We've gathered a list of key information & benefits vitamins & minerals can offer to your skin & overall wellness for you to refer back to when wondering which one can help with whichever skin concern you are hoping to cure, or whichever need you are trying to fulfill. When in doubt, look to nature, it's never let us down and is more powerful than any lab-made form of nutrients.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin which can come in two forms: retinol or beta-carotene. Retinol found in many cosmetics today as a powerful anti-aging active ingredient is found in animal products such as butter, cod liver oil or eggs, whereas beta-carotene is found in bright colored vegetables such tomatoes, carrots, broccoli & spinach.
The main difference between the two? Beta-carotene is taken in by our bodies and transformed into vitamin A when we need it to send it to the areas of our bodies where it's most needed. It usually is a more gentle form of vitamin A supplementation to our skin but has been found to be equally effective on the long-run as retinol without the overdrying side-effects retinol containing face cream or serum can have.
Vitamin A is a very important nutrient in preventing and treating skin disorders and a powerful element in preserving the skin's youth and in slowing down visible signs of aging.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Riboflavin is, of course, one of the B-complex family of vitamins. It's crucial to the body in the right doses in promoting healthy skin, hair, and nails. It mainly is an ingredient that you should focus on taking in through the listed wholesome foods below rather than topically.
It helps protect the skin and neutralize free-radical damage which makes it a great nutrient for preventing aging skin.
Good sources of vitamin B2: Almonds, Quinoa, Spinach & Natural Yogourt.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin/Niacinamide)
Niacin is also part of the B-complex fam jam of vitamins. It helps support a healthy nervous system, helps with cell respiration and helps with maintaining a clear, healthy skin as well as good digestion (& good digestion, as you may know, is the first step to clearer skin!)
It's actually one of the few great "micronutrients" that can be prescribed by dermatologists to help relieve skin conditions such as dermatitis,
Good sources through food: Seeds, Wild caught fish, Wholegrain cereals.
You can also find Niacinamide in our soothing and skin barrier restoring B3-Complex, a gentle, unscented emulsion with hyaluronic acid & aloe vera.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
Pantothenic acid has become a pretty popular supplement over the past decade for its ability to improve energy levels and boost our immune system.
Why is this relevant to skin health?
Because a healthy immune system means less inflammation in the skin and body. Minimizing inflammation in the skin means slowing down its aging process as it has less stress to fight against and doesn't have to go into overdrive, which can cause it to be irritated, dehydrated and collagen and elastin depleted.
B5 is especially awesome at helping heal sun damage, wounds or any irritated skin from skin conditions like dermatitis & psoriasis.
Great sources through foods: Avocado & sunflower seeds.
Great sources topically through natural oils: Sunflower Seed Oil & Avocado Oil!
Also referred to as folate, a deficiency in this vitamin can cause hair loss & imbalances in the skin. Not to be confused with Folic Acid which is the synthetic form of vitamin B9, it is the natural source that can be a safer way to support your skin & body over its synthetic form.
While Folic Acid can be better absorbed by the body than folate making it useful in women deficient in iron or vitamin B9, naturally supplementing your skin and consuming foods with folate might be a better long-term approach to avoiding its deficiency. Important to know that over-supplementing with Folic Acid can cause severe neurological problems including insomnia and can interfere with zinc absorption in the body. For this reason, consuming it through leafy greens, oranges, bananas as well as through small amounts of topical supplementation through B9 containing botanical oils such as avocado oil.
Great source through foods: leafy greens, asparagus, Brussel sprouts & broccoli.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient which means it can't be stored by our bodies and that we need to ensure we get the right amounts in through our foods, and ideally topically as well for optimal skin benefits.
A very large amount of the population nowadays have been found to be deficient in vitamin C. It helps fight cancer, boosts our immune system and in return lowers overall inflammation in our bodies. It also is a necessary nutrient to collagen synthesis, responsible for firmness in our skin.
An additional benefit of incorporating vitamin C into your skincare routine, topically is that it can act in light doses as a gentle chemical exfoliant to help reduce congested pores, brighten dull skin and even out skin tone while also stimulating collagen production. You can read up about vitamin C in regards to skin in this article where we explain the differences between synthetic and natural forms here.
Great sources through food: green vegetables, broccoli & red peppers.
Great botanical sources for topical supplementation on skin:
Camu Camu Berri infused oil, Rosehip oil
Both present in our multi-nutrient complex, our Muse Oil
One of the key antioxidant vitamins that help neutralize aging through its powerful ability to protect our cells (skin & body cells!) from environmental stressors like pollutants, chemicals we're exposed to or heavy metals present in water.
Vitamin E helps slow down the process of aging, accelerate healing of the skin & burns, reduce PMS symptoms, treat a wide variety of skin problems and hair loss.
Great sources: Wheatgerm, broccoli, whole grains, peanuts
Great natural topical sources: Argan oil & Prickly Pear Seed oil
Also known as vitamin H & often confused with folate for its hair growth supporting benefits, it is actually not a "real" vitamin but it works with B-Complex vitamins as a co-enzyme. Alcohol consumption can deplete Biotin from the body.
Some of its benefits? It can help prevent hair from going grey, help treat eczema, dermatitis and other skin conditions as well as help prevent hair loss/baldness.
Great sources through food: Sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, cauliflower & avocado.
For topical botanical sources: Avocado oil & sunflower oil
Vitamin K has different forms (k1,k2) but are each necessary for normal blood clotting & important in supporting our bones & keeping them strong. It also can help reduce PMS cramps & make overall periods lighter, easier to go through!
When it comes to our skin, it can help reduce bruising and improve blood circulation which means if you have varicose veins, cold feet & hands, eating foods high in this nutrient can help reduce the appearance of those veins & improve circulation, in turn, reduce that coldness we get & constant need for sock layering!
Eating your daily intake of vitamin K can also help prevent gum disease and cavities, keeping those teeth clean and that smile bright!
A deficiency in this nutrient appears through the skin either by getting bruised very easily, as well as through a very pale, tone-less complexion with apparent veins. Another symptom is suddenly very dark under-eye circles.
Great sources through food: Cauliflower, spinach, peas
Great topical sources to help improve circulation: Prickly Pear Seed oil may help reduce under-eye circles and improve circulation
It's one of our Muse Oil's main ingredients
Calcium is an essential & important mineral that makes up our bones & pearly whites but is also essential for conducting messages along nerves.
It helps keep the skin healthy & has been shown to help regulate cell renewal & turnover by replacing old skin cells with new ones. From the age of 25 on, our cell renewal process begins to slow down which often causes the skin to be less bright, reflective of light for that incredible glow we love to have.
Great sources: Tofu, Sesame seeds, dried apricots & figs.
Great topical sources: Pumpkin Seed oil, one of our favorite nutrient-packed botanical oils which we use to formulate our Base du Jour, Muse Oil & Revitalizing Cleanser.
Copper is necessary for breath, (iron and copper are necessary for oxygen to be taken in by red blood cells) and is also important for the production of collagen. Collagen production slows down with age and is not only responsible for the firmness of our skin but also for any other elasticity & shock absorbent or elastic element of our bodies: cartilage, bones, veins which pump blood as they retract and extract to let blood through.
A.N. Feldzaman, Harold Rosenberg. (1974) Doctor's Book of Vitamin Therapy: Megavitamins for health.
Jean Carper, Simon & Schuster. (1993) Food: Your Miracle Medicine.
Stephen Davis, Alan Stewart. Pan Books. Nutritional Medicine