We all want to have healthy, vibrant skin. Clear, glowing skin makes you look and feel good and helps boost your confidence. “There’s a growing body of research showing that diet really does affect your complexion,” says Dr. Jessica Wu, a dermatologist based in Los Angeles and author of “Feed your Face”.
Some of the vitamins that keep skin looking great are Vitamins A, C, D and E.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant, which means it fights against free radicals in the body. Free radicals are molecules which damage cells in the body and can lead to cancer. Vitamin A is fat-soluble and therefore can be stored in the body, which means you don’t always need to take it in large quantities.
Vitamin A is good for eye health, helping to improve vision. It is also used in cell and tissue formation.
Some sources of Vitamin A are fruits such as mangoes, oranges and apricots. In vegetables you can get it from sweet potatoes, carrots, collard greens and spinach. Other sources are cod liver oil, eggs and liver from chicken, cows and pigs.
Deficiencies in Vitamin A can lead to night blindness and decreases the body’s ability to fight infections.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is also known as Ascorbic acid and is a water-soluble vitamin, and as such, it cannot be stored in the body. Because of this it is necessary to take it in regularly to avoid a deficiency. It is a powerful antioxidant and is used in building collagen tissue, which is used for the formation of healthy gums and teeth, as well as blood vessels in the body. Vitamin C also helps the body to fight infections that can lead to colds and flu.
Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and also strawberries. It can be found in vegetables such as green and red peppers, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes (both regular potatoes and sweet).
A deficiency in Vitamin C can cause scurvy which is relatively rare today. Scurvy results in rough, dry scaly skin and bleeding gums.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin so it also does not have to be taken in high doses. It actually works best in conjunction with calcium to regulate the absorption of calcium in the body, and helps to prevent calcium from dipping too low into dangerous levels. Vitamin D also helps calcium with building strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D can be acquired naturally from exposing your skin to the sun’s rays, though it is advised to limit the exposure if not using sunscreen to avoid the risk of skin cancer.
Vitamin D can be found naturally in few foods. The best sources are fatty fish such as mackerel, tuna and salmon, as well as from fish liver oils. Small amounts are also found in eggs and cheese. You can add it to your regular diet as a supplement to boost the amount you get from food.
Deficiency in Vitamin D can cause rickets, in which the bones are not mineralized (soft and not well formed), leading to bone deformities.
4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin and is also an antioxidant. It can help boost the body’s immune system to combat bacteria and various viruses in the body. Vitamin E is effective in widening blood vessels and preventing blood clots. It is also provides protection against sun damage and premature aging of the skin.
This vitamin can be found in foods such as corn, soybeans and vegetables like spinach and broccoli. It can also be found in some vegetable oils like olive oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil and wheat germ. Almonds, peanuts and sunflower seeds are also good sources of Vitamin E. You can also take Vitamin E in supplement form as capsules. Vitamin E is great for healthy skin and is used in a lot of skin creams and lotions.
Vitamin E deficiency can result in nerve and muscle damage, which can cause a loss of feeling in the arms and legs, lack of bodily movement control, muscular weakness, and vision problems. It can also result in a weakened immune system.
In addition to taking vitamins for optimal skin health, make sure you eat a balanced and healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits, and cut back on sugar and processed foods. Regular facials can also help to keep skin clean, healthy and glowing.