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Excellent vitamins for the skin

Which vitamins are good for the skin?

A number of internal and external factors can cause the skin to lose its elasticity, radiance, suppleness... And while a healthy lifestyle in general is an excellent antidote, certain vitamins are particularly beneficial for the skin. Discover them below.

2024-04-03

The skin: a delicate protective barrier

The skin: what function does it serve?

The skin is the largest organ in the body, serving as a protective barrier against attack, while also regulating body temperature and providing us with the sensation of touch.

A particularly visible line of defence, the skin is also considered to be a natural ‘beauty asset’. Healthy, well-cared for skin is often perceived as a sign of wellness, vitality and youthfulness.

Yet the skin can suffer a wide variety of problems (acne, eczema, infections…) over a lifetime, and is significantly affected by ageing (marks, wrinkles, fine lines, pigmented spots, loss of elasticity …)

Internal factors involved in skin ageing

What are the factors involved in ageing of the skin? To begin with, there’s the decline, over time, in the production of collagen, a skin structural protein. As a result, the the skin starts to sag and slacken.

The skin also contains elastin fibres (produced by fibroblasts) which ensure its elasticity. Under the effects of oxidative stress and glycation, these fibres decrease and become less effective.

Another naturally-occurring molecule important for maintaining hydrated and plumped-up skin is hyaluronic acid. But from the age of just 30, levels progressively decline, which exacerbates skin slackening.

Another element that diminishes as we get older and thus promotes skin ageing is vascularisation of the skin, which is also essential for ensuring tissue oxygenation and an adequate supply of nutrients to skin cells (1).

External factors involved in skin ageing

All the above internal factors that contribute to skin ageing are exacerbated by external factors. These include, in particular (2) :

  • excessive exposure to UV, which damages the DNA in skin cells, especially fibroblasts and collagen-producing cells, leaving the skin dry and less firm;
  • smoking and alcohol expose the body to hundreds of thousands of free radicals. Skin cells are particularly sensitive to oxidative stress. Renewal of the skin becomes less effective and skin ageing accelerates;
  • a diet low in vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids promotes oxidative stress and glycation, and thus accelerated ageing of the skin .

Top tips for protecting your skin

To maintain your skin’s health and beauty, it’s important to protect it from sun damage by using sunscreen, follow the right skin care routine for your skin type (applying moisturiser daily for example) and keep it well-hydrated. Take advantage, too, of foods and supplements rich in skin-beneficial vitamins.

Which are the best vitamins for maintaining healthy, beautiful skin?

Biotin, also known as the ‘beauty vitamin’

Vitamin B8 or biotin is sometimes referred to as the ‘beauty vitamin’. This coenzyme plays a role in many metabolic processes, including the metabolism of fatty acids and proteins, essential for the skin. It is also directly involved in the production of keratin, a key protein for skin health (3-4).

A lack of biotin can also lead to various skin problems (dryness, rashes, irritation, etc.)

Biotin is found in egg yolk, walnuts, almonds, pulses and offal, or you can take a biotin supplement to boost your intake (such as the product Biotin), especially if you suffer from dry skin.

Niacinamide, excellent for various skin types

Another B vitamin, niacinamide, is a form of vitamin B3, and is also one of the best vitamins for the skin.

It works by strengthening the skin’s lipid barrier (a crucial element for keeping the skin hydrated), decreasing inflammation, regulating sebum production, reducing hyperpigmentation, etc.

Vitamin B3 is thus an excellent vitamin for dry, oily or mature skin. You’ll find it in chicken, beef, tuna, and peanuts, as well as in targeted supplements (such as the product Niacinamide) (5).

Riboflavin: an antioxidant vitamin excellent for dry skin

Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, primarily supports skin health by helping to maintain the skin and mucous membranes and to repair tissues. It also helps protect cells against oxidative stress, making it even more beneficial for the skin (6).

Riboflavin deficiency is known to cause skin damage as well as dry, flaky skin.

To keep your skin healthy and hydrated, make sure you have an adequate riboflavin intake by eating dairy products, eggs or liver, or by taking a supplement (try, for example, Derma Relief, in which riboflavin is combined with probiotics studied for their potential skin benefits).

Vitamin A to combat skin ageing

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient which occurs in the diet in two main forms : retinol (the active form of vitamin A) and carotenoids (vitamin A precursors, including the well-known beta-carotene). Both forms help to maintain healthy skin (7-8).

Vitamin A acts more specifically by promoting cell regeneration, improving elasticity and reducing the signs of ageing, while also helping to prevent and repair skin damage.

In the case of mature or acne-prone skin, increase your retinol intake by eating dairy products or fish, and your beta-carotene levels by consuming carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, apricots … You can also boost your intake by taking a course of natural carotenoid supplements (such as the complex Carottol™).

Vitamin C: pro-collagen and antioxidant

Of course, no list of skin-beneficial vitamins would be complete without mentioning the incomparable vitamin C.

Vitamin C helps to maintain healthy skin by stimulating collagen production, protecting cells against oxidative stress and improving skin healing and radiance (9). Studies also suggest that vitamin C supports the production of hyaluronic acid, necessary for skin tone and hydration.

To keep your skin well-hydrated and radiant and protected from free radicals, eat vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus fruit, peppers and berries, or take a vitamin C supplement (such as Asc2P).

Synergistic formulations good for the skin

There are also synergistic formulations which combine all or some of these skin-beneficial vitamins with other compounds of interest (such as Natural Skin Formula, which contains biotin, collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin, or Daily Beauty, with biotin, vitamins B3 and B6, soluble keratin, collagen peptides and hyaluronic acid).

Multivitamin formulations also provide a significant intake of vitamins good for maintaining the skin and health in general (try Daily 3® or Daily 6®).

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References

  1. MAKRANTONAKI, E. et ZOUBOULIS, C. C. Molecular mechanisms of skin aging: state of the art. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2007, vol. 1119, no 1, p. 40-50.
  2. LANDAU, Marina. Exogenous factors in skin aging. Environmental factors in skin diseases, 2007, vol. 35, p. 1-13.
  3. ROBINSON, Frank Alfred. The vitamin B complex. Рипол Классик, 1951.
  4. MOCK, D. M. Skin manifestations of biotin deficiency. In : Seminars in Dermatology. 1991. p. 296-302.
  5. MATTS, Paul J., OBLONG, John E., et BISSETT, Donald L. A review of the range of effects of niacinamide in human skin. Int Fed Soc Cosmet Chem Mag, 2002, vol. 5, no 4, p. 285-289.
  6. LAKSHMI, R., LAKSHMI, A. V., et BAMJI, Mahtab S. Skin wound healing in riboflavin deficiency. Biochemical medicine and metabolic biology, 1989, vol. 42, no 3, p. 185-191.
  7. SHAPIRO, Stanley S. et SALIOU, Claude. Role of vitamins in skin care. Nutrition, 2001, vol. 17, no 10, p. 839-844.
  8. DARVIN, Maxim E., STERRY, Wolfram, LADEMANN, Juergen, et al.The role of carotenoids in human skin. Molecules, 2011, vol. 16, no 12, p. 10491-10506.
  9. PULLAR, Juliet M., CARR, Anitra C., et VISSERS, Margreet. The roles of vitamin C in skin health. Nutrients, 2017, vol. 9, no 8, p. 866.

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