Taking care of your skin is an essential part of your health regimen, but even more so during winter weather. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and the skin is much more closely linked to your overall health than many people even realize. It is well known that vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is one of the very best for your skin. But vitamins C, E and K also play a significant role in healthy skin.
- Vitamin D – Healthy levels of vitamin D have been demonstrated to prevent skin aging. If you have extremely dry skin, psoriasis, or eczema, you should definitely be taking vitamin D. A 2018 study published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology showed that a lack of vitamin D can lead to certain skin conditions, including psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Acne is the most common skin condition, but more research on its connection to vitamin D is needed. The sun is an important source of vitamin D, however dermatologists agree that sunscreen is still necessary to avoid damaging sunburns.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C, which also goes by ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid, is a vitamin that isn’t actually produced by the body. Instead, the only way to get it is through supplements or your diet — citrus fruits like oranges are famously rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C promotes collagen production, which has the potential to thicken the dermis, diminish fine lines, and is essential for firm, youthful skin. Plus, vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it protects skin cells from damaging free radicals caused by UV exposure.
- Vitamin K – Vitamin K is part of a group of vitamins that has been primarily used to help heal wounds. Products rich in vitamin K aid in your skin’s healing process if it’s been compromised as it supports the skin’s natural barrier function, so any cuts or bruises will benefit. Some research suggests that vitamin K can reduce dark circles and broken capillaries. It also reduces inflammation, redness and swelling and can even benefit skin conditions such as eczema by keeping skin protected and hydrated.
- Vitamin E – In addition to its role as an essential vitamin that helps regulate immune function, boosts heart and brain health, and maintains your vision, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. It scours the body for damaging free radicals and helps stabilize them. In doing so, vitamin E can also decrease inflammation. On your skin, this can translate to decreased redness, a brighter and more even complexion, clearer pores, fewer signs of aging, improved appearance of scars and stretch marks, and less itchiness.