We all want great, clear skin. But there’s more to skin health than being blemish-free. Since your skin is your largest organ, it’s actually a vital part of keeping ourselves healthy.
Start with the right vitamins
While most information about skin health will tell you to limit your sun exposure, a little can actually be great for you. Of course, wearing sunscreen is important to block out the sun’s dangerous UV rays. However, spending about 10-15 minutes a day in the sun, your body will get the help it needs to produce vitamin D through your skin.
Along with vitamins C, E, and K, vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for healthy skin. Aside from being good for you, getting enough vitamins will help your skin look healthy and youthful. You may even see a reduced amount of dark spots, redness, wrinkles, rough patches, and excessive dryness.
As you shop for skincare products, take some time to look at the vitamins they include. These types of products can be a great way to get the essential vitamins your skin needs directly through the epidermis. Try buying skincare products with the following vitamins.
As we already discussed, vitamin D is made by your body when sunlight is absorbed through the skin. As the sunlight is absorbed through your skin, cholesterol converts to the vitamin D, which is then taken up by the liver and kidneys and transferred throughout your body, aiding in the creation of healthy cells.
Along with helping to create healthy cells, vitamin D also plays a role in skin tone and could even help to treat psoriasis. In a 2009 study published in the Journal of Drugs and Dermatology, it was found that applying a man-made topical vitamin D cream called Calcitriol reduced skin inflammation and irritation in those with psoriasis with few adverse side effects.
Getting enough vitamin D every day doesn’t have to be a chore. Try any of the following tips and tricks:
- Get about 10 minutes of sun exposure every day (but talk to your doctor first, especially if you have any history of skin cancer).
- Eat fortified foods, like breakfast cereals, orange juice, and yogurt.
- Eat more foods that naturally contain vitamin D, like salmon, tuna, and cod.
One of the vitamins found in the epidermis (outer layer of skin) and the dermis (inner layer of skin) is vitamin C. Its cancer-fighting antioxidant properties and its ability to help with collagen production keeps your skin at peak health. Especially common in anti-aging products, vitamin C is another one to look for when making a skincare product purchase.
Do you find yourself still burning, even after putting on sunscreen? Trying taking an oral vitamin C supplement. It’s been shown to help improve the effectiveness of sunscreen. It can also help to lower cell damage and promote the healing process for wounds.
One reason you will often find vitamin C in anti-aging products is its ability to help with the body’s natural collagen synthesis. It aids in healing damaged skin and can even reduce the appearance of wrinkles in some cases. With the right amount of vitamin C, you can heal your skin and prevent dryness.
Don’t assume you are low in vitamin C. Because it’s often found in over-the-counter products and supplements, along with its prevalence in the food we eat, it’s hard to be low in Vitamin C. The current recommendation is 1,000 mg per day. If you find you need help reaching that level, try some of these hacks:
- Eat more citrus fruits (like oranges) and drink citrus juices
- Look for other food sources of vitamin C, like strawberries, broccoli, and spinach
- Take a supplement as directed by your doctor
Another antioxidant, vitamin E is one of the main vitamins essential for skin health, including protection against sun damage. Vitamin E actually absorbs UV light when it’s applied to the skin, minimizing your sun damage and preventing dark spots and wrinkles.
Typically, your body will produce enough vitamin E through an oily substance that comes out of your pores called sebum. This maintains the skin’s condition and prevents dryness. If you find yourself with especially dry skin, vitamin E can help bring it back into balance. It can even help reduce skin inflammation.
As great as it is to get vitamin E through skincare products, the positive effects can be minimized when exposed to the sun, so it’s better to get your vitamin E through a healthy diet. Most adults require about 15 mg per day. Increase your intake by:
- Eating more nuts and seeds, like almonds, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds.
- Taking a multivitamin or a vitamin E supplement
- Using topical products with both vitamin E and C so you enjoy the photoprotection of the vitamin C
One of the most important vitamins, vitamin K is essential in helping the body with blood clotting. This means it helps with healing wounds, bruises, and areas that may require surgery. It can also help with stretch marks, spider beings, scars, dark spots, and circles under your eyes.
This is one vitamin you won’t have a problem finding in topical products because of its versatility in treating skin conditions. Doctors sometimes even use it for surgery patients to reduce swelling and bruising. Sadly, research on the positive effects of vitamin K are more limited than with vitamins E and C.
This is another vitamin where a deficiency is rare. Adults need about 90 to 120 ug per day. To increase your vitamin K intake with your food, eat more kale, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, and green beans.