Taking care of your skin should be your number one priority; after all it is the largest organ of your body. We are often careful about what we eat and include multivitamins, whole wheat and proteins in our diet. Did you know that everything that goes in through your mouth shows not just on your waistline, but also on your skin? Diets which have processed foods often leave the skin looking dull, oily and even discolored.
Walking through the aisles of supermarket filled with skin care and beauty products can be a bit mind boggling. There is just so much to choose from. There are moisturizing creams, serums, anti- wrinkle creams and what not. In order to prevent wrinkles most of the beauticians recommend minimum sun exposure as the UV rays can be very harmful. But, did you know that sunrays are the best source of vitamin D which is very beneficial for your skin? So 10-15 minutes a day in the sun can be actually good for you.
With the New Year I have been trying to amp-up my skin care routine. This includes staying as much as possible away from the chemical-laden stuff and sticking to the natural stuff. This article is all about vitamins and what they do for your skin. Vitamins are actually more beneficial than commercially produced skin care products. They can:
- Help fight wrinkles
- Keep the skin supple
- Keep the skin moisturized
- Help fight acne and zits
- Get rid of discoloration
5. Vitamin A – Prevents Ageing
Vitamin A cures wrinkles; it is normally available in retinoid form and is amazing for skin. It is also great for combating acne. You can find it in a number of creams and lotions. Creams with extra Vitamin A help in clearing out the skin of any imperfections, dark spots, and mild pigmentation and also helps in shrinking acne. Vitamin A and its derivative also fight signs of ageing such as discoloration and fine lines. It is a good idea to start using any product with vitamin A in your late twenties and early thirties; this is when the first imperceptible signs of ageing start to appear. A number of overnight acne treatments and face washes for acne prone skin have retinoid in them. Consuming fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin A also works like an anti=oxidant and helps in rejuvenating our skin and maintaining its youthful glow.
Where will you find it?
- Fruits and vegetables such as carrot, sweet potatoes, peaches, papaya, grape fruit, oranges, green peas, kale, asparagus and broccoli are good sources of Vitamin A
- Consuming these fruits and vegetables regularly help our bodies to convert the beta-carotene into retinoic acid.
“Creams with extra Vitamin A help in clearing out the skin of any imperfections, dark spots, and mild pigmentation and also helps in shrinking acne. Vitamin A and its derivative also fight signs of ageing such as discoloration and fine lines.”
How to use Vitamin A?
- It is best to use Vitamin A after sundown or in for of night creams. The reason for this is that sunrays tend to render them and make the retinoid inactive.
- Initial topical application of retinoid creams causes flakiness on acne prone skin, so it is recommended that you use the product in small amounts along with another moisturizer. If you have acne scars, it might even cause slight itchiness in first 2-3 application.
- You might want to give a break of 2-3 days between each application initially until your skin gets used to it.
- Within 4-6 weeks of the use you will see your skin will clarify.
4. Vitamin B – Cures Redness
Dehydrated skin results in red patches and rashes on the skin. Vitamin B3 helps in production of ceramides and essential fatty acids on the outer layer of your skin. Vitamin B3 consumption hydrates your skin, restores the moisture and keeps the irritants out of the protective layer. Vitamin B3 is ideal for dry and sensitive skin. A condition called rosacea causes skin to appear flushed and red, this usually develops with age. Vitamin B3 has niacinamide which helps in it and also in getting rid of pigmentation. Vitamin B is also great for your hair and nails and its deficiency can lead to dry damaged hair and brittle nails.
Where will you find it?
- There are eight types of vitamin B and together they are known as vitamin B complex. It is a good idea to find out if you have a deficiency and include vitamin B complex tablets in your daily routine.
- Some spring produce are a good source of vitamin B such as: green peas, beet greens, spinach, romaine, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, bok choy, turnip greens, garlic, cauliflower, bananas
- Vitamin B can also be derived from animal sources such as eggs, chicken, dairy, beef.
- Other sources include: wheat, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
“Vitamin B3 helps in the production of ceramides and essential fatty acids on the outer layer of your skin. Vitamin B3 consumption hydrates your skin, restores the moisture and keeps the irritants out of the protective layer.”
How to use vitamin B?
- Vitamin B enriched creams, lotions and serums are easily available.
- As they are quite mild you can use them anytime of the day.
- If you get irritated with retinoid in any other creams it is a good idea to use it with vitamin B creams.
- They serve dual purpose of moisturizing and also fighting signs of ageing.
3. Vitamin C – Keeps the Skin Spotless
Vitamin C is your arsenal against ageing. That is why you will see vitamin C being used in a lot of anti-ageing creams and serums these days. It helps in removal of free radicals and keeps the skin supple and wrinkle free. It also helps sagging skin by tightening it very effectively. Vitamin C also takes care of discoloration and dark spots. All these are signs of ageing and often start to appear as you reach your thirties. It is a good idea to include vitamin C in your skin care routine before these signs of ageing stat to appear. However, if your skin is already damaged vitamin C is ideal for reversal of these signs; however, you must remember to be a little patient as it might take up to 6 months to get the desired results. Vitamin C is similar to retinoid or vitamin A, these are both very suitable for oily skin and when combined they form a barrier against ageing and also repairs your skin.
