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5 Essential Vitamins For Healthy And Glowing Skin

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Vindhya L Veerula, MD, FAAD
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5 Essential Vitamins For Healthy And Glowing Skin November 19, 2018

Beauty is skin deep. When you take care of your body from the inside, it naturally shows on your skin. What if I tell you that you can get glowing, soft, and dewy skin without using any makeup? Yes, you can achieve perfect and flawless skin from whatever you put on your plate. Any changes that happen to your skin occur at the cellular level. And that’s why providing the cells with the right vitamins is crucial to keep your skin in good shape. Read on to know more about the 5 essential vitamins for healthy and glowing skin.

The Best Vitamins For Healthy Skin (And How To Include Them In Your Diet Or Use Them Topically)

Your skin reflects what you eat. Nourishing your body with foods dense in vitamins and nutrients is the only way to combat skin conditions and get an even skin tone. These vitamins repair cellular damage and promote skin regeneration. You need not wonder anymore about which vitamins should you include in your diet to achieve fantastic skin because I have them listed them below.

5 Essential Vitamins For Healthy And Glowing Skin

Table Of Contents

  1. Vitamin C: To Amp Up Your Antioxidant Levels
  2. Vitamin A: For Preventing Aging and Acne
  3. Vitamin E: For Preventing Dryness
  4. Vitamin B3: For Treating Sun Damage And Pigmentation
  5. Vitamin K: For Stubborn Dark Spots And Scars

1. Vitamin C: To Amp Up Your Antioxidant Levels

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This vitamin is mainly found in the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) and the dermis (inner layer of skin). Vitamin C plays a vital role in maintaining skin health and in the formation of collagen.

How Does It Help?

According to a study published in Nutrients, vitamin C:

  • Promotes collagen production in your skin (collagen keeps your skin elastic).
  • Prevents photodamage caused by UV exposure.
  • Maintains antioxidant levels in your body.
  • Prevents aging and reduces the appearance of wrinkles (1).

Vitamin C is transported to your skin through the blood. It keeps your skin hydrated and hair healthy.

How To Get More Vitamin C

If you think you are not getting enough vitamin C from your diet, you can consume:

  • Red pepper
  • Guava
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya
  • Peas
  • Grapefruit
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale

For Topical Application

If you want to use vitamin C topically, the best way to do it is by using a cream or moisturizer containing it. This is a necessary ingredient that you can find in serums, night creams, and moisturizers. And if you want to go the natural way, you can always make a vitamin C scrub by mixing lemon juice with sugar or salt. However, don’t use it regularly. And remember to dilute it before applying to your skin.

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2. Vitamin A: For Preventing Aging And Acne

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If you are someone who is conscious of the signs of aging, you might be aware of retinol. This is nothing but a form of vitamin A, which is highly effective in improving the signs of aging. Vitamin A, when applied topically and ingested with food and other supplements, keeps many skin related issues at bay.

How Does It Help?

According to a study, vitamin A:

  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Boosts collagen production, which increases the elasticity of your skin.
  • Improves skin appearance.
  • Reduces damage caused by free radicals (2).
  • Prevents acne.

A study found that people with low levels of vitamin A or retinol had severe acne and other skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (3).

How To Get More Vitamin A

If you want to increase your vitamin A intake, consume foods like:

  • Sweet potato
  • Butternut squash
  • Spinach
  • Egg yolks
  • Carrots
  • Seafood
  • Bell peppers
  • Cod liver oil
  • Whole milk
  • Tomatoes

Or you can even have vitamin A supplements that are readily available in pharmacies.

For Topical Application

Retin A, Tretinoin, Retinol, Renova, Retinaldehyde – these are all types of vitamin A found in skin creams under these names. While retinol is readily available as an over-the-counter medication, you will need a doctor’s prescription to get retinoid. Why? It’s because retinoids are pretty strong and do not suit every skin type. Retinol and the other forms are a bit milder and are generally irritation-free. If you are applying retinol and similar types of vitamin A, remember that its efficacy decreases in sunlight. Hence, it is better to apply it during the night. Also, if you are using it for the first time, don’t apply it every day. Use it every other day, unless advised otherwise by your dermatologist.

