Have you ever wondered what really makes an item sustainable? Or debated the qualities of an "it" item? Maybe you've pondered the future of retail in a post-pandemic world?

In a strange cycle of 'normal' life starting, pausing and restarting, more questions than answers have arisen in our daily lives. But in an effort to understand our surroundings better, we've decided to get some answers.  

We're starting with what we know best and that is the questions driving the fashion and beauty industry forward. From topics on sustainability to the merits of organic beauty, we'll be digging into the questions that have perplexed us and piqued our curiosity; and to do so, we enlist the help of industry experts to get the full run-down.

There's no doubt that eating healthily will only do good things for your skin. The vitamins and minerals found in fruit and veg are essential for a healthy visage, and combined with a tailored skincare routine, your skin will be glowing in no time. But it begs the question: what part of the process is more important – a well-balanced diet or world-class skin products? To help us understand what should come first – a more vanity-derived chicken or the egg question – we asked beauty and wellness aficionados, Adaptology and The Nue Co., to help us come to a conclusion.

How much does skin play into your overall health? 
As the biggest organ within our body – a fact we should all know, but many don't – our skin should be treated with the utmost care. Jules Miller, co-founder of supplement brand The Nue Co., thinks it's role within our anatomy is significant. "It not only provides a protective barrier," she says. "But has crucial functions from retaining moisture within our bodies to producing vitamin D, one of the most important nutrients."

As well as keeping our vitamin D supply stocked, it can be an instant signifier of other issues that lie beneath the epidermis. "The skin is often referred to as ‘the mirror’ of our gut," shares Jules. "What you are seeing, anything from breakouts to hyper-sensitivity, may be a reflection of what is going on with your gut microbiome." Adaptology founder, Laura Rudoe, agrees with such, and has created a skincare brands that encourages lifestyle changes as another way of addressing skin issues. "At Adaptology, we prefer to talk of 'healthy' rather than 'good' skin days, and we know that skin health is a journey not a quick fix." Adaptology is a skincare brand that has a "'whole person' approach to skin health, looking at stress levels, diet and environment". 

Our skin may be more important for our overall health than we think, but is using traditional skincare products the most effective way of improving it?

What improves skin quicker – topical treatments or supplements?
Skincare has always been centred around using treatments on the surface of your skin as a way of treating any issues, but this might not always be the best route. The Nue Co. specialise in supplements that'll target skin-related problems, whether that's a lack of hydration or pigmentation/acne issues. But after growing demand from their customer base, they recently ventured into topical supplements – aka. skincare. "There is a clear connection between our inner and outer health, so it made sense for us to approach supplements in this way," Jules says. "With each product we develop, we ensure that it is delivering a clear and targeted benefit, so our ingestibles and topical supplements are designed to compliment each other, but they'll also provide different results." One of those variations is how quickly they work on the body. "With topical supplements, there is a more visible and instant result. For example, our all-in-one serum THE PILL contains active ingredients such as isoamyl laureate, a natural plant oil, that creates a ‘second skin’ texture, that immediately blurs imperfections and leaves a velvet smooth finish." When ingesting your skin treatments, expect to start seeing results after a couple of weeks, but Jules recommends sticking at it whatever treatment you're using. "Consistency is key when it comes to seeing results, whether than is with topicals or ingestibles, so we recommend trying a product for at least 30 days before assessing the results."

While only currently offering topical skincare treatments, Adaptology believes in treating your skin in a 360 way as well. As well as providing Adaptogen-filled skincare that caters to your individual needs, you can also organise an appointment with one of their skincare coaches as well as have a nutrition consultation, so you can treat your skin from the inside. "We know that modern living is stressful, and our research shows it can be hard on skin," says Laura. "Beautiful skin is a reflection of the whole body health so we take an 'inside out' approach with our supportive skincare system." 


What ultimately causes good skin?
There's no one cause of good skin, and the best beauty brands have cottoned onto that. The most efficient way of getting your glow at its peak is a combination of good skincare, a healthy diet and good lifestyle choices, according to Jules. "Whilst a healthy diet or a good skincare routine will go a long way to ensuring your skin is at its best, it won’t compensate for an unhealthy lifestyle. External factors such as stress or air pollution can also play a big role. It’s important to take a holistic approach, minimising stress, prioritising rest and drinking plenty of water will also help in ensuring good skin." 

For Laura, training your body to adapt better to contemporary aggressors is also key. " We have not had time to adapt to modern life stressors such as blue light, environmental damage and chronic stress," she shares. "The impact of stress on our skin can affect the skin barrier, making the skin drier and more sensitive, and can also result in cortisol overproduction which can cause skin to age prematurely." 

While there isn't a clear answer as to what should be mastered first when on the quest to achieving great skin, whether you decide to invest in great skincare or take more notice of what's going in your body, doing either will help you get there a lot quicker. 

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