Our skin is our largest organ and the only one directly tied to how we look. Just like the rest of the body, it needs nutrients to thrive. A question we often hear at our Vancouver laser clinic is: What are the best vitamins for skin health? Well, we’ve got you covered with our guide to the essential vitamins the skin needs for longevity and, of course, to look amazing.
Necessary for the maintenance and repair of vital skin tissue, vitamin A is the key to healthy skin. If you have a vitamin A deficiency your skin can get dry and flaky. So make sure you’re including it in your diet by eating foods like sweet potatoes, carrots and dark leafy green vegetables. Research by the American Academy of Dermatology found that lotions containing vitamin A can help manage acne and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Topical retinoids, a form of vitamin A, are super effective in fighting aging, particularly prescription Retin-A, though over-the-counter retinol has been shown to make a difference as well. Vitamin A helps the skin create collagen for a more youthful look.
Vitamin A is also one of the best vitamins for acne. It prevents dead skin cells from building up and clogging pores, reduces the amount of oil your skin produces, suppresses androgen formation (androgens in the skin are a major cause of acne) and protects fats from oxidation, which keeps cell damage and inflammation at bay. Combine vitamin A with other key acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide for its antibacterial powers, salicylic acid for reducing swelling and redness and unplugging pores, glycolic acid and zinc oxide.\
Vitamin C is the nutrient that collagen (a connective tissue that keeps skin elastic) needs to replenish itself. Topical serums containing the ingredient are an essential component in a solid skincare routine and help to stimulate collagen production and lessen the effects of free radicals as shown by clinical trials. The potent antioxidant rejuvenates aging and photodamaged skin making it firmer and younger looking.
While vitamin C is an important nutrient for overall health, little reaches the skin when it’s taken orally. Levels of the vitamin decrease with age so it’s important to replenish it by applying it directly on the skin. This helps combat collagen degradation and oxidative stress.
Vitamin E is another important antioxidant for skin health. It helps neutralize the free radicals that damage the skin and contribute to premature aging. It actually boosts the skin’s immune system through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin E oil stops wrinkle formation in its tracks by blocking that free radical damage we mentioned, increasing collagen production, supporting new skin cell growth and speeding up cell regeneration.
Brown spots on the skin are caused by aging, free radicals and poor liver function. When applied topically to brown spots, vitamin E can help to lighten them while also smoothing rough skin by lubricating cell membranes and encouraging cell regeneration. For these reasons it’s also great for stretch marks and scars. Vitamin E oil as part of your bedtime routine is excellent for concentrated skin healing and preservation. If applied during pregnancy, it can prevent stretch marks and aid in healing newly formed ones.
Vitamin K is best used on the skin to improve dark under-eye circles and bruises. Look for lotions and creams that contain this vitamin to fade discoloration and help with wrinkle reduction. Though a diet filled with dark leafy greens will help you meet your vitamin K needs, the best way for your skin to get its benefits is to apply it topically.
Peptides are antioxidants that, when used topically, disarm and neutralize free radicals before they harm the skin. This means they play an important role in anti-aging skincare and protect the skin from environmental damage. Peptides help build collagen, which gives skin its thickness and suppleness. Wrinkles form when collagen breaks down, either from age or outside factors like sun and stress. Peptides send a signal to collagen to replenish itself, and voila, you’ll get the appearance of more youthful skin. Since they also have healing properties, peptides are an excellent ingredient for sensitive skin conditions like rosacea and eczema.
Hyaluronic acid is a lubricating fluid found naturally in connective tissue, neural tissue and the skin. When applied topically, it’s extremely hydrating and draws water to the skin and prevents moisture loss. It’s ideal for skin that’s lackluster and sporting dehydration lines (lines you’ll see on the cheeks when you smile). It’s a powerful humectant, or moisture-binding ingredient, and keeps skin plump, moisturized and, yes, younger looking.
Zinc oxide is a white, powdery mineral and the primary ingredient in sunscreen lotions. When slathered on, it offers several important skin benefits. It’s one of the safest ingredients for protecting skin from the negative effects of ultraviolet rays. UV rays penetrate the skin and damage tissue, speeding up the aging process, drying skin out and increasing the risk of skin cancer. Sunscreens containing zinc oxide filter out UV rays and prevent them from penetrating the skin and causing cell damage.
Zinc oxide is also effective for healing the skin. It can be used on wounds, to take the tenderness out of a sunburn and to soften chapped skin. Studies show that people who are zinc deficient usually experience slower wound healing. Applying zinc oxide to a wound helps to repair skin cells and keep the area moist and clean. It’s ideal for blemishes because it acts an astringent and can disinfect and prevent them from turning brown.
Eating a balanced, healthy diet full of vitamin-rich foods. as well as applying many of the important vitamins and minerals for skin health topically, can have a dramatic effect on your complexion. From anti-aging benefits to controlling acne, these nutrients are skin powerhouses. However, if concerns like a loss of elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles, breakouts and dark spots are stubborn and not responding the way you want them to, consider our laser skin treatments in downtown Vancouver. We can naturally and safely rejuvenate the skin from the inside out for real, lasting improvement. Contact NuAge Laser for a free consult and let’s take your skin’s health to the next level.