Keeping patients healthy on the inside AND out – the role of the cosmetic practitioner

What patients eat can have a powerful impact on their skins’ health – consuming the right foods helps fight free radicals, reduces redness, inflammation and dryness and ultimately fights the ageing process.

Nutrition and Hydration Week, taking place from 11th – 17th March, is the ideal opportunity to think about your patients’ overall health – both on the inside and the outside.

You are what you eat

If a patient presents themselves at your clinic with skin problems, it is wise to talk to them about their diet and lifestyle so that you can ascertain whether it might be a contributory factor. This will also help you to build up a holistic picture of the patient, which can be useful when identifying the most suitable procedures.  No matter what skin treatments a patient may undertake, their effectiveness will be reduced if the patient is not taking care of their skin through a healthy diet.

A nutrient-packed diet can work wonders to maintain healthy skin from the inside out. The following vitamins will help keep your patients’ skin looking and feeling good:

  • Vitamin A – deficiency rapidly leads to dry, scaling skin with follicular thickening. Vitamin A rich foods include egg, meats, liver, fish and colourful vegetables
  • Vitamin C – is important for collagen production. This antioxidant and essential vitamin is found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, including oranges, strawberries, broccoli and potatoes
  • Vitamin E – contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress, which can help protect against premature ageing. Vitamin E can be found in foods such as spinach, broccoli, nuts, olive oil, sunflower seeds and beans

Hydration is key

From helping the body function properly and regulating body temperature, to aiding digestion and generally keeping the mind and body fit and healthy,  staying hydrated is vital for our overall health and wellbeing. If patients come into your clinic with dry, flaky and tight skin, dehydration may be the cause. The NHS advises that we should drink six to eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated; this is particularly important for patients suffering with dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin lacks elasticity, often resulting in fine lines and under eye circles, however there are treatment options that can help improve these indications, including:

  • Cosmeceutical products – such as topical Vitamin C and A serums which contain ingredients that feed, nourish and thicken the skin
  • Chemical peels – combine the regenerative capabilities of glycolic acid with a range of potent active ingredients to promote skin rejuvenation
  • LED light therapy – increases the levels of hyaluronic acid in the skin, leaving it hydrated
  • Platelet rich plasma – triggers platelets to generate new collagen and blood supply, improving the overall quality, tightness and texture of skin
  • IPL laser – stimulates collagen growth, breaks down pigment, decreases blood vessels and shrinks sebaceous glands

A practitioner’s role

Encouraging patients to adapt their diet to include healthy, skin-loving foods is one of the easiest ways to influence patients’ skin health and overall wellbeing. Ensuring your patients are healthy on both the inside and out will maximise the chances of a best possible outcome for both their general and skin health.

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