Beauty companies will suggest 12-step skincare routines complete with every toner and moisturiser available, and while yes, many of those products will improve your skin health, the best choices you can make for your skin are related to your diet.
There are many vitamins and nutrients that are key in maintaining healthy skin and in helping you get glowing, clear skin. While we all want our skin to look and feel great, we should also keep in mind that our skin is actually the largest organ in our body and the one that is most exposed to harm, such as pollution, attacks from infection, and general wear and tear.
The best way to protect, maintain, and get beautiful skin? Consume the right vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. So, what should you be looking out for? Here are 8 of the best vitamins and nutrients you can consume to maintain clear and healthy skin.
1. Vitamin E
Vitamin E helps to protect cells from oxidative stress which would otherwise lead to premature aging and wrinkles, so is particularly beneficial for those who want to reduce the signs of aging, the appearance of scars and imperfections which is why it can be found in so many skincare products on the market. It also helps to maintain healthy eyes and strengthen your immune system, so it is incredibly beneficial for your health overall.
You can find vitamin E in foods like nuts and seeds, wheat, and plant oils such as soya, corn, and olive oil. Any vitamin E your body doesn’t need straight away is stored to be used later, so you do not necessarily need to have it in your diet every day.
Many vitamin supplements use synthetic vitamin E. Look out for natural and effective forms of vitamin E like the D-α-Tocopherol Succinate that we use in our natural Multivitamin.
2. Folate (Folic Acid)
Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9 is the man made derivative of folate and is vital for the creation of new cells. Folate plays an important role in skin health and its appearance, as it is full of antioxidants that work to reduce levels of oxidative stress in the skin as well as reduce harmful environmental effects, such as free radicals which are molecules that enter cells and cause damage.
The natural form of folate is found naturally in many healthy foods such as leafy green vegetables, oranges, and beans. The synthetic version called folic acid is also found in fortified foods such as bread, pasta, and some cereals.
When choosing a folate/folic acid supplement always choose the methylfolate form, it’s the natural form found in nature and will keep your skin glowing and healthy!
Iodine is often overlooked as an important nutrient as it is only a trace element, but it is particularly beneficial to your health as it helps to create thyroid hormones, which ensures healthy cells and boosts metabolism.
In terms of skin health, iodine regulates the skin’s moisture levels and therefore works to prevent dry skin, and aids in speeding up the healing of scars and cuts. It also helps the lower layers of your skin to regenerate and assists with regulating the hormones that are responsible for causing acne.
Iodine is found naturally in seawater, rocks and some types of soil – so this is not particularly helpful for us! The amount of iodine within plant matter is largely determined by the iodine levels in the soil it has been grown in, so it really depends on what methods the farmers who grow your food use to replenish the soil.
Since this is very difficult for us to find out it can be found in high levels in foods such as fish, shellfish, and kelp, and can be taken as a supplement.
Niacin, otherwise known as vitamin B3, helps to protect skin cells from sun damage. This vitamin is known to treat skin conditions like rosacea, acne, eczema and dermatitis, reduce hyperpigmentation, slow effects of aging, and prevent dry skin. Studies even suggest it may help to prevent some types of skin cancer, so it’s a critical element of your diet.
Niacin can be naturally found in meat, fish, green peas, mushrooms, eggs, and milk, so if you eat a primarily plant-based diet it’s a good idea to eat peas and pea protein often and take a supplement to keep your niacin levels high.
Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, keeps your skin, eyes, and nervous system healthy. It maintains the growth of tissues to ensure healthy cell production for a beautiful complexion, and it maintains mucus secretion of the skin to prevent acne and dry skin.
Riboflavin is found in dairy and eggs, mushrooms, almonds, spinach, fortified breakfast cereals, and rice.
6. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is an antioxidant that works to repair your skin, maintain oil levels, and assists in healthy collagen and elastin formation which supports firm skin. Vitamin A helps to speed up healing, prevent breakouts, and supports a healthy immune system.
Vitamin A can be found in spinach, carrots, and sweet potatoes as they are all good sources of beta-carotene which our bodies convert to vitamin A, and has the major plus of being a cancer-fighting nutrient.
7. Vitamin C
Vitamin C, another antioxidant, aids in the skin’s natural regeneration process which helps to repair damaged skin cells. It also contributes to normal collagen formation which supports skin strength and inhibits melanin production so prevents discolouration of the skin such as dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin C is found in plenty of fruits and vegetables, particularly oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and potatoes.
Zinc is one of the best minerals to boost your immune system and helps to heal wounds by assisting with the production of new cells. Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties which help to relieve redness and irritation and may even reduce the appearance of acne scars over time.
Natural sources of zinc are meat, shellfish, dairy products, bread and wheat germ, so it’s another mineral that is worth supplementing in your diet if you’re on a gluten-free or plant-based diet.
While eating a wholesome diet is the best way to consume these vitamins and minerals, it’s not always possible to pack everything into your daily diet. To ensure you are properly supporting your skin’s health and the health of your entire body, take a daily supplement to boost any lacking nutrients.
Our Ethical Nutrition supplement provides you with all of these vitamins and minerals, along with so many more, in one convenient multivitamin tablet that can be taken every day to ensure you never go without an all-important vitamin. If you’d like to find out more, click here.
If you’re looking for other ways to improve your health and support healthy skin, read our blog posts on How to Maintain Normal Blood Sugar Balance or the 8 Healthiest Vegetables You Should Add to Your Diet next.