Skin Care: Can Vitamin Intake Give You Glowing Skin?

When it comes to skin care, we mostly tend to focus on the external aspects like cleansing, toning, moisturizing, etc. But just like the other organs in your body, your skin is also affected by your internal health.

Vitamins play a vital role in cell renewal, repairing DNA damage, utilizing other nutrients, strengthening the immune system, etc. So, if your body lacks these essential nutrients, it can show up on your skin as dehydration, wrinkles, or in the worst case, infections.

We reached out to Dr Kaustav Guha, Head of R&D at SkinKraft Laboratories to provide you with a list of vitamins you can add to your diet to achieve healthy, glowing skin.


Vitamin A

This fat-soluble vitamin is commonly found as beta-carotene in foods as well as in supplements. Powerful antioxidant, it is one of the most common ingredients used in sunscreens, anti-aging serums, moisturizers, etc. Vitamin A not only helps you get well hydrated and youthful skin, but can also help fight skin problems like acne.

Advantages

Facilitates cell growth and cell renewal which rejuvenates both the upper and lower layers of your skin (dermis and epidermis).

Increases the production of collagen which smooths the skin, minimizing fine lines and wrinkles.

Eliminates free radicals on your skin, thus minimizing damage from harmful UV rays from the sun.

Stimulates the sebaceous glands in your skin to secrete oil, thus keeping your skin hydrated.

Promotes faster healing of wounds and strengthens the skin’s innate immune system.


Recommended Food Intakes (RDI)


The RDA of vitamin A for a healthy adult is 700 mcg for men and 900 mcg for women per day.

Foods Containing Vitamin A

Orange or yellow vegetables and fruits such as carrots, pumpkins, yellow peppers, oranges, papayas, mangoes, etc.

Green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, etc.

Cod liver oil, eggs, beef liver, etc.

Fortified milk and other dairy products like cheese, ice cream, etc.


Vitamin C


Also known as ascorbic acid, this water-soluble vitamin is found in high amounts in the skin of healthy people. Vitamin C protects your skin in several ways. Although vitamin C deficiency is rare, it can wreak havoc on your skin.


Advantages


Vitamin C is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system and helps reduce inflammation. It is also a powerful antioxidant and may help prevent skin cancer.

It promotes the synthesis of collagen, which keeps your skin firm and helps in the healing of wounds and scars.

Getting enough vitamin C can also help reduce damage from harmful UV rays from the sun.

Vitamin C is essential for an even complexion and a glowing complexion.


Recommended Food Intakes (RDI)


The daily requirement for vitamin C is 90 mg in men and 75 mg in women under normal and healthy conditions.

Foods Containing Vitamin C

Citrus fruits such as lemons, tangerine, grapefruit, etc.

Tomatoes, green and red peppers, green vegetables like broccoli, etc.

Other fruits like kiwi, strawberries, cantaloupe, etc.


Vitamin E


This fat-soluble vitamin has excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is often referred to as a “magic potion” for healthy, glowing skin when applied topically. But a diet rich in vitamin E is by far the best source of this skin-friendly nutrient.


Advantages


Keeps skin hydrated, preventing dryness and irritation.

Protects the skin from damage caused by UV rays from the sun.

Helps reduce dark spots and wrinkles.

Makes your skin smooth and refreshed.


Recommended Food Intakes (RDI)


A daily intake of 15 mg of vitamin E is recommended for a healthy adult.

Foods Containing Vitamin E

Nuts such as almonds (very high content), hazelnuts, peanuts, etc.

Vegetable oils from wheat germ, sunflower, safflower, etc.

Fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, spreads, etc.


Vitamin D


Vitamin D can be synthesized by your body when your skin is exposed to direct sunlight for a few minutes each day. However, prolonged exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer and therefore is not recommended especially without a high SPF sunscreen. The good news is that you can get enough vitamin D from food sources as well, as listed below.


Advantages


Improves skin barrier function and thus protects your skin from germs and harmful chemicals.

Traps moisture, preventing dehydration of the skin.

Improves the immunity of the skin by stimulating the production of cells of the immune system. Also regulates the activity of immune cells to prevent overactivation of the immune system.

Vitamin D also has antimicrobial effects on the skin.

Regulates the production of sebum by the sebaceous glands present in the skin.


Recommended Food Intakes (RDI)

The recommended daily intake of vitamin D is 20 mcg for a healthy adult.

Foods Containing Vitamin D

Dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese, etc.

Eggs, fish, fish liver oil.

Fortified vegetable milk, yogurts, fruit juices and breakfast cereals to which the recommended amount of vitamin D has been added.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet goes a long way in keeping your skin healthy from the inside out. Vitamins, while needed in small amounts, can make a big difference in how your skin looks and feels. Deficiency of these essential nutrients can make your skin dull, itchy, prone to rashes and infections. Vitamins also protect your skin from serious problems like skin infections and skin cancer. If you feel that your daily diet does not contain enough vitamins, see your doctor and start taking vitamin supplements.

Patricia J. Callender