We know that vitamin D is good for our skin. It increases the skin's thickness, and thicker skin means fewer wrinkles, which is why vitamin D is a popular ingredient in anti-aging skin care remedies. Research has also found a link between our amount of sun exposure and how well our immune system is working, including our skin's immune defenses. Too little sun exposure and you risk developing a vitamin D deficiency. Too much sun exposure and you risk developing skin cancer. What surprised researchers in recent years, however, is that vitamin D3 may play a role in preventing cells from uncontrollably growing and dividing, which could protect us from certain cancers such as colorectal, breast and even skin cancer. In fact, a recent study discovered that when women took daily vitamin D supplements they had a 57 percent reduced risk of developing melanomas, a deadly form of skin cancer [source: RealAge]. But, Goldilocks, there is no recommendation for how much sun exposure is just right, so many doctors recommend supplements instead.
Vitamin A -- retinol -- may also help protect us from melanomas. Researchers studying vitamin A and its role in preventing skin cancer found that people who took daily vitamin A supplements (rather than relying on food intake) were 60 percent less likely to develop melanoma than those who didn't take supplemental retinol [source: Hazell].
Vitamin A helps your body repair sun-damaged skin, and may be one of the best options to combat the fine lines and hyperpigmentation of photoaging. In fact, if you use topical anti-aging products containing retinol, you may already know the benefits of vitamin A on your skin. Vitamin A comes in a few forms, and it's the compound form retinol that helps the body make needed repairs, including repairing sun-related cell damage and restoring collagen and elastin.