by Essie Craft

The facial epidermal layer is exposed to numerous stresses such as ultra-violet light on a daily basis. This can eventually lead to damage and the development of wrinkles. Other factors cause harmful conditions such as acne. The face should be assessed first before devising a facial skin repair regime. Sometimes following a healthy diet of nutrient-rich foods which contain the necessary vitamins and minerals is all that is needed.

Unless the damage is extensive and requires medical attention, it can often be restored to health by stimulating the natural healing potential through nutritional support. The most important nutrients for a great complexion are vitamins E, C, A, and B. These vitamins help repair cells and also prevent future damage. It's also essential to have enough selenium, zinc, silica, and omega-3 fatty acids in the diet.

Besides eating a diet of nutrient-rich foods, there are other measures one can take to ensure a good complexion. A proper skincare routine is essential, which includes thoroughly cleansing the face, moisturizing, and occasionally exfoliating it with a scrub. It's best to avoid smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages as well and to get sufficient exercise.

Acne results when there is an excessive amount of oil produced by the sebaceous glands which can lead to clogged pores. This condition is common in teenagers but happens to adults too and can be caused by hormonal fluctuations and other factors. A diet high in vitamin A and zinc can help treat this problem, vitamin A reduces oil production and zinc controls bacteria present on the face.

The positive effects of vitamin A are many. It not only reduces sebaceous secretions but also maintains the right moisture balance in the epidermis, helps fight infection, aids in the repair of damaged tissues, and neutralizes free radicals which may have a detrimental affect on the complexion. The best way to ensure a proper intake of this vitamin is by eating foods such as bananas, dark greens, dark orange or yellow fruits and vegetables, and organ meats.

Vitamin C is also very beneficial for the complexion in that it boosts collagen production which fights sagging and wrinkle formation. It also offers natural protection against the effects of sun and pollution by purifying the skin. Foods containing vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries, pineapple, broccoli, bell peppers, and cabbage. The full benefits are obtained when they are eaten uncooked.

Another potent antioxidant is vitamin E, which reduces inflammation, keeps epidermal cells lubricated, and encourages regeneration of new cells. It can help keep the complexion soft and youthful looking and may be safely applied topically as well as ingested through food. It is found is high amounts in avocados, peaches, almonds, sunflower seeds, prunes, spinach, and cabbage. It is especially helpful for those with dry skin.

The B-complex vitamins are also an important part of a dietary facial skin repair program. Vitamin B3, or niacin in particular, helps control moisture loss which causes lines in the face. It also increases blood flow, strengthens immunity, and helps fight acne. It can be obtained in foods such as chicken, tuna, and black beans.

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