That’s right, it’s summertime! It also means we should be extra careful when we spend more outdoors. When summer comes around, our skin becomes susceptible to the unhealthy effects of increased humidity and sun exposure. Summer’s hottest days can reach extreme highs in Australia, and with the skin being the body’s first layer of defence against these harsh weather conditions, it can help to focus on our skincare regimen (1).
Protecting the skin during summer
Using the appropriate amount of sunscreen and avoiding sun exposure at peak hours to reduce harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) light on our skin are some of the ways to protect skin during the summer. Getting sufficient nutrients from diet can also help improve skin health during summer. Not sure if you’re getting adequate nutrients to protect your skin? Consider supplementation to give yourself the additional support you need.
Good thing is, it is possible to put together a pack of personalised vitamins in Australia. Your very own vitamin pack can focus on skin health to support skin integrity and structure, enhance skin health, and protect the body’s largest organ during the year’s sunniest days.
Supplements for the skin in summer
Here are mineral and vitamin supplements for you to consider in keeping your skin healthy and strong during the summer:
Zinc plus copper
Zinc, one of the 16 essential minerals our body needs, plays an important role in skin health. Copper has been used to treat skin problems for over two thousand years. It helps in the synthesis and stabilisation of the skin proteins, as well as the formation of new blood vessels. Together, zinc plus copper maintains and supports the formation of collagen, the body’s most abundant protein. Collagen is the fibre-like connective tissue that makes your skin feel supple and gives it its elasticity and youthful look. As we age, collagen production starts to slow down, causing the skin to have visible signs of ageing. This process is sped up in the summer when our exposure to UV light is at its highest. UV light breaks down collagen at a much faster rate than usual, so with extended exposure to the sun, you may not only get a tan, but also skin that looks older than it is (6).
Taking zinc plus copper as part of your personalised vitamins has protective benefits for the skin, especially when it comes to improving skin healing or repair from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Note that UV rays aren’t only emitted by the sun; they can also reach you indoors when you spend lots of time in front of your screen. If you’re looking into personalised vitamins in Australia for skin during the summer, zinc with copper is a good place to start.
Iron is an essential mineral that reduces the effects of cell damage from oxidative stress. Some iron-containing proteins metabolise collagen (2), which plays an important role in maintaining the structure and integrity of the skin. In fact, the hallmarks of iron deficiency manifest as pale or blotchy, tired-looking skin (2). And at the same time, individuals with iron deficiency tend to be more at risk of skin infections.
If you want to protect your skin from the inside out during summer, consider adding iron to your personalised vitamins.
*Iron should only be taken if prescribed by your doctor.
Australians are more than familiar with what summer heat can do to the skin. Increased humidity and perspiration can lead to various forms of skin conditions, many of which astaxanthin, an incredibly potent but lesser-known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory carotenoid, can address.
Astaxanthin relieves skin irritation and decreases skin sensitivity, while also maintaining skin hydration and supporting skin structure.
Since astaxanthin is an antioxidant, it can reduce free radicals formed in the body and decrease the damage caused by free radicals to body cells. If you’d like to prioritise skin health during the summer, astaxanthin supplements can be part of your personalised vitamins pack.
Vitamin B complex consists of eight B vitamins that are vital in the proper functioning of the body, with one study (3) showing that some combinations of B vitamins maintain skin health by facilitating tissue repair. Specifically, they promote fibroblast migration, an important process in wound healing, and keratinocyte proliferation. Keratinocytes are cells found in the epidermis that come into play when you sustain a wound that calls on certain B vitamins to take action to support the wound healing process.
This can be helpful in the summertime when one can easily sustain scrapes, cuts, or gashes during outdoor activities.
Vitamin C, though historically associated with boosting your immune system, also supports skin health thanks to its involvement in collagen synthesis and wound healing. With a sufficient amount of vitamin C in your body that you can get from personalised vitamins, you can also aid your body’s efficient iron absorption, a process that also contributes to healthy skin.
