How Do Vitamins Impact The Skin

Healthy Skin 101

Centrum MultivitaminCredit: pwarlickThere are many ways to wage war on acne, and vitamins that can help make you acne free is just one of them. Attacking breakouts from the outside is the standard of care, however, let’s not forget the inside. Beauty starts from within. Many a debate occurs over the connection of one’s diet and the health of their skin. When you look at diets of other countries and that of the western population, you begin to see a difference in health outcomes. So even though we know that most acne has to do with hormone levels, we should take a look at our diet to see if it is aggravating the situation.



 Vitamin A 

So let’s start down the list with vitamin A. Most acne sufferers are deficient in Vitamin A and D. Vitamin A prevents dry, flaky skin that can often be found in acne patient especially after applying topical acne medications. Topical vitamin A found in the form of retinol is a popular acne control medication that is widely prescribed. This prescribed form of vitamin A is known as Retin-A.  Teen boys need around 900 micrograms and teen girls need around 700 micrograms of vitamin A a day for healthy skin.  Eat plenty of fruits or vegetables that contain this vitamin.   Examples of the foods that provide ample amounts of vitamin A are sweet potatoes, pumpkin, kale, cantoloupe, peaches, and papayas.  If you take a vitamin A supplement, use Retin-A, or take Accutane, then it is not wise to double up or you can have a bad outcome on skin and liver health.

 Vitamin B Complex

 Vitamin B is the next vitamin that we will examine.  Complex Vitamin B (B7) is essential for good skin health, especial biotin and Niacin. Those people that are deficient in biotin have unhealthy skin, hair, and nails. Having the proper amount of biotin prevents the skin from becoming itchy and flaky. Biotin can be found in raw egg yolk, liver, and peanuts.  A biotin deficiency is rare, however, the enzymes that process it can be deficient.  Some people that are athelitic or pregnant experience a biotin deficiency, and this will usually produce a rash around the nose, mouth, and eyes. 

Another important B vitamin is niacin (B3).  Those people who live in countries where corn is the staple food can sometimes come down with Pellagra, a skin disease caused by niacin deficiency.  Other diseases such as Hartnup disease is caused by a mild deficiency of niacin.  Teen boys should have 16 milligrams and teen girls should have 14 milligrams per day to maintain proper skin health.  Niacin can be found in milk, eggs, chicken, beef, tuna, salmon, and liver.  It can also be found in dates, tomatoes, broccoli, and carrots.  A topical form of niacin is available and it  improves the skin within 6 weeks of it’s use. Strong concentrations of niacin actually acts as a bleaching agent for blotchy skin.  

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another essential vitamin for acne sufferers.  The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you get 500 to 1000 milligrams of vitamin C per day to fight off the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals can damage the collagen and elastin in the skin causing signs of premature aging. Vitamin C is essential in fighting off skin damage due to overexposure of the sun.   Teen boys need 75mg and teen girls need 65mg per day of this vitamin.  You can take supplements or you can eat foods that are rich in Vitamin C such as cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers,  leafy greens, grapefruit juice, and oranges.

Vitamin D  

Vitamin D Vitamin D is equally important for healthy skin. You can get vitamin D from sun exposure of 10 to 15 minutes a day.   Vitamin D is produced in the skin when it is exposed to the utraviolate B rays in sunlight. It is also found in dairy products, eggs, catfish, mackrel, salmon, tuna,sardines, and eel. Vegetarians can get 100% of their daily allowance from UV irridated mushrooms and yeast.  Teens need 10 micrograms of vitamin D everyday.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant.  This vitamin has long been a source for good skin health. It too fights of the free radical caused by sun exposure, smoke, and pollution. There is a great source of Vitamin E in nuts, seeds, grains, wheat germ, and green leafy vegetables.  Teens need 15 mg everyday.  Vitamin E can be applied to the skin, but it is very oily.


Your body needs the proper minerals for good skin. Drinking plenty of water will allow you to get the minerals that you need. Washing your face is another great way to add minerals to your acne regimen. The three most important minerals needed for acne prone skin are selenium, copper, and zinc. Topical zinc is used to tame sebum production in oily skin.

Another fantastic nutrient that is providing many benefits for the skin is Alpha-Lipoic Acid. This power antioxidant provides positive benefits for the inside and the outside of the skin. You can purchase this product in supplements and creams. Other powerful nutrients that are vital for healthy skin is DMAE, hyaluronic acid, and omega fatty acids, specifically 3 and 6.

 If you are suffering from acne, then vitamins that make you acne free is one more weapon that you can be armed with in this war.  Taking a vitamin supplement should be part of your routine.  Make sure that you do not overdo it or you will not have good result and you may actually harm your body.  Ask your dermatologist what is right for your situation.  Remember to drink plenty of water because it will wash toxins out of your body and keep your hands off of your face.  Skin care routines should include medications that contain Benzoyl Peroxide.  When washing your face, do not scrub or rub the skin.  Wash your face gentally and pat dry with a clean towel.  When you apply acne medicine use a generous amount.  Don't forget to moisturize as part of your routine.  For body acne wear mostly cotton clothing during breakouts and don't wear things like backpacks, hats, necklaces, and sunglasses.  These are just some of the many things that you can do to combat acne.