Taking certain vitamins isn't likely to suddenly cure any skin problem you may have, but getting enough of certain vitamins in your diet will help keep your skin generally healthy. Vitamins A, C and E, as well as some of the B vitamins, play a role in skin health.
Getting plenty of vitamin A in your diet may help limit your risk for acne, as a study published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology in May 2006 found that people with severe acne were usually also deficient in vitamins A and E.
A deficiency of vitamin A can cause your skin to be dry and scaly. Women should consume at least 700 micrograms per day, and men need at least 900 micrograms.
You can increase your vitamin A intake by eating green leafy vegetables, fortified milk, eggs and fruits and vegetables that are orange, red or yellow.
Many of the B vitamins work together to keep your skin healthy. A lack of riboflavin, found in dairy products, enriched grain products, green leafy vegetables, meat, eggs and nuts, can cause dry flaky skin. Men need 1.3 milligrams of riboflavin per day, and women need at least 1.1 milligrams daily for optimal health.
Not getting the recommended 1.3 milligrams per day for adults of vitamin B-6 can lead to skin that is greasy and flaky. Include fish, chicken, pork, nuts, legumes and whole grains to help you get enough B-6.
A biotin deficiency could also cause dry skin. Good sources include yeast breads, cereals, liver and eggs. Aim for at least 30 micrograms per day of biotin in your diet.
One of the roles of vitamin C is to produce collagen, which helps keep your skin from sagging and becoming wrinkly. A deficiency in vitamin C can lead to small cuts in your skin not healing properly, as healing these wounds requires the collagen your body makes from vitamin C. Vitamin C is also important for protecting your skin from damage by ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
Men should get at least 90 milligrams of vitamin C per day, and women should consume at least 75 milligrams. Tomatoes, citrus fruits, potatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, brussels sprouts, spinach and broccoli are all good sources of this essential vitamin.
Vitamin E may help limit scars from acne or small wounds and encourage healing of the skin. The recommended dietary allowance for adults for vitamin E is 15 milligrams per day. You can get it by eating nuts, whole grains, green leafy vegetables and vegetable oils.
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin C and Skin Health
- CNN.com: Vitamin Guide
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Daily Mail: What to Eat for Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails
- Clinical and Experimental Dermatology: Does the Plasma Level of Vitamins A and E Affect Acne Condition?
- Harvard Medical School: Listing of Vitamins
- Photo Credit View Stock/View Stock/Getty Images
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