Hair, Skin, & Nails
Skin, hair and nails are factors that influence your outward appearance. Interestingly, our skin, hair and nails are outward indicators of our intrinsic health and from an evolutionary standpoint serve as an indicator of fertility, health and genetic material. Therefore, we still choose our mates instinctively based on these outward characteristics, at least partially.1
Increasing inflammation along with the decreased ability of our immune system to ward off foreign invaders makes us more susceptible not just to disease, but to changes in our physical makeup as well. The accumulation of oxidative stress throughout the lifespan, and the subsequent damage to cells and DNA, is another contributing factor to changing physical appearance. 2, 3
But other than the onset of age-related disease, what are some of these changes we so often worry about? Wrinkles, thinning skin, changing skin color and thickness, loss of muscle tone, shrinking jaws, and many others, are changes that commonly occur as we get older or not getting proper nutrients. But it’s important to remember that although these changes are natural products of aging, they can also be caused by disease states we may be able to control. We can also certainly postpone the onset of these changes if we make the appropriate lifestyle choices, including following a balanced macronutrient (carbs, protein, fats) and micronutrient (vitamins, minerals) intake. 4, 5
1 Samson, N., Fink, B. and Matts, P.J., 2010. Visible skin condition and perception of human facial appearance. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 32(3), pp.167-184.
2 Rinnerthaler, M., Bischof, J., Streubel, M.K., Trost, A. and Richter, K., 2015. Oxidative stress in aging human skin. Biomolecules, 5(2), pp.545-589.
3 Trüeb, R.M., 2015. The impact of oxidative stress on hair. International journal of cosmetic science, 37(S2), pp.25-30.
4 Trüeb, R.M., 2015. Effect of ultraviolet radiation, smoking and nutrition on hair. In Alopecias-Practical Evaluation and Management (Vol. 47, pp. 107-120). Karger Publishers.
5 Pappas, A., Liakou, A. and Zouboulis, C.C., 2016. Nutrition and skin. Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders, 17(3), pp.443-448.