While your skincare routine plays a part in your skin’s condition, a nutrient-packed diet works wonders to maintain healthy skin from the inside out. What actually helps though? Here is our guide to the 10 essential nutrients for healthy skin that looks and feels good.
Importance of skin health
Our skin is what protects our insides from potential external dangers including everything from the weather (hello sun!) and pollution, to sharp, hot and cold items. So, it only makes sense that we look after it.
One of the ways we can support our body’s largest organ (skin) is by making sure we eat and apply the vitamins it needs to stay healthy.
Signs of poor skin health
If our skin is unhealthy, it usually gives us certain ‘warning signs’ to let us know it’s feeling a little down in the dumps. In fact, our skin can often tell us if there is something going on inside that we need to address.
Here are the top signs of poor skin health:
Lack of lustre / dreary complexion
Dark spots / hyperpigmentation
Dry, flaky patches
Chapped / dry lips
There are many signs of poor skin health, including dry patches, hyperpigmentation and an uneven texture
Which vitamins are good for the skin?
Everyone’s skin is different, and we all have different skin goals. Thankfully, there are a wide range of vitamins and other nutrients that can help maintain normal skin health.
Best vitamins for dry skin
Dry skin has multiple potential causes, including aging, dehydration, allergies, seasonal changes, and micronutrient deficiencies.
A few of these causes unfortunately cannot be avoided, but when it comes to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, you can take control.
Some of these micronutrients need to be eaten within your diet, and some when you apply them directly to the skin (but we’ll go into that more below).
Here are the best vitamins for dry skin:
10 best vitamins for healthy skin (+ other nutrients)
1. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an important fat-soluble antioxidant that has been used for more than 50 years in dermatology.14
It contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress, which can help protect against the effects of premature ageing and wrinkles as well as improve the appearance of blemishes and imperfections.
Vitamin E is made by plants and must be obtained through the diet. Some of the richest sources include nuts, spinach, olive oil, sunflower oils.
You can also find it in many skincare products on the market, including serums, moisturisers and body lotions. It is most popular in anti-ageing skincare, but the majority of its skin benefits come from consuming it via your diet.
- Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Biotin is part of the B vitamin family and performs multiple important functions in our bodies, including supporting healthy skin, hair and mucous membranes.
Signs of biotin deficiency include skin rashes, hair loss and brittle nails, which is why it is recommended for healthy skin.15
You can find it in a wide range of foods including eggs, nuts and wholegrains.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B3 is a fat-soluble vitamin we must get through our diet. Studies have shown that niacin could potentially help improve the appearance of ageing facial skin, namely the reduction of red blotchiness and hyperpigmented spots.16
Niacin not only plays a part in healthy skin, it also helps to release energy from the foods we eat.
A vitamin B3 deficiency can result in dry skin, or in very severe cases it can develop into pellagra – a condition that produces sore, ‘raw’-feeling skin similar to sunburn.
Meat, fish, eggs and milk are all good sources of this essential nutrient.
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Necessary for keeping the skin, eyes and nervous system healthy17, riboflavin is found in dairy products like milk and eggs along with fortified breakfast cereals and rice.
- Vitamin C
Particularly useful for skin, vitamin C contributes to normal collagen formation which supports skin structure.
Without it, our bodies simply would not be able to make enough collagen, which is key for keeping our skin’s elasticity and plumpness. If we don’t have enough vitamin C, this can lead to premature ageing of the skin, like fine lines and wrinkles.
This essential vitamin is found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, including oranges, strawberries, broccoli and potatoes.
You can also find it in lots of topical products like moisturisers and serums where it can help tackle blemishes and brown spots.18