How Do I Choose the Best Vitamins for Dry Skin?

Meshell Powell

Dry skin is a common problem and is often caused by vitamin deficiencies. Choosing the best vitamins for dry skin depends largely on individual dietary habits. Some vitamins are particularly beneficial for promoting healthy skin, and if a person has difficulty adding these foods to the diet, a supplement may be needed. Some of the most important vitamins for this problem include vitamins A, B, C, D, and E. If just one or two of these vitamins are missing, these supplements may be purchased separately, although a multivitamin containing all of them may be more appropriate for some people.

People with dry skin may notice an improvement if they eat more vitamin-rich foods.
People with dry skin may notice an improvement if they eat more vitamin-rich foods.

Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is one of the most important vitamins for dry skin. This vitamin is primarily responsible for producing healthy skin and hair, so deficiencies often lead to the development of dry skin. Foods that are rich in retinol include sweet potatoes, carrots, raw spinach, and eggs. Other good sources include bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli.

Peppers, which are high in retinol, are good to eat for those with dry skin.
Peppers, which are high in retinol, are good to eat for those with dry skin.

There are several types of B vitamins, and each is important for maintaining healthy skin. While many B vitamins are found together in some foods, it is usually considered best to find a good B-complex vitamin supplement in order to make sure enough of each is consumed. Dosage instructions on the packaging should be followed closely.

Found in carrots, vitamin A is directly involved in the maintenance of normal skin.
Found in carrots, vitamin A is directly involved in the maintenance of normal skin.

Vitamin C helps to produce collagen, a type of fibrous tissue that allows the skin to stretch. Good sources of vitamin C include tomatoes, citrus fruits, broccoli, and strawberries. Some topical creams and lotions that contain this vitamin can be used to soothe the discomfort of dry skin while healing it at the same time.

Broccoli contains a number of vitamins that are excellent for treating dry skin.
Broccoli contains a number of vitamins that are excellent for treating dry skin.

Often overlooked, vitamin D is important for healthy skin. While the best source of this vitamin is being exposed to direct sunlight, some foods have it added. Milk, as well as some fortified cereals, are good choices, although almost everyone could benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement.

Vitamin E is especially important when considering vitamins for dry skin. Vegetables, nuts, and wheat germ are good dietary sources of vitamin E. When it comes to treating dry skin, however, topical formulations are much more beneficial in healing dry, damaged skin. Added benefits of using a topical treatment include itch relief and wrinkle reduction.

B-complex vitamins are essential to healthy skin.
B-complex vitamins are essential to healthy skin.

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Discussion Comments

SarahGen

I've had good results with vitamin B complex and vitamin E for dry skin. Vitamin E I take orally and I also add some of the oil to my regular moisturizer. Vitamin E oil is very soothing for dry skin.

I've heard good things about flax seed oil and glucosamine supplements as well but I personally haven't tried them.

candyquilt

@alisha-- Dry skin and vitamin deficiency aren't always seen together but dry skin might mean that we need more of a certain food group. I think that anyone suffering from dry skin should take fish oil supplements regularly. Fish oil is rich in amino acids such as omega 3 and has many benefits for our body, including our skin. It helps moisturize skin, and make it more flexible, softer and supple.

Scientists have noticed that in places where people eat a lot of fish (like eskimos), people have very soft, hydrated and healthy skin. We're not able to eat as much fish and seafood as we should be and so we have to make up for it by taking fish oil supplements.

discographer

I don't have any vitamin deficiencies as far as I know and I experience dry skin mostly in winter. But when it occurs, it's very bad. My skin becomes itchy, flaky, red and painful.

I've tried all sorts of dry remedies-- different oils and creams, as well as vitamins. Right now I'm taking a multi-vitamin and I'm not seeing any improvement with my dry skin. What can I do about this?

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