Having healthy, glowing skin is more than just about vanity. As the body’s largest organ, practicing proper skin care is also essential to overall health. Just as there’s more to healthy skin than meets the eye, there is also more to good skin care than simple cosmetic maintenance.
Eating healthy, drinking lots of water, getting enough sleep, and protecting your skin from harmful UV rays are basic skin care practices. There are also tons of skincare products that boast of anti-aging and moisturizing effects; reducing dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and other blemishes; and giving the skin a youthful suppleness and glow. But beautiful skin, no matter what age, starts from within, so supplements for healthy skin should also be a part of your skin care regimen.
What supplements are good for the skin?
The best sources of essential skin vitamins are fruits and vegetables. A lot of quality skincare products, especially all-natural products, also include these vitamins in their ingredients. Taking supplements for healthy skin offer additional nourishment from within. So what supplements should you be taking, and how do they work?
Vitamin D primarily helps create healthy cells throughout the body, including the skin. A healthy dose of this vitamin supports a healthy skin tone and is also known to help minimize psoriasis symptoms.
Also known as the “skin vitamin,” vitamin D is usually derived from sunlight. When you expose your skin to the sun, the body converts cholesterol into vitamin D. Experts recommend 10 minutes of early sun exposure every day.
Remember, however, that too much exposure to the sun also leads to the absorption of harmful UV rays, which contributes to skin aging, increases the risk for skin cancer, and completely cancels out whatever vitamin D benefits you may get. So it’s also vital that you protect your skin from the sun by covering up, wearing sunscreen, and avoiding or minimizing sun-bathing, especially between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm when the sun’s rays are at their strongest and the sun is at its most harmful position.
Vitamin D supplements are especially helpful when you have limited sun exposure, but you can take them every day for an added boost to your skin health. The daily recommended intake for vitamin D is 600 IU for the average adult. Pregnant women and those over the age of 70 may need a higher daily dose.
Additionally, you can increase vitamin D intake through your diet by eating foods that are rich in this vitamin, such as cod, salmon, and tuna, as well as vitamin-D-fortified foods, such as cereals, fruit juice, and yogurt.
For those focused on the more highly beneficial plant-based diet, you can get vitamin D from dairy and vegetables. Examples of these sources include mushrooms, soy milk, and fortified orange juice, rice milk, or almond milk.
Because of the amount of food you would need to get the vitamin D required, and because of the risks sunshine can pose for many, it’s common for people to take plant-based supplements in pill form. Remember to always shop for high-quality supplements that carry the seal of responsible manufacturing, are plant-based, and are non-GMO, and free from fillers.
Vitamin C helps maintain skin elasticity through optimal collagen production. It also has antioxidant properties, protecting the skin from damage; with such a critical role in keeping the skin feeling and looking youthful, most anti-aging products list vitamin C as an essential ingredient.
Whether derived from your diet, skincare products, or supplements, vitamin C protects against cellular damage, facilitates proper wound healing, slows down signs aging, and prevents skin dryness.
You can easily meet the recommended intake of 1,000 mg of vitamin C per day from plant foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, green and red peppers, leafy greens, and winter squash. Vitamin C supplement comes in the form of ascorbic acid and is one of the most popular vitamin supplements for both kids and adults – taken mostly to help boost immunity.
For adults who are also looking to bring back their skin’s youthful health and minimize signs of aging, increasing vitamin C intake through supplements can enhance the effects of their skin care routine.
Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant that protects the skin against cellular damage from UV rays, as well as other environmental toxins that produce free radicals in the body. This vitamin has healing and moisturizing properties and is another common ingredient in many skincare products.
The body produces vitamin E through sebum – the skin’s natural oil. Healthy sebum production keeps the skin moisturized. Many environmental factors, however, can deplete the body’s vitamin E, as it works to protect against skin damage. Too much sun exposure, in fact, often significantly reduces the protective and healing effects of the vitamin E present in the skincare products you use. The recommended daily intake of vitamin E is 15 mg, and you can meet your requirement by eating more nuts and seeds and taking a vitamin E supplement.
Vitamin K is the blood-clotting vitamin and facilitates the healing process – both for minor and major wounds. In supplement form and topical creams, vitamin K is often prescribed to help reduce swelling and bruising and promote faster-wound healing in patients who have undergone surgery.
Studies that have looked into the health benefits of vitamin K for skin are limited compared to those done on vitamins C and E. Still, vitamin K has shown great potential in helping improve or treat a variety of skin conditions, including dark spots, circles under the eyes, scars, spider veins, and stretch marks.
The recommended intake for adults is between 90 ug and 120 ug per day. Vitamin K can be derived from vegetables, such as cabbage, green beans, kale, lettuce, and spinach. In supplement form, vitamin K is often present in multivitamins but is also available on its own. It is not a common dietary supplement, but if you have a skin condition that you want to improve, talk to your doctor about supplementing with this vitamin.
What is the best supplement for glowing skin?
Glowing skin is skin that is well-nourished from within. The best supplements for glowing skin are vitamins C and E. With their antioxidant properties and essential roles in maintaining optimal skin health, supplementing with these two vitamins offers a two-punch advantage – by protecting against skin damage and promoting the healthy growth of new skin cells and the production of collagen.
Do skin supplements really work?
All of us want perfect, youthful, glowing skin. Many are willing to spend exorbitant amounts on the best skincare products and treatments, as well as significant time and effort on multi-step skin regimens to achieve and maintain beautiful skin. But because skin health requires more than superficial care, it is more important to focus on nourishing the skin from deep within.
The essential vitamins that offer great skin benefits are already abundantly present in whole foods. A healthful diet made up of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy fats, is often all you need for optimal skin health. But the supplements mentioned above for healthy skin can still offer boosting effects, particularly for people who have certain skin conditions, are getting on in age, or are exposed to a lot of environmental toxins.
Proper skin care should begin as early as possible. First, in order to establish healthy skin care habits from a young age, and second, because skin damage is often cumulative and challenging, if not impossible, to reverse. Focus on your skin health, both from within and without. The best skin care should start on the cellular level and will show your natural, healthy glow.
- Foods for skin: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-foods-for-healthy-skin
- Vitamin D for skin: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4642156/
- Sun exposure: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/5240-sun-damage-protecting-yourself
- Vitamin D Dosage: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-d/art-20363792
- Vitamin D foods: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
- Plant-based vitamin D: https://www.healthline.com/health/vegan-vitamin-d
- Vitamin C and skincare: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673383/
- Vitamin C daily intake: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/
- Vitamin E and skincare: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4976416/
- Vitamin E daily intake: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/
- Vitamin K and skincare: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583891/
- Vitamin K and skin: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4600246/
- Vitamin K daily intake: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitaminK-HealthProfessional/
- Skin supplements work: https://www.consumerreports.org/dietary-supplements/truth-about-hair-skin-nail-supplements/
- Healthful skin-focused diet: https://www.webmd.com/beauty/ss/slideshow-skin-foods