Getting outside is great for our overall health, but exposure to the elements weathers our skin. Plus, aging takes its toll. It’s a recipe for dull skin and rough hands.
Fortunately, it’s not just external stressors that determine how your skin looks: what you apply to your skin and even what you ingest plays a big part. Consider this your must-have primer on which skin supplements can refresh and rejuvenate your precious skin.
1. Preserve skin with vitamin A.
Also known as retinol, vitamin A is important for cell growth. This makes it an excellent anti-aging tool when used topically. It can also be used topically and orally as an acne treatment. Just make sure to consult a health care practitioner before beginning treatment with this or any other new supplement.
2. Beautify with B-complex vitamins.
The multitasking Bs help your body convert carbs into energy and are also essential for healthy liver, hair and—you guessed it—skin. They’re particularly great for fighting off dry, itchy skin. One B-complex vitamin, biotin, has even been dubbed the beauty vitamin due to its role in nourishing skin and strengthening hair.
3. Fight breakouts with vitamin C.
Vitamin C is often what we reach for the when we feel a cold coming on. But its antioxidant properties make it useful for acne and other skin infections, too. Antioxidants work by ramping up your skin’s natural repair system and acting as a barrier between your skin and extra harm.
4. Rejuvenate with vitamin D.
This vitamin plays an important role in skin health, as it fights inflammation and helps to control the production of new skin cells. A certain type of vitamin D, called calcitrol, has been used topically to treat skin conditions like psoriasis. Your body naturally produces vitamin D when you expose your skin to sunlight; however, in dark winter months, and when you want to limit skin damage from sun exposure, take a vitamin D supplement.
5. Revitalize with vitamin E.
Vitamin E can be useful in treating sunburn. Topical use can have an anti-aging effect and can help protect against skin damage after chemotherapy.
6. Nourish with flaxseed oil.
Flaxseed oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s offer a smorgasbord of skin health benefits. They play an integral role in skin’s function and appearance and are key in skin’s inflammatory reaction. Consume supplements or foods that are rich in omega-3s (like walnuts) to help treat conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Stress, sleep and your skin
Harsh weather isn’t the only thing that can mess with your skin. If you’re stressing out or sleeping poorly (possibly because your holiday to-do list goes on forever), your skin suffers. Spikes in the stress hormone, cortisol, can cause oily skin and acne. And lack of sleep will likely leave you with a drab, ashen complexion, puffy eyes and visible fine lines.
If you’re desperately in need of some restorative beauty sleep, try a natural sleep aid. Melatonin, for example, can quiet your mind and help you fall asleep faster.