Skin, Hair and Nails Health

This month we are looking at natural remedies to help maintain and improve hair, skin and nails. There are numerous products on the market and as always we recommend you speak with your doctor or medical practitioner before using any of the following remedies.
Most of us know that healthy hair needs looking after with regular washing, conditioning and other external treatments. We loose about 40-80 hairs a day as part of the normal cycle and as long as the hair is healthy they will be replaced and the percentage will remain the same, but if the proportion of hair falling out is greater, then we are experiencing hair problems. These can be caused by illness, medication, stress, climate influences, chemical influences. Likewise for skin and nails, the afore mentioned problems can affect them and we see signs of aging of the skin and dry or brittle nails.
In general there are certain combinations of minerals and/or extracts that can help including the following: Sulpur, Zinc and Silica, Essential fatty acids, Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins, Antioxidants, Collagen, Keratin, Elastin and Horsetail.
There are a few leaflets available in The Body Store, the one shown below is from Solgar vitamin range, others are available, so call in and speak with Raj for advice.
The following are required for healthy skin, hair and nails:
Sulphur (e.g. MSM, L-cysteine) is a major constituent of hair, skin and nail tissue. As such, the increased intake of organic sulphur may enhance the health and integrity of the skin as well as the growth, strength and texture of the hair and nails. As an antioxidant, sulphur also protects against free radicals, which are a major cause of age-related skin damage.
Zinc and Silica Zinc is vital in skin health, and deficiencies are a common factor in the development of many skin disorders. These minerals are also major constituents of the hair, skin and nails and are necessary for the efficient repair and healing of tissues. Research suggests that supplementation with the mineral silica (silicon) improves the strength and  integrity of the skin, hair and nails. Silica is a major structural component of these  tissues, Horsetail is an example of a Silica or Silicon product. Clinical research also confirms that silica supplementation measurably improves skin integrity.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) Dry skin and bumpy skin on the back of the arms are signs of potential EFA deficiency, with skin cell health being reliant on EFAs for their membrane health and integrity. Essential fatty acid deficiency is common in a variety of skin disorders including  eczema. As well as contributing to the overall health of skin, EFAs also ensure balance between inflammatory and anti-inflammatory prostaglandins – an especially important factor in inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema.
Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins – OPCs (e.g. grape seed and pine bark extracts) Due to their remarkable antioxidant and collagen-stabilising abilities, (OPCs) may offer substantial protection against excessive cross-linking of collagen that damages the skin and is implicated in the development of wrinkles. OPCs can be added to face creams for topical application to compliment oral  administration.
Antioxidants (e.g. Vitamins A, C and E, Carotenoids, Selenium) Nutritional antioxidants protect against free radicals, which are a major cause of age-related skin damage. In addition to this general protective effect, antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E are necessary for proper health and integrity of skin tissue.
Iron more commonly known for helping to improve the haemoglobin which helps to oxygenate the blood. Usually associated with pregnancy and anaemia. It can help with with fatigue which in turn may help with improving skin, hair and nails.
Udo’s Choice is a blend of certified organic, refined, sustainable and vegetarian seed oils designed to supply the ideal Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) ratio of 2:1 omega 3 to omega 6, balanced with omega 9. These EFA keep our skin, hair and nails in peak condition. A lack or imbalance can lead to dry or red skin and brittle hair and nails.
Solgar’s Skin, Nails and Hair formula has combined a lot of the aforementioned elements in its complex which they say supports collagen, elastin and keratin, all known as the building blocks for skin, hair and nails. The leaflet shown below contains more information about the product.

Hair, Skin and Nails laeflet 1