Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

Supplements For Skincare
If you are looking for a healthy, alternative way to help increase your skin’s appearance, you can choose from several vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.  It is important that you consider your dietary concerns and routine so you do not get “too much” of a good thing.  It is always advisable to consult your physician when embarking on a rapidly different dietery routine, including the addition of supplements.  This article is meant to be informative only, not prescriptive.

Note:  This article was written with help from both my father (who has been taking supplements since age 12, honest, like a fistful!), my limited science undergrad education, and WebMd.  By the way, my father is 52, and he doesn’t look a day over 30, so maybe he caught onto the whole “vitamins are good for you” trend forty years ago.

Vitamin A is the main component a host of anti-aging products available today, because it is supposed to reduce wrinkles and renew the skin’s collagen production.  A recommended daily dosage of Vitamin E is 400 mg, and it can reduce damage done by the sun, reduce wrinkles, and overal give skin a better appearance and feel.  You will find Vitamin A naturally within fruits and vegetables, but you can take a supplement if you find your diet is not quite up to par.  Vitamin A in a topical form have shown to reduce aging symptoms, acne symptoms, and improve complexion in general.  The prescriptive drug Retin-A is much more aggressive, but many over-the-counter off shoots are sold as retinols, which are similar, but less intensive.  Retinols may be a good place to start if you do not have a dermatologist or you have skin prone to sensitivity and dryness.  The usage of products in either family require additional sun protection and potentially moisturization as the skin adapts to the treatment.

Vitamin B-complex is often used to keep skin looking good and maintaining muscle tone, as well as promoting cell growth.  Biotin, part of the complex, helps with skin, nail, and hair cells.  You will find it a variety of foods like eggs and oatmeal, but there are topical versions available.  The usage of such creams can quickly give the skin a healthier appearance.

Vitamin C is an antixoidant that helps to reduce inflmmation and combat free-radical damage to skin cells.  Free radicals reduce the amuont of collagen and elastin found within skin, and it is the result of sunlight, polution, and smoke.  It can also help act as a preventative measure against sun exposure.  You can find Vitamin C in a host of fruits and vegetables, but there are supplements, to be taken in 500 to 1,000 mg per day.  If you have experienced kidney stones in the past, be advised by your doctor on your dosage of Vitamin C (as an excess can cause them!).  There are also topical Vitamin C creams that can help increase collagen production, and it would need to contain L-ascorbic acid form of Vitamin C, because it penetrates the skin layers.

Vitamin E is often included in moisturizers and creams because it is said to reduce scarring and increase skin healthiness.  It is also an antioxidant, which is important to have in any anti-aging regimen.  Like Vitamin C, it can also reduce the damage done by free radicals.  It can be found in nuts, seeds, some vegetables, but most need to take a supplement because there is not enough in food.  WebMD recommends 400 international untis per day or less.

Vitamin K is gained some ground with medical studies that say it may help to reduce undereye circles when combined with Vitamin A in a cream form.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid is an antioxidant, and it works with both internal and external skin cells, which most antioxidants do not do (they only do one).  Like Vitamin C and E, ALA can help to reduce the damage caused by free radicals.  You can find ALA in supplement form (DHC Skincare has them available).

Hyaluronic Acid is an ingredient you may want to watch for in higher grade skin creams, because it is said to be the “glue that helps hold [skin cells] together, keeping skin looking smoother and younger.”

Minerals you may want to look into:  Copper (can help increase elastic; look for this in a cream rather than adding as a supplement), Selenium (reduces damage from the sun, including sunburn), Zinc (good for acne, reduces oil).

Where to get supplements? You can find supplements at a host of drugstores.  For certain vitamins, buying in bulk through a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club can be a great method.  Through personal experience, both myself and father buy many of our vitamins through Trader Joe’sDHC Care, which is a popular skincare brand, also has a whole section of their website dedicated to various supplements.  Even Sephora has a few supplement choices available!  And the drugstore super store of the internet is, of course, Drugstore.com.

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12 thoughts on “Beauty Discovered – Supplements For Skincare

  1. Tekoa

    Very useful. Thank you!

  2. Ivy

    Biotin is also a great supplement to take. its great for hair and nails.

    Vitamin C is also a precursor for collagen production – i just learned that in biochem this semester.

  3. Tanya

    I am a firm believer in taking vitamins for health and beauty :) I take twice daily a vegan hair, nails and skin vitamin and also twice daily vegan flaxseed oil. The hair, skin and nail supplement has many of the items you listed and quite a few you also did not list. Silica is one of the biggies for nail strength and my nails have grown quite long as a result of this supplement. I use to take Omega 3 for my skin and could tell a huge improvement to it, after becoming a vegan I did some research and found that a good alternative is flaxseed oil which is what I take currently. I also take a womans daily vitamin, which has some dubs for the hair, skin and nail.

  4. victoria

    yes, i’m a believer too. i take biotin, i was losing my hair because of stress and dieting. and i take fish oil, vitamin e and c and i take flaxseed with my cereal. it helps a lot.

  5. I, too am taking a liquid supplement. I believe it is essential to take a supplement these days because much of the food does not have the nutrients it used to have a long time ago due to mass producing and soil depletion. Nice article!

  6. ilovebeauty

    Hey!! All you L’Occitane fans…they have a new offer starting tomorrow, when you spend $45 or more on ANY of their prodeucts you get a Free 1-year subscription to either Allure or Conde Nast Traveler Magazines! Fun special i just wanted to pass on to you guys

  7. 2GirlzMom

    Hi – thanks to comments and reviews like yours, I started taking Hair, Skin and Nails vitamins along with flaxseed oil vitamins. Dont see much difference in hair but nails are certainly stronger than before.
    I used to have really thick long hair, agreed that we lose as we age but my hair is very close to thinning. Want to try Hair Essentials(from Natural Well Being) vitamins. Has anyone tried them?
    Let me know.

    Also any home remedies to make hair grow?