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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Skincare Supplements: Beauty from Within

Oct 31, 2020 08:00AM ● By Alina Hornfeldt


As our largest organ, our skin is a multifaceted organism. It can be a fantastic barometer for what is going on inside our body, including which systems are out of balance, hydration levels and toxins that may have accumulated. Addressing these inner concerns can have a positive effect on our skin, reducing redness, flakiness, oiliness and/or adding to luminosity and elasticity. While our overall health, including diet and movement levels, will have the greatest effect on our skin, supplementing with a few key herbs can help in resolving the most common skin ailments.

Milk Thistle. Milk thistle has been used for centuries in supporting the liver by aiding in its detoxification process. The liver is the organ that works as the body’s filter, and over time may need assistance in cell repair. Often when one decides to make healthy changes in diet or exercise, acne may crop up. This is thought to be the body’s way of releasing a buildup of toxins. Adding milk thistle supplements during this time can ease inflammation and support the liver through the transition. It is often found as a main ingredient in the detoxifying cleanses found in wellness departments and health food stores. Milk thistle is typically used for a week and can include a regime for morning and nighttime. Read all the literature that comes with your cleanse or detox, and remember to slow down, get lots of rest and hydrate well during the process. Your body’s healing is the most important priority during this time. As you complete your detox, you will feel more energetic and see clearer skin.

Neem. Another skincare superstar is neem. Neem is a traditional herb from India and supplements may contain some or all of the plant including its roots, leaves, seeds and bark. It is used both topically and internally. It is well known as an antifungal and antibacterial supplement that may help stubborn skin issues such as acne, breakouts and rashes when taken in supplement form. Similar to milk thistle, neem is known to aid detoxification. Considered a “one tree pharmacy”, neem has antioxidant properties and vitamin E that can protect the skin from pollution and other environmental factors. Additionally, its fatty acids can improve and maintain skin’s elasticity which in turn slows the aging processes that result in fine lines and wrinkles. Neem can be found in a myriad of products to be used topically such as shampoos and conditioners, toothpastes, creams and oils. It has a distinct smell that alludes to its potency. Neem stands alone as an herb that really does do it all.

Gotu kola. Gotu kola, or tiger grass, as it is sometimes called, is a newly popular skin soother that has been recently rediscovered. A powerful antioxidant, gotu kola is a great supplement choice for those suffering from rosacea, acne or skin sensitivity. Since it can promote skin cell growth, it is known as a skin healer. Gotu kola can be found in capsule form or, if you prefer, it makes a great add-in boost to your morning or afternoon smoothie. Falling into the adaptogen category of herbs, gotu kola also aids in stress relief and mood boosting, both of which can definitely have a positive impact on your skin.

The most important thing to remember when looking at supplements for skin care is to check with your dermatologist for adverse reactions if you are on prescription medications. As the body’s barometer, our skin conveys messages about what is going on inside our body. Listening to our whole body, mind and spirit is what leads one down the path to health and wellness.

If your skin is stubbornly trying to tell you something, pay attention and let it guide you. Work together with natural health practitioners and dermatologists to find the best solutions for your skin woes and feel confident in bringing up natural options and supplements that can work in conjunction with topical or prescription treatments.

Alina Hornfeldt

 Alina Hornfeldt is the marketing manager at Mastel’s Health Foods. The staff at Mastel’s is experienced, deeply knowledgeable and available to help you find those supplements that best suit your needs. Mastel’s is located at 1526 St. Clair Ave., St Paul. For more information, call 651-690-1692 or visit