Cranberry is a superfood with powerful health benefits. These small red fruits are high in polyphenol, a type of antioxidant that (4) reduces the effects of oxidative stress caused by free radicals that in tun, cause cellular damage. Skin suffers with oxidative stress particularly with overexposure to and insufficient protection from UV light.
Oxidative stress can damage skin at any time of the year, but in the summer when the sun is out for longer and shines brighter, UV light exposure and damage unavoidably increase, too. Cranberries are easily accessible in many supermarkets and health stores, but others may opt to build their own vitamin pack with personalised vitamins that include cranberry supplements.
Collagen maintains and supports skin health, and is a great addition to your personalised vitamins pack.
There are several types of collagen, but the dominant types in our body are Types I, II, and III. Types I and III are important to consider for skin health.
Type I collagen has shown significant promise in reversing the effects of ageing on the skin. This type of collagen can decrease fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin elasticity, while also maintaining skin integrity and supporting skin firmness. If you’re looking to protect your skin during the harsh summer heat, collagen is a useful addition to your personalised vitamins. Meanwhile, Type III collagen is what’s found in muscles, blood vessels, and elastic parts of the skin, making it equally responsible for skin’s suppleness.
Collagen also maintains skin hydration, a common problem that occurs with increased perspiration during the warmer months.
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that contributes to fatty acid synthesis and ultimately, maintaining skin health. This is because the cells in your skin rely on fatty acids to produce a natural oil barrier that protects the body from the sun and toxins in the environment.
This was illustrated in a study (5) where individuals who took more than 100 mcg of biotin per day and eventually observed significant improvements in skin conditions typically caused by soaring temperatures.
All in all, remember that overexposure to the sun during summer can cause significant and sometimes, irreversible damage to the skin. To protect your skin against harsh summer conditions while still allowing yourself to enjoy the sunny season outdoors, always wear sunscreen, protective layers, stay in the shade and consider supplementation to mitigate the damage caused by daily sun exposure. Vitable Australia allows you to create custom vitamin packs to focus on caring for skin health. We understand there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to wellness so we give you full freedom to mix and match by crafting your daily vitamin packs or by signing up for a monthly vitamin subscription - complete with vitamin delivery!
Find out more about other areas that the above supplements can help you with:
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
- Mayo Clinic. (2015). 9 Tips to Protect Your Skin This Summer. https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/9-tips-to-protect-your-skin-this-summer/. Accessed September 12, 2021.
- National Institutes of Health. (2014). The role of iron in the skin and cutaneous wound healing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4091310/ Accessed September 12, 2021.
- National Institutes of Health. (2018). Effects of Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin C on Human Skin Cells: Is the Perceived Effect Measurable? https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29672394/ Accessed September 12, 2021.
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Antioxidants: In-Depth. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/antioxidants-in-depth Accessed September 12, 2021.
- National Institutes of Health. Biotin deficiency complicating parenteral alimentation: diagnosis, metabolic repercussions, and treatment. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3923177/ Accessed September 12, 2021.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. UV damage of collagen: insights from model collagen peptides. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22002434/ Accessed September 15, 2021.
- Science Daily. New Sunscreen Ingredient To Heal Sunburn And Help Prevent Skin Cancer. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060910143024.htm Accessed September 15, 2021.
- Clinical Education. Astaxanthin: The Key to a New You. https://www.clinicaleducation.org/resources/reviews/astaxanthin-the-key-to-a-new-you/. Accessed September 15, 2021.
- Using Copper to Improve the Well-Being of the Skin (2014) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4556990/ Accessed September 29, 2021
- Copper/Zinc Superoxide Dismutase in Human Skin: Current Knowledge (2020) https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmed.2020.00183/full
- A regimen approach for improving facial photoaging with topical application of a zinc-copper galvanic couple and natural extracts (2011) https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(10)01410-6/fulltext Accessed September 29, 2021