The experiences of life are recorded on the skin. Skin is a soft, smooth surface in youth and over the years it accumulates the lines of a thousand smiles and frowns. Skin tone declines with increasing age. Connective tissue deteriorates, the skin sags, and wrinkles form. The female hormone oestrogen protects against premature aging, but when levels of this hormone decline after menopause, the skin will lose suppleness. The weathering from exposure to sun and wind also can affect the skin. Good nutrition is an important component in preventing of unnecessary aging of the skin.
Skin cells die and are replaced faster than most body cells, so new supplies of nutrients are constantly needed to keep skin healthy and looking youthful. Healthy blood with ample red blood cells is vital to maintain a constant supply of nutrients to the skin, hair, and nails. All of the nutrients required for blood formation, such as copper, iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin B6, zinc, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, and protein, must be supplied in adequate amounts in the daily hair diet.
Vitamin E is important in the prevention of premature aging and wrinkling of skin. It is an antioxidant and protects the skin from substances in the air and environment that promote aging. Vitamin E helps prevent browrn age spots, commonly seen on the backs of the hands, arms, and shoulders. This vitamin also protects the polyunsaturated fats in cell membranes from destruction so that cells in the skin, hair, and nails remain healthy. Biotin and vitamin A also are important to prevent premature aging of the skin.
Some elderly people have hair diets that lack nutrients important to skin, hair, and nails. Protein foods supply nutrients needed to replace dead cells. Two servings of protein foods each day help maintain adequate protein intake. Protein foods include lean meats, poultry, fish, dried beans, dried peas, cheese, and milk.