It's a morning like any other. You wake up and get right into your morning routine: brush your teeth, wash your face, but hold up. What are those things at the corner of your eyes? Could they possibly be … fine lines? And now that you're mere inches away from the mirror, doesn't it seem like your skin is looking a little more saggy than usual? The inevitable passage of time is unkind to even the best of us. But there's good news. While you can't reverse time, there are certain things you could do – or, more specifically, consume – to slow down the effects of aging.
So. Without further ado, here are the 5 supplements that’ll help you look like you’ve just taken a huge gulp from the Fountain of Youth (at least, compared to your peers).
Like the passing of time, stress can almost be considered an unavoidable part of everyday life. And unfortunately, it appears that stress can worsen the effects aging already has on your skin – making you look older than you should. For one: according to a 2014 review published in Inflammation & Allergy Drug Targets, chronic stress can impair the all-important barrier function of your stratum corneum (i.e., the outer layer of your skin) (1). In turn, negatively affecting your skin's natural ability to retain moisture. The result? Dehydrated and irritated skin, which in turn is associated with more exaggerated fine lines and wrinkles (2, 3). Not exactly ideal when you're trying to look younger.
Want plump, radiant, and youthful-looking skin? Then you’d have to find a way to turn those stress levels way down. Short of eliminating stressors from your life (impossible, by the way), ashwagandha could be your best stress-relieving supplement bet available. A little background: ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb in Ayurveda. It’s been used for over 3,000 years to relieve stress – and modern science suggests that this alternative medicine truly works (4). Numerous studies have shown that ashwagandha supplementation can reduce symptoms associated with stress and anxiety disorders (5, 6, 7).
A word of caution. When it comes to choosing an ashwagandha supplement, you've got to be careful about its quality. If you don't have the time to dive into the fine print of every ashwagandha supplement bottle in your search, here's a shortcut: Dr. Danielle’s Stress Lift.
#2: Milk thistle
Love drinking? Delivering this piece of information doesn't bring any joy, but here it is: alcohol is one of the worst, most aggressive compounds to put into your body. It'll bring down your skin's defenses against the daily environmental onslaught (think: UV rays, pollution, smog) by lowering its antioxidant levels– leaving it highly vulnerable to free radical damage (8, 9). The associated oxidative stress then promotes (and exacerbates) the formation of wrinkles (10, 11, 12, 13). Worse still, alcohol also dehydrates your skin, which can make your face look dry and rough. The anti-thesis of a youthful complexion.
Laying off alcohol would help with this. But let's be honest. In some cases, that'd be Mission Impossible. So, the next best thing you could do is support your liver with the task of detoxifying and removing all that alcohol from your blood. That's where a milk thistle supplement comes in. Just so you know: milk thistle is an herbal remedy derived from the milk thistle plant. It contains a group of bioactive plant compounds known as silymarin, which exert potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (14, 15, 16). Looking for proof that milk thistle is indeed beneficial for liver health? How about this: milk thistle is regularly used as a complementary therapy by individuals with liver disease (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), hepatitis, and even liver cancer (17, 18, 19).
An unhealthy gut microbiome can lead to problems with digestion, in turn manifesting as stomach disturbances like gas, diarrhea, heartburn, and constipation (20, 21). Understanding the reason why isn't rocket science. But entertain this: research is now making it clear that an unhealthy gut can also make you look way older than you are! If you experience any issues with your gut (e.g., inflammation, leaky gut, or digestion problems), the skin is usually the first place you notice problems. Studies show that individuals with rosacea and acne are 10 times more likely to have gut issues – plus, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients are also more likely to show skin manifestations (22, 23). In other words, where there is gut inflammation, you can be sure there’ll be skin inflammation.
