With the onset of summer, skin care automatically becomes one of our top priorities. The heat, sweat, and clamminess can irritate the skin, and a lack of a proper regimen can lead to common issues like breakouts and dark patches.
For developing a wholesome skin care routine, only topical applications clearly do not cut it. The Ayurvedic approach dictates that diet and lifestyle modifications are a necessary part of permanently resolving any skin problem.
And this is where the knowledge of vitamins comes in handy. They are an essential part of keeping your skin fresh and healthy. Inculcating the natural sources of the right vitamins in your diet can even help repair problems like skin infection and fungus.
Scroll down to know which vitamins are important for taking care of your skin and keeping it beautiful and glowing.
Do Vitamins Really Help Your Skin?
Yes! A sufficient intake of vitamins, be it through natural food or supplements, ensures that you retain a youthful looking, nutritionally balanced skin.
The ancient principles of Ayurveda state that our body is governed by three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. We all have one or two dominant doshas and this imbalance in the body also ascertains the skin issues we are more likely to face.
By knowing the Ayurvedic prakriti of your skin you can better decide which vitamins would be more beneficial to treat your skin type. Some of the common skin problems that vitamins can help reduce are:
- Spots and pimples
- Dryness and redness
- Uneven skin tone
- Signs of ageing
- Dull complexion
Which Vitamins Are Good For Your Skin?
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is best for treating skin issues. This is why it is also the most commonly found in both synthetic and natural skin care products. It is an antioxidant and is present in all the layers of the skin, including the topmost epidermal layer.
Vitamin C enhances the production of collagen, which is a type of tissue protein in your body that keeps the skin firm and tight . People with the Vata body type are usually prone to dry and dehydrated skin. Through collagen synthesis, vitamin C can especially help them gain a replenished, radiant, and nourished skin.
A. Benefits of Vitamin C
Repairs dryness and dullness, hydrates the skin, soothes inflammation, heals sun burns and dark spots, gets rid of fine lines and tan, can treat hyperpigmentation
B. Foods rich in vitamin C
Citrus fruits like orange, grapefruit and lemon, spinach, broccoli, bell pepper, strawberry, tomato, brussels sprouts
2. Vitamin A
Vitamin A (also known as retinol) is not only excellent for your eyesight but it also has plenty of benefits for your skin. Also an antioxidant, it is mostly present in skin products like moisturizer and sunscreen.
People governed by the Pitta dosha imbalance can have toxins accumulate on their skin causing inflammation and agitated pimples. In such a scenario, vitamin A can shield your skin from environmental stress and prevent acne .
Its topical application is extremely effective in protecting the epidermis (outermost of the three layers of skin) which leads to fighting cell damage, promoting new skin cell growth, and the improvement of skin texture.
A. Benefits of vitamin A
Prevents wrinkles, sagging of the skin and premature ageing, improves skin elasticity, decreases inflammation, anti-acne, reduces risk of skin cancer
B. Foods rich in vitamin A
Sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, mangoes, eggs, cereal
Word Of Caution:
Frequent application of retinoids, a manufactured form of vitamin A sold over the counter, can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Use it sparingly and consult your doctor in case of any doubts.
3. Vitamin E
Vitamin E (also known as tocopherol) primarily protects your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. It minimizes sun damage and is known to have conditioning properties that can keep dry skin moisturized.
It also has anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties which protect skin cell membranes from oxidation. Vitamin E is naturally produced in the skin via the body’s sebaceous oil glands . It is thus able to keep it hydrated and rejuvenated whenever your body is not able to produce sufficient amounts of natural oils.
Ayurvedic herbs like Neem, Amla, and Bhringraj are rich in Vitamin E. Application of face masks made from these ingredients can prevent premature ageing of the skin. Further, people with an elevated Vata-Pitta dosha can massage their skin with vitamin E-rich coconut oil to experience relief from breakouts.
A. Benefits of vitamin E
Prevents dark spots, acne, inflammation and wrinkles, slows down ageing of the skin, natural conditioner, vital for overall skin health
B. Foods rich in vitamin E
Nuts like almond, peanut and walnut, sunflower seed, avocado, spinach, tomato, mango, coconut oil
4. Vitamin D
The best way to absorb some Vitamin D is to be under the sun as our skin can synthesize the vitamin via sunlight. While you have probably been told to avoid the sun to protect your skin, a little time under the sun is advisable too.
Excessive heat is never good for any body part and you should definitely wear sunscreen before stepping out. However, Ayurvedic practice suggests that being in the sun for 20 minutes daily, either before 11 am or after 4 pm can actually heal your skin.
