Vitamins For Healthy Skin

(CBS) Our skin is our protective shield, and often bears the brunt of elements such as pollution, ultra-violet rays and extreme weather conditions. Nourishing your skin with proper care and diet can keep it glowing and fresh. Vitamins can be a great help. But should you take them, or wear them?

Prevention magazine’s beauty editor Sherry Kiser tells The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm everyone should remember that a good diet is the best way to keep skin looking fresh. Your diet should have a proper balance of protein, vitamins and minerals. If you lack some of these essentials, your skin will reflect its deficiencies.

Four great vitamins for your skin are A, B, C and E, says Kiser. Many body lotions and facial creams tout these ingredients with the promise of newer-looking skin.

Vitamin A

Used topically, vitamin A has been shown to clear up acne and reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores. Kiser says many of us already get enough of this vitamin in their diets, so taking supplements orally is generally unnecessary. Vitamin A is essential for the skin as it keeps the epithelial tissues intact. Deficiency causes thickening of the skin. You can find vitamin A in tomatoes, carrot, pumpkin and egg yolk.

Kiser says you should wear vitamin A. It is generally most effective in a prescriptive form, but you can find less potent options in creams.

Vitamin B

Taking vitamin B can prevent pigmentation of the skin. You can find vitamin B in wheat, bajra, and dal flours. Rice is not the best source of B. Unless you suffer from a deficiency, taking this vitamin orally won’t noticeably improve your skin. Research has shown that vitamin B added to skin care products does help hydrate and even out skin tone.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is considered a powerful antioxidant. It is able to neutralize the damage from ultraviolet exposure and pollution. Research also shows that vitamin C helps with collagen growth and repair. Vitamin C reduces free radical damage, which can lead to wrinkles and cancer. If you take this as an oral supplement, it can decrease sun damage and enhance collagen production. Kiser says look for “L-ascorbic acid,” or “ascrobic palmite” on labels.

You can swallow vitamin C and wear it.

Vitamin E

Deficiency of vitamin E can lead to pigmentation of the skin. Taking 400 IU of vitamin E daily can reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture. Look for “natural” or “d-alpha tocopherol” on labels. As for wearing this vitamin, preliminary studies show that E reduces chronic UV-induced skin damage.

Dermatologists say they find it very effective as a moisturizer and for healing skin after a sunburn, but it’s anti-aging abilities are not confirmed yet, though there are preliminary studies that they are excited about that suggest vitamin E reduces sun damage and the production of new cancer cells. Also, they’ve found when vitamin E is combined with vitamin C provides more UV-protection than with just C alone.

Kiser says take it and wear it if you wish. Kiser says a good multivitamin along with a healthy diet is more than enough for healthy skin, and you don’t need to buy skin-specific vitamins in addition to a regular multivitamin.

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