There are numerous studies showing the positive effects of certain vitamins and minerals on the skin. The following are just a few of the more widely known vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements that are said to benefit the skin.
If your vitamin A levels drop even a little below normal, you're likely to see some skin-related symptoms, including a dry, flaky complexion. That's because vitamin A is necessary for the maintenance and repair of skin tissue. Without it, you'll notice the difference. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamin A.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)
ALA is a very powerful antioxidant, hundreds of times more potent than either vitamin C or vitamin E. It is thought to be the best antioxidant for skin health and improving aging skin because of its ability to penetrate both oil and water, affecting skin cells from both the inside and the outside of the body.
Most other antioxidants can do one but not both. ALA, like vitamins C and E, neutralizes skin cell damage caused by free radicals. Some studies show it can repair the damage to skin's DNA, thus reducing the risk of cancer.
Health experts say it also helps other vitamins work more effectively to rebuild skin cells damaged by environmental assaults, such as smoke and pollution. The nutrient isn't readily available in food.
Vitamin B Complex
When it comes to skin, the single most important B vitamin is biotin, a nutrient that forms the basis of skin, nail, and hair cells. Without adequate amounts, you may end up with dermatitis (an itchy, scaly skin reaction) or sometimes even hair loss. Even a mild deficiency causes symptoms. Your body makes plenty of biotin, and the nutrient is also in many foods, including eggs, oatmeal, and rice.
Among the most important new dermatologic discoveries is the power of vitamin C to counter the effects of sun exposure. It works by reducing the damage caused by free radicals, a harmful byproduct of sunlight, smoke, and pollution. Free radicals reduce skin collagen and elastin, the fibers that support skin structure, causing wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Ensue sure your diet includes plenty of vitamin-C rich foods (citrus and vegetables, among others), which can replace the loss of the vitamin through the skin. You can also take vitamin C supplements, up to 500 to 1,000 milligrams of per day.
Copper together with vitamin C and the mineral zinc, helps to develop elastin, the fibers that support skin structure from underneath. Foods high in copper include calf's liver, sesame seeds, soybeans, barley, and sunflower seeds.
DMAE is a short for dimethylaminoethanol, a naturally occurring substance that has been demonstrated to cause some degree of skin tightening. Even though DMAE can't fully reverse the existing facial sag, it may reduce its further progression.
It works mostly by deactivating their power to harm skin cells. It also helps stabilize the membrane around the outside of each cell so that assaults from sun damage and cigarette smoke are reduced. DMAE also prevents the formation of lipofucsin, the brown pigment that becomes the basis for age spots. Can be found in natural food sources such as anchovies, salmon and sardines.
Research shows that, like vitamin C, this potent antioxidant helps reduce the harmful effects of the sun on the skin. According to studies published by the AAD, taking 400 units of vitamin E daily appeared to reduce the risk of sun damage to cells as well as reduce the production of cancer-causing cells.
Some studies show that when vitamins E and A are taken together, people show a 70% reduction in basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer. Vitamin E can also help reduce wrinkles and make your skin look and feel smoother.
Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin. Care should be employed regarding the amount taken, since fat soluble vitamins get stored in the body and are not readily passed when too much is taken like water soluble vitamins such as Vitamin c, and Vitamin K. Stay with 400 international units per day or less to be on the safe side.).
Good sources of Vitamin E include whole grains, such as wheat and oats; wheat germ; leafy green vegetables; sardines; egg yolks; sunflower seeds, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes and almonds.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
If your skin is dry, prone to inflammation you may be lacking essential fatty acids, EFA's are crucial to the production of skin's natural oil barrier.
Without an adequate supply of EFAs, the skin produces a more irritating form of sebum, or oil, which can result in skin irritation and lesions. It is also said that it helps keep your skin looking smoother and younger.
According to many dermatologists the key is a balance omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs. While most folks get plenty of omega-6s, they often lack omega-3 EFAs. Omega-3 EFAs can be found in cold-water fish (such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel), flaxseed, and flax and safflower oils.
Recent studies however indicate that Hyaluronic Acid also plays a role with skin cells, hydrating them, while also acting as a kind of glue that helps hold them together, keeping skin looking smoother and younger. Another plus is its ability to hold water, which means more moisture in each skin cell. The nutrient isn't readily available in food.
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Hyaluronic Acid Helps Skin Cells Hold Together,
Keeping Skin Looking Smoother And Younger.
The are an increasing number of studies showing the importance of selenium in skin cancer prevention. Selenium could reduce your chance of burning, lowering your risk of skin cancer. The best dietary sources of selenium include whole-grain cereals, seafood, garlic, and eggs.
Zinc is an important mineral if you have acne. In fact, sometimes acne itself is a symptom of a zinc deficiency. Taken internally or used topically, zinc works to clear skin by taming oil production, controlling the formation of acne lesions and is said to assist in clearing the skin from these lesions sooner. Food sources of zinc include lean meat, and poultry.
The Bottom Line
Most people can get all the nutrients their skin needs from a multivitamin and a healthy diet. However if you are not eating properly, under stress, smoke or spend a lot of time in the sun, you may need to supplement your diet.
Another important tip is to learn how to take care of your skin as well, such as properly hydrating the skin, use gentle products to cleanse your skin, routinely exfoliating your skin, limiting time in the sun, using sunscreen WHENEVER exposed to the sun's rays, and drinking adequate amounts of water (8 -12 cups minimum), etc.