Are you still splurging on products to fix your dry skin issues? Consuming the right vitamins can naturally give you blemish-free, younger looking, glowing skin.
The immense skin benefits derived from consuming a nutrition-rich diet cannot be substituted with additional skincare products. However, it is important to know which nutrients contribute best to your skin health.
Read on to know about the vitamins and supplements you should include in your diet to repair and rejuvenate your dry skin.
Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks
“Ayurvedic wellness therapies include internal medicine, external therapies, diet and lifestyle modifications. All work in tandem to heal you holistically.”
Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor Of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix
What Vitamin Deficiency Can Cause Dry Skin?
Your skin is considered the largest and the most exposed organ in your body. Being constantly subjected to environmental abuses, your skin is more susceptible to damage. When you look at its structure, your skin is composed of two layers - the epidermal and the dermal layer.
While the epidermis forms the skin barrier and keeps your body fortified against microbial invasions and photodamage, the dermal layer absorbs necessary nutrition and helps maintain strength and skin elasticity.
For both the layers to function properly, the skin needs optimum nutritional support. A lack of essential vitamins such as B, C, D, E and K, can jeopardize skin barrier function, water retention, mucus secretion, cell repair and collagen production. All of this can lead to dry skin conditions also known as xerosis . According to Ayurveda, a vitiation of the Vata Dosha can lead to ‘twak rukshta’.
“Ayurvedic wellness therapies include internal medicine, external therapies, diet and lifestyle modifications. All work in tandem to heal you holistically. Taking internal medicines, along with using superior quality skin care products can help heal skin issues. A healthy diet and lifestyle to complement your efforts, will ensure the problems never recur,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
According to recent stats, almost 75% Indians experience health and skin conditions due to vitamin deficiencies.
Best Vitamins And Supplements For Dry Skin
1. Vitamin C
Frequent exposure to UV rays of the sun can damage the epidermal barrier and stimulate excess melanin production. Thus sun-damaged skin appears dry and pigmented.
Being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C  induces cell repair and inhibits tyrosinase (an enzyme responsible for melanin production) activity. This naturally brightens your skin complexion and aids quick healing of your dry skin. Vitamin C further increases epidermal moisture content which prevents dry skin conditions.
Vitamin C also acts as an anti-aging agent that stimulates collagen production, prevents free radical skin damage and strengthens your overall skin immunity.
2. Vitamin D
Ichthyosis, a severe dry skin condition, is primarily caused when your body is deprived of vitamin D. A study on Assessing the Relationship between Vitamin D3 and Stratum Corneum Hydration for the Treatment of Xerotic Skin shows that vitamin D is essential for maintaining optimum hydration of the stratum corneum.
Patients with low levels of this vitamin were more prone to xerotic skin. Patients who were administered either or both topical supplementation and dietary vitamin D recorded better skin moisturization.
3. Vitamin E
Low levels of this fat-soluble vitamin can have you witnessing dry, aging, wrinkle-prone skin in no time. The antioxidant properties of vitamin E  protect your skin from photodamage, which is one of the main causes of dry skin.
Apart from sun protection vitamin E helps maintain skin barrier function, optimum skin moisturization and slows down skin aging. Its anti-inflammatory nature helps heal wounds and keeps inflammatory conditions at bay.
4. Vitamin B
The B vitamin group  plays a pivotal role in maintaining your skin health. A deficiency of vitamin B can make your skin appear aged, dry, dull, flaking and blemished. The 8 vitamin Bs aid cell regeneration and function. Making up for your vitamin B deficiency through food, skin care and vitamin B complex supplements can keep your skin healthy and glowing.
Mentioned below are the roles each vitamin B type plays to prevent dry skin and maintain your overall skin health.
A. B1 or Thiamine
Thiamine acts like a natural antidepressant that keeps the nervous system calm. This in turn keeps your body’s stress related hormones in check and prevents the occurrence of ‘stress acne’. Thiamine also aids the healing of wounds.
B. B2 or Riboflavin
Riboflavin ensures your skin stays tight and plump by aiding collagen production and cell regeneration. It prevents skin inflammation, helps the absorption of zinc and improves your skin’s wound healing abilities.