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3. Vitamin E: For Preventing Dryness

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You have probably seen “Vitamin E” shining like a bright star on the labels of your cosmetic products. This is because it is widely used for its dermatological benefits.
Vitamin E is a free radical scavenger, which means it damages the harmful free radicals and keeps your skin healthy.

How Does It Help?

A study suggests that vitamin E:

  • Minimizes damage caused by the harmful UV rays, such as dark spots.
  • Prevents dryness and keeps your skin conditioned.
  • Reduces oxidative stress and diminishes signs of aging.
  • Keeps your skin moisturized.
  • Reduces skin inflammation (4).

Applying vitamin E topically helps prevent skin conditions, but its efficacy decreases after exposure to the sun. Which is why it is crucial that you get enough of vitamin E through your diet.

How To Get More Vitamin E?

You can increase your vitamin E intake by including the following foods in your diet:

  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Hazelnuts
  • Avocado
  • Papaya
  • Parsley
  • Olives
  • Broccoli
  • Pine nuts

For Topical Application

Vitamin E capsules are readily available in medical stores. You can swallow them whole or squeeze out the liquid (vitamin E oil) and apply it to your face and other areas. Apply vitamin E oil directly on the skin only if you have extremely dry skin or serious skin issues, such as psoriasis and eczema. Otherwise, it is better to mix the vitamin E oil (squeeze about 3 capsules) with a tablespoon of olive oil and then massage this mixture on your face or the area you want to focus.

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4. Vitamin B3: For Treating Sun Damage And Pigmentation

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While exposure to the sun rays gives you your daily dose of vitamin D, overexposure can cause significant damage to your skin. Pigmentation, fine lines, dark spots – long time exposure to UVA and UVB rays cause all these unwanted side effects.

How Does It Help?

A study found that:

  • Vitamin B3 or niacinamide protects your skin from sun damage.
  • It reduces hyperpigmentation (which is caused by sun exposure).
  • It minimizes the aging process of your skin by working on fine lines and dark spots.
  • It also improves your skin texture and elasticity.

How To Get More Vitamin B3?

If you are someone who mostly consumes processed foods, you might be at risk of losing this critical vitamin. To avoid that, include these foods in your diet and get your daily dose of vitamin B3:

  • Mushrooms
  • Tuna
  • Turkey
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Avocado
  • Green peas
  • Liver
  • Peanuts
  • Chicken breast
  • Kidney beans

For Topical Application

You can buy niacinamide powder, mix it with your moisturizer or cream, and apply on your face. One thing you need to remember is that niacinamide is soluble in water. Hence, your moisturizer needs to be water-based. Otherwise, the vitamin will not mix properly, and it won’t be of any use. The best way is to make your own moisturizer. Combine aloe vera gel with niacinamide powder, and it’s good to go!

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5. Vitamin K: For Stubborn Dark Spots And Scars

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Vitamin K is best known for helping with blood clotting. It plays a key role in healing the wounds and bruises. It also helps in treating several skin conditions and keeps your skin healthy.

How Does It Help?

  • It fights wrinkles and dark circles. A study conducted in 2004 found that application of an under-eye gel containing 2% vitamin K, along with 0.1% of each retinol and vitamins C and E, significantly reduced wrinkles and dark circles (5).
  • Another study found that it helped in lowering purple discoloration on the skin and dissolved skin pigmentation and bruises (6).

How Can You Get Vitamin K?

You can increase your intake of vitamin K by consuming:

  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Turnip greens
  • Kale
  • Swiss chard
  • Romaine
  • Parsley
  • Cauliflower
  • Cereals

Vitamin K is found in various forms. Vitamins K1, K2, and K3 are easily found in all types of foods (mainly plants), but you will also get dietary supplements of vitamin K.

For Topical Application

Vitamin K creams are easily available in the medical stores. Usually, doctors prescribe them to those who have undergone surgery (to help with the bruises) or for reducing stretch marks. These creams are also prescribed for treating dark circles, spider veins, and any other skin issues.

It is important to keep your skin nourished to get that healthy glow on your face. If you love your skin, prove it by including all the essential vitamins in your skin care regimen.

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Ramona Sinha