So, if you want that youthful, lit-from-within glow, improving your gut health should be amongst your top priorities. But how? One word: probiotics. These are a type of ‘friendly’ bacteria that can potentially help regulate the balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in your gut, helping with a variety of health benefits (including better skin) (24, 25, 26). While there are concerns about the viability of probiotic supplements through the harsh conditions of the digestive tract, there's no reason for you to worry so long as you choose a strain of bacteria that shows excellent survivability in most acid conditions.
A great example would be Dr. Danielle’s Probiotics, formulated with Bacillus spores. Thanks to their biphasic life cycle, Bacillus spores can stay dormant in unforgiving conditions (i.e., stomach) – then only coming 'alive' once settled in a more satisfactory environment (i.e., deep within the gut).
Are you a 'skincare addict'? If you are, you're probably familiar with the benefits applying peptides to your skin could bring. Rejuvenation, regeneration, replenishment, etc (27, 28, 29, 30). Here's the thing, though. Supplying peptides to your skin's surface is akin to giving your skin the necessary 'raw materials' needed for skin cell turnover. Your skin needs to have the capacity to regenerate and repair free-radical damage in the first place. And that’s all got to do with the condition of your immune system. If your immune system is weak, your skin wouldn’t be able to heal itself from oxidative damage (31, 32, 33). And by now, you should know the repercussions of that: premature skin aging.
Now … what’s a supplement that’ll help support your immunity? Elderberry. Elderberries are, quite simply, purple berries that have been used in folk traditions to treat colds, plus a variety of other ailments. Here’s something that might impress you. According to a 2016 study published in Nutrients, researchers found that taking 300mg of elderberry twice a day, a few days before and after long-haul flights, significantly reduced travelers’ duration and severity of cold symptoms (34)! A more recent 2020 review of 5 separate elderberry studies also supports this finding (35).
Of course, when you're looking to support your immune system, you shouldn't only be looking for a supplement that only contains elderberry. You'd be taking the capsules daily anyway, so you might as well find a supplement that includes a variety of good-for-you compounds! And that's precisely what you'd get with Dr. Danielle’s Elderberry Immune Assist. It's a 7-in-1 immune booster supplement that's not only formulated with the highest-quality elderberry but also packed with vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, etc. Basically, everything you’d need to strengthen your immune system!
#5: Alpha Lipoic Acid
Oxidative stress is the arch-nemesis of a supple, plump, and youthful complexion. That much is clear by now. While 2 antioxidant-rich supplements have been mentioned by now (i.e., milk thistle and elderberry), it wouldn't hurt to mention the most potent of them all: alpha-lipoic acid, also known as ALA for short. A compound found naturally inside every cell of your body, ALA's primary role is to convert blood sugar (glucose) into energy using oxygen (36). But that's not what we came for. We came for its antioxidant properties.
And it's worth it; what makes ALA such a potent antioxidant is that it can recycle 'used' antioxidants – including vitamin C, vitamin E, and an amino acid compound known as glutathione (37). What does that mean, exactly? Well, it means that ALA can essentially 'reverse' oxidative damage! This, in turn, translates exceptionally well into promoting a youthful appearance. Numerous studies have found that ALA can indeed help fight signs of aging (38, 39).
Already looking for an ALA supplement? A quick tip before you do. Note that ALA exists in nature in 2 forms, in a 50:50 ratio: R-lipoic acid and S-lipoic acid (40). If you wish to realize the most benefit from your supplement, ensure it contains both these forms! Psst: Dr. Danielle’s Alpha Lipoic Acid meets that requirement!
Don’t just rely on supplements to look younger
Trying to look younger is a great goal. But here’s a harsh truth (please don’t take this personally!): looking younger won’t mean much if you’re not feeling healthy and energetic. So, in addition to taking all these supplements, you should also definitely help your body act younger than your chronological age by living a healthy lifestyle. That means: quit smoking (if you do), stay physically active, maintain a healthy weight, get enough sleep nightly, eat a balanced diet, and stay social. Over time, you'll sport not only a more radiant complexion but also a body that behaves like that of a younger person! Now, that’s impressive.