We are very much aware of how poor eating habits often lead to health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, but we seldom realize the significant connection between nutrition and skin health. A poor diet can also alter the skin's structure and compromise its ability to heal and protect itself.
Our skin is always susceptible to damage since it's constantly changing and regenerating. While many skincare products in the market promise to protect, rejuvenate and maintain our skin's youthfulness, external skincare will only give us the best results if we complement it with proper nutrition.
A common misconception is that skincare is merely a topical process, but in reality, it’s an internal process too. Many of us don't realize that unhealthy food habits can result in our skin being deprived of essential nutrients, leading to skin problems like dryness, skin allergies, frequent breakouts, and premature skin aging. We often use creams and serums to treat or eliminate these skin issues, not realizing that the actual problem is way more than what meets the eye.
So instead of spending so much time and money on expensive skincare products, let's turn our attention to key nutrients that our skin loves and start feeding it well from the inside.
Now the question is, what are the essential nutrients for healthy skin?
10 Key Nutrients For Healthy Skin
The condition of our skin says a lot about our diet since almost everything in our bodies is correlated. While we may be mindful of our food intake to keep our weight in check, we often neglect the fact that eating a healthy diet is also key to achieving gorgeous, glowing skin.
Proper nutrition supplies our skin with the essential nutrients it needs as it goes through many cycles of renewal and repair. Nutritional skincare enhances the natural radiance and is a proven way to maintain a more youthful and glowing complexion. Below are the top 10 key nutrients that you should include in your diet for healthier skin:
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a powerhouse antioxidant that helps protect your skin from environmental factors. It also encourages skin cell production, which may help keep the skin firm and healthy.*
Plant-based sources rich in carotenoids include leafy green vegetables, carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin. Vitamin A from plant foods is unlikely to cause toxicity. Too much vitamin A can be harmful, so it's important to be mindful when taking high-dosing supplements.
Biotin, or Vitamin B7, is crucial in maintaining healthy skin.* It aids in metabolizing fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, which are essential building blocks for skin regeneration and repair. Biotin's role in skin health is closely linked to its effect on fat metabolism, which is vital for maintaining healthy skin, as fats form the basis of the skin's oil barrier.* A well-maintained oil barrier is crucial for skin hydration as it aids in keeping the skin moisturized and plump, which in turn can help diminish the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles.*
3. Other B Vitamins
Aside from Biotin, other B vitamins may also offer several surprising benefits for the skin:*
- Vitamin B1 has antioxidant properties that help counteract the damage caused by free radicals, reducing the signs of aging.*
- Vitamin B3, specifically nicotinamide, improves the skin's ability to retain moisture, resulting in softer and smoother skin with less dryness and fine lines.* Nicotinamide may also lighten dark spots on the face.* Two forms of B3, niacinamide and nicotinamide, are used in skincare for their anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce symptoms of skin conditions like rosacea, acne, and eczema.* They may also help to strengthen the skin barrier, locking in hydration and protecting against environmental damage such as UV rays.*
- Vitamin B12 regulates pigment production, preventing hyperpigmentation.*
- Vitamin B5 helps treat acne by breaking down the oils that cause pimples. It also promotes faster wound healing, especially when combined with vitamin C.*
While Biotin stands out due to its direct impact on skin vitality, the synergistic effects of all B vitamins work together to help maintain a radiant and healthy complexion.*
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) plays an integral role in maintaining the vitality and health of our skin.* Primarily, it's renowned for its potent antioxidant properties, which may shield the skin from environmental stress and restore skin firmness by reversing sun-induced damage to elastin and collagen.* While it cannot replace sunscreen, vitamin C can be an additional shield.*
Positive impacts on skin color, elasticity, roughness, and wrinkling have been associated with dietary patterns rich in fruits and vegetables - and these are key sources of vitamin C!
Food sources of Vitamin C include citrus fruits, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, papaya, red peppers, spinach, and tomatoes.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D, also known as "sunshine vitamin," offers numerous benefits for our skin. It plays a significant role in skin cell growth, repair, and metabolism, which helps maintain skin health and prevent skin aging.*
This fat-soluble vitamin plays a pivotal role in maintaining healthy and radiant skin.* It aids in absorbing calcium, magnesium, and phosphates, which are essential for skin health.* Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties that may help alleviate skin conditions like dryness, acne, psoriasis, eczema, and vitiligo. It helps improve cell turnover, aiding in healing and preventing dead cell build-up.* Additionally, vitamin D also helps fight signs of premature aging by protecting the skin from damage and promoting collagen production.*
Lack of vitamin D can lead to wrinkles, fine lines, and an increased risk of skin issues like dryness and redness. * Therefore, ensuring adequate vitamin D intake through sunlight exposure, a balanced diet, and supplements can promote overall skin health.*
6. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that has been shown to help protect the skin from oxidative damage, while improving its elasticity and increasing its hydration*. Its anti-inflammatory properties save skin from inflammation and sun damage as it can absorb the energy from UV light which damages skin and leads to sagging, wrinkles, and skin cancer.* It works with vitamin C to strengthen cell walls. Vitamins C and E are the best vitamins for the skin as they have a calming effect on the skin.
