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Eating the Rainbow for Healthy Skin

I often speak about how vitamins found in fruits and vegetables protect and calm your skin by supplying powerful antioxidants offering a key components for skin longevity.

Sure you can absorb a fair amount of vitamins from your skincare serums and creams. In the case of a well formulated Vitamin C serum we estimate you can get up to 60% of your daily skin requirements via your Vitamin C Serum. The rest however, must come from Vitamin C rich foods, proving once again, "You are what we eat.”

Phytonutrients are chemicals that plants produce to protect themselves from damage from a hostile environment. For example, apples contain a compound called quercetin which is concentrated in their skin. It protects the apple from the effects of extreme weather and pollution. Matter of fact there is one type of swiss apple (Malus Domestica) that has a higher than normal amount of Quercetin and other phytonutrients, making it superior at fighting off free radicals. Stem cells from this type of apple are used in our neck cream to help keep the integrity of this vulnerable tissue intact. You’ll get similar benefits when you eat other varieties of apples because many varieties contain a certain amount of the Quercetin component. Remember, there is a little war going on inside our bodies. We are constantly under attack from toxins, pesticides, chemicals, radiation from sun and other stressors. Phytonutrients are the antioxidants that disarm these harmful substances. Without powerful plant antioxidant defenders, the invaders settle in and create inflammation which then leads to sensitivity, tissue damage, and premature aging. For your health and the health of your skin you should adopt the habit of eating the rainbow of colors found in fruits and vegetables every day to boost your healthy skin potential. Most antioxidants are contained within the color pigments in these foods. They work via different pathways to give your skin enduring benefits.

Anthocyanins = purple/blue colors.

Sun exposure is widely believed to be the main contributor to extrinsic skin aging. Finding natural ingredients that help protect your skin from UVA and UVB radiation has been important issue to those who seek skin longevity. Anthocyanins are thought to be natural sun protectants as well as having other antioxidant and important anti-inflammatory properties. There have been a variety of studies that confirm anthocyanins as having the potential to protect the skin from UV damage. One in vitro study showed that a concentration of 0.61mg/100 g of purple sweet potato anthocyanins in a serum absorbed up to 46% of UV radiation. This study suggests that topical use of anthocyanins at a low dose may prevent UV skin damage by lowering the amount of UVB radiation getting to the epidermis. This is good motivation for adding just one pump Sunrise Solution to your morning routine before sunscreen. Similarly, another study showed that pomegranate extracts (Peptide Firming Serum) rich in anthocyanins, help prevent UVB-induced damage to the dermis when used on a regular basis. Pomegranates help protect the epidermis and helps with skin cell regeneration in both the epidermis and dermis, increasing circulation and healing the skin, aiding in tissue repair and wound healing.

One can often tell if a fruit is high in anthocyanins by its color. If it is black, blue, bright red, pink or violet, you can be certain it contains high levels of anthocyanins. Fruits containing the highest levels of anthocyanins include: black raspberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, blackberries, red cabbage, black plums, red radishes, red raspberries, purple sweet potatoes and beetroot.

Chlorophyll = green in color.

Chlorophyll has a richly green, natural pigment and serves as an essential element in the biological process of photosynthesis in plants. It also possesses incredible benefits that can be utilized by your skin. Chlorophyll’s rich antioxidant properties make it beneficial for the skin for many reasons. It's both cleansing and purifying which helps prevent the formation of breakouts. Plus, it aids in the reduction of skin inflammation. Its anti-inflammatory properties assist in healing wounded cells according to a study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information. Chlorophyll is also incredibly rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K, which all play an equally important role in your skin appearing radiant, rejuvenated, and youthful. Chlorophyll can visibly help reduce the appearance of dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles, which may have been the result of sun damage.

Magnesium is a key component in chlorophyll’s molecular makeup. Low levels of magnesium can result in dry, itchy, inflamed skin. Higher levels of magnesium assist in properly moving and storing oxygen in skin cells which will provide nourishment that results in glowing, radiant skin. If you’re looking to ingest chlorophyll as part of your daily wellness routine try stocking up on spinach, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, and green beans next time you’re at the market.

Sprouts is a deep cleansing mask from LONGEVITY by Elizabeth Renee which contains chlorophyll to detoxify oily and problem skins.

Carotenoids = orange/yellow beta-carotene.

Carotenoids are pigments found in a number of plants. They can be yellow, orange or red colored. These fat-soluble pigments give color to plants (including autumn leaves). Plants use these molecules to help absorb light that is then used for photosynthesis. Vitamin A is important for your skin as it assists in the regeneration of cells in the dermis, and reorganization of cells preventing the degeneration of the epidermis. Carotenoids are part of the Vitamin A family and many of them are converted into Vitamin A in the body.

