Good afternoon everyone, I hope the week is treating you well so far! Today we are joined by Nutritional Therapist and Equi London co-founder Alice Mackintosh, who specialises with skin health to tell us more about how brides can look after their skin and what supplements can help. Alice sees scores of brides at her clinic in central London, many of whom are battling skin issues in the run up to their wedding, coming to her on a quest for perfect skin. I will pass you straight over to Alice to tell you more!
We all want to feel comfortable in our own skin when we tie the knot and searching for the perfect dress and shoes, the right make up artist and choosing a hairstyle that suits your vibe are essential to ensure you feel your most gorgeous on your big day. To truly feel like the most radiant, sexy and natural of brides, your complexion and skin health has got to be up there with finding the right dress.
What should I be eating to make my skin glow for the big day?
If your skin is spot or acne prone, blotchy, dry, red or have dark circles under the eyes, then achieving a flawless complexion can feel like a constant battle. Facials, peels, magic creams and potions can also make it very expensive, but the good news is that some simple changes to what you eat and the right nutritional supplement can really help you get results. No only does this cost less, it also generally helps you to feel more energetic and boosts your immunity – which is an essential part of you enjoying the whole process!
The most important place to start is by upping your fruit and veg – 7 / day veg and 2 fruits is the ideal and surprisingly easy to achieve once you get your head around it. A smoothie or porridge with berries for breakfast; a large rainbow salad or soup at lunch and a chicken and veggie stew with sweet potato on the side for dinner can easily get you up to your daily quota. Get colour and variety, and the fresher the better. Pomegranates, blueberries/blackberries, beetroot, cucumber, kale, sweet potato and cauliflowers are probably some of the best types to try more of. Try having sauerkraut too, since this is full of good gut flora that is also important for skin – more about this below!
I also tell people to ensue they eat enough fats as these are truly what make our skin glow. Good quality oily fish 4/week and aim to get ¼ avocado per day, 2 handful of walnuts or flaxseeds and 1 portion of raw extra virgin olive oil.
Sunflower seeds, bone broth (homemade stock), tahini and chicken are also great as they are a source of zinc, a collagen booster.
If you are struggling with a skin condition, consider cutting down on dairy and gluten and limiting sugar, white refined carbs and alcohol.. not ideal but it can help speed up results!
How can nutritional supplements help with skin?
It’s vital to eat the right diet consistently if you want results, but the beauty of good skin supplements is that they can help to target the skin directly and deliver lots of goodness that can speed the process up. This is especially useful if you are prone to spots, get hormonal skin conditions or just have lacklustre skin that you want to pep up and get glowing.
Many of us have tried skin supplements in the past to no avail without realising that to really get results, the right formula and science is absolutely key. We spent months formulating Equi’s skin supplement Beautiful to ensure it contained as much goodness as possible and really targeted all the underlying reasons why someone might have a skin problem. The skin is a barometer for your internal health, and immunity, hormones digestion and sleep cycles all contribute to a glowing complexion. Multi award winning skin supplement Equi Beautiful contains over 60 top quality ingredients from all over the world; combining a skin focussed multivitamin/mineral, supergreens and grasses, probiotics, enzymes, herbs, adaptogens (ancient herbs used in India and China that support our hormone balance), medicinal mushrooms and omegas. Unlike any other product available, we blend these powerful ingredients with skin saviours collagen, resveratrol, silica, pine bark, acerola cherry and hyaluronic acid; it is this unique combination that’s what really delivers noticeable results, helping to clear spots, encouraging healing, brightening skin and keeping it radiant and smooth.
We have heard digestion is important for stopping spots and redness – what’s the link between this and clear complexion?
The most recent science is showing us that our digestive health is vital for keeping our skin clear and glowing. This might seem odd, but lot of it is to do with the balance of bacteria in our colon, which is important for immunity, reducing inflammation and ensuring we absorb the right nutrients. There are links between acne, eczema and psoriasis and poor digestive health, so we always need to give this organ some love.
