Saturday, July 10, 2010

Good Skin Nutrition: Vitamins from Inside and Out!

Many lotions and crèmes advertise that they contain vitamins, but what does this mean for my skin?

Vitamins C & E:
Damage due to sunlight exposure is one of the main sources of accelerated skin aging. Photoaging is associated with skin pigmentation (dark spots), dehydration, wrinkles, droopy skin, broken blood vessels, leathery skin and can contribute to skin cancers. Recent research highlights a remarkably protective role for vitamins against photoaging, particularly for vitamins C and E.

Topical application of vitamins C & E can provide “appreciable photo-protection” according to Duke University researcher Dr. Sheldon Pinnel and colleagues presenting their research at the annual meeting of American Academy of Dermatology. This is perhaps not surprising, since the antioxidant properties of vitamins C and E have been known for some time. Antioxidants fight free radicals that result from sunlight, smoke or pollution and can eat away at the collagen and damage cells. Indeed, a study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology saw less DNA damage in skin cells of people who take vitamins C and E, which correlates with decreased sunburns from exposure to UVB radiation.

These anti-oxidants are not just good for your skin, they are good for your entire body. The best solution for your body is to ensure you have enough of these vitamins in your diet. The recommended daily intake value for vitamin C is between 1500-2500 mg (though vitamin C does not become toxic until much higher doses; what is not absorbed by the body is excreted). The recommended daily value for vitamin E is 400-600 IU. For Healthier skin, chose lotions and Day crèmes that contains these vitamins and be sure to apply to your skin before and after exposure to sunlight.

Vitamin B Complexes:
There are several types of B vitamin complexes and when it comes to your skin you should pay attention to at least two: biotin and niacin. Biotin is essential for skin and hair health and the slightest deficiency will manifest itself in imperfections in skin and hair. Niacin has anti-inflammatory and protective properties and crèmes containing biotin or niacin can give skin a healthy and youthful look even in a short amount of time (5-6 days).

Vitamins A & K:
Vitamin A is essential for repair and maintenance of healthy skin. Having sufficient levels of vitamin A can lead to reduction in wrinkles, fine lines and acne. If you take a multivitamin, you are probably equipped with enough vitamin A to keep your skin healthy but if you find yourself with premature wrinkles or acne, it may be worthwhile to increase your intake of vitamin A. The recommended intake value for vitamin A ranges from 5,000 – 20,000 IU.
On the other hand, when it comes to your skin vitamin K is better topically applied than taken in your diet. It’s particularly good for dark circles and bruises and a combination of vitamins A and K in your eye crème can be even more effective than either one alone.

The trickiest part with skin care products is to make sure they are fresh, since vitamins and minerals can degrade over time (most are stable in powder form, but degrade much faster once in a soluble solution such as a lotion). Look for a manufacture date and buy items that are less than 3 months old (keep in mind, you want it to last for another three months while you use it) and don’t bother with items that are over a year old. If it doesn’t have a manufacture date, that’s not a good sign! All hydrOtion products are made with a manufacture date on each jar to help you ensure your products contain high levels of active ingredients and vitamins.

Feel free to send us questions regarding vitamins and skin care or skin care in general at

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