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Limitations of nourishing the skin from within

 

Skin aging is a combination of the mechanisms of aging innate to human physiology plus the environmental damage from sun, wind and pollution. Proper nutrition may help partly inhibit physiological aging but does little to protect the skin from the outside world. The latter must be achieved by limiting sun exposure, use of proper (UVA+UVB) sunblocks and other measures discussed throughout this site.

It is impossible to safely achieve much-higher-than-normal concentration of active ingredients in skin cells through oral intake. Some skin treatments, particularly those striving to produce relatively quick and dramatic results, rely on creating unusually high concentration of active ingredients in the skin. In most cases, this can be achieved only through properly done topical application or some special medical techniques (e.g. electrophoresis) - doing so through oral treatment is usually either impossible or unsafe. For instance, vitamin C topical treatments appear to be effective only at concentrations of 10% or more. Such concentration cannot be achieved by just bulking up on vitamin C supplements because vitamin C is quickly excreted via kidneys. Besides, excessively high doses of vitamin C may cause serious adverse reactions.

Some potentially beneficial substances are reasonably safe for topical use but unsafe for ingestion.

Some substances, such as peptides and growth factors, are easily broken down by digestive enzymes. They become inactive after going through the GI tract and therefore can be used only topically

Some of the orally taken nutrients may not be properly absorbed via GI tract. This happens when a person has certain digestive problems, such as hypoacidity, or when nutrients come from poorly manufactured supplements. Care should be taken to ensure proper absorption.

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