C. B3 or Niacin
Niacin helps heal various skin conditions such as dry skin, eczema, acne, dark spots and sun damage to name a few. Optimum supply of vitamin B3 to your skin can automatically slow down skin aging.
D. B5 or Pantothenic Acid
Pantothenic acid helps your skin retain essential moisture. This keeps your skin moisturized and prevents the occurrence of wrinkles and fine lines.
E. B6 or Pyridoxine
Similar to thiamine, pyridoxine also helps your body to cope with stress and protects your skin from stress related side effects.
F. B7 or Biotin
Biotin prevents cell damage and keeps your skin hydrated.
G. B9 or Folic Acid
Folic Acid is known to have antioxidant-like properties that scavenges free radicals and prevents cell damage. Vitamin B9 helps you maintain younger looking, soft glowing skin.
H. B12 or Cobalamin
Cobalamin is an essential vitamin required for cell reproduction. It is also used to treat various chronic inflammatory skin conditions.
5. Vitamin A
An important nutrient for your skin, vitamin A helps prevent various dry skin issues such as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and ichthyosis. Due to its ability to regulate the proliferation of keratinocytes and fibroblasts, vitamin A is essential in skin repair and wound healing. It also protects your skin from harmful UV ray mediated damage.
6. Fish Oil
The omega 3 fatty acids present in fish oil serve as powerful anti-inflammatory agents that help treat skin infections and dry skin conditions. It helps strengthen the epidermal barrier which in turn prevents transepidermal water loss. Fish can also improve your skin texture and aid the healing of dry skin.
Apart from omega 3 fatty acids, certain fish oils are also known to have other nutrients such as vitamins and selenium which provide additional benefits to dry skin.
Zinc deficiency may cause xerosis (extreme dry, flaking skin), eczema and dermatitis. It can also impair your skin’s wound healing abilities. Zinc  acts like an antioxidant and protects your skin against sun damage. It also exhibits antimicrobial activities and aids skin cell development.
Collagen is the protein that forms your skin’s structural base. Collagen supplements are known to prevent skin thinning and increase your skin’s moisture content. It has an anti-aging effect on the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. However, the efficacy of collagen alone as a treatment for dry skin is still yet to be established.
9. Amino Acids
Amino acids  are a great treatment for dry skin due to their natural hydrating abilities. Amongst the various amino acids, leucine, arginine, glutamine are known to improve skin texture, soothe dry irritated skin and reduce wrinkles and lines on the face. Supplements containing histidine have shown to have an antioxidant effect on dry skin.
Tips For Soothing Dry Skin
1. Stay hydrated. Drink 3-4 liters of water per day to battle dry skin.
2. Moisturize frequently. Moisturizing can help repair a damaged skin barrier. Aloe Vera gel is a great natural moisturizer.
3. Take cool or lukewarm water baths. Avoid using hot water which can further dry and irritate your skin.
4. Avoid scratching your dry skin.
5. Apply coconut oil before entering a swimming pool. Chlorine in pool water can act as an irritant to dry skin.
6. Wear soft clothes that are gentle on your skin.
7. Use mild herbal skin care products that are free from chemicals, preservatives, artificial fragrances and colours.
8. Periodical Ayurvedic oil massages can help treat dry skin.
9. Avoid extremes of temperatures. Excessive sun exposure or too cold weather can further dry out skin.
Vedix Tip: To treat your dry skin, include raw ghee in your daily meals. Ghee stimulates agni which in turn ensures good digestion and better nutrition absorption.
The Last Word
While the trend is to switch to a new skin care product to treat your skin issues, the problem might just be an internal one. A deficiency of essential vitamins can render havoc on your skin health. A wholesome nutrient-rich diet along with a good herbal skincare routine can improve your skin immunity, hydration and texture.
It is also advisable to consult your Ayurvedic doctor for a better understanding of your doshas and skin type. This will help you decide on an Ayurveda recommended diet, lifestyle and skin care for a holistic treatment of your dry skin issues.Know Your Dosha Now
1. Dry Skin
2. The Roles Of Vitamin C In Skin Health, 2017 Aug
3. Vitamin E And Skin Health
4. B Vitamins: Your Secret To Good Skin Health
5. Role Of Micronutrients In Skin Health And Function, 2015 May
6. Effect Of Amino-Acid Intake On Physical Conditions And Skin State: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial, 2019 May
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