Probiotic foods such as kimchee, sauerkraut, kefir and natural yoghurt are great, as are turmeric, ginger, garlic and green tea. We include a digestive support complex inside Equi Beautiful, combining anti-inflammatory turmeric extract with probiotics, enzymes and other antioxidants.
If you suffer with IBS or have had regular digestive complaints then I recommend speaking to a nutritionist first about exactly what might help you and your specific needs and circumstances.
My skin flares up around my period and I’m due around my wedding weekend – how can I prevent this happening for my big day?
A million dollar question! A lot of women find skin is worse from day 14 onwards in their cycle, which is the time when hormones can fluctuate the most. For those suffering with hormonal issues around this time hormone-balancing strategies are a priority. Plenty of colourful vegetables are essential, as is fibre in the diet (flaxseeds, beans, pulses, nuts, seeds, oats, quinoa). We also need lean protein, oily fish and organic dairy products (though don’t go overboard on these if your skin is bad).
Our hormones are hugely sensitive to our environment, and stress and poor sleep can also impact on their intricate balance. Managing stress and ensuring you prioritise sleep is essential and some powerful herbs can also do a lot to help with hormonal strife and combat stress. Schisandra has been famed for hundreds of years as a female hormone support, and milk thistle aids the liver in the detoxification of hormones from the body, which is essential for skin. We add these, as well as a number of vital vitamins and minerals to Equi Beautiful to aid hormone support and help prevent mid cycle breakouts. As with all health conditions, if you suffer with bad PMS or hormonal conditions such as endometriosis and PCOS then it’s often best to speak to a nutritionist first to ensure you can create the best plan for your individuals needs.
How does collagen help my skin glow and what else can help give me a bright complexion on the day?
Our bodies produce collagen naturally, and this forms the structural framework of the skin, which keeps it elastic and looking young and fresh. Or ability to do this becomes limited as we age, and the collagen levels in the skin fall.
There is a lot of research about how taking good quality collagen as a supplement in the right form can boost collagen levels in the skin. People notice improved elasticity, fewer fine lines and a bright complexion.
Our skin supplement Beautiful contains GlowCutis® – a powerful blend of collagen and collagen supporting ingredients totally unique to Equi. Zinc, vitamin C and silica are a great way to support your body’s own production and we also add in hyaluronic acid, resveratrol and pine bark help to hydrate and give a dewy, clear complexion.
Might supplements help me get more beauty sleep?
Getting a good week of solid 8 hour/night sleeps prior can really help get skin looking fabulous on the bit day, but this can be tricky when you’re super busy and emotions are running high. Managing stress, doing some mindfulness, taking an Epsom salt bath and meditating for 10 minutes can be great way to calm you down ahead of sleep but diet and supplements can also contribute.
Magnesium and B vitamins are really great for relieving stress and tension, and ashwagandha (an incredible ancient Ayurvedic herb) is also supportive of the adrenals and may help normalise sleep wake patterns.
I have 1 month before the wedding – is this enough time to make a difference to my skin?
Yes – it’s never too late to get started with nutrition! The life cycle of a skin cell is normally around 4-6 weeks, so if you make some key changes to your diet, then this is enough time for old, unhealthy skin cells to be replaced by newer healthier ones. Though everyone is different, we generally find that people notice skin is more glowing and dewy after 2 weeks of taking Beautiful, with spots healing and fewer forming after 4 weeks. The results of this and a good diet is more glowing, dewy skin and the longer you give it, the more results you’ll get.
Alice is a registered Nutritional Therapist. Based in West London’s Chelsea, she runs a thriving practise helping people to manage skin disorders. Alice is also a founder of multi-award winning nutritional supplement range Equi, and co-author of The happy Kitchen, Good Mood Food. For more information about how consulting with Alice Mackintosh might help you in the run up to your wedding click here.
Disclaimer: No one diet or supplement regime works for everyone and you should always seek help from a GP and registered health expert before making changes to your diet, or before introducing any supplements. This information is no substitution for individual medical or nutritional advice.