It’s easy to take your skin for granted. We think about our heart, our weight, cholesterol levels, even brain health and our sugar intake. But we don’t necessarily spend a lot of time thinking about what makes for healthy skin. Sure, we add lotion when it’s dry. But considering it’s the largest organ of the body, covering approximately 20 square feet, it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.
Beyond creating a waterproof barrier for our insides, the skin’s multiple layers play a critical role regulating the body’s temperature. It also houses sweat glands, hair follicles and connective tissue. Depending on how we look after it, it can also be a reflection of our age.
While lotion removes surface dryness, there are many ways to nourish healthy skin. Critical to your skin’s health is hydration and vitamins, too. According to the Environmental Working Group, personal care products are made with roughly 10,500 chemicals, with many offering only temporary relief or solutions to skin issues. So while taking supplements for skin health, may not offer an immediate response to dry or red skin, they can offer visible, effective and safe changes to your skin with a short period of time.
Consider These 7 Vitamins for Healthy Skin
Yes, it’s the wonder Vitamin D again. Amongst the many roles it plays, it promotes cell growth. It helps healthy skin cells grow and repair themselves. It can even help fight off free radicals that are known to damage skin and cause premature aging. And now, new research even suggests that it may actually help prevent sunburn as well. Of course, time in the sun, can help to produce Vitamin D. But research has been robust that most of us need more than the sun’s rays alone can give us. Hence, supplementing is the best way to boost Vitamin D.
As an antioxidant, Vitamin A fights off the potential aging damage caused by free radicals. It is also critical for the growth and repair of skin tissue. A Vitamin A deficiency can be made apparent through the health of your skin. It will look dry and flaky if you’re not getting enough. A Vitamin A deficiency also has been associated with acne.
Vitamin B Complex
B3 or niacin has been known to help with skin conditions such as Rosacea and minimize dark spots. It also helps to produce fatty acids and ceramides, which help the skin form its waterproof, protective barrier. B12 also helps with pallor. Whereas B7 or biotin, is key to forming strong skin, hair and nail cells.
Collagen is a protein that is a primary component of all of the body’s tissues, including our skin, joints, ligaments and tendons. The catch? It’s almost impossible to get all that you need from food and the production of it in our body declines with age. Look for collagen types 1, 2 or 3. Type 1 is what you find in tendons, skin and ligaments. While Type 2 is typically found in cartilage, it also contains hyaluronic acid a nutrient that can help to give skin its plumpness.
Vitamin C has been known to help with collagen production. As a powerful antioxidant, it also helps to fend off the damage caused by free radicals, which left unattended can speed up the skin’s aging process. It can help to repair and prevent dry skin. Taking Vitamin C as a supplement has been shown to help make sunscreen work more effectively. This is in part because it is an antioxidant and can decrease cell damage.
Have a scar? Rub some Vitamin E on it, which will help to reduce the scar's appearance. And just like A, C and D, Vitamin E also has antioxidant properties, critical to fighting the damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to wrinkles, sagging skin and age spots. Antioxidants are also effective in minimizing the damage cause by the sun’s UV rays. A Vitamin E deficiency has been thought to play a role in acne.
As an antioxidant, the mineral selenium helps to promote healthy skin by fighting off the signs of premature aging and preserving elastin, the protein used to keep skin taught and smooth. It has been used to fend off acne and promote hair growth. It works particularly well when taken together with Vitamin E.