Vitamins are one of the most important components of a healthy diet. Vitamins are responsible for many skin processes. They provide necessary care, make it look younger, reduce imperfections, and prevent cancer. We can’t underestimate the role of vitamins: according to studies by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in the US, skin cancer is the leader among the other cancer types. What vitamins are the best for the skin and how can you replenish their supply?
Vitamin D stimulates the multiplication of skin cells (renewal), fights the harmful effects of sunlight, prevents and inhibits the development of malignant neoplasms, regulates the normal development of hair follicles, and removes inflammation and irritation. That’s why vitamin D is used to control psoriasis outbreaks.
The daily need of an adult is 15 μg or 600 IU. After the age of 70, even more Vitamin D should be consumed. The deficiency of this vitamin is quite common: in the USA it is up to a third of the population, (Looker AC, Johnson CL, Lacher DA, Pfeiffer CM, Schleicher RL, Sempos CT (Mar2011). “Vitamin D status: United States, 2001-2006″). The risk group for having a deficit are residents of low-insolation zones, African Americans, people with poor diet, overweight, including pregnant women with excessive weight.
The main source of vitamin D is sunlight, or more precisely, the UVB spectrum. That’s why UVB lamps have a beneficial effect on the skin and on a number of other complicated diseases. Some therapeutic creams also contain the active form of the vitamin.
The substance is synthesized in the skin under direct sunlight, but not through clothes or glass. Cloudy weather and shade also reduce the production of vitamin D. Often, it is enough to leave your hands and feet exposed for only 10 minutes. Before tanning, you should consult with a doctor to see if you have a predisposition to skin cancer.
People also receive vitamin D from their food. The richest is fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and cod. Also, this “sunny” vitamin can be found in butter, cheese, chicken yolk, caviar, milk, and vegetable oils.
The doctor might prescribe you an aqueous or oily solution of vitamin D if you are found to be deficient.
This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant, as it protects the skin from cancer. Vitamin C heals wounds, provides photoprotection and fights against dry skin. Ascorbic acid, in its various forms, participates in the production of collagen and elastin, which fight against wrinkles and sagging, brightens the skin (whitening, fight against freckles, pigment spots). Vitamin C has an exfoliating effect, but such peeling is not recommended for sensitive skin.
We need a lot of vitamin C, around 100 mg per day, and for treatment purposes, the dose increases to 1000 mg. The dose should be increased for pregnant women, breast-feeding women, smokers (including passive), and alcohol users. Vitamin C deficiency is not so common, so do not take vitamin supplements without a doctor’s recommendation.
Vitamin C can only be found in food. It can’t be produced by the body. The most concentrated vitamin C foods are kiwi, black currant, rose-hip, goji berries, sweet pepper, parsley, dill, citrus, and strawberry. This vitamin is found in many other products in various amounts.
It is important to know that vitamin C is not resistible to high temperatures and long-term storage, so use fresh or flash-frozen vegetables and fruits, and use the least possible cooking or steaming.
If you are worried about a particular skin problem, then a cosmetologist will help you choose an optimal remedy with the desired form of vitamin C.
Vitamin E also has a complex impact on the skin. It has antioxidant, anti-cancer, photoprotective, anti-inflammatory effects. Vitamin E participates in collagen synthesis, improves nutrition and respiration of the cells. Vitamin E is especially effective in the treatment of extra dry skin – it regulates the secretion of sebum.
It is said that an adult needs between 10-15 mg of tocopherol. Since a mild to moderate deficiency is quite common, a blood test for avitaminosis might be needed.
Good sources of vitamin E are nuts and unrefined cold pressed vegetable oils, raw seeds, unrefined cereals, bran, and lettuce, chestnuts, asparagus, broccoli, liver, eggs, and dairy products.
For therapeutic purposes, you can take vitamin E supplements, preferably in combination with vitamin A or C, but do not forget to first consult a doctor. The role of supplements is enhanced by the fact that it is quite difficult to obtain vitamin E from food in sufficient quantities.
As for cosmetic products with vitamin E, you should remember that only a small amount can be absorbed by the skin. But, in this case, don’t be afraid to overdose – the skin will only take what it needs. You can also try to apply wheat germ oil instead of your regular face cream from time to time.
The main purpose of vitamin K is the prevention of blood clotting. It was discovered because of this particular effect. Cosmetologists use products with vitamin K externally, to eliminate and prevent the consequences of hemorrhages and other skin defects, such as bruises, swelling, spider veins, rosacea, couperose, spots, circles under the eyes, stretch marks, and scars.
Adults need between 90 to 120 μg of vitamin K per day. Cases of vitamin K deficiency in the US are quite rare. Since vitamin K2 is synthesized in the intestine, the risk of avitaminosis usually occurs in individuals with impaired absorption of food in the intestines, with dysbiosis, when taking antibiotics or someone with liver problems.
Vitamin K1 can be obtained from food, mainly vegetables. The highest content of vitamin K can be found in spinach, several kinds of cabbage, salad, green beans, cereals, pumpkin, kiwi, avocado, bananas, pine nuts, cedar oil, olive oil, as well as in meat, milk and dairy products, and eggs.
Topical products with vitamin K are effective in solving skin problems.
Of course, cosmetics can be very helpful to maintain healthy skin. Skin is the largest organ of the human body, and it needs proper nutrition. Without it, all the topical treatments will not be very effective. That’s why you should take care of your skin from the inside and out. Stay healthy and beautiful!