Read on for the ins and outs of beautifying minerals!
This June, FP Escapes will be adventuring to Montana along with our FP Escapes partner, YOGASCAPES, to celebrate the National Park Services’ 100th anniversary. Exploring the many riches of Yellowstone, a land abundant with geological wonders and magnificent representations of natural minerals, we will learn about the benefits of minerals and how to use them in support of radiance and beauty. Here today to share a sneak peek at all that minerals have to offer is contributor Victoria Lewis. If you love this post and want to learn more about mineral nutrition, be sure to book your spot on our FP Escapes Mother Mountain Retreat.
By this point in life, you probably have at least a vague notion that vitamins and minerals are important for your health. You take some supplements everyday and fill your grocery cart with leafy greens, bright berries and any number of other nutrient-dense foods. But, did you know that minerals are a key factor in your skin’s health too?
In addition to important vitamins like B, D and E, that help support physical health and wellness, there are 16 minerals (though that number is sometimes debated) determined by doctors to be essential to human health. Some of these are only required in trace amounts, and in most cases you can get the recommended dose through diet alone.
Each of these so-called “essential” minerals plays a role in healthy skin development and function. However, there are a few (like zinc, manganese and sulfur) that are particularly key for cultivating a clear, glowy complexion.
Here, holistic MD Robin Berzin, founder of wellness practice Parsley Health, breaks down the six minerals that are key for bright, blemish-free skin, complete with tips for how to get more of those minerals in your life (inside and out).
Zinc: “This powerhouse mineral has a multitude of health benefits from immune support to thyroid health,” says Berzin. “And when it comes to the skin, it has been shown to reduce inflammation, protect against UV damage, and reduce the occurrence of acne.” Zinc has long been known as a good natural physical sunblock and has also been proven to have some benefits in wound healing. Internally, zinc provides antioxidants, which help to neutralize free radicals and keep skin youthful and spot-free.
How to consume it: The best way to get zinc into your body is by eating animal proteins like meat (beef, pork) and seafood (crab, lobster, oysters). Though you can also find it in small amounts in vegetarian-friendly foods like chickpeas and cashews. It is also helpful to take a supplement from a trusted brand like Metagenics. The recommended daily dose for women is about 8mg per day.
How to use it on your skin: Try a mineral sunscreen with zinc-oxide like Suntegrity for healthy UV protection. Some brands like Pai also offer skincare serums formulated with topical zinc, which helps to reduce oiliness and minimize skin congestion.
Silica: “Silica is a key building block for bones,” explains Berzin. “It also supports healthy hair and skin by playing a crucial role in the production of collagen and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which promote the skin’s elasticity.” Essentially, this means that being deficient in silica can speed up signs of aging.
How to consume it: Dr. Berzin recommends replenishing silica in the body by adding trace mineral drops like Somaplex Multi to your water daily.
How to use it on your skin: An all-natural mineral face mask like this one from MV Organic Skincare helps to deliver a dose of silica (plus aluminum, iron oxide, sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium) straight to the skin that needs it most. Just a few minutes with this mask will help to even skin tone, heal inflammation and redness and regenerate healthy skin cells.
Manganese: “This mineral is another superhero when it comes to bone health and metabolism regulation,” describes Dr. Berzin. “At the same time, it supports collagen production and helps fight free radicals, keeping skin healthy and resilient.”
How to consume it: Foods high in manganese are leafy greens (think kale, spinach, collard greens), pumpkin seeds, and oats. You can also supplement with a complete multi-vitamin – like the one in Dr. Berzin’s favorite Parsley protein shake.
How to use it on your skin: If you have skin damage (think: sunburn, windburn, acne scarring, dryness) try a moisturizer with manganese like this one from La Roche-Posay. Formulated with a mineral complex of zinc, manganese and copper, this cream helps to soothe and repair an aggravated dermis.
Sulfur: “Sulfur is one of the most abundant minerals in the body and makes up vital amino acids that help maintain the structural integrity of our cells,” says Berzin. Who knew?! “Since it lives primarily in our bones, skin, and muscles, a lack of sulfur can result in joint pain, wrinkles, and muscles stiffness.” The best way to avoid that is to eat a healthy amount of the mineral in your diet.
How to consume it: Things like fish, high-quality animal protein, garlic, eggs, and brussels sprouts are perfect to get sulfur in your diet.
How to use it on your skin: People have been reaping the beauty benefits of sulfur from naturally occurring hot springs for centuries. Today, people tend to prefer turning to the professionally bottled versions. Sulfur is great at soaking up excess oil, getting rid of dead skin cells and it has antibacterial properties that stop the spread of acne too. Find it in acne spot treatments like this one from First Aid Beauty.
Molybdenum: “This mineral is essential for liver detoxification,” explains Berzin. “It activates an important enzyme (called sulfite oxidase), which keeps sulfur moving through the body. And when sulfur is in a balanced state throughout the body, our skin is more likely to be balanced as well.”
How to consume it: To make sure you’re getting molybdenum, Berzin recommends taking a complete multi-vitamin like the one included in the protein shake mentioned above. You can also get it in small amounts from eating beans, lentils, peas and leafy vegetables.
How to use it on your skin: This one isn’t super prevalent in topical skincare, so your best bet is to make sure you’re getting it internally.
Selenium: “Selenium is another powerhouse mineral that boosts immunity, improves blood flow, acts as an antioxidant, regulates thyroid function, helps boost fertility, and even defends against cancer!” says Berzin. “It’s a serious inflammation and free radical fighter which also helps slow aging and heal acne.”
How to consume it: You can find Selenium in whole foods like brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, sardines, and brown rice,