You know the saying, "You are what you eat." If you're not eating enough or at all of all the foods that contain vitamin D, C, E and K, that could be the reason for your unhealthy skin. Our body is very complex and needs many different nutrients to function properly and stay healthy. There are six major nutrients: Carbohydrates (CHO), Lipids (fats), Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals, Water. Most people don't realize that vitamin deficiency is a huge problem, which is often overlooked.
Without Vitamins, our bodies wouldn’t be able to perform vital tasks such as converting food into energy, building and maintaining bones, teeth, muscle, skin, blood and hair, and keeping our brain, eyes, nervous and immune systems in good working order. Some vitamins work together with other nutrients: vitamin C helps us to absorb iron from plant foods, while vitamin D helps us absorb calcium. And the vitamins A, C and E all have an antioxidant effect, which means they help protect our cells from damage.
On this post we are only focusing on skin. Making sure you get enough vitamins can keep your skin looking healthy and youthful by reducing dark spots, redness, wrinkles, rough patches, excessive dryness, etc. Below we will expand on each of the vitamins and how you can get them to improve your skin health.
When sunlight is absorbed by your skin, cholesterol converts to vitamin D. It is then taken up by your liver and kidneys and transported throughout the body to help create healthy cells, which includes the skin, where it plays an important role in skin tone. A daily vitamin D intake of 600 IU per day is recommended, which you can get by being in the sun for 10 minutes. You should always wear sunscreen or sunblock to avoid the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that can affect your skin heath.
Have you ever noticed why so many skin products contain vitamin C? That is because it decreases cell damage and helps the healing process of skin damage, especially from the sun's UV rays. In some cases, it reduces the appearance of wrinkles and can help repair and prevent dry skin. It is considered an antioxidant, meaning it has cancer-fighting properties. The recommended intake is 1,000 mg per day, But how do you even measure that? Just make sure you eat a lot of citrus fruits such as oranges, and vegetables such as spinach and potatoes.
We also see vitamin E in so many products. It is an antioxidant as well. The main purpose of it in skin care is to protect against sun damage. We know that the sun's UV rays are bad for our skin, but vitamin E absorbs the harmful UV rays from the sun when applied to the skin, helping to prevent dark spots and wrinkles. Remember, our body naturally produces vitamin E through sebum, oil released though the skin’s pores. It can help counter dryness or lack of sebum, and treat skin inflammation. You need 15 mg of vitamin E per day. Eat peanuts, spinach, pumpkin and mango.
Most of us recognize vitamins D, C and E, but K is not one you see often. Yet, it plays a very important role: healing body wounds and bruises. The basic functions of vitamin K are also thought to help certain skin conditions such as scars, dark spots, and stubborn circles under your eyes. An intake dose between 90 and 120 ug per day is recommended. Just eat lots of green vegetables daily.
The best way to know if you have vitamin deficiency is by getting a bloodwork done. Talk to your doctor about it, as long-term vitamin deficiency can have adverse affect on your overall health, not just the skin.