You’ve heard it all before. Your skin’s most important job is to act as a barrier. It protects the rest of your body from things outside of it. But to do that job requires more than just making it look good. It should be healthy as well. To keep your skin working, feeling, and looking its best requires that you feed it properly from the inside out.
Taking care of your skin, your body’s largest organ, should be a central part of your daily regimen. Here, we talk about natural vitamins for the skin and how these nutrients offer a solution to the most common skin problems. And while we’re at it, we’ll let you in on what vitamins to take to kick acne out the door!
Ready for a crash course? Read on!
Take These Vitamins for Your Skin Problems
If you want to be in the know when it comes to vitamins that are best for acne, as well as vitamins that help keep your skin looking its best, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve received tons of questions about the proper vitamins and skin care, so we’ve searched far and wide, and did the research for you.
Read on to find out which vitamins work best for your skin!
Which vitamins are best for acne/breakouts?
As a topical medication, vitamin A helps get rid of acne. Most topical medications chemically alter the vitamin into a retinoid. Retinoids have been proven to be the most effective acne treatment because they can heal the skin quickly. With regular treatment, skin is able to regenerate rapidly, as well.
Who would’ve thought? Taken as a topical treatment or oral supplement, zinc is a mineral that helps with acne treatment. Studies reveal that zinc decreases oil production in the skin. It also protects against bacterial infection as well as inflammation.
As a topical treatment, find blemish relief products with zinc oxide, salicylic acid, and iron oxide.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is also an antioxidant which means it prevents fats from oxidizing in the body. This is crucial when it comes to your skin because when sebum oxidizes, it is known to spread bacteria. Vitamin E prevents bacteria from spreading. Check out Vitamin E in skin-care products. Stock up on healthy foods that are naturally Vitamin E-enriched – avocados, tomatoes, almonds, spinach, and sunflower seeds (among many others).
Vitamin D not only keeps the bones strong. It also does your skin good! We get vitamin D from proper exposure to the sun (so if you live in areas where you don’t see much sun, you could be vitamin D-deficient). What could the connection be between Vitamin D and your skin? Well, studies reveal that patients with moderate to severe acne are also most likely to suffer from a vitamin D deficiency.
Quiet and discreet, this less-famous nutrient is known to fight illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. What it isn’t known for is its ability to fight acne. Include these foods in your diet for that dose of acne-fighting selenium: yellowfin tuna, Brazil nuts, sardines, halibut, and grass-fed beef.
Like selenium, magnesium is great at fighting acne – especially if its acne caused by stress! Magnesium cuts down the inflammatory effects of an acne breakout and is instrumental in lowering cortisol, the stress hormone. Other benefits of magnesium? It helps you sleep better. Magnesium is known to increase the levels of melatonin and serotonin in your system. So a good night’s rest plus a serene disposition equals lower stress levels. And yes, better skin.
A lot of vitamins and minerals that fight acne are actually anti-inflammatories. Omega-3 fatty acids are the best anti-inflammatories mother nature has to offer. Foods containing Omega-3, as well as Omega-3 supplements, reduce swelling. Look for fish oil supplements and include seafood such as salmon and mackerel in your diet. Products that contain a combination of Omega fatty acids also work wonders for hydrating skin while fighting redness.
Can vitamins cause acne?
This is going to be controversial…you’ve probably heard about how some vitamins cause acne. Some studies have been popping out (pun intended!) claiming that taking certain vitamin B’s (B6 and B12, in particular) can cause pimples and breakouts.
Are they true?
Truth be told, science hasn’t unearthed the reason why B-complex vitamins cause acne. And this unexplainable phenomena doesn’t mean that we should avoid the vitamin B family either.
Vitamin B6-rich foods such as bananas, chickpeas, potatoes and those swimming in vitamin B12 such as eggs and fish are great for the body. But doctors caution against the consumption of multi-vitamins and energy drinks. These seemingly healthy and innocuous supplements (such as Red Bull) are great at supplying you with vitamin B and caffeine. Unfortunately, acne is an unwelcome “benefit”.
If you notice flare-ups, take a look at the supplements you take. Stop taking it for a month and see if your skin clears up.
Which vitamins are best for acne scars/discoloration?
