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Why Nutrition Should Sit At The Heart Of All Beauty Regimes

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Suzie Sawyer, Clinical nutritionist, and formulator of the Alive! multi-vitamin range tells us why looking good is not all about make-up and creams that magic away ageing.


  • Got cracked lips? You could be deficient in vitamin B2.  13% of women have below the lower reference nutrient intake of riboflavin – B12.
  • Around 50% of men over 50 and 50% of women over 65 years will suffer from some level of hair thinning or baldness.  Hair loss in women can be multifactorial including female androgenetic alopecia, nutrient deficiencies (typically iron and biotin), or endocrine disorders.
  • Our gut microbiome is vital for managing inflammatory conditions of the skin, especially eczema. 
  • 15% of women have low iodine levels – essential for producing thyroid hormones. But an under-active thyroid leads to hair thinning.
  • 46% of women have low selenium levels – a nutrient essential for helping to protect our hair and skin from free radical damage.    
  • Production of collagen, a key structural protein, naturally declines after the age of 30, hence we tend to lose hair volume and gain wrinkles on the skin.  Vitamin C is the building blocks behind collagen but only 27% of the population is meeting their minimum 5 portions a day. That means whatever our age, most of us are Vit C short. Not great for our beauty and wellbeing.
  •  For many of us, our hair is the crowning glory with our skin and eyes being the window to our soul.  But, are you, as one of the many that spend time and money on the latest must-have beauty lotions and potions to look like you have just stepped off the catwalk? If so, you are not alone. However, beauty for all of us, whatever our age, starts from within which is why skin, hair, and nails can reveal the real naked truth as to whether our beauty regimes are fit for purpose.  Here are my latest tips to help get your hair, skin, and nails in shape.

#1. Age-defying collagen: It is the most abundant structural protein in the body and it’s much more than a food fad popularised by A-List celebrities like Jennifer Aniston. 

Collagen is the skin’s matrix. It can be eaten in the diet from cow’s meat, chicken, and fish.  

Another protein and a beauty must-have for our nails, hair, and skin is keratin. 

That’s why having a protein-rich diet, packed with amino acids is essential for creating the building blocks needed for collagen and keratin.

And don’t forget about vitamin C. It helps with the formation and maintenance of collagen.

So, fill up on cherries (in season right now), red peppers, and citrus fruits to load up on vitamin C and ensure optimal collagen production.

 #2. Digestive fitness: When things aren’t running smoothly on the inside, it’s reflected in how we look and feel. 

Acid reflux is a common and unpleasant digestive symptom, leading people to think they have too much stomach acid. 

Frequently, it’s just that the acid is in the wrong place caused by food or drink irritating the oesophageal valve, allowing acid up rather than keeping it in the stomach where it belongs. 

Spicy foods, raw onions, coffee, and alcohol are common offenders, so avoid these if you’re struggling with acid reflux.

Stomach acid is essential as the first line of digestion. 

Peeling or ridged nails, acne, or red blotches on the skin, especially around the nose, are common signs of low stomach acid.

 The liver is essential to the digestive process, plus it is our major detox body organ, acting like a dustbin. The bad news is it can become overworked leading to;

  • Fatigue
  • Dull looking skin
  • Dark circles under the eyes. 

Eating bitter foods like rocket, Jerusalem artichoke, kale, aubergine, watercress, turmeric, and kale, ideally at the beginning of a meal, helps stimulate bile production, essential to the digestive process and also helps with the absorption of key nutrients including iron and vitamin B12. 

The herb, Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) has long been used to support liver health and its detoxification and regeneration processes. 

Try Thisilyn Milk Thistle Capsules or Thisilyn Maximum Strength Milk Thistle Capsules –

#3. Happy inside out – SMILE AND THE WHOLE WORLD SMILES (Stanley Gordon-West):  Around 90% of serotonin, our happy hormone, and brain neurotransmitter is made in the gut and is key to keeping our mood balanced and content. The amino acid tryptophan is also essential to the production of serotonin and is rich in poultry, soya produce, oats, almonds, and dairy foods. 

Try to include some of these foods at least once a day in your diet.  The skin certainly glows when we’re happy within.   

 #4. Biotin – the must-have beauty nutrient: Often referred to as the ‘beauty vitamin’, biotin, part of the family of B-vitamins, is synonymous with great hair, skin, and nails. Biotin functions as an essential co-factor for four key enzymes, which are needed for:

  • The metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates,
  • The metabolism of amino acids and cell growth plus cell replication

 Biotin is rich in brewer’s yeast, liver, soya, whole grain brown rice, oats, and peas.  However, for a real boost to the condition of your hair, skin, and nails, supplementation is needed.  Try Alive! Ultra Women’s Energy Wholefood Plus for biotin or take Alive! Women’s Energy Gummies – both packed with biotin –

 #5. Mineral magic from iron, selenium, and zinc:  Mineral nutrients are essential for our hair, skin, and nail wellness.  And, a lack of iron has been linked to hair loss.

Selenium is a powerful antioxidant mineral warding off damaging free radicals which attack hair, skin, and nails.  Plus, it’s key to the production of thyroid hormones is low levels which cause poor hair condition and hair loss too[7].

Another beauty mineral is zinc. Zinc is the hardest working mineral in the body, responsible for over 200 different enzyme reactions and not many functions in the body without zinc!

A lack of zinc will lead to skincare troubles, hair loss, and poor nail conditions. As a result, mineral up your diet with xxx.

And if you are a vegetarian you need to make sure you take a daily multivitamin and multimineral to ensure you get those vital minerals.

Plus, an all-round supplement will help provide the 45 different nutrients (including water) needed every day to fuel the body’s health and wellbeing. 

 Cook’s corner – mineral food boost ….For a triad mineral boost and the perfect barbequed fish, enjoy fresh tuna steak with a traditional Niçoise salad –

#6. Sleep peacefully: Getting a good seven to nine hours of quality ‘shit eye’ a night is essential to our beauty needs. Poor sleep habits cause:

  • Our skin to look grey and lack-lustre
  • Hair becomes lank
  • Nails are more prone to dryness and splitting. 

 The body needs to rest, repair, and produce new cells when we sleep (between 7-9 hours per night).  And sleep helps repair the damage caused by free radicals, produced from the sun, environmental toxins, and those manufactured endogenously.  If sleep is a problem for you, try taking a herbal remedy containing the unique combination of valerian and passionflower. 

Look for Bonuit Sleep Aid, traditionally used for sleep disturbances –

 Suzie Sawyer’s five quick tips for a beauty MOT.

  1. Protein up: Eat some protein at every meal.  Choose from meat, poultry, legumes, soya, dairy, fish or nuts.  This will encourage collagen and keratin production and synthesis of the amino acid, tryptophan.
  2. Basic dietetic needs: Don’t forget the basics; hydration is essential for life, and your hair, skin and nails can’t thrive without it.  Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water daily.
  3. Fill up on beauty nutrients: Be confident in the condition of your hair, skin and nails by Increasing intake of biotin, plus selenium, zinc and iron, and all other essential nutrients needed to reach that magic ‘45’, with the Alive! range of multivitamins and minerals.
  4. Vegetable skin love: Eat plenty of green foods especially spinach for iron, avocados for biotin, broccoli for vitamin C and artichokes for digestion and liver detoxification.
  5. Keep smiling!  Happiness is not a given, it’s something that has to be worked on every day.  Why not write a gratitude list, even if it’s only one thing each day, that makes you happy to be alive?  Your skin, hair and nails will love it too.
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