Where will you find it?
- You will find it in a number of creams and lotions available easily. Vitamin C or ‘ascorbic acid’ is also found in powder and tablet forms. You can easily add this powder to your creams. Just remember to put it in a dark air tight container as it tends to oxidize easily.
- Look for a cream or lotion with 5% vitamin C in it, which is ideal for reversal of skin damage.
- Papaya, bell peppers, kiwis, pineapple and citrus fruits are also rich sources of vitamin C.
- It is also found in abundance in spring produces like: kale, spinach, broccoli, fennel, cauliflower and peas
“That is why you will see vitamin C being used in a lot of anti-ageing creams and serums these days. It helps in removal of free radicals and keeps the skin supple and wrinkle-free. It also helps sagging skin by tightening it very effectively.”
How to use vitamin C?
- When consuming vitamin C, it is best to eat these vegetables either raw or very slightly sautéed. Cooking them at high temperature destroys the vitamin present.
- When using it in creams and serum form always use it before your other moisturizer or sunscreen.
- You can even wear a vitamin C serum under your foundation to give your face a dewy finish, while looking ravishing and fighting ageing.
2. Vitamin E – For Intense Moisturizing
Vitamin E is for intense moisturizing. It reverses the damage caused by UV rays and helps in maintaining the skin’s youthful appearance. Vitamin E is fat soluble and antioxidant; this is why it is included in a lot of skin care products and creams. It teams up with vitamin C to fight the damage caused by free radicals. Our bodies are not capable of making vitamin E, so it is important to include it in our diet. Vitamin E works like an umbrella against damage caused by smoking, unhealthy diet and sun exposure. Various studies have shown favorable results of including vitamin E in your diet and also its topical application.
Where will you find it?
- Vitamin E is a major ingredient in most sun blocks.
- It is also a common ingredient in anti-ageing creams and serums
- Nuts and seeds such as flax seeds are one of the best sources of vitamin E
- In fruits and vegetables kiwi, collards, leeks, avocado, broccoli, beets and asparagus are all rich sources of vitamin E.
- Coconut oil, almond oil and olive oil along with fish oil are also rich sources of fat soluble vitamin E.
How to use vitamin E?
- Vitamin E based creams and lotions are suitable for dry skin. People with dry skin should use it before going out in the sun. You will see favorable results soon enough.
- When combined with a vitamin C serum or any product with extra vitamin C your skin will thank you soon enough.
- When looking for a cream for under eye area get the one with the highest percentage of vitamin E. This is where the first signs of ageing appear and vitamin E helps to fight these.
1. Vitamin K – Fight Dark Circles and Bruising
The research done on this vitamin and its benefits for the skin shows it is the secret of youthful eyes, commonly found in Korean beauty products which have been a complete rave recently. Vitamin K helps fight bruising and lightens under eye circles. It also reduces the puffiness in the under-eye area. Vitamin K’s major role is that it controls blood clotting. Dark circles which are bluish and purple in appearance are often caused by fragile capillaries allowing blood to seep through them. Vitamin k helps to put a skid on it. Doctors also prescribe vitamin K creams after surgeries to speed up healing of bruises. Vitamin K also helps in other skin conditions such as stretch marks scars and spider veins. If you take vitamin K orally it also promotes healing from within. Vitamin K2 is especially helpful is increasing skin’s elasticity, and therefore, helps in fighting wrinkles.
Where to find it?
- You can find vitamin K along with retinol in dark circle creams. These days under eye roll-ons are also available commonly which make gentle application of the product possible.
- Vitamin K is also a common ingredient in creams especially designed for stretch marks. If you want to avoid post partum stretch marks it is ideal to start putting such creams around your belly from the second trimester.
- Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, cabbage and collards are rich source of vitamin K.
- Animal based sources of vitamin K include: grass fed butter, meat and egg yolks.
How to use vitamin K?
- Often creams with vitamin K also contain retinoid. Retinoid can be sometimes a bit irritating to the sensitive under-eye area.
- If you have never used it before, first apply it 2-3 nights in a week. Then slowly build it to every night by increasing one night a week.
- If you add a bit of vitamin E cream to your under-eye care routine you also add anti-ageing properties to it.
Get Most Out of Vitamins with These Tips
You are diligent about your diet and exercise routine, but at times your skin care routine can be missing out on these essential nutrients. Vitamins play a very important part in the health of your hair, skin and nails.
- Deficiency of vitamin C can cause scurry. Vitamin C combined with vitamin E helps fight the damage caused by UV rays. Deficiency of either of these vitamins can cause skin damage and even increase the risk of skin cancer.
- Multi-Vitamin supplements are commonly available. When looking for a multi-vitamin make sure it includes these five vitamins in it.
- Research shows vitamins play an essential role in preventing and reversing signs of ageing. Before you reach for anti-ageing products just start using these vitamins in advance.
- Although a balanced diet helps in keeping your skin healthy, but obviously your body can only ingest only a certain amount of nutrients and it will not be sending it to your under eye area or crow’s feet.
- Topical application of vitamins directly to your skin helps in fighting signs of ageing and maintaining the glow and suppleness of your skin.