If you want healthy and glowing skin no matter your age, you need to feed it with proper nutrients. Vitamins are essential for normal body functions, but they are also important for skin health. So which vitamins do you need to focus on if you want to boost your skincare?
All layers of skin need vitamin A for good health. This vitamin can prevent sun damage by putting a stop to harmful processes that break down collagen. A useful antioxidant, vitamin A will provide your skin with a shield for sunburns (not as effective as sunscreen, unfortunately). It also helps the normal functioning of oil glands around hair follicles and improves the way your skin heals after cuts and scrapes, especially while taking anti-inflammatories. Without vitamin A, your skin is at risk of becoming dry, itchy and bumpy.
Vitamin C is crucial for the production of collagen (think C for collagen) and it helps the protein keep its shape. It’s also a powerful antioxidant, so you can protect your skin from free radicals that can put you in increased danger of developing skin cancer. Lack of vitamin C can cause issues like slow-healing sores and easy bruising.
Vitamin C does other great things for the skin like protecting it from UV rays, but it doesn’t mean you can chug a glass of lemonade and go tanning without sunscreen. For full UV protection, you need sunscreen, but vitamin C can help with some sun damage repair and extra protection. On the other hand, collagen that we’ve mentioned before is important for skin’s elasticity and firmness. Vitamin C helps the production of collagen, so your skin can look lifted even after years take their toll on it. To aid collagen production and get enough vitamin C, you can look into daily vitamins and supplements made exactly for skin health. With hydrolyzed collagen and vitamin C, you can have glowing skin and deter wrinkles as long as humanly possible.
While we can get other vitamins through food, vitamin D is mostly generated through sun exposure. However, it’s not as easy as just sitting in the sun all day. With prolonged sun exposure comes sun damage, but still, vitamin D can deter other issues like acne, rosacea and atopic dermatitis. The situation is very tricky since sun exposure will provide you with vitamin D and also put you at risk of skin damage. To get vitamin D safely, you can limit your sun exposure and take supplements. It’s possible to get vitamin D from foods like fatty fish, but if you’re not thrilled by this idea, supplementation is your best option.
Just like vitamins C and A, vitamin E also has UV protection abilities due to its antioxidant properties. Vitamin E hides in sebum, AKA that stuff that comes out of your pores and makes your skin oily. Sebum also protects your skin thanks to vitamin E, so it’s not all bad. It keeps you protected from the sun, healthy and fresh. Vitamin E can be applied to the skin with topical creams, but the results are mixed. When exposed directly to the sun, this vitamin can turn into free radicals that cause damage to the skin. This damage is not horrible, but it’s still best to apply topicals when you’re not planning to go out in the sun (for instance, before bed). Or you can get vitamin E through food and supplements. Nuts, seeds, avocado and salmon are very rich in this vitamin, but so is goose meet (in case you’re planning a Victorian roast feast).
To Take or Apply?
Most of these vitamins you can either take orally or apply directly to the skin. So which one is better? Sure, topical application has immediate effects, but oral supplementation affects your entire body. Why let your skin take all the vitamins when your body can disperse them to whichever part of the body needs them the most? If you’re expecting an immediate change on the skin, topicals are the way to go, but supplements will make a more long-term effect on your skin and overall health.
All in all, vitamins are definitely something to consider when thinking about your skincare. If you reach healthy levels of vitamin A, C, D and E, you can expect great skin results and overall improvement of your health.
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in health and beauty related topics and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys long walks in the woods, hard exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.