Vitamins for Beautiful Skin

Diet, genetics and the environment all influence the appearance of your skin. There are many beauty products on the market that promise to promote beautiful, healthy skin. People have turned to topical products, regular exercise and a balanced diet to help keep skin looking as youthful and vibrant as possible. While different approaches to maintaining beautiful skin exist, the most effective treatments work from inside your body. Consuming the right vitamins can help to give you the healthy, glowing skin you desire.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is known for boosting the immune system to fight colds and the flu, but it may also enhance your skin. An effective antioxidant, vitamin C defends against free radicals that can age your skin because of excessive sun exposure or air pollutants. Vitamin C also plays a role in the production of collagen, an essential skin protein. Skin will sag and look dull without collagen. Additionally, a deficiency of vitamin C can cause dry, rough, scaly skin, according to the Merck Manuals Online Medical Library. Vitamin C is found in some skin care products and many types of fruits and vegetables including oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, sweet red peppers, broccoli and potatoes.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E also has antioxidant properties that affect the skin. Vitamin E may improve the softness, moisture and smoothness of your skin when applied topically. Furthermore, Vitamin E may also protect the skin from sun exposure, reduce the visibility of scars, and slow the skin aging process. Some skin care products contain vitamin E, but it may be consumed orally as well. Food sources include wheat germ oil, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds or oil, peanut butter, spinach, kiwis and mangoes, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.

Vitamin H

A deficiency of vitamin H, or biotin, can cause dry, scaly skin and cracking in the corners of the mouth, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Biotin can be found in bananas, eggs, brewer’s yeast, nuts, whole grains and mushrooms. It can also be consumed in multi-vitamins or as individual supplements.

Vitamin K

Often known to play an important role in blood clotting, vitamin K may also be used for speeding up the healing process of bruises, according to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Vitamin K can be found in some “clarifying” creams that help to lighten skin redness caused by broken blood vessels. It may also be used to help treat skin irritations and scarring. Food sources containing vitamin K include olive, soybean and canola oil; mayonnaise; raw spinach, kale and leaf lettuce; and cooked broccoli.

About this Author

Anna Lisa Somera is a life science investor, health care writer, marathoner and triathlete. She holds an M.P.H. and M.B.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an M.S. in anatomy and cell biology from Rush University. She has been published in medical journals, including Science and The Journal of Bacteriology.