Beauty Inside and Out!
As part of my holistic approach to health and beauty, I am very excited to include Environ™ skincare products and Advanced Nutrition Programme™ into my practice in Brighton and Donvale in Melbourne.
I discovered Environ™ while I was at a conference in US several years ago. After hearing many good feedback from colleagues, I have been keeping it under my radar and decided to try it myself. Now that the practice is growing and we are ready to incorporate some products off the shelf, Environ became my first choice for skincare.
We are spoilt for choice when comes to skin care products. So many ‘amazing’ anti-aging ingredients out there- collagen, stem cells, hyaluronic acid, etc etc! Do they actually work? Do they actually get absorbed into our skin?
Remember, our skin is made of different layers and the top layer, the epidermis, actually acts as a very effective barrier! Most moisturizers work mostly on the epidermis, to smooth it out and increase the water content. Collagen and hyaluronic acid are both naturally found in our skin but they are macromolecules, i.e. too large a molecule to be absorbed through the epidermis from the outside. They are, however, skin-hydrating when applied, as they sit on the skin and absorb water, i.e. by acting as humectant, like glycerin (aka a moisturizer!)
For anti-aging purpose, the 3 key ingredients (bare minimum) that we should incorporate into our skin care regime are: sunscreen (or sun avoidance), vitamin A derivatives or retinoids, and vitamin C (an antioxidant).
The sun is the most common cause of early extrinsic aging, especially in this country. Others include cigarette smoking, pollution, and diet poor in fruits and vegetables. Prevention is easier than cure. A good sunblock with SPF 30 and above is essential, especially when one is prone to sun burn. The only anti-aging ingredient that has significant scientific evidence to show that it works is vitamin A derivatives or retinoids. It gets absorbed into the skin and stimulates collagen production while reducing collagen breakdown. However, not all vitamin A derivatives are the same in terms of absorption and efficacy. It also makes the skin become sun-sensitive. So, it is only used at night and wearing a sun screen during the day is a must.
The third ingredient is an antioxidant such as vitamins C (ascorbic acid). Topical and oral vitamin C help to reduce free radicals that accelerate collagen breakdown. Vitamin C is also essential in collagen synthesis and helps reduce pigmentation.
For extra boost, relatively new evidence also showed that some peptides work. Pamiltoyl polypeptide are fatty acids attached to proteins and studies have shown that they do get absorbed into the dermis (deeper layer of skin) to stimulate collagen production.
Apart from sunscreen, all the above ingredients, in addition to vitamin E (another antioxidant), vitamin B5 (or panthenol, a humectant) can be found in a single bottle of Environ. For beginners or younger people, it is better to start in low doses of vitamin A and C, as the skin may react by peeling or becomes red if the concentration is too high. That is why I like the step programme that Environ provides. As one progresses gradually through the Skin Essentia range, the concentration (and type) of vitamin A and C increases. With the Youth Essentia range, extra peptides are added for “booster shots” and the time to achieve the desired effects is shorter.
Nutrition is fundamental to our overall well-being and skin care. Good skin (and health) has a lot to do with genetics and what we eat! I always believe a well-balanced diet consists of the appropriate amount of macronutrients (carb, protein and fat) that also provide the essential micronutrients (vitamins, minerals). However, being time-poor sometimes means compromising on the quality of the food we eat. Furthermore, with storage, processing, and cooking of food, many nutrients are often lost by the time we put the food in our mouth. Hence, having food supplementation (as adjunct) helps us keep up with the nutrition we need to maintain our optimal bodily functions, which include maintaining our skin integrity, and helping with the healing process.
Again, we have so many choices when comes to choosing the right supplements. I chose the Advanced Nutrition Programme™ (ANP) as it uses premium quality ingredients with formulations based on scientific research on skin health.