age spots and support skin hydration.*
  • Vitamin C: The water-soluble vitamin helps support your natural production of collagen.* And it does so in two ways: first, by spurring collagen production, and the second, by stabilizing the collagen you already have.* 
  • Vitamin A or beta-carotene: Vitamin A is critical for skin repair and maintenance.* Beta-carotene, a vitamin A precursor, helps to reduce free radical damage that occurs due to skin damage caused by sun overexposure.*

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2.
Avoid inflammation triggers. 

Inflammation wreaks havoc on the skin—resulting in premature aging and skin conditions like acne and eczema. While everyone’s triggers are going to vary, there are a few common culprits like alcohol, foods with a high-glycemic index, sugars, and dairy. 

3.
Support your gut microbiome. 

While it’s vital to support your skin microbiome for optimal skin health, it’s equally important to do so with your gut microbiome. There’s something called the gut-skin axis, and it plays an important role in our overall skin health: It all boils down to the permeability of the lining of your gut. When your microflora isn’t balanced, it causes what is known as a leaky gut, which allows particles to “leak” out and stimulate the immune system to produce an inflammatory response in the skin of predisposed individuals. 

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4.
Add adaptogens. 

Adaptogens are medicinal herbs that help support your body’s hypothalamic-pituitary-endocrine axis, which is the delicate connection between your brain and hormone system.* There’s actually a wide variety of adaptogens that promise a variety of benefits.* For example, the popular herb rhodiola is shown to slow oxidative damage that can lead to accelerated aging.*

5.
Take nr+ for smooth skin.*

Nicotinamide riboside is clinically proven to increase levels of NAD+.* NAD+ is a molecule that drives cellular metabolism and helps our cells function at their best, but its levels decline with age. NR promotes healthy levels of NAD+ and naturally rejuvenates these cells.* health news’s nr+ is also formulated with other skin-supporting ingredients, like phytoceramides, which help reduce dryness and wrinkles while significantly improving skin hydration, elasticity, and smoothness.* It also contains the aforementioned astaxanthin and rhodiola.

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6.
Keep hydrated.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the best ways to support skin health is keeping hydrated. Water is essential for all bodily functions. And its effects—for better or for worse—show up prominently in your skin. Studies show this too: One study found that drinking 9.5 cups of water a day for four weeks actually increased the skin’s density and thickness. 

7.
Consume healthy fats. 

The right balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is essential for skin health. It’s been found to improve skin barrier function, inhibit UV-induced inflammation and hyperpigmentation, attenuate dry skin and pruritus elicited by dermatitis, and accelerate skin wound healing. 

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The bottom line:

What you consume can, and does, affect how your skin cells function. So if you want that healthy glow we all so covet, looking at the cellular level is where you need to start.  

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.

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