Vitamin C is great for restoring skin after a major acne breakout. It aids in the production of collagen, a protein (found in your bones and muscles) that helps maintain the structure of your skin. Collagen production decreases as you age. With that comes looser skin. So if you’re prone to acne, less collagen in your body could make an outbreak look worse. Vitamin C, taken as a supplement or through products applied on the skin, helps rejuvenate your skin. Acne scars will definitely look less visible and with consistent application, it evens out skin tone too.
Vitamin E oil has been known to reduce the appearance of acne scars. This, along with a daily supplement works wonders for the skin. Vitamin E neutralizes free radicals that damage skin. It also helps hydrate without clogging your pores. Enrich your diet with foods rich in vitamin E such as kale, spinach, almonds, and avocado.
Vitamin B Complex is composed of different B vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamine, and niacin. Vitamin B helps reduce inflammation. They also create special proteins that hasten the healing process of wounds. B vitamins are water-soluble and aren’t stored in the body. So having them at a regular and consistent interval is key to healing acne scars.
Betcha didn’t know about this one! Krill oil is derived from a species of crustaceans. It contains Omega-3 fatty acids and the antioxidant, astaxanthin. The fats that are found in krill oil have been found to help in building healthy cell membranes. It’s also anti-inflammatory. Astaxanthin, on the other hand, fights free radicals and prevents damage from the sun.
Which vitamins will help with rosacea and acne?
Vitamin B3, which is also known as Niacinamide. is important in maintaining the barrier function of the skin. But its most important role when it comes to rosacea and acne is its anti-inflammatory capabilities. Take it as a supplement.
Borage Oil/Primrose Oil
Borage and primrose oil has been used for PMS and menopausal symptoms. It has also been a go-to remedy for the acne caused by hormones. These oils are all natural. They are derived from plants and are high in anti-inflammatory acids. Since these two oils are the foundations of our own hormones, it has been proven to stabilize hormonal imbalance too. Hormonal acne is prominent along the chest, back, upper neck, lower cheeks, and jawline.
Oil is probably the last thing you’d want on your face if you’re battling rosacea or acne. But surprisingly, vitamin E oil prevents pimple flare-ups. And since it reduces redness significantly, its great for rosacea as well.
What vitamins are good for sagging skin?
Vitamin B3, which is also known as Niacinamide, is known to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It also improves elasticity. Get Vitamin B3 into your system via supplement (50 milligrams daily) or from natural sources (meat, salmon, swordfish, tuna, peanuts, and beets).
Omega-3 fatty acids help keep the epidermis (the outer layer of your skin) moisturized. This means that the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is diminished. Get your dose from salmon, olive oil, and soybeans. As a supplement, the recommended dose is 3g daily.
When it comes to sagging skin, you want the type of vitamin A that comes from plants – beta carotene and lycopene. These antioxidants work well for sagging skin because it offers protection against ultraviolet light. Good sources of beta carotene are melons, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes. Lycopene, on the other hand, can be found in tomatoes, watermelons, and grapefruit.
Vitamin E prevents skin from sagging by protecting the skin against UV light damage. Include vitamin E in your diet by consuming foods such as almonds, wheat germ, peanut butter, spinach, broccoli, and sunflower seeds.
When it comes to dry skin, vitamin E can be used as a topical remedy and a supplement. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. It acts as an anti-inflammatory to soothe itchy, red, dehydrated skin. It works well as a facial oil too since its great at keeping skin moisture intact.
Dry and itchy skin is a common indication of Omega-3 deficiency. Get fish oil/Omega-3s in your diet by including flax seeds and fish. Not a fan of seafood? Fish oil supplements work just as well.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and Zeaxanthin, carotenoids that aren’t produced by the body, helps increase skin moisture. The best way to get them in your diet is via leafy greens. Stock up on spinach and kale.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening Primrose oil is filled with essential fatty acids that support moisturized skin. Our bodies don’t naturally produce these types of fatty acids so get your dose from supplements and products that include primrose oils as an ingredient.
This lesser-known antioxidant has been proven to promote skin health by suppressing water loss from the skin. This is the same substance that gives shrimp and salmon their bright coral color. As an antioxidant, it reduces the oxidative stress on the skin and supports moisture retention, as well.
Did we miss out on vitamins, minerals and other supplements that work well for the skin? We’d love to hear from you!