Four types of vitamins to take for better skin
Editor's Note: The author is a licensed pharmacist.
In an ideal world, we would all get eight hours of sleep, regular exercise, a healthy diet, zero stress, and have healthy skin habits. But reality is often the complete opposite. We stay up late and eat junk because we're busy trying to get better grades, excel at our jobs, or take care of our families. Problem is, our bodies get stressed so we get with acne, splotchiness, wrinkles, and even excessive oiliness. Skin care products can only do so much when an unhealthy lifestyle is causing these skin problems, so it's a good idea to take vitamins to help our bodies (and complexions) cope with the stress.
Vitamin supplements are primarily designed to help us reach the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals that we'd normally get from our diets but because they help keep your body healthy, your skin gets better too! But before your start popping pills, first find out which ones to take and the beauty benefits they offer!
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a highly potent antioxidant, which blocks some of the damage caused by free radicals. That makes it an excellent ally in preventing early aging due to sun exposure, and fighting hyperpigmentation, and inflammation. It also promotes healing of damaged skin and stimulates collagen production, so both your skin and hair are more resilient against damage and breakage. Our bodies don't naturally produce this vitamin, so if you're not able to regularly include fruits and vegetables into your diet, it may be a good idea to take it in pill form daily.
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Adults: 75 to 90mg per day
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) is probably the beauty vitamin most people are familiar with. It's also an antioxidant like vitamin C, and the two are best taken together to maximize their benefits. Vitamin E helps repair cell damage caused by cigarette smoking, exposure to air pollution, and unprotected sun exposure. If you'd rather get this through food, snack on sunflower seeds and almonds for your daily dose.
RDA for Adults: 15mg per day
The Vitamin B Complex is made up of Vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B7 (biotin), and B9 (folic acid). They all play important roles in keeping skin healthy. Thiamine is an antioxidant that eats up free radicals, while Niacin helps the body flush out toxins and also prevents acne. Biotin and folic acid aid in the production of fatty acids which help skin maintain its moisture. Overall, vitamin B complex enhances the skin’s health and vitality.
RDA for adults: 1.1mg to 1.4mg per day for B1, 1.1 to 1.6 mg per day for B2, 400 to 600mcg per day for B9
We want to pay special attention to Biotin because it is actually known as the “ultimate beauty vitamin.” Vitamin B7 (sometimes also known as Vitamin H) supports the health of the hair and skin. It is said to relieve very dry and itchy skin and dandruff, and used to treat hair loss and brittle nails. If you experience those issues, you might have a Biotin deficiency. You can get this from eating egg yolks, or simply take supplements.
Adequate intake (AI) for Adults: 30mcg per day
Multivitamins are the easiest way to take all the vitamins above (and more) in just one nifty pill. Most also contain Vitamin A, which is said to reduce inflammation and excess oil production. If you choose to take a multivitamin, make sure to read the fine print and check how much of each type you'll actually be getting. Taking a multivitamin in addition to another supplement might also give you more than what you need, so make sure to follow the prescribed RDAs in the label to avoid over-dosing.
Omega-3 or Fish oil is not a vitamin, but still a really good supplement for overall health and skin rejuvenation. It is an essential fatty acid that is found in fish, some plants, and nut oils. Omega-3 fatty acids have been reported to decrease the skin’s sensitivity to UV rays, which is great news to those who want to avoid sun damage and the early aging that it causes. This is also the good kind of fat that keeps skin smooth, supple, and young-looking!
The World Health Organization recommends healthy adults to take a daily EPA and DHA intake of 0.3 to 0.5 grams from fish oil.
You can buy these supplements from pharmacies like Mercury Drugstore, Watsons, and even Healthy Options. But before you do, we strongly recommend checking with your doctor first, particularly if you have any medical conditions or take any medications. Yes, vitamins are generally good for you, but it's possible to have too much of a good thing!
Do you take vitamin supplements? Have they helped you achieve better skin? Do share your experiences in the comments!
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