Canyon Ranch Blog

The Skin Benefits of Selenium

It’s found in the soil, water and in some foods and can play a big part in our skin’s health. But what exactly is selenium? While it’s best known as an antioxidant, this essential mineral is a component of more than two dozen proteins that influence reproduction, the making of DNA, thyroid function and immune response. Our bodies don’t need much of the skin-boosting mineral, and we can get it both from selenium-rich foods as well as products that have it.

Here’s what happens when you feed your body selenium:

It protects cells from damage. Selenium neutralizes free radicals and other skin-damaging compounds before they can lead to wrinkles. It’s similar to vitamin E and actually works with the vitamin to safeguard cell membranes, the protective coating around cells. That makes selenium a key player when it comes to slowing the signs of aging. In fact, research has shown that it’s a triple treat, protecting against UV-induced cell damage, skin inflammation and pigmentation. Recent studies continue to emphasize the importance of selenium and other antioxidants on skin health and reducing the risk of skin cancer.

It helps skin fight infection. Your immune system relies on selenium to function well. In fact, it’s selenium, along with other minerals, that bolsters your body’s army of white blood cells and strengthens your response to infections—including those on the skin—since skin is your body’s first line of defense.

It tempers inflammation. Inflammation caused by UV light, stress and other factors is known to age skin, contributing to the breakdown of collagen (which is where wrinkles get their start). Selenium may help thwart the production of inflammatory cytokines, molecules that can build up in the body and harm healthy skin.

How Much Should You Get?
It’s not difficult to get the recommended 55 mcg (men and women need the same amount daily) of selenium. Although Brazil nuts tout the highest amount of the mineral (just one nut delivers almost double what you need), if you include seafood (shrimp, crab and salmon), beef, poultry and grains, like brown rice and wheat germ, in your diet, you’re sure to get enough; each of these foods delivers between 15 and 40 mcg of selenium per serving. However, the selenium content of vegetables and grains, and indeed grass and grain fed animal meat, is dependent on the amount of selenium in the soil where the plants are grown.

Here’s what happens when you apply selenium topically:

It soothes redness and sensitivity. Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, selenium is a powerhouse for calming inflamed, irritated skin. Look for selenium in sprays known as thermal spring water mists. Sourced from natural springs, these mineral-rich water sprays feel incredibly refreshing and may alleviate redness and irritation (they’re the perfect follow-up to a chemical peel or microdermabrasion treatment). They also make a gentle, skin-soothing alternative to toners. For best results, spray on the mist after cleansing your face or body and apply moisturizer while skin is still damp.

It treats dandruff. A form of selenium called selenium sulfide is an effective antimicrobial that’s known to fight the yeast that causes dandruff and its symptoms—a flaky and/or itchy scalp and rough, scaly patches—as well as fungus that leads to itchiness and discoloration on the scalp and skin. Look for the ingredient in anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioners.

More: The Skin Benefits of Vitamin C
The Skin Benefits of Zinc

Why Is My Skin So Dry?
For a seemingly simple issue, it has quite a few potential causes
Read More
Stress: The Forgotten Inflammation Factor
Chronic tension and worry can contribute to your disease risk
Read More
The Beauty Benefits of Facials
These refreshing treatments can help cleanse, nourish and awaken your complexion
Read More
What Our Beauty Expert Can’t Live Without: Q&A ...
We all wonder about the skin care products that beauty professionals use and can't live ...
Read More
Simple Solutions for Reducing Wrinkles
These tips can help your skin look beautiful, healthy and radiant with each passing year ...
Read More
Simple Skin Care for Men
Taking care of your complexion doesn’t need to be complicated
Read More
Whole Beauty Is…Making “Someday” Today
There's real beauty in making your dreams a priority—and then a reality
Read More
How Sleep Makes You Beautiful, Inside and Out
When you get enough good-quality rest, you’re able to share your best self
Read More
The Beauty Benefits of Ayurvedic Bodywork

Used for centuries to heal the body and mind, they can improve your appearance, too
Read More
Healthy Nail and Hand Care
How to protect, moisturize and treat your hands with a little TLC
Read More
Our 8 Essential Beauty Tools
Canyon Ranch favorites and how to put them to use to look and feel your best
Read More
Happy and Healthy Feet for Summer
Keep your feet pain-free and beautiful all season long
Read More
Book Online or Contact Us
Book Now Contact Us

Questions & Reservations

Tucson, Arizona +1 800 742 9000
Lenox, Massachusetts +1 800 742 9000
SpaClub®, Las Vegas +1 877 220 2688
Groups: +1 877 862 0583
SpaClub®, At Sea Queen Mary 2: +1 866 860 4662
Oceania Cruises: +1 877 329 1924
Regent Seven Seas: +1 877 329 1924
Celebrity Cruises: +1 844 860 4662