Ever since we were kids, we’ve been told to take vitamins to help us stay healthy. Vitamins are crucial for keeping our different bodily systems functioning properly. But just as they’re good for our insides, vitamins are also good for the outside. While they can work their magic on everything from eyesight to nerve function, vitamins can also give us a healthy glow. Below are some of the best vitamins for clear, smooth skin:
Vitamin A. Dietary sources of Vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens. This vitamin is commonly associated with eye health but it turns out that it does wonders for skin health, too. Vitamin A has antioxidants, which can protect the skin from damaging free radicals. It’s also a source of retinol, which has been shown to have anti-aging effects: A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that the topical application of retinol and retinoic acid increased the thickness of skin and led to the reduction of the appearance of wrinkles.
There are retinol creams available in the market but it’s best to consult a dermatologist before including it in your routine. Retinol can be drying, so you may have to use more moisturizer with it. Plus, it can make skin extra sensitive, so you’ll need to use sunblock (which you should be already be using anyway) and limit your exposure to the sun.
Vitamin Bs. While there are many whole food sources of B-complex vitamins—from grains to meat to legumes—when it comes to skin health, they’re best applied topically. Two of the B-complex vitamins that stand out when it comes to skin health are Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B5.
Vitamin B3, a.k.a. niacin or niacinamide, is great for addressing pigmentation, discoloration, and skin aging, apart from being good for your nervous system, brain, and blood cells. Meanwhile, Vitamin B5, a.k.a. pantothenic acid or panthenol, is great for dry skin as it reduces the amount of water lost through the skin and gives it a hydration boost. Studies have also shown that it can help reduce itchiness, redness, and inflammation. Vitamin B5 has also been shown to help manage acne, making it one of the best vitamins for acne-free skin.
Vitamin C. More popularly known for its immunity-boosting properties, Vitamin C has also become a go-to skin-care ingredient in recent years. This antioxidant can fight free-radical damage and improve elasticity, helping keep skin aging at bay. It may be used to address hyperpigmentation and can also stimulate the production of collagen, which is what keeps skin young-looking and taut. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Biomedical and Biopharmaceutical Research suggests that Vitamin C can moisturize skin and make it smoother.
You can find Vitamin C in natural sources like citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, and broccoli.
Vitamin D. If you’re worried about getting too much sun, then you can get your dose of the sunshine vitamin from milk, fortified cereal, or supplements. Vitamin D may help manage inflammation, which leads to skin problems like irritation, eczema, atopic dermatitis, and acne.
Vitamin E. Another free radical-fighting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, Vitamin E is often used to treat scars and, together with Vitamin D, can help treat atopic dermatitis. Like Vitamin B5, it may also another one of the best vitamins for acne-free skin. It may also help manage signs of skin aging like sagging and wrinkles. Natural sources of Vitamin E include nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils.
Vitamin K. If dark circles are your biggest beauty problem, then Vitamin K is the nutrient for you. It’s used as an ingredient in eye creams due to its abilities to address darkening skin caused by circulatory problems. It may also be used to treat spider veins, scars, and other imperfections. As it’s a key component in facilitating blood coagulation, it’s also needed for wound and bruise healing. Natural sources of this vitamin include leafy greens like kale, liver, and milk.
Zinc. Zinc is great for protection against sun damage (hence, the sunscreens made of zinc oxide) and is also an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It also helps with skin healing after injury, helps prevent bacterial infections, and may be a viable acne treatment. You can get zinc from meat, shellfish, seeds, and nuts, among other whole food sources.
If you feel you’re not getting enough of these good vitamins for the skin from whole food sources, then consider taking supplements. Visit Healthy Options for a range of glow-getting supplements.