In fact, up to 50% of the world might be getting less sunlight than what is needed to sustain a healthy body and mind . Therefore, vitamin D’s intake through natural sources also helps in boosting skin cell metabolism and regrowth.
A. Benefits of vitamin D
Reduces chronic skin inflammation, keeps the skin nourished and glowing, reduces itchiness and irritation, helps in curing psoriasis
B. Foods rich in vitamin D
Fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines, egg yolk, mushroom, most milk is fortified with vitamin D
Vedix Tip: The best way to absorb Vitamin D is by exposing your back and belly button to the sunlight. Avoid peak hot hours between 11 am - 3 pm. However, people with a history of skin cancer must check with their doctor before stepping out in the sun.
5. Vitamin K
Vitamin K possesses a variety of benefits for the skin. It is key in treating bruises and scars because of its blood coagulation properties. This is why many topical skin ointments have Vitamin K as a major ingredient, especially the ones being applied to surgical wounds and stitches.
A. Benefits of vitamin K
Reduces skin conditions like swelling, bruising, dark spots, stretch marks, spider veins and dark circles
B. Foods rich in vitamin K
Green leafy vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, spinach and beans, sprouts, eggs, fish
Developing a vitamin K deficiency is extremely rare as it is abundantly present in a variety of food items.
6. Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 (also known as niacin) is your best bet to reduce signs of ageing on the face such as wrinkles and discolouration . It locks in the moisture content of the skin, repairs the epidermal layer, and improves smoothness. The vitamin is also important for your blood cells and gives you a well-balanced skin.
Present in most anti-ageing skincare products in the market, vitamin B3 is not found in the body naturally, so its external consumption or application becomes essential to maintain skin health.
A. Benefits of vitamin B3
Reduces inflammation, minimizes appearance of pores and age spots, strengthens skin barrier, brightens complexion, soothes skin conditions like eczema
B. Foods rich in vitamin B3
Spirulina, coffee, rice bran, peanuts, chia seeds, meat
7. Vitamin B5
Vitamin B5 (also known as panthenol) helps with renewal of red blood cells and keeps the skin healthy by treating acne and dryness. It is especially known to prevent water loss from the skin  and rest assured, any skincare products containing vitamin B5 are hydrating by nature.
A. Benefits of vitamin B5
Makes skin brighter and more supple, reduces moisture loss, anti-inflammatory, soothes irritated skin, maintains skin elasticity, heals wounds
B. Foods rich in vitamin B5
Whole grains, avocado, chicken, green vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, sweet potato, peas, mushroom, nuts
8. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 (also known as cobalamin) aids in the growth of new cells in the skin . It also produces collagen in the body to keep your skin and hair nourished and regenerated. Vitamin B12 can be applied on the skin to treat conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
A. Benefits of vitamin B12
Reduces inflammation, redness, dryness and acne, keeps the skin glowing
B. Foods rich in vitamin B12
It is only found in animal-based products like meat, eggs, fish, and dairy. If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, your best bet for consuming vitamin B12 is fortified food items and a dietary supplement.
Which Vitamin Deficiency Causes Skin Problems?
Vitamin deficiencies quickly show on the skin and can increase the risk of major skin damage. Here are some common vitamin deficiencies and their corresponding skin problems:
1. The deficiency of vitamin C in the body can cause a skin condition called scurvy.
2. The deficiency of vitamin D is linked with the issue of acne as it plays a big part in fighting infections and keeping the pores clean .
3. Vitamin E deficiency can cause several common skin problems like rashes, scaly and flaky skin, and cracked lips as it mainly protects us from the sun.
Specific skin conditions can relate to specific dosha imbalances. Therefore, choosing which of these multiple vitamins will pacify your aggravated skin issues should also depend on your Ayurvedic prakriti.
For example, consuming too much of vitamin A can make the skin dry and itchy, so a person with the Vata dosha imbalance should refrain from it as he is anyway more prone to dryness of the skin.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is reportedly one of the topmost nutrient deficiencies in the world.
The Last Word
Vitamins are nutrition for your skin and their intake plays a vital role in how problem-free and plump your skin is going to be. To maintain optimum vitamin levels, you must focus on consuming them in a holistic manner rather than simply popping pills. Importantly, eating healthy food must go hand in hand with topical skincare.
Vedix encourages you to choose specific herbal products according to your dosha levels to determine the skincare regimen most suitable to you without the fear of any side effects.Know Your Dosha Now
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