Proper skin care is more than skin deep. You could use all the right cleansers, serums, toners, and moisturizers, but your skin needs the right mix of nutrients to look healthy and glowing. Whatever vitamins you lack from your diet will be reflected in the condition of your skin. They’re essential to the health of your skin cells, and certain types of vitamins can be very helpful in reducing the symptoms of conditions such as rosacea and acne.
As you become aware of these vitamins and learn about how they affect skin cells, you’ll begin to recognize any deficits so you can correct your diet. You’ll also start looking for them in the skin care products you buy. Here is our list of the most important vitamins you should add to your beauty regimen.
Vitamin A is an important nutrient that strengthens the health of your skin, eyes, reproductive system, and boosts immunity. The vitamin A you get from foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, mangoes, eggs, cod liver oil, or supplements is converted to retinol by the liver. It’s then stored or transported to cells throughout the body.
Your skin is an organ that responds well to retinoids, so it’s able to absorb vitamin A when it’s applied topically. This is why manufacturers add it to their skin care products. Goat milk, for example, is particularly high in vitamin A, so switching from regular soap to lavender goat milk soap is a good way of enhancing the health of your skin. The lavender brings additional benefits since it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Vitamin A works as an antioxidant and can slow down the process of collagen breakdown. It also gives your skin some protection against sunburn but not nearly as much as wearing sunscreen. When it comes to protecting your skin against sun damage, you absolutely need sunscreen!
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your skin from free radicals and reduces sun damage (again, not as much as sunscreen. Signs of vitamin C deficiency include slow-healing sores, easy bruising, and bleeding gums. Our bodies do not naturally produce it, but it’s essential to the health of our immune system, as well as for the development and repair of all tissues.
You can get vitamin C from citrus fruit, tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, and other greens, but you can also find skin care products that contain it. One of the main reasons why vitamin C is important to your skin’s health is that it increases collagen production. You can think C for collagen. As we age, our skin produces less collagen, which leads to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C helps keep your skin firm and supple for longer.
Vitamin E works well in combination with vitamin C and is also an antioxidant that helps protect your skin from sun damage, slowing down the appearance of wrinkles. Having enough vitamin E likewise helps you better absorb vitamin A. You can get vitamin E from nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, avocados, cod, and salmon. It’s carried to the skin through sebum, and it’s a fat-soluble vitamin.
You’ll also find it in skin care products, but since they tend to be of a thick consistency, it’s better to apply them in the evening so they can be fully absorbed. Applied in the morning, they might make it difficult to put makeup on. Vitamin E helps with inflammation, reduces the symptoms of acne, and delays the signs of aging, such as hyperpigmentation and the appearance of wrinkles.
Vitamin K are a group of fat-soluble vitamins that help in blood clotting, maintaining healthy bone metabolism, and regulating calcium levels. You’ll find it in foods like liver, kale, cabbage, and milk. Since it helps the body in the process of blood clotting, it has significant benefits to skin health, and doctors usually prescribe topical products high in vitamin K after surgery to speed up healing.
The current body of research is not as extensive as for vitamins C and E, but vitamin K has been shown to help reduce swelling and bruising, and it’s added to products that target conditions such as rosacea, stretch marks, and spider veins. It’s also added in creams and serums that minimize stubborn circles under the eyes.
We all know that vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” is important to our mood and that if we don’t spend enough time outside, in the sun, we can start experiencing symptoms of depression. Usually, when you go to a psychiatrist, they’ll order tests to check your vitamin D levels. This vitamin is also in regulating calcium absorption, which is why it’s often given to children in the form of supplements or fortified foods. Having a sufficient amount of vitamin D is vital to the normal development of bones and teeth. Furthermore, vitamin D boosts your immune system, so you’re less vulnerable to viruses and bacterial infections.
But what about skin health? Vitamin D plays an integral role in skin cell growth, repair, and metabolism. It fights off free radicals and slows down signs of aging. It’s also beneficial for people dealing with acne break-outs since it has anti-inflammatory properties, and it enhances the skin’s immune system.
As we mentioned, you can get vitamin D from direct exposure to sunlight. The cholesterol in skin cells is converted into vitamin D and then stored in fat cells to be used when necessary. Don’t imagine that you have to sit in the sun all day. 10 to 30 minutes several times a week is enough. People with more melanin are more vulnerable to vitamin D deficiency since the melanin helps block UVB rays from penetrating the skin to protect it from sun damage. You can also get vitamin D from egg yolks, cheese, fatty fish, and beef liver.
There are eight B vitamins. They’re responsible for almost every process in the body from converting carbohydrates into energy, breaking down nutrients, and maintaining the health of your nervous system, muscles, organs, skin, and hair. Signs of a deficiency include rashes, flaky skin, wrinkles, and cracked rips. You can take a B-complex supplement and make sure you eat enough whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, eggs, dairy, and certain types of meat. You can look up the best sources for each B vitamin.
Vitamin B3 has antibacterial properties, and it’s beneficial in preventing and reducing the symptoms of acne. Vitamin B5 helps your skin retain moisture. Vitamin B6 helps reduce excessive sebum secretion and is also beneficial for acne-prone skin. Vitamin B12 is not only important for preventing anemia, but also helps with hyper pigmentation and maintains the strength of your hair and nails.