Plant sources of vitamin E include almonds, avocados, leafy green vegetables, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and vegetable oils. Fatty fish is also an excellent source of vitamin E.
7. Healthy Fats
The skin's ability to avoid excess H2O loss is vital. Certain types of fats, such as omega-3 fats, are known to strengthen the skin's outer layer, acting as a seal that helps lock in moisture.* This lipid barrier protects the skin against sun damage, pollutants, and pathogens.
These essential nutrients regulate the skin's oil production, improve hydration, and help manage breakouts and signs of aging.* Their anti-inflammatory properties also have a soothing effect on rough, dry skin and can alleviate skin irritation.*
Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish like salmon and other seafood like oysters, sardines, seabass, shrimp, and trout help maintain supple and moisturized skin. The best vegetarian source of omega-3s includes chia seeds, edamame, flax seeds, hemp seeds, kidney beans, and soybean oil.
Protein makes up a large portion of our skin. It's a key component of important proteins such as elastin, collagen, and keratins, which support the smoothness and strength of our skin. Our bodies produce less collagen as we age, and damage to collagen networks can lead to wrinkles and a rougher skin appearance.
When we consume protein-rich foods, they are broken down into smaller building blocks known as amino acids, which our body uses to build proteins where they are needed. This means that getting enough protein from plant sources such as legumes, grains, vegetables, nuts, and seeds ensures we have the necessary building blocks for our skin's structures. Additionally, plant-based protein sources have been associated with lower levels of inflammation compared to animal-based protein sources, which may contribute to healthier skin.*
Selenium is a mineral with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which help protect our skin from UV rays and free radicals.* It reduces inflammation and fights off skin infections. *Research shows that selenium deficiency is linked to a greater chance of skin cancer.*
Food sources that you can enjoy to boost your selenium intake are brazil nuts, beans, wheat bran, and wheat germ. Just remember not to over-indulge in brazil nuts to avoid the risk of getting too much selenium.*
Zinc has several skin benefits due to its involvement in various processes in the skin.* It plays an important role in wound healing, as it helps in the formation of new tissue and promotes the production of collagen — an essential protein that gives the skin its strength and elasticity.* Its antioxidant properties help to protect the skin from oxidative stress caused by free radicals.* It is also involved in regulating oil production in the skin, making it beneficial for individuals with oily or acne-prone skin.* Overall, zinc is an essential mineral for maintaining healthy skin and promoting its healing and rejuvenation. *
Our bodies can't produce zinc on their own, so we must obtain it from our diet. Some of the richest dietary sources of zinc are animal products, such as meat, seafood, dairy products, and eggs. Due to food restrictions, vegans may have a greater risk of zinc deficiency.*
About 6% of all the zinc in our bodies resides in our skin, so it shows when a person is deficient. Zinc deficiency may lead to lesions, skin inflammation, and delayed wound healing, to name a few. *While there are also plant-based sources of zinc, including legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, the form of zinc found in these plant-based sources isn't as easily absorbed by the body. This is primarily due to the presence of phytic acid, a compound that inhibits its absorption. So, if you're a vegan, you must consume more of these foods to meet your zinc requirements.
What about supplements?
The best way to get the nutrients you need to achieve glowing and healthy skin is through a well-rounded and balanced diet. However, some studies suggest that 80% of Americans are low in certain nutrients, so taking supplements may be a great way to give your body and skin extra vitality!
Most beauty supplements contain targeted ingredients like biotin, collagen, healthy fats, and vitamins. While companies often market these supplements as "magic solutions" for skin health concerns, it's important to take these claims with a grain of salt. Supplements can indeed provide additional support, but they should not replace a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Also, they might not work the same for everyone, as our bodies, lifestyle, and nutritional needs are unique.
It's also worth noting that the supplement industry isn't as strictly regulated as the pharmaceutical industry. This means the quality, purity, and potency of supplements may vary. Always check the label and only buy from brands that are reputable and transparent about their ingredients. Third-party testing is another aspect to look for, as it provides an additional layer of quality assurance.
At Root'd, we take pride in providing high-quality, thoroughly tested, and FDA-approved supplements for men, women, and pregnant moms. Our mission is to craft health-driven, sugar-free, sustainable supplements — that includes transparency because you should trust what you're putting into your body is safe, clean, and effective. Every ingredient and finished product we make and use is 3rd-party tested by ISO-certified labs across the United States, ensuring the potency, purity, and integrity of all the Root'd MULTIs you trust.
It's more than just a beauty supplement. It's the world's first-ever full-spectrum premium multivitamin and hydration powder to include a proprietary blend of enzymes, probiotics, superfoods, and 25 essential vitamins and minerals. These nutrients work synergistically to help you achieve youthful and radiant skin and provide robust nutrition to help increase your hydration, energy, immune, and digestive health, amongst other long-term benefits.*
Ready to nourish your skin from within and feel best inside and out? Shop Root'd now!
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