In this article
Did you know your skin is the largest organ of the human body? Your skin plays a critical role in preventing infection. When your skin gets dry or irritated, it can crack or break out, weakening this key defense system.
Many of us have a daily skin care routine to keep our skin smooth and hydrated. This likely includes creams and moisturizers. However, what we eat also plays a critical role in skin health, and proper nutrition should be a core part of your daily routine for healthy skin.
Our gut and digestive tract absorbs the nutrients from our food so that those nutrients can be delivered to the rest of the body, including the skin. This “skin-gut connection” works together to help fight off inflammation and infection, and supply your skin with nutrients to keep your skin strong, smooth, and hydrated .
Nutrients for Skin Health
Below are just a few nutrients that have been shown in clinical studies to support skin health. All of these nutrients and more can be found in MEND Cosmetic, our targeted nutrition formula for recovery from cosmetic procedures and for skin health.
Collagen is a critical protein in skin health, making up 75-80% of skin. Individually, collagen proteins are very large. When they connect, they make up a strong network and provide our skin with strength and elasticity. As we age, collagen production declines leading to wrinkles, sagging and thinning out of the skin.
You might have seen both creams and dietary supplements with hydrolyzed collagen. So which is better? Research has proven collagen supplements improve skin outlook (wrinkles, pore visibility, etc), as well as improve the cellular function and collagen production of skin. However, collagen creams only offer some, but not all of the same benefits. The protein found in creams appears to be too big to effectively penetrate the skin’s deepest layers. 
Vitamin C plays many important roles in skin health. Perhaps most importantly, it promotes collagen production and acts as an antioxidant. It is certainly a much smaller molecule than collagen, so it may seem more likely to penetrate deeper into the skin. However, as a water-soluble molecule, vitamin C is normally repelled by skin. Unfortunately, when formulated to correct this, the resulting compound isn’t as useful in improving cellular health. 
Arnica montana has been used medicinally for centuries. Research into its many health claims have proven its usefulness in modern medicine to reduce inflammation, redness, swelling and pain. So how do creams compare to dietary intake? Well, as an herb, arnica contains many compounds that make up its active ingredients. And there simply isn’t data on how well all of them absorb via the skin, and how skin cream formulations change their bio-activity. The research suggests both creams and oral intake can be effective.  However, creams containing less than 10% arnica are not effective, which includes many on the market. 
Are collagen, vitamin C, and arnica useful in creams? Yes, but adding nutritional supplements to your skin-care routine can improve your results with diminishing returns. All of them require a certain amount of formulation to dissolve into a cream. Naturally, this dilutes these active ingredients and often to a level below what research shows is effective. Put simply— creams directly nourish the outer layer of skin, and supplements rejuvenate beneath where skin creams can reach. MEND Cosmetic is designed to overcome the skin-barrier obstacle by nourishing your skin through nutrition.