Your skin is your body’s largest organ and all too often, it’s the most overlooked when it comes to healthcare. Our skin defends us against things like UV rays, hot or cold temperatures, dehydration, abrasions, impacts, and illnesses. It’s your canvas and taking care of it is essential.
In this blog, we are going to break down the vitamins your skin needs and help you understand what they are and why you need them. We will also help you figure out the best source for the vitamins you need, and help you find a service or routine to keep you and your skin glowing.
Here are some vitamins you can add to your daily routine to naturally improve the health of your skin:
Vitamin A is a grouping of several compounds, which means we can source it from many places. When our bodies have ample Vitamin A, we are healthier.
Vitamin A comes in two primary forms:
- Active (retinal, retinol, and retinoic acid – from animal foods)
- Carotenoids (beta-carotene and similar plant-based forms)
Vitamin A helps our skin stay healthy and replenished as cells die off after burns, scrapes, and injuries. It also keeps the skin hydrated and supple through all that life throws at it.
Sourcing your 700-900 mg of Vitamin A from your foods is the safest and most inexpensive option. You can get vitamin A from foods like eggs, dairy, leafy greens such as spinach and kale, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and carrots.
Dietary supplements that contain vitamin A are an option to consider as well, but come with risks to consider. Fat-soluble supplements (those that dissolve into fat cells) can build up to toxic levels and cause more harm than good. Talk to your doctor first before using these supplements.
Topical vitamin A solutions are often recommended by dermatologists as they produce a near immediate result at the surface level. Retinol creams and retinoic acid creams are shown to reduce wrinkles by boosting the production of collagen.
Vitamin D is a naturally occurring vitamin in the body, but you need sunlight to activate the body’s natural processes to produce it. When sunlight is absorbed through the skin, your body converts cholesterol into vitamin D. Your body then uses vitamin D to help create healthy skin cells, and that can help combat psoriasis flare-ups.
When you’re not producing enough natural vitamin D, you can opt for synthetic vitamin D in either pill or topical form. It goes under the name Calcitriol and can be found in topical creams usually prescribed to treat the symptoms of psoriasis.
In addition to spending a few minutes in the sun or applying it topically, you can source vitamin D through fortified foods or naturally occurring vitamin D rich foods such as whole milk, orange juice, salmon, tuna, cod, some breakfast cereals, and most yogurts.
The daily recommendation is an intake of 600 IU per day, increasing if you’re pregnant or if you’re over the age of 70.
This is the most common vitamin for most people. It’s easily accessible and is found in many different aspects of our life. It has been shown to help heal damaged skin in multiple skin layers through boosted collagen production. Vitamin C is chock full of antioxidants to help your skin fight against UV rays and wounds, promoting fast healing of cuts and bruises.
Vitamin C is a common ingredient in many of the foods and drinks we consume, as well as the lotions and anti-aging creams we already use regularly. Deficiencies in this vitamin are uncommon due to its availability.
This vitamin can boost your immunity, and make the application of your sunscreen more effective. You can find your recommended 1000 mg per day of vitamin C naturally through food and beverages such as strawberries, broccoli, spinach, orange juice, and citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes.
Vitamin E is crucial in your body’s photoprotection, which is your body’s ability to protect itself from harmful UV rays when you’re exposed to sunlight. Vitamin E is naturally produced through an oily substance called sebum that your skin produces. It is, however, reduced when you suffer from overly dry skin. For dry skinned people, taking vitamin E supplements can help counteract the lack of sebum.
Many skincare products contain vitamin E, but when exposed to sunlight they can be less effective because the vitamin E begins absorbing the UV rays. To prevent this, try using products that have both vitamin E and vitamin C. This will allow the vitamin E to do its job with the sun, and vitamin C to do its job with your collagen production.
The most effective way to get your recommended 15mg per day is through your diet. You can find vitamin E in food such as almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, broccoli, and leafy greens such as spinach and kale. Many multivitamins also include vitamin E.
Vitamin K has a job that isn’t directly skin related, but closely pairs with skin concerns. It helps form blood clots and repairs tissue around injuries, surgeries, and bruises. Vitamin K has also been found to help with many issues concerning discoloration of the skin, such as stretch marks, spider veins, scars, under eye circles, as well as age and liver spots.
Research on this vitamin is less substantial than with vitamin C and vitamin D, as the occurrence of deficiencies is significantly less common. As with most vitamins, the safest and most efficient source is through our food. You can find your 90-120 mg per day through consumption of foods such as spinach, kale, broccoli, parsley, brussel sprouts, fish, liver, eggs, and fortified cereals.
Concerning the dosages of vitamins, please note that all humans are unique, and these numbers may differ in your situation. It’s always best to discuss your vitamin needs with your doctor before taking supplements.