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Which Vitamins are Good for the Skin?

Vitamin K is effective in the treatment of dark circles under the eyes.
Found in carrots, vitamin A is directly involved in the maintenance of normal skin.
Vitamin C, among other vitamins, has been shown to be good for skin.
Vitamins can improve a person's complexion.
Taking too many vitamins can result in stomach cramps.
Biotin supplements are often taken to help repair skin cells.
Vitamin supplements can help improve the skin.
Article Details
  • Originally Written By: B. Miller
  • Revised By: Wanda Marie Thibodeaux
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Research shows that vitamins C, A, K, E and B complex stand out in terms of benefits for the skin. Collectively, they fight cell damage, boost collagen production, help healing and speed up cell turnover. They also effect hydration, improve discoloration and keep the immune system healthy. People can get them through a balanced diet, as well as through oral or topical supplements. Some precautions are needed when trying to get the right amounts.

C

This substance works as an antioxidant, meaning that it fights free radicals. These are simply atoms with an uneven number of electrons, but they’re not good because they try to steal electrons away from healthy cells to stay stable. Neutralizing them reduces tissue damage. This vitamin also encourages the production of collagen, which is a protein that keeps connective tissue flexible and elastic. Fine lines and wrinkles usually aren’t as noticeable as a result.

A

Vitamin A rebuilds tissues and increases cell turnover rates, so it’s typically excellent for treating problems such as burns, scrapes and cuts. It is an antioxidant that fights the effects of aging and boosts collagen production. It is also linked to the production of glycosaminoglycans, which are natural moisturizers the body makes to maintain fluid balances and keep tissue structures strong. The combination of better flexibility, strength and good hydration usually means that the skin looks younger.

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K

This is especially good for the skin under the eyes, which is usually very thin. Capillaries in this area often become weak because of aging or from the effects of the environment, and as a result, they sometimes leak or break and cause dark circles. Doctors think that it restricts the capillaries, which can improve the discoloration. For this reason, it might also make bruises look better.

E

Another great antioxidant is Vitamin E. It promotes a healthy immune system, which is connected to how fast cells die and need to be replaced. When a person hurts their skin, such as through a sunburn, the immune system produces the inflammation response that helps fight off infection.

B Complex

B complex refers to an entire group of substances, including thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), inositol (B8), folic acid (B9) and cobalamin (B12). Of these, biotin and niacin arguably are the most important, because they help retain moisture and form the basis for skin, hair and nails. In combination, this entire group often can improve a person’s overall complexion.

Dietary Sources

The easiest way to get what the skin needs typically is to eat a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, essential fatty acids and lean sources of protein. These foods also give a person other vitamins and nutrients that support good health. The best bet usually is to eat fruits and vegetables as soon as possible after harvest, raw or lightly steamed, because many beneficial substances are sensitive to high heat and break down over time. For meats, baking or grilling are often good options, because they don’t add extra calories or fat through flour mixes or cooking oils.

Oral Supplements

In most cases, if a person is eating a good variety of foods, then he’s able to get enough vitamins and nutrients. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a supplement, however. These are available through pharmacy departments, drug stores and health food shops. Most come in either pill or capsule form, but some are liquid drops. They are sold as either a single item — for example, just folic acid — or as products with many ingredients.

When selecting a supplement, buyers should think about their own physical characteristics, which change how much of each substance they might need. A grown, active man, for example, has different nutritional needs than a senior woman or an infant. Many manufacturers take this into account and make products for different categories of people.

Topical Supplements

A good diet usually improves the skin from the inside out, but with many problems such as dryness affecting mainly just the outer layers of tissue, working from the outside in is sometimes a better option. Using creams, lotions or gels that have vitamins C, A, K, E and B complex often works well. They allow an individual to treat specific areas, which is good because the skin can be different from place to place. The armpit, for example, tends to be much more sensitive than the palms of the hands. People who have certain medical conditions such as trouble swallowing also might be able to use this option.

Precautions

Even though it generally is fairly difficult for a person to exceed recommended daily allowances, overdoses can happen. Depending on exactly what substance is involved, symptoms can include diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, fatigue, nerve damage and other conditions. It’s typically a good idea for a person to pay attention to his intake to prevent these problems, especially if he’s using supplements on top of an excellent diet.

Individuals also should watch out for other medical conditions they have or other medications they might be taking. Vitamin A can interfere with antibiotics, for example. Doctors usually want to know about a person’s diet and current prescriptions when they are deciding on treatments because of the potential for interactions.

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Discuss this Article

lightning88
Post 3

It might also interest you to know that there are several foods that you absolutely should avoid if you want to have good skin.

First of all, caffeine and alcohol are big no-nos. Of course, you can consume them moderately, but both types of beverages reduce hydration in your body, which can leave you skin looking oily, dull, and old.

Another mineral that is bad for your skin is salt. Though the body does need a certain amount of salt to function, too much salt makes your tissues swell up, and if they repeatedly swell, your skin gets stretched out and starts to sag.

Finally, processed meats are terrible for your skin. The chemicals that they use to process the meats can leach into your skin and cause major damage -- and they're not that great for your body either.

So just bear in mind that you can take all the herbal supplements of vitamins and minerals that you like, but if you are filling your body with these three skin-killers, then you probably won't get the results you want.

Eating whole foods and getting your minerals and vitamins the natural way is the best thing for your skin and your overall body health.

pharmchick78
Post 2

This is another great article about the connection between health and vitamins -- just another reason to get your five a day!

I would like to make a note though, that not all vitamin creams are suitable for all skin types. Vitamin A creams in particular have a bad reputation for side effects, and can actually be very damaging to skin.

Just so you know, common vitamin A side effects include stinging, redness, irritation, peeling skin, and in rare cases, open sores.

People with thinner or more sensitive skin seem to experience these side effects more than others, so if you have delicate skin, but are just dead set on improving your skin with vitamin A, then you should consider using a very low concentration skin cream, or possibly even just eating more vitamin A foods.

This is really easy to do, since vitamin A is found in high concentrations in apricots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, carrots, and spinach, among other fruits and veggies.

So just bear that in mind before you go out and start slathering on the latest vitamin cream. Just because it has vitamins doesn't mean it's the best choice for all users.

rallenwriter
Post 1

I am a big skin lotion junkie, and I have recently noticed a bunch of organic vitamin creams coming on the market.

I had kind of thought that they were just a new marketing gimmick, but after reading this it sounds like there might be something to the vitamin creams.

I wonder though, is it better for your skin to get the vitamins and minerals in a supplements form, or is it better to get the liquid vitamins and vitamin creams and apply them directly to your skin?

Do you know any information about which method is more effective, or if there is a particularly effective or ineffective way to do it?

Thanks!

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