What are the best vitamins for skin health?

Assortment of different vitamins and supplements.
Several vitamins play a role in the health of your skin.
© iStockphoto.com/aesthesia

You may have a daily skin care routine that consists of facial cleansers, lotions, creams and makeup that helps your skin look its best. But while you focus on what you can do for your skin on the outside, you may not realize what you can do from the inside. Proper nutrition and diet can do wonders for the appearance of your skin, especially when it comes to vitamins.

Vitamins nourish your body and help it function properly. You can get vitamins through a healthy and balanced diet, but you can also supplement your diet with vitamins if you don't think you're getting enough of a certain nutrient. When it comes to your skin, several vitamins play an important role, including vitamins A, B complex, C, E and K [source: Bouchez]. Most of these vitamins can be found in a healthy diet or in supplement form.


Vitamin A is necessary for skin maintenance and repair -- a healthy amount will show a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, and it will help prevent acne and dry skin. Most people receive enough vitamin A from their diets and supplements aren't necessary -- vitamin A can be found in eggs, milk, liver and fortified cereals [source: WebMD].

Biotin, a type of vitamin B, is a nutrient that forms the basis of skin, nail and hair cells, and a biotin deficiency can result in dermatitis and itchy skin. Your body supplies a lot of vitamin B on its own, but it can also be found in bananas, eggs, oatmeal and rice [source: Bouchez].

Vitamin C helps reduce the effects of sun damage on the skin, and it helps tissue repair itself. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and many vegetables, but you can also take an additional supplement to help your overall health -- vitamin C is thought to bolster the immune system [source: WebMD].

Vitamin E helps fight the effects of sun damage on the skin, and it also helps keep skin smooth and prevent fine lines and wrinkles [source: Bouchez]. That is why you'll find vitamin E in many anti-aging lotions, but you can also find it in foods like nuts, eggs and green vegetables [source: WebMD].

Finally, vitamin K isn't as useful internally as the vitamins above, but when found in creams, it can be helpful in reducing under-eye circles and bruising [source: Bouchez].

To learn more about each of these skin-nourishing vitamins and how you can incorporate them into your diet, check out the links on the next page.


Lots More Information

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

  • Bouchez, Colette. "Nutrients for Healthy Skin: Inside and Out." MedicineNet. March 2005 (Accessed 9/27/09)http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50505
  • WebMD. "Vitamin A (Retinoid)." (Accessed 9/27/09)http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-lifestyle-guide/supplement-guide-vitamin-a
  • WebMD. "Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)." (Accessed 9/27/09)http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-lifestyle-guide/supplement-guide-vitamin-c
  • WebMD. "Vitamin E." (Accessed 9/27/09)http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-lifestyle-guide/supplement-guide-vitamin-e