We all want to feel comfortable in our skin, and vitamins can help us with that. Fortunately, there are plenty of vitamin-enhanced skincare products on the market. But it’s also important to nourish your skin from the inside. With the right combination of vitamins as part of your skincare and your nutrition, you can achieve that desirable healthy glow. To find out which vitamins are best for your skin, Study Finds reviewed the advice of several health experts and extracted all essential information.
Being unhappy with the condition of your skin is a big confidence killer. Unfortunately, ultraviolet (UV)-exposure, air pollution, and of course stress all have a negative impact on our skin’s health. Vitamins help our bodies fight back. Vitamin B3, for instance, helps protect the skin from harmful rays and can reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. And vitamin D not only helps shield against respiratory infections, but could also reduces eczema symptoms.
But just popping a random combination of supplements to support your skin from the inside may do more harm than good. “Patients ask all the time, ‘What supplements should I be taking?’” says Dr. Jeffrey Linder from Northwestern University. “They’re wasting money and focus thinking there has to be a magic set of pills that will keep them healthy when we should all be following the evidence-based practices of eating healthy and exercising.”
Ideally, you get all your vitamins from food, or topically via cream or serum, if applicable (no pun intended). Your PCP or a nutritionist can assist you with identifying where you might be deficient. Your dermatologist can advise you on which vitamins to look for in skincare products. And for maximal support, Study Finds created a top-five list of the best vitamins for your skin based on reviews on ten expert websites to help you glow.
The List: Best Vitamins For Glowing Skin, According To Experts
1. Tie: Vitamin C / Vitamin E
Both vitamins are the most recommended vitamins for your skin. “Think ‘C’ for collagen: This vitamin helps the twisted web of protein hold its shape. It’s also a powerful antioxidant, protecting you from free radicals and possibly lowering your chance of skin cancer,” writes WebMD. As for vitamin E, “this antioxidant and anti-inflammatory can also absorb the energy from UV light, which damages skin and leads to wrinkles, sagging, and skin cancer. It works with vitamin C to strengthen cell walls.”
“Vitamin C is found at high levels in the epidermis (outer layer of skin) as well as the dermis (inner layer of skin). Its cancer-fighting (antioxidant) properties and its role in collagen production help keep your skin healthy. This is why vitamin C is one of the key ingredients found in many anti-aging skincare products,” explains Healthline.
Regarding vitamin E, Healthline points out that “while vitamin E is available in many skin care products, the problem is that any effects could be minimized upon sun exposure. Getting enough vitamin E in your diet is preferable. Most adults need about 15 mg of vitamin E per day.”
2. Vitamin A
This vitamin is another skincare superstar. “Vitamin A is one of the extremely important vitamin supplements when it comes to keeping your skin healthy. It helps every layer of the skin as it works as an antioxidant, can prevent damage from sun exposure, and binds to receptors in your skin cells to help strengthen the epidermis. Without enough Vitamin A, your skin can become dry, itchy, and bumpy (Apotheco Pharmacy Group).”
This vitamin is a frequent anti-aging ingredient of skin care products in the form of retinol. “There’s significant clinical evidence that shows it can help limit the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. […] Unfortunately, topical formulations do tend to cause skin irritation. If you have sensitive skin, do a skin patch test and start with a product that isn’t very concentrated,” recommends Verywell Health
For “internal application,” MedicalNewsToday points out that “many multivitamins contain 100 percent or more of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. Other good sources of vitamin A include carrots, dark leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, and eggs.”
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D tops the list of best vitamins for skin according to Healthline: “Vitamin D is most often made when sunlight is absorbed by your skin. Cholesterol converts to vitamin D when this happens,” they write. “Vitamin D is then taken up by your liver and kidneys and transported throughout the body to help create healthy cells. This includes the skin, where vitamin D plays an important role in skin tone. It may even help treat psoriasis.”
MedicalNewsToday notes that studies have shown how the vitamin also can ward off inflammation, which can lead to skin conditions like acne or eczema. “Vitamin D supports skin cell metabolism, helping the skin grow and repair itself. So, inadequate levels of vitamin D may trigger skin problems. Beneficial sources of vitamin DTrusted Source include fortified products such as milk and cereal, as well as salmon, swordfish, and tuna.”
Apex Skin recommends adults between 18 and 70 consume 600 IU of Vitamin D every day, while those over 70 should consider doses of 800 IU. In the event of a sunburn however, they say high levels of the vitamin can be helpful too. ‘If you do slip up with the sun protection and are worried you have an impending sunburn, taking high dose (200,000 IU) vitamin D3 as soon as possible after the sun exposure has been shown to help suppress the inflammation and activate skin repair,” they write.
4. Vitamin K
Another vitamin up there on the list is vitamin K. “Your body mainly needs vitamin K for blood clotting and bone health, but it’s also an important skin vitamin,” writes Verywell Health.
According to Healthline, “the basic functions of vitamin K are […] thought to help certain skin conditions, such as: stretch marks, spider veins, scars, dark spots, stubborn circles under your eyes.”
You probably don’t need an oral vitamin K supplement: “Vitamin K deficiencies are fairly uncommon, but to increase your daily amount you can include more foods in your diet that contain the vitamin. These foods are kale, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, and green beans (Apotheco Pharmacy Group).”
5. Vitamin B-Complex
Less than half of the consulted experts mention a form of vitamin B for your skin’s health. It’s still be beneficial, though. “Several B-complex vitamins may improve skin health. The water-soluble vitamins are readily available as supplements, including as supplements that include all 12 B-complex vitamins,” informs MedicalNewsToday.
“There are eight different types [of vitamin B]: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), B6, biotin (B7), folate (B9), and B12,” explains Allure. “A form of vitamin B3 called niacinamide is one of the B vitamins most commonly found in skincare. Niacinamide is best known for helping skin maintain its normal barrier function, and reducing dryness and soothing related conditions like eczema. It increases the level of lipids — called ceramides — in the skin, making it ideal for moisturizing. It can also improve the appearance of your skin tone and texture.”
And as vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, this vitamin “contributes to healthy, firm-looking skin” thanks to “moisture-retaining capacities.” “Vitamin B5 improves skin barrier functions and prevents moisture loss. This keeps your skin hydrated, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (SkinKraft).”
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Adding any vitamin or supplement to your dietary routine should always first be discussed with your doctor.
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.