wavebreakmedia/ShutterstockHealthy skin comes from the inside out. What you choose to put into your body will reflect itself on your skin. Diets filled with processed foods (like these foods dermatologists never eat) often leave skin looking and feeling dull, oily, and discolored. But nourished bodies that are fueled with whole foods containing the recommended amount of vitamins often display a much healthier appearance—without needing supplements. What vitamins do you need and what exactly do they do? Here are the basics on vitamins and skin health.
1. Vitamin A
Necessary for the maintenance and repair of vital skin tissue, vitamin A is the key to healthy skin. If you’re deficient in vitamin A, your skin may take on a dry, flaky complexion. (Learn more signs of a vitamin deficiency.) Get your daily recommended allowances of vitamin A through foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and dark, leafy vegetables. Research by the American Academy of Dermatology has shown that when used on the skin, lotions containing vitamin A can help control acne and reduce lines and wrinkles.
2. Vitamin B Complex
Found in foods like oatmeal, rice, eggs, and bananas, vitamin B complex contains the nutrient, biotin, which forms the basis of nails, skin, and hair cells. (Don’t miss these other ways to grow strong nails.) Too little vitamin B complex in your diet can cause dermatitis or hair loss. Topical creams and ointments made with B vitamins can instantly hydrate cells and give a healthy glow to skin. Using some creams containing vitamin B has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and to even out skin tone—especially if you follow these dermatologists’ moisturizer rules.
3. Vitamin C
Fill up on citrus fruits, leafy greens, bell peppers, and cauliflower, all of which are full of this vital nutrient. Vitamin C has been known to fight colds and when used on the skin, vitamin C can help collagen production. Vitamin C can also help reduce wrinkles, improve skin texture, and reduce photo damage. Check out these other foods that fight wrinkles, too.
4. Vitamin E
Use vitamin E on your skin to help reduce the appearance of scars and rough, dry skin. To keep skin looking supple and soft, try adding foods that revamp dry skin, like nuts, olives, and spinach, to your diet, all of which are high in the vitamin. These foods will not only help your skin stay soft, but will help your hair’s luster and strength. For stubborn scars, try rubbing vitamin E oil on the scar to reduce its appearance, and follow these rules for treating acne scars.
5. Vitamin K
Vitamin K can be best used on the skin to help with dark circles and bruises. (You can also try this doctor-approved trick for fading bruises.) Look for lotions and creams that contain this vitamin to help fade discolorations on the skin, and help with wrinkle reduction. Though a diet filled with dark, leafy greens will help your vitamin K needs, the best way for your skin to get the most benefit is to use it topically. You won’t even need to learn how to cover scars and dark circles with makeup.