Natural Products Insider – Skin is the body’s largest and fastest-growing organ, and to that end, it’s safe to say that what people put onto their bodies, as well as into their bodies, affects their skin. Healthy skin is essential for many reasons, and in order to achieve it, certain factors need to be considered. Good skin health is dependent on external factors such as sun exposure, temperature changes, environmental issues, and of course, product usage (soap, cosmetics, etc.). All of these items can lead to skin irritation, dryness, low elasticity, poor texture and more. Skin health is also influenced by internal factors such as diet, lifestyle, stress, hormones and genetics.
In order to maintain healthy skin, the body needs balance, specifically between its water content and the amount of water passing through the skin. This balance impacts the skin’s elasticity and surface, leading to either smoothness or roughness on the skin’s outer layers.
It is essential to nourish, nurture and take care of our skin daily, and in addition to the plethora of topical skin care products crowding store shelves everywhere, dietary supplements are making their way into beauty regimens on a more regular basis.
Nutricosmetics on the Rise
The nutricosmetics industry is on the rise and, according to a report from the Global Industry Analysts Inc. (GIA), this market is driven by consumers looking to prevent premature skin aging with natural and safe beauty options.
According to Euromonitor International, nutricosmetics global sales reached US$3.3 billion in 2015, with Asia Pacific and Europe currently on top. Many experts, however, project the U.S. market will see the greatest growth in the near future.
Certain supplements and nutrients are thought to help aid consumers age more gracefully, with proven benefits related to skin health. Many experts agree that vitamins (A, B, C and E), minerals (chromium, copper and zinc), herbs/botanicals, fatty acids and antioxidants are key ingredients to achieving great skin health.
Krill for Skin Health
Krill is an increasingly popular and sustainable source of omega-3 phospholipids. Krill oil is rich in the long-chain omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and more than 80 percent of these two fatty acids are bound to phospholipids, predominantly phosphatidylcholine. Certain studies have concluded that omega-3s bound to phospholipids offer more of an advantage over other options since they accumulate better in the body’s blood and tissues, as shown by measuring the Omega-3 Index.
Mostly known for its heart, brain and joint health benefits, krill oil is also good for the skin. Research has supported omega-3 phospholipids from krill can actually benefit skin health (Biosci Biotechnol Biochem, 2008.72(8):2151-7). In fact, the intake of both phospholipids and omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to influence the lipid composition in the skin, favorably shifting the balance between water loss and water content in the skin (Vet Res Commun, 2011.35(8):501-9).
Recent unpublished research evaluated the positive effects of krill oil (as Superba™ Krill oil from Aker Biomarine) on various skin parameters, such as elasticity, hydration, water loss, erythema and skin topography.
Thirty-one volunteers (middle-aged men and women in the U.K.) were randomized in two treatment groups: 1 g/d krill oil for 13 weeks or 3 g/d krill oil for 13 weeks. Improvements from baseline were seen in both groups, with a greater benefit produced for those taking 3 g/d of krill oil.
Results showed the subjects experienced a significant increase in skin hydration and elasticity. There was also a significant correlation for the change in hydration—changes for both elasticity and transepidermal water loss. Finally, both intervention groups experienced a significant change in roughness.
Omega-3s have also been shown to positively benefit skin elasticity, texture and inflammation, and since krill oil contains omega-3 phospholipids, it can add a beneficial action by both the phospholipid effect and the omega-3 effect. With this particular study, results showed a significant correlation between an increased Omega-3 Index and a beneficial change for elasticity, hydration, transepidermal water loss and roughness.
Becky Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the marketing director for Aker BioMarine in the U.S. market. She handles all marketing and communications needs for the company.