When your diet is packed with healthy fruits and vegetables, you see the effects on your skin. In reality, most of us don’t eat like we should, so supplemental vitamins are a must. Get to know your vitamins and what they do, so you can help stack the deck in your skin’s favor.
“In skincare, vitamin A appears as retinol or hundreds of other variations, the most common of which are retinoic acid (tretinoin) and retinyl palmitate,” says Marta Wohrle from Truth in Aging. Retinol is known to be quite the exfoliator, which is the best way to propel the skin to produce new cells and stimulate collagen production.
Vitamin B family members that you will find in skincare and haircare include biotin (vitamin B7), panthenol (vitamin B5) and niacin or niacinamide (vitamin B3). B3/niacinamide is involved big time in anti-aging skincare. “Niacinamide suppresses melanin from reaching the surface of the skin and protects the skin from further UV damage. It is also supposed to help the skin retain moisture increase by increasing ceramide and free fatty acid levels in skin,” says Wohrle.
If you want to repair and prevent sun damage—and who doesn’t?—niacinamide is a great vitamin to look out for. Becauase it’s anti-inflammatory, it can also be good for acne and rosacea. In fact, a Vitamin B deficiency may lead to eczema or acne. “A paucity of vitamin B2 can cause skin to be oily. In general, oily sensitive skin seems to find vitamin B helpful,” adds Wohrle.
We all take vitamin C for its antioxidants and immune-boosting abilities, but it can also help fight DNA damage, hyperpigmentation and rosacea.
Also known as “tocopherol” or “tocopheryl acetate,” vitamin E is an antioxidant superstar. “Benefits include enhancing the efficacy of active sunscreen ingredients, reducing the formation of free radicals from exposure to UV rays, promoting the healing process, strengthening the skin’s barrier function, protecting the skin barrier’s lipid balance, and reducing transepidermal water loss,” says Wohrle. Beware of tocopherol residing at the end of the ingredients list in a skin care product. That means it’s being used as nothing more than a preservative.
Also known as Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), vitamin Q energizes the skin, protects against photo-aging, rejuvenates skin cells, stimulates collagen production and is a potent antioxidant that protects against oxidative damage. Sadly, as we get older, CoQ10 drops off. This makes our cells lose energy and antioxidant powers. Taking the vitamin can help keep it where it belongs.
Read more: Foods That Make You More Beautiful