The best thing we could be doing for our skin is making it beautiful from the inside out. Before we reach for all of our beauty products, we should see if there’s anything we can do to help our bodies produce healthy skin. We’ve been on the hunt for dietary changes and supplements that promise to make our skin glowy and youthful, and we’ve finally narrowed them down. Let’s see what each of these vitamins do, and how to make the most of them.
The ABCs of Beauty
We’re probably all familiar with vitamin A in the form of Retinoids. These are actually just vitamin A supplements used to prevent a deficiency, though most of us know them as a cure for acne and wrinkles. It works by keeping the skin firm and moisturized. Outside of supplements, vitamin A is available in spring produce like leafy greens, leeks, grapefruit, green peas, asparagus, and broccoli. We can also find it in carrots, sweet potatoes, eggs, dairy and fish oils! The daily recommended dose for a woman is 700 micrograms (though up to 1300 mcg is allowed when breastfeeding). Any more than this could cause fat to be accumulated in the liver, which can lead to health consequences.
Aside from its role in skin health, Vitamin A will help your immune system, vision, and cell growth, as well as help maintain organ function! So, in short, Vitamin A:
- Treats acne and wrinkles (and a lot of other stuff)
- Found in spring vegetables, carrots, sweet potatoes, dairy, eggs, etc.
- No more than 700 micrograms a day
2. Vitamin B
There are eight different types of vitamin B, and each one does wonders for your skin and body! Together, we call all of them “B complex,” and they have amazing benefits for our hair, skin, and nails. In fact, people who are having issues with their hair, nails, and skin drying out should probably up their vitamin B intake. Some other symptoms of vitamin B deficiency are anemia, soreness and exhaustion, and mood changes like irritability and depression. With enough vitamin B in our diets, we will look less tired, and our skin will retain more moisture.
Vitamin B is available in whole grains, eggs and dairy, meat, beans, seeds and nuts, leafy veggies, some mushrooms, and fruits like citrus and bananas! We should always check the recommended dosages of all the different types of vitamin B, as taking too much of some of them can actually mask signs of anemia. Just in case, before we start taking any supplements, we should get checked for any of these deficiencies. Most of these nutrients are probably already in our diets. So, Vitamin B:
- Helps retain moisture and brightens up dull skin (also helps energy levels)
- Found in brown rice, red meat, eggs and dairy, beans, sunflower seeds and almonds, leafy veggies, citrus fruits and bananas
- Check to see the daily recommended dose for each type: B6 can be dangerous if you have over 100 mg a day
3. Vitamin C
We all know what vitamin C can do for our bodies because our mothers made us drink all that lemonade when we were sick. However, aside from its immunity boosting capabilities, vitamin C can offer us lots of skin benefits! Since it’s a natural antioxidant, vitamin C will prevent the dark spots and give our skin a youthful glow. In fact, recently, beauty influencers have started using vitamin C serums to give their skin the type of glow and youthfulness we’re striving to achieve.
Vitamin C can even help to protect the skin from the sun and make our sunscreen more effective. We can find it in fresh fruits and vegetables, like citrus fruits, papaya, leafy greens, bell peppers, pineapple, and strawberries. Remember, vitamin C is the most effective in freshly picked produce, so visit your local farmers’ market for the good stuff! In summary, vitamin C:
- Brightens skin (great for eyes and gums)
- Found in fresh citrus fruits, strawberries, leafy greens, bell peppers, etc.
- 75 mg per day is enough, but you may have up to 2000 mg
4. Vitamin E
This one might be the most important vitamin if you’re concerned with signs of aging like wrinkles and stretch marks. We can get vitamin E from peanuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, olives, leafy greens and wheat germ. It’ll fight against free radicals and help heal the skin, and it works wonders in combination with vitamin C.
Our bodies don’t naturally produce vitamin E, so we need to get them from nuts, seeds, and greens. Just remember to prepare your meal with fats, because they will help the vitamin E absorb better. So, basically vitamin E:
Helps cell regeneration and turnover
Found in olives, nuts and seeds, and leafy greens; fat helps with optimal absorption
Have it every other day, 15 mg a day (a dozen almonds) – don’t go over 1000 mg a day
5. Vitamin K
If we’re looking for something to keep our skin strong and blemish free, we’ll find it in leafy greens. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting, so it’s great for healing bruises. It can also minimize veins, scars, and stretch marks and promote skin elasticity from within. Vitamin K is available in kale, collards, spinach, spring onions or prunes. So, in summary, vitamin K:
- Helps with healing and skin elasticity
- Found in leafy greens, onions and prunes
- Start with 80-120 mcg, and eat to your heart’s content
And a Little Something Extra
If you’re trying to find supplements other than vitamins to help your skin become its best self, we’ve got suggestions. Look into the benefits of zinc, magnesium and fish oil. These are great for acne and skin regeneration, and they’re common ingredients in skin care. But remember, we’ve already said that everyone should get their blood checked before taking any supplements. That’s because we might already be getting more than enough of a certain vitamin through our diet, or we may accidentally mask a serious condition, like anemia, by taking a certain supplement. If you’ve already had your check-up, though, by all means, supplement away.
Finally, aside from keeping our diet varied and full of all of these nutritious vitamins, we should also give our skin plenty of water. So, drink at least half a gallon of water a day, and moisturize with your favorite masks and creams. We’re sure that, with a healthy diet and plenty of water, you too can have gorgeous glowy skin!