There’s a mysterious allure surrounding minerals that conjures up images of luxurious Himalayan sea salt baths, and glittery silver and copper mines. And yet, on a practical level, in the realm of beauty and skincare, minerals crop up in everything from lipstick to anti-aging creams. Why are they so important? Depending on the mineral, small amounts are needed for countless vital skin functions. Dr. Jame Glick of the New York Dermatology group, and Clinical Assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, says “Minerals are essential to your skin's health.” What happens when you lack minerals? “Studies have shown deficiencies in minerals like iron or zinc can damage DNA and cause oxidative damage leading to advanced aging,” adds Dr. Glick.
To discover more about various minerals and their role in skin wellness, read on...
Copper has an abundance of skin-related benefits. Along with antimicrobial properties, and the elimination of bacteria, it helps protect skin from harmful UV rays, shown to slow the progression of photoaging; copper also plays a pivotal role in melanin synthesis and wound healing. Dr. Glick says that Copper is utilized “for the elimination of free radicals as well as maintenance of cell membrane integrity, DNA and RNA production and the formation of red blood cells.” And if that's not enough, copper’s role in skin aging is far-reaching, since it's “needed for the formation of elastin and collagen,” adds Dr. Glick. Foods: cashews, figs, sesame seeds, shiitake mushrooms, tofu, salmon.
Zinc is known as a longtime trusted natural sunscreen. It's a holistic way of protecting skin from UV & UVA rays that may lead to skin cancer and premature aging. How does it work? “Sunscreens containing zinc oxide are physical blockers and excellent for sun protection, although they can often be difficult to rub in,” says Dr. Glick, noting an added benefit is that these “sunscreens work immediately.” More importantly, unlike their chemical counterparts the doctor says they are much safer since they have “very limited if any absorption into the bloodstream.” Worn at the beach, zinc sunscreens are better for the environment too, since the organic mineral won't harm ocean life. Aside from sun protection, Dr. Glick says zinc “supports antioxidant pathways and is required for protein synthesis and collagen formation. Plus, “It enhances immune system function.” In her medical practice, the doctor says she sometimes uses zinc to treat acne and recalcitrant warts. Foods: cashews, tofu, lemons, eggs, cantaloupes, shrimp, oysters
Organic Sulfur – MSM (Methylsulfony-lmethane)
Not the trendiest mineral but an amazing multipurpose marvel, with an array of beauty and health benefits. Naturally anti-inflammatory, MSM helps reduce fine lines and premature wrinkles, and also can ease joint inflammation in your body. Topically, when added to skincare, it's hydrating and assists with absorption. Dr. Glick frequently prescribes sulfur products for patients because of its “anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties,” adding that she often uses “it as a cleanser or lotion for patients with acne, rosacea and/or seborrheic dermatitis.” Foods: (Cruciferous Vegetables) radishes, red cabbage, scallions, and dry peaches, apricots and figs.
Kat Burki's Super Nutrient Elixir
Quench and enliven skin dry, tired, and dull looking skin with a blend of Magnesium Carbonate, Potassium Carbonate, Silica, Colloidal Silver that harmonizes with MSM for deeper absorption. Other ingredients include: plant-based Hyaluronic Acid, Kukui Nut and Raspberry Seed Oils (natural sunscreen properties).
Kat Burki's Vitamin C Intensive Face Cream
MSM is one of the main ingredients in our bestselling Vit C Intensive face Cream with Kat Burki believing in its immense powers as a potent mineral.
With powerful antioxidant effects, selenium is immune boosting, helps stave off free radical damage and prevent photo-aging. Researchers are studying selenium for its link to slowing down the aging process. Dr Glick says, it's “required to maintain the integrity of the skin and reduce the risk of cancer,” and because of its anti-inflammatory benefits, the doctor sometimes recommends supplements for acne and rosacea patients. Foods: green peas, brazil nuts (highest of all nuts), spinach, beans, potatoes.
Your skin barrier’s resilience is crucial when it comes to protecting you from outside elements. And it's the distribution of calcium that helps balance skin barrier function, as well as wound healing. As for skincare, topical application may prevent skin cancer, and is considered to have anti-aging properties because it may reduce fine lines, and help skin retain its natural moisture. Foods: almonds, dairy products, okra, eggs, figs, oranges, broccoli.
If you have oily or combination skin, you may want to seek out products containing magnesium, since it breaks down oils and fats; it lessens natural oiliness, and is used to treat and prevent acne and skin breakouts. It may be helpful for those with dermatitis, rosacea, and eczema. Foods: edamame, pumpkin seed kernels, black-eyed-peas, tempeh, swiss chard, spinach.
Kat Burki's KB5 Calming Gel Cleanser
Ideal for oily and combination skin types, Skin Balancing Gel Cleanser is formulated with ocean mineral complex, a unique blend of over 92 ocean minerals to gently detoxify, and heal your skin without stripping it. Other ingredients include: antioxidant rich borage seed extract, as well as rose hip seed, oregano, and grapefruit oils.
*Note about Potassium
While potassium isn't typically absorbed through skin, it's still an important mineral to have on your skin-mineral-radar since it’s known to enhance hydration and can give skin a smooth supple texture. You'll often find a potassium compound in bath lines, as it adjusts PH levels and adds moisture to water. Foods: bananas, spinach, collard greens, blackberries, carrots, grapefruits.
To keep skin functioning its best, select clean skincare products, devoid of chemicals, with minerals, and add mineral-rich foods to your diet. Think of skin as your great protector, shielding you from a storm of external forces, including pollutants, bacterias, UV rays, and more. Show your skin some self-love by nurturing it with whole-body wellness in mind, and that includes a healthy dose of minerals.