Nutrition for Skin Health in your 40s: What You Need to Know

Nutrition for Skin Health in your 40s: What You Need to Know

We all know that what we eat impacts how we feel and how our body functions, but did you know that the food we eat can also impact how we look? Yep! Now, I’m a firm believer that beauty comes from within—your beauty shines through your warmth, compassion, kindness, and the way you make others feel. All bodies, skin types, and tones, sizes, shapes, etc. are good and beautiful bodies. Plus we all know that when we’re taking care of our bodies and nourishing them properly, we FEEL better, from the inside out. We have more energy, our mood is heightened and stable, and we feel stronger. When we take care of our body (which is an important part of self-care), we feel more comfortable in our skin, more confident and more like … our best selves.

As a woman in my early 40s I’ve definitely been paying more attention to how proper nutrition and lifestyle impact my body. I’ve felt the effects of aging more than ever before in the last few years, and although I’m prepared to embrace the aging process, I want to also feel my best, and part of this--for me anyways--is feeling confident in my own skin.

Speaking of skin… our skin is a major organ (in fact the largest one we have) and is the first line of defence for our immune system. And if we’re not taking care of it, our skin will quickly show us. In our 30s, 40s and 50s, we may notice changes in our skin such as dull, uneven skin tone, dryness, fine lines and wrinkles. Although many of these changes happen based on genetics, skin care regime, and the climate you live in, nutrition can also play an important role.

If you’re interested in learning how proper nutrition can help to protect and nourish your skin (and combat early signs of aging), read on!



We’ve all heard it, and we all know it. Proper hydration is essential to a healthy body. A few of the fantastic things that hydration helps with include: digestion, lubrication of joints and body tissue (mouth, eyes, and nose), protection of joints and organs, moving nutrients (and waste) throughout the body, and helping to regulate body temperature. For skin health, water can aid in our skin’s plumpness or elasticity[1]. Dehydrated skin tends to fail the pinch test (turgor test), meaning skin is less likely to bounce back when pinched signaling less elasticity. Dehydration symptoms also include feeling dizzy, lightheaded, and tired. Keep in mind the more isn’t always better when it comes to water. Ensuring adequate and consistent hydration is important! Women aged 19 and over should be aiming for approximately 8 ounces of fluid per day[2]. If you’re in a hot climate or exercising this number may increase. Fluid can come from water and from other liquids (including coffee and tea), but also hydrating fruits and veggies (think bell peppers, watermelon, and grapes!). So, fill up a water bottle and make it visible and assessable.

Omega-3 fatty acids

These fats, specifically DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), are essential fatty acids, meaning we don’t make them in the body and must consume them in our diet. Not only are omega-3 fats great for proper brain, eye and never development, but they’re also great for cardiovascular health has well. With fat being one of the main components of our skin it’s no wonder that omega-3 fats also help maintain healthy skin.

Higher intakes of omega-3 fats help protect our body from sun damaging UV radiation[3], which in turn helps with wrinkles and age spots! Omega-3 has also been found to help with inflammatory skin conditions, such as psoriasis and acne[4]. Currently there isn’t a gold-standard recommendation on how much DHA and EPA to consume per day, but most health agencies agree that supplementation of 1000-1500mg of DHA and EPA per day would be beneficial if not consuming omega-rich foods.

High omega-3 rich foods include salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines. You would need to consume these oily fish 2-3 times per week in order to meet your omega-3 requirements. But don’t worry if you’re not a fish fan. Omega-3’s can be found in plant-based sources as well in the ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) form. Although ALA doesn’t have the exact same benefits as DHA and EPA, a small amount is converted to physiologically effective levels of EPA and DHA. Foods such as walnuts, chia, flax and hemp all contain ALA, and supplementation is available in the form of phytoplankton, krill and algae.


Vitamin A

There are two different forms of vitamin A found in foods: retinol and beta-carotene. In the skincare world you will see many anti-aging products containing retinol to combat wrinkles and improve skin elasticity. Vitamin A, applied both topically and when consumed in our diet, has been shown to help combat skin damage by interrupting collagen breakdown[5], showing benefit in both treatment of photodamaged skin and prevention of UV damage. Vitamin A also helps support collagen metabolism and our natural skin barrier. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin A is given in retinol activity equivalents (RAE) in order to account for the bioactivities of retinol and provitamin A carotenoids (which are both converted in the body to retinol)[6]. Women aged 19-years and older are recommended to consume 700 mcg of RAE per day. Foods that provide vitamin A include sweet potato, red peppers, mangos and spinach.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a beneficial antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radical damage. Our skin is exposed to so many environmental toxins (such as pollution and the sun) and vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to stabilize free radicals that may damage our skin, leading to premature aging. Vitamin C also provides photoprotection, meaning it helps reduce sunburn damage after exposure to UVA and UVB rays. In addition to the antioxidant benefits of vitamin C, it also plays a vital role in collagen formation and skin regeneration[7]. Slow cellular turnover can often lead to skin looking duller, but vitamin C helps to increase cellular turnover meaning dead or damaged skin cells are replaced quicker.

The RDA for vitamin C is between 65-90 mg, with up to 2000mg being considered safe. With vitamin C in many fruits and veggies it’s not hard to meet this minimum. For example, the most well-known source of vitamin C tends to be oranges, which has 82mg of vitamin C! Other delicious sources of vitamin C include strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, and kiwis!

TetraSOD Anti Ox (Ageless) contains both Vitamin C (12 mg per dose) and a unique and potent antioxidant that not only helps to maintain overall health, but can decrease the adverse effects of free radical damage and oxidative stress (which can cause those pesky signs of aging!). It also helps with the formation of connective tissue as well as collagen formation and wound healing. 


Vitamin E

This vitamin is a fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant that is beneficial for both its anti-inflammatory properties and its photoprotective effects. Vitamin E is often found in abundance in the outermost layers of the skin and can help to absorb some of the damaging UV rays from the sun. It also works as a team meaning the combination of vitamin E and C has been shown to have increased effectiveness at reducing oxidative damage to the skin than just C or E alone[8]. Both vitamins working together have a synergistic effect, simply meaning - vitamin E supports vitamin C and helps it do its job.  The RDA for vitamin E for women over the age of 14 years of age is 15mg/ day. You can find vitamin E in foods such as sunflower seeds, almonds, and pumpkin. With vitamin E being widely available the risk of deficiency is quite low; therefore supplementation is not necessary. 



When it comes to picking which foods to include in your diet, try not to think solely about single nutrients or health benefits, but about what food provides you in its entirety. Eating the above-mentioned foods will benefit your skin's overall health, but they will also aid in your heart health and immune health. They are also some of our favorite foods to enjoy as they taste great, and I feel great knowing I’m helping my body age well.