Vitamins for Healthier Skin

The skin is one of your most important organs; it is the largest organ in the body, providing protection and a sensory connection to the environment. Maintaining and improving its health can benefit the well-being of your entire body. The approaches individuals take to keep their skin looking healthy vary but can be all rendered useless by a poor diet. Several essential vitamins can keep your skin healthy and even repair damage caused by environmental factors.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays an essential role in your body’s growth, immune system, cell reproduction and in maintaining the health of your skin. As with all fat-soluble vitamins, consuming too much Vitamin A is toxic unless the nutrient is received in the form of carotene. You can find vitamin A as carotene in foods like broccoli, cantaloupe and spinach. The recommended daily intake (RDI) as set by the FDA for vitamin A is 5,000 IU per day. However, some experts, like Dr. Perricone, a New York Times bestselling author on skin care, recommend consuming up to 10,000 IU of the nutrient per day.

Vitamins B2 and B3 (Riboflavin and Niacin)

This pair of vitamins helps to maintain and promote healthy skin functions. To achieve healthier skin, Carole Parker, an author featured on, and Dr. Perricone both suggest that you take up to 100 mg of both nutrients daily. These vitamins can be found in several types of nuts as well as in some dairy products.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C not only enables your body to maintain the health of its skin, but also defends against free radicals created by sunlight, chemicals and ozone. In the past, Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling recommended consuming 1000 mg or more of vitamin C daily. Some experts, including Dr. Marshall, think that dosages as high as those recommended by Pauling are excessive in the long term. There is no doubt about the positive effects of the anti-oxidant, but exactly how much you should consume for healthier skin remains a debated issue in the scientific community.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E works to protect cell membranes and to prevent free radical damage caused by environmental factors. Taking higher levels of vitamin E when you have been exposed to the sun for a long period of time can speed up your skin’s natural recovery. As a fat-soluble antioxidant, vitamin E should not be taken in large doses. Dr. Perricone suggests you should consume 400 to 800 IU of the nutrient per day, eating foods like sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins and cantaloupes.

About this Author

Marie Cheour had her first article published in 1995, and she has since published more than 40 articles in peer-reviewed publications such as “Nature” and “Nature Neuroscience.” She has worked as a college professor in Europe and in the United States. Cheour has a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Helsinki.