When it comes to caring for your skin, we know that a good skin care regimen and a well-balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and proteins are necessary for optimal skin function. Properly functioning skin addresses its needs by encouraging cellular turnover, keeping skin hydrated, increasing collagen production, promoting smooth and even skin tone and texture, and controlling oil production and blemishes. But when your skin isn’t getting enough of the key vitamins and nutrients from diet alone, skin is unbalanced and problematic and it may be necessary to turn to supplements for your skin to fill in the gaps. Below we’ve listed a few of the best vitamin supplements for skin to look and function its best:
Antioxidants – Vitamins C & E
Antioxidants are vital to your skin and can be found in some commonly recognized vitamins. They block free radicals that are naturally formed in the body by the metabolism of food and toxins in the environment. Free radicals damage skin cells, which is why antioxidants are essential to healthy skin. They are not only key to preserving collagen, a vital skin protein that gives skin its strength while helping it to remain youthful looking, but also in protecting skin from environmental stressors. Antioxidants can also play a role in preventing inflammatory skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
Two main antioxidants are vitamins C and E. Vitamin C can be found in leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits while vitamin E, while available in far fewer foods, can be found in sunflower seeds, almonds and peanuts. Both vitamins are readily available in most multivitamins or as a single-ingredient supplement.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in keeping skin healthy by maintaining its natural barrier, which not only protects it from outward damage that leads to premature-aging (like photodamage, which comes from the sun, and other environmental factors) but also reduces skin dryness by locking in moisture. Because these healthy fatty acids also work as an anti-inflammatory, they can help diminish acne and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Unlike other types of fats, omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that the body can’t produce on its own and must come from outside food sources like tuna, salmon, walnuts, flax seed, and canola oil. If you don’t eat a lot of fatty fish or other foods high in omega-3, it’s wise to consider taking a dietary supplement that is derived from natural fish, krill, or mussels and is sustainably sourced.
Biotin (vitamin B7) is a water-soluble (dissolves in water and cannot be stored by the body) vitamin known for encouraging radiant skin, hair and nails. While a deficiency in this vitamin is rare, having one can result in scaly, red rashes on the skin and hair loss. Biotin is found in small amounts in such foods as eggs, milk, or bananas. If you do not have plenty of biotin-rich foods in your diet, consider taking a biotin supplement.
You may associate folic acid (vitamin B9), as a supplement to take in early pregnancy to help the baby’s brain and spinal cord form properly. But when taken as part of your diet when you are not pregnant, it can help to maintain the skin’s natural beauty by encouraging the body to produce and maintain new cells. Folic acid can be found in foods like beans, breads, rice, citrus fruits or leafy green vegetables. A synthetic form of folic acid is used in dietary supplements and fortified foods.