Milk thistle. It’s a food, but also a supplement. Your liver processes everything that goes in your mouth, including alcohol, prescription medications, pesticides, preservatives, additives and artificial colors. Your liver detoxifies everything your body doesn’t need. This reminds me of that episode on “I Love Lucy” where she’s struggling to keep up with the conveyor belt of chocolates coming down the line! When your liver falls behind on its job, poisons come out through your skin causing rashes, and itchiness. You’ll age faster. Avoid milk thistle if you’re allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds or daisies.
Collagen. Collagen is a natural component of skin that declines as you age, resulting in thinner, less elastic, more saggy skin. Two 2014 studies found that oral supplementation with this may improve skin elasticity and diminish wrinkles.
Silica. This makes hot springs pretty and blue in color. Silica is a trace mineral that helps soothe psoriasis, eczema and rashes when applied topically. Taken internally, silica helps you make collagen naturally, strengthening your nails.
Vitamin E. You may think of rubbing vitamin E oil directly on your skin to prevent scars, but taken orally, vitamin E is a powerful cellular antioxidant, which means it gobbles up free radicals that could otherwise potentially damage your skin cells and lead to premature aging.
Zinc. It’s not just for your prostate, or for colds! This mineral reduces skin inflammation and irritation, whether that’s associated with acne, pimples, or rashes. It also plays a role in managing the production and turnover of skin cells. When I worked in nursing homes with residents who had painful diabetes-related wounds, or decubitis ulcers, we always put them on zinc and vitamin C. Be careful with zinc, don’t take too much. In fact avoid it if you take ginkgo biloba, ibuprofen or warfarin because it slightly increases risk of bleeding. If you’d like to read the longer version of this article, it’s available at my website,suzycohen.com Please make sure to ask your doctor if these supplements are right for you.