There is a saying that “most of our skin and hair problems could be resolved with a specific vitamin – we just need to find it”. It might just be correct. Skin problems like acne, hair fall, dull skin have become extremely common these days because of a range of factors such as pollution, stress, wrong diet, and high consumption of junk food.
The secret to glowing skin and healthy hair lies in finding the perfect balance between getting the right nutrients and using the appropriate beauty products. Here is a list of five vital vitamins that are essential for maintaining healthy skin and hair.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A has a long list of skin benefits, including anti-aging, combating acne, and increasing hair growth. In addition, when looking for topical treatment of hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and redness, retinoic acid (a derivative of Vitamin A) is a favorite of dermatologists.
- Vitamin A helps in protein synthesis and cell differentiation, which helps in strengthening epithelial tissues.
- It keeps premature aging at bay and reduces signs like wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots by combating damaging free radicals in our body.
- It also plays a key role in cell renewal by protecting collagen against degradation. This keeps the skin protected from sun damage.
- Vitamin A also helps replace dead skin cells with fresh ones, and the result is soft, smooth, and healthy skin.
- Vitamin A has excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protect from sunburn and help cure acne, respectively. (1)
- It boosts the development of hair cells, thereby increasing hair growth and curing dry scalp.
Found in: Dark green fruits and leafy vegetables, broccoli, sweet potato, spinach, carrot, dried apricots, egg yolk, fish oil, liver, and whole milk.
Also Read – Multivitamins May Be Doing More Harm Than Good!
2. Vitamin B
Here, we aren’t referring to any single vitamin but a group of eight different types – thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), B6, biotin (B7), folate (B9) and B12. These all work together to help us maintain healthy skin and hair. (2)
- Niacin or vitamin B3 has a range of undeniable skin benefits such as: adding moisture to the skin and improving its tone and texture, reducing skin dryness, curing skin conditions like eczema and maintaining the skin’s normal barrier function. All in all, vitamin B3 keeps our skin looking healthy, shiny, and youthful.
- Riboflavin or vitamin B2 speeds up the augmentation of cells, which is essential for hair’s natural growth.
- Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 provides nourishment to our cells and increases their elasticity. In short, it makes skin soft and supple and is extremely useful for people with sensitive skin.
- Biotin is considered an excellent product to strengthen strands and prevent any unhealthy breakage of hair. In fact, experts say that a lack of biotin in your diet can cause hair fall and turn hair brittle. Biotin thickens hair fiber and restores its shine. It also improves overall skin health and protects against fungal infections and acne.
Found in: Egg, chicken breast, liver, milk, curd, legume, seed, bean, pea, peanut, mushroom, avocado, whole grain, rice, yeast, and banana. Biotin is also found in salmon, raspberries, Swiss chard, and cauliflower.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another strong natural antioxidant that can’t be generated inside our body and should be consumed regularly.
- Protects against free radicals and slows down the process of aging. As a result, our skin remains protected from severe damages, and we look much younger.
- Helps a lot in the formation of collagen, thereby improving the texture and elasticity of the skin and preventing conditions like wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging.
- Vitamin C increases the skin’s antioxidant properties and protects against UV-induced photodamage. (3)
- Promotes blood circulation throughout the body, which speeds up hair growth by stimulating the follicles and averts hair loss by making the strands stronger.
- It also helps maintain healthy blood vessels in the skin and brightens the complexion.
Found in: Fresh citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, spinach, bell pepper, red pepper, cauliflower, kiwi, blackcurrant, lychee, Brussels sprouts, grapefruit, cantaloupe, papaya, guava, and mango.
4. Vitamin D
Everyone has heard about all the good things Vitamin D can do for our body. It is a vital factor that helps maintain good bone health. In addition, it is one of the most important vitamins, which is needed for the proper maintenance of our skin and hair.
A deficiency of this nutrient can lead to a host of medical conditions, including rickets, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer. (4)
Our body can naturally produce this vitamin with sun exposure, but that is not easy. In addition, UV rays from the sun can cause skin damage, which is why we need oral supplements of this vitamin.
- Keeps skin problems, including rashes, allergies, and infections (acne, atopic dermatitis, and rosacea) under control.
- A deficiency of vitamin D has been linked to hair loss in females. This vital nutrient regularizes the hair follicle cycling, which eventually accelerates the growth of hair. (2)
Found in: Whole grain, mushroom, fish (like salmon or swordfish), fish liver oil, egg yolks, sunlight, and fortified orange juice and milk.
5. Vitamin E
The skincare industry considers this vitamin to be their holy grail. No wonder most of the top brands have a dedicated entire line of products enriched with vitamin E. If you have extra dry parched skin, good moisturizing cream with vitamin E is always recommended. It is also considered an essential nutrient for healthy skin and long hair.
- This helps fight free radical damages caused to our body and helps build healthy skin and gorgeous hair. It also speeds up the breakdown of collagen.
- Vitamin E is a powerhouse antioxidant that helps to delay the signs of premature aging.
- Promotes hair growth by stimulating blood circulation throughout the scalp.
- Topical application of vitamin-E enriched products on the skin helps hydrate the skin, restocks moisture, and helps fight against harmful environmental factors.
Found in: Cereals, wheat germ, bread, leafy green vegetables, seeds, nuts, endive, bok choy, asparagus, olive, canola oil, and sunflower oil.
Apply or Consume Orally?
This is the big question that we are always wondering about – should we orally consume these vitamins or use skin care products enriched with them. Well, the answer is simple. Applying these products will get you visible results in a short span of time, but taking them orally will make you healthier from the inside. The results from oral consumption can take a while to show, and you need to take them consistently. However, we advise you to consult a doctor or nutritionist to get the correct dose.
Experts believe that to achieve healthy skin and hair; you need to have a combination of both (oral consumption and topical application) with a focus on consuming a balanced diet that contains all the nutrients.
Are you suffering from dull, dry skin and hair problems despite using all the right skincare and haircare products? The answer could lie in natural dietary supplements and vitamins that could be lacking in your diet. To get beautiful and glowing skin, it needs to be nourished from the inside, and for that, we need to focus on essential vitamins. While Vitamin A could delay the signs of aging, Vitamin B could moisturize and make your skin soft. Vitamin C helps us fight skin damage and Vitamin D helps control hair loss and makes your hair stronger.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the best way to incorporate all these vitamins into our diet?
Follow the recommendations mentioned above to have a balanced diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. However, if you’re planning to take over-the-counter oral supplements for added benefits, do consult a doctor before that.
Do over-the-counter supplements have any side effects?
Yes, they do have a few side effects. That’s why it’s important to check with your doctor before taking them. In addition, people with certain conditions (such as pregnant or nursing women) should be more careful.
Can there be something called too many vitamins?
If you’re following a healthy diet and not taking any extra multivitamins supplements, then this isn’t a risk. However, if you’re taking over-the-counter supplements, there is always the risk of overdoing them. Excess of these supplements can cause severe side effects, including toxicity and kidney damage.