It is as simple as it can be. Good skincare requires proper nutrition. Diet is the most important aspect of a healthy life nowadays. And the word diet does not always mean you are trying to lose weight.
No, diet is your way of eating. Your skin needs nutrients to stay healthy and youthful, and you get them by consuming the best vitamins for the skin.
Where can you find these vitamins for skin? In your fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, and more. If you are eating plenty of greens, your skin is well-nourished. Nevertheless, let’s talk about the vitamins your skin needs to stay healthy and youthful.
Two types of vitamins
There are two types of vitamins. The first category is water-soluble vitamins, meaning that the body expels what it does not absorb. You can consume 10000mg of these vitamins, your body will use only what it needs.
The second group is fat-soluble vitamins, where the leftover amounts are stored in the liver and fat tissue as reserves.
Vitamins in the first group are the B vitamin and vitamin C. Vitamins in the second group are A, D, K, and E.
Today, we will talk about what each vitamin does for your skin, and where to find it.
The best vitamins for your skin
Known as an antioxidant, vitamin A is a vitamin you can easily source. There are two types of vitamins. The first one, or preformed vitamin A, is found in meat, fish, and dairy products. Provitamin A is the second type, and it is found in fruits, vegetables, and mainly plant-based products.
Vitamin A takes care of your skin by fighting off free radicals, preventing wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging. Many anti-aging creams nowadays contain derivatives of vitamin A. If you want to get a vitamin A cream, you need a prescription, as they can cause skin irritation in some people.
Since we were young, our parents told us vitamin C is the most important vitamin for our health. And they are right. The vitamin is vital for our overall health, and our skin health as well. The good news is that you can source a lot of vitamin C from fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin C plays a major role in collagen synthesis. Without vitamin C, there is no collagen. What is collagen? It is the connective tissue that keeps our skin firm.
In addition to playing a role in collagen production, vitamin C also protects the skin from free radical and oxidative stress damage. Same as vitamin A, vitamin C is an antioxidant.
Some say that vitamin E is an underrated vitamin. People rarely talk about it when it comes to skincare. But vitamin E plays a major role in a couple of functions of our skin.
Vitamin E keeps your vitamin A stores up but also plays a role in preventing free radicals damage. It is also known that vitamin E has moisturizing properties. Products made with vitamin E provide lightweight and easily-absorbed moisture to the skin.
Last, but not least, vitamin E is crucial for prevention and treatment of acne. As a fat-soluble vitamin, it is easily absorbed by the skin.
Vitamin E controls the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, but also provides antibacterial properties to the skin. All of that is crucial in acne treatment.
If you live in a northern climate, and you do not spend much time in the sun, you are not getting enough vitamin D. Called the sunshine vitamin, our skin ca naturally produce and synthesize vitamin D from sunlight.
There are not many foods that contain vitamin D. In most cases, those are fortified products or supplements. Vitamin D plays a major role in fighting skin infections and healing of the skin. If you have wounds, for example, vitamin D is the one that helps your skin heal.
Another vitamin crucial for the healing of the skin, vitamin K regulates blood flow and blood clotting. Without vitamin K, any skin problem will make your skin look dark.
Vitamin K plays a role in the circulatory system. Some of the symptoms of vitamin K deficiency include stretch marks, scars, and spider veins.
Known as niacin, this vitamin can be found in many foods, both animal and plant sources. Essential for healthy skin, niacin can reduce the appearance of aged skin. You can often find it in anti-aging products and skin brighteners. Vitamin B3 has a mild exfoliating effect and can reduce redness.
Known as pantothenic acid, vitamin B5 provides one of the best hydration for the skin. It also prevents skin water loss and improves the function of your skin barrier. Every time you find a skin product with vitamin B5, you have a winner.
Vitamin B12, or folate (folic acid), cannot be produced by the body. This vitamin is crucial during pregnancy for the development of the baby.
Folic acid helps in the creation of new cells, which is vital for skin health and appearance. In the same time, the vitamin improves the firmness of the skin.
How to get more vitamins?
The FDA has set up a minimum daily amount for vitamins and key minerals. Every mineral and vitamin has its value. For example, the daily recommended dose for vitamin C is between 65 and 90mg for adults, with the upper limit being 2,000mg per day.
For vitamin A, on the other hand, the recommended daily amount is 900mcg for men and 700mcg for adult women.
Unless you need to increase your intake of certain vitamins because of a deficiency or medical reasons, follow the daily recommended intake.
That being said, the best approach to ensure you are getting a variety of vitamins and minerals is to stick to a healthy and balanced diet. Put an emphasis on fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes, whole grains, dairy products, and low-fat protein.
Many common foods contain multiple minerals and vitamins, making it easy to meet your daily needs. With that in mind, here are some of the best sources for each of the best vitamins for the skin.
- B-1 vitamin: soymilk, watermelon, and ham
- B-2 vitamin: yogurt, cheese, whole grains, enriched cereals, and milk
- B-3 vitamin: poultry, meat, fish, mushrooms, fortified and whole grains
- B-5 vitamin: chicken, broccoli, avocado, mushrooms, whole grains
- B-6 vitamin: fish, poultry, meat, legumes, soy products, and bananas
- B-7 vitamin: whole grains, soybeans, eggs, and fish
- B-9 vitamin: fortified grains, fortified cereals, spinach, broccoli, legumes, orange juice
- B-12 vitamin: meat, fish, milk, cheese, poultry, and fortified cereals
- Vitamin C: citrus fruits, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, kale, Brussels sprouts, chili peppers, strawberries
- Vitamin A: beef, eggs, liver, shrimp, fish, fortified milk, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mango, and spinach
- Vitamin D: fatty fish, fortified milk, fortified cereals
- Vitamin E: leafy green vegetables, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains
- Vitamin K: cabbage, spinach, broccoli, milk, eggs, and kale