Eat Your Way to Pretty Skin and Hair
5 Vitamins Your Body Needs Now
Vitamins are beneficial to your skin in two ways: From the outside, applied on the surface, and from the inside, taken as a supplement or contained in food. Here’s a look at what works best where:
VITAMINS YOU NEED INSIDE
Vitamin A. Inside your body, vitamin A (aka beta carotene) keeps a variety of unpleasant skin conditions at bay, possibly including the dry, bumpy skin called keratosis pilaris. As an antioxidant, it helps protect against environmental damage to the skin such as from sun exposure and pollutants. Look for vitamin A in carrots, dark leafy greens (e.g., kale), and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin B. If you take a supplement, then look for a vitamin B complex so you get biotin (vitamin B7), which is beneficial for your hair, nails and skin. Vitamin B can be found in almonds, peanuts, eggs, and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin C. Really important, collagen is a type of protein in your skin that keeps it from sagging and it needs vitamin C to stay healthy. Getting enough vitamin C may even slow the formation of wrinkles, since it’s an antioxidant that fights sun damage. Plus, vitamin C also helps to heal injuries. Look for vitamin C in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruit, dark leafy greens, kiwis, papayas, strawberries, and yellow bell peppers.
Vitamin E. Like vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant and may help reduce the aging effects of sun exposure and environmental pollutants. Look for vitamin E in avocados, nuts (including peanuts), spinach, and sunflower seeds.
Vitamin K. While vitamin C keeps the skin’s collagen firm, vitamin K keeps elastin (an important structural protein that allows your skin to snap back after being pinched) healthy. Vitamin K is also critical to having good blood circulation, since it keeps the blood vessels supple and encourages blood clotting when you get a cut or scrape. Vitamin K can be found in foods like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and dark leafy greens.
VITAMINS YOU NEED OUTSIDE
Vitamin A. On the surface of the skin, vitamin A, in the form of a prescription retinol cream (aka tretinoin) helps to control acne and blackheads. It also manages the appearance of fine wrinkles and dark blotches caused by sun exposure by speeding skin rejuvenation.
Vitamin C. Vitamin C supports collagen production from both inside and outside, helping to slow the formation of wrinkles. Applied to facial skin, vitamin C also helps heal sun damage and smoothes your skin’s texture.
Vitamin E. The antioxidant effects of vitamin E on the surface of the skin are similar to its actions inside the body - it fends off damage as a result of sun exposure and environmental pollutants, and because vitamin E is oil-based, it also keeps your skin moisturized.
Vitamin K. Vitamin K affects blood clotting, so it’s often an ingredient found in creams made to speed up the healing process and to fade bruises. Some people believe it minimizes stretch marks, scars, under eye circles and even spider veins, although there’s not much scientific evidence to back this claim up.