Sunlight causes damage to the skin and carotenoids can help protect the skin against this damage. Carotenoids can stimulate collagen and elastin in the skin which increases its density, elasticity and firmness. In addition carotenoids help repair and regenerate protein fibers after damage by UV light. Carotenoids help stimulate epidermal regeneration in surface cells as well, helping to soften and smooth the look of the skin. They also reduce water loss so they help hydrate the skin. Carotenoids can help reduce pigmentation by decreasing the size of melanocytes and melanin levels. Thus addressing hyperpigmentation caused by UV radiation, hormone changes and even post acne marks. For carotenoids to work in the skin they must be converted into retinol. In the body this is done by the liver when you eat carotenoid rich foods. It’s less likely to be converted in the skin which may not contain the proper enzymes Therefore don’t think of carotenoids as a replacement for your retinol serum. You’ll still get all the valuable skin protective antioxidant effects though, when you apply a carotenoid rich serum daily. Xanthophylls are one category of carotenoids which often contains more of a yellow pigment. Xanthophyll carotenoids help protect you from too much sunlight. Examples of foods rich in xanthophylls are:

  • kale

  • spinach

  • summer squash

  • pumpkin

  • avocado

  • yellow-fleshed fruits

  • corn

  • egg yolks

Carotenes are carotenoids associated with more of an orange pigment. Carotene carotenoids play a significant role in cellular repair, helping plants grow and boosting your skin’s reparative capabilities. Beta carotene and lycopene fall under this category.

Foods in the carotene category include:

  • carrots

  • cantaloupe

  • sweet potatoes

  • papaya

  • pumpkin

  • tangerines

  • tomatoes

  • winter squash

Astaxanthin (Pronounced "asta-zan-thin"). This keto-carotenoid is produced in high doses, naturally by some varieties of algae. It has super antioxidant properties which is why it is commonly used as a dietary supplement. It is the same antioxidant pigment that gives healthy foods like salmon, carrots, and tomatoes their orange shade of color. As an antioxidant, this ingredient has multiple skin and also health benefits. The fact that it protects against UV rays is actually a two-fold benefit, as sun damage causes DNA damage. Fortunately, astaxanthin helps with that. A 2018 study found that astaxanthin has been reported to improve the DNA repair capacity of cells exposed to UV radiation. In other words, it may slow the process of premature aging in skin cells from environmental assault.

Sulfides = yellow/brown/tan.

Sulfides are found in animal foods, garlic oil, Wasabi and black mustard powder and cooked beef. These sulfides have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. The water soluble organosulfur compounds found in garlic can help prevent DNA damage, reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar risks due to oxidative stress. Sulfides help iron and zinc absorption as well, which may be helpful in the treatment of acne.

Lycopene = red.

Lycopene in red tomatoes, carrots, papaya, bell peppers, pink guava, watermelon and pink grapefruit, may also protect your skin from sunburn.

Elizabeth Renee’s Sunrise Solution contains a collection of 18 superfoods with intense levels of antioxidants mentioned in this article. Take a look:

6 Superfruits | Acai Berry, Gogi and Noni Fruits, Mangosteen, Pomegranate and Coffee Berry rank among the most powerful using the natural antioxidant grading system*.

White & Green Teas | These help neutralize free radicals from smog, tobacco smoke and other forms of air pollution for fresh, hydrated, comfortable skin – no matter how bad the air gets.

Astaxanthin | the most potent antioxidant carotenoid found to date. An orange pigment from microalgae; it is 1000 times stronger than vitamin E, protects from inflammation, surface dryness, DNA damage by UV radiation and ozone, and interrupts the aging process aggravated by sugar, browned foods and alcohol.

Ergothioneine | a superior antioxidant to CoQ10 and Idebenone, this unique amino acid found in mushrooms is the key energizing antioxidant for your cells; protects from ozone in smog and plane cabins, brightens skin and interrupts the aging process aggravated by sugar, browned foods and alcohol.

Garden Sprout Extract | supports your skin’s natural detoxifying enzymes enhancing cellular resistance to and the elimination of environmental toxins.

Pear, Hibiscus & Assafoetida | protect from sunlight-derived free radicals that damage DNA and are at the root of wrinkle formation, inflammation and skin sensitivity.

Sunflower & Safflower | oils rich in Omega-6 keep your skin soft, hydrated and calm by fighting off free radicals that destroy skin’s natural moisture barrier.

Thermus Thermophillus Ferment | extract repairs and protects against heat-activated free radicals that destroy DNA, cell membranes and skin-protecting lipids.

Lipochroman-6 | a Vitamin E-like molecule targets nitrogen free radicals known to damage DNA, alter youthening proteins, increase inflammation and trigger cell death

*Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) measures antioxidant strength in foods and supplements. Developed by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Elizabeth believes in "Longevity Skincare", the idea that beautiful skin can endure throughout one's lifetime when utilizing the best that science and nature has to offer. LONGEVITY is a science-based skincare line that appreciates skin of all ages. LONGEVITY by Elizabeth Renee provides hydration, nutrition and protection from environmental aging. Your skin will receive high performance ingredients to help energize and repair its cells, resulting in a healthy skin with an enduring, vital glow.

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