Have you ever wondered how some people’s skin radiates with health? Do you know people who look 20 years younger than they really are? We all want to avoid crow’s feet, laugh lines, scaly skin and skin discoloration. There are some people who have genetic dispositions that result in beautiful skin, but for most of us what we eat may determine the health of our skin. We all know that we are what we eat. That wise adage can be targeted to skin health as well. What we consume, and the vitamins that we absorb can make the difference between dry, grey skin and glowing, youthful skin. Here are five essential vitamins for healthy and beautiful skin.
The beauty industry refers to products that contain vitamin A as retinoids. You can find products containing retinol (retinoids) in over-the-counter lotions and creams. These products promise to smooth rough skin, fade brown spots and reduce wrinkles. You will have to use the product for about eight weeks to see results. In addition to using products that contain vitamin A, you can easily add vitamin A to your diet by eating whole foods such as kale, sweet potatoes, apricots, melon and carrots. As a supplement, cod liver oil is an excellent source of vitamin A. Consult with your healthcare professional to find out the amount of cod liver oil that would be beneficial to you.
An essential trace mineral, zinc has many health benefits, including a radiant complexion. It is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, soothing irritated skin cells, healing poison ivy, scorching sunburns and blisters. Studies indicate that zinc renews skin cells. It has been used for many years in the treatment of acne, neurodermitis and psoriasis. Foods that contain zinc include pumpkin seeds, spinach, lima beans, kidney beans and garlic. Zinc can be found in many vegetables that promote health and healing for the entire body.
Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C has so many nourishing properties that there is not enough room to list them all here. It certainly is an important nutrient for healthy and beautiful skin; studies show that depletion of vitamin C causes gnarly-sandpaper skin. There are many vitamin C creams on the market that promote wrinkle-free skin and the disappearance of fine lines. Vitamin C supplements are great; however, eating foods rich in vitamin C is the best way to better skin. Sources of vitamin C include oranges (citrus fruits), kiwi, bell peppers, guava, broccoli, Brussel’s sprouts and dark leafy greens. Yum. Yes, you can eat your way to better skin.
The sun is our main source of vitamin D. Many people are vitamin D deficient due to working indoors or living in gray, rainy climates. We need about 25 minutes of daily sunlight to provide our daily dose of vitamin D. Vitamin D reduces skin inflammation and prevents acne, resulting in gorgeous soft skin. Good sources of vitamin D (besides sunlight) include fatty fish, fortified milk/orange juice, and, of course, supplements. Caution if you like to spend a lot of time ‘sunning’ and spending too much time in the sun. Too much sun time can make your skin look rough and old. Moderation is the key. It is possible to take too much vitamin D; check with your healthcare professional before taking any supplement.
Aging women have known for years that vitamin E plays an essential role in keeping skin supple and firm. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant, rich in beta-carotene. It attacks free radicals that harm skin cells. Vitamin E reduces the signs of premature aging of the skin. Whether you use a vitamin E cream, oil, or a combination of both, with prolonged use over time, vitamin E will zap wrinkles and give you youthful skin. Foods rich in vitamin E include almonds, hazelnuts, kale, turnip greens and swiss chard. These foods help to rid the body of toxins and free radicals.
What you eat matters. Foods that may be detrimental to skin health include over processed foods and foods with man-made additives. Stick to natural, whole foods that are grown without pesticides. Grain feed beef and sustainable meat sources will keep you healthy all over. Avoid air pollution, secondhand smoke, free radicals, and toxins. If you begin a vitamin supplement regime, check with your healthcare provider before adding supplements to your diet. You can overdose on vitamins, so be careful to take only the recommended dose. Take control of your skin health and be beautiful from the inside out.