The saying goes that beauty is only skin deep and true beauty comes from within—and there may be some validity to that. Perhaps that’s why there’s such a focus on maintaining beautiful skin by paying attention to internal and external factors.

Stress is an internal mechanism that is considered a major contributor to the physical signs of aging skin, while poor nutritional practices and overexposure to the sun are external mechanisms that can lead to the outward appearance of aging skin. Fortunately, there are some ingredients in the spotlight that can help nurture healthy skin.

One of these is Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), that is often referred to as “mood food.” It’s been used by Ayurvedic practitioners in India for thousands of years for creating healthy skin and is rich in flavonoids and steroidal lactones called withanolides. Withanolides are believed to help support healthy stress, inflammatory, mental, immunity and energy levels.†

A double blind placebo-controlled study in the Journal of American Nutraceutical Association indicated Ashwagandha’s ability to significantly decrease subjective parameters of stress—including fatigue and anxiety levels.†

On the objective side, Ashwagandha also helped to support healthy levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, while increasing levels of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), an anti-aging hormone.† An added bonus was found in how the studied amount of Ashwagandha also supported healthy C-reactive protein levels.†

Another ingredient studied was extract of the superfruit Amla, also known as Indian Gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica). As a potent antioxidant, Amla can help fight free radicals stemming from oxidative stress.† It also supports collagen biosynthesis, a vital factor in maintaining healthy skin.†

When skin is overexposed to the sun, for instance, enzymes are produced that break down the skin’s proteins. The studied amount of Amla appeared to inhibit these enzymes from breaking down the skin proteins, thereby supporting healthy and beautiful skin.†

To add to these beneficial findings, the studied Amla extract was also found to have prolonged antioxidant activity compared with other antioxidant molecules that can lose their functionality after a short period of time.† That could mean extended antioxidant healthy skin benefits.†

All in all, these two ingredients are said to help promote emotional well-being and a calming state of mind, to preserve collagen protein and the elasticity of the skin as well as to inhibit oxidative damage to cells and tissues.†

Wow. Those are some pretty amazing natural ingredients to help bring out your inner beauty.

† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Adapted from