It is common knowledge that daily decisions, like eating a balanced diet and exercising, are essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, it is also important to prioritize taking good care of the skin. An easy, daily addition to any lifestyle that can boost and support healthy skin is taking supplements. And, not only will skin benefit, but overall health will benefit, as well. Four supplements to enhance skin health are vitamin A, zinc, fish oil, and vitamin C.
Commonly regarded as the eye vitamin, vitamin A also repairs damaged skin tissue. In cases where the keratinization process or the shedding of skin becomes abnormal, such as in the cases of acne, psoriasis, calluses, and dry skin, vitamin A can help to normalize this abnormality. In turn, these skin cells are able to fulfill their function longer before flaking off.
Vitamin A also gives the skin natural protection against ultraviolet (UV) damage, minimizing the harmful effects of prolonged exposure to the sun. Vitamin A also guards against infection, smoothes wrinkles, encourages healthy skin cell production, and evens skin tone.
In addition to its benefits to the skin, vitamin A is also helpful for healthy vision, bone growth, a stronger immune system, lowered cancer risk, and management of Type 2 diabetes.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin A for boys 14 years old and above is 900 micrograms per day. For girls 14 years old and above, 700 micrograms per day is recommended. The RDA is different for pregnant women, so consult from a doctor is best in these situations.
Zinc is often called an essential trace element because very small amounts of this metal are needed for beautiful skin and overall health. It can act as an antioxidant that rids skin of harmful free radicals. It can also revitalize and speed up the healing of wounds.
Zinc can be beneficial for treating acne, as it regulates the amount of natural oil produced, keeping pores from getting clogged in the first place.
Additionally, zinc can aid in sun protection. While other chemicals in sunscreen filter out the sun’s harmful rays, zinc oxide, a compound which contains zinc, repels ultraviolet (UV) rays from being absorbed into the skin altogether. Look for sunscreens with zinc oxide on the label.
Other potential benefits of zinc include minimizing depression, boosting the immune system, treating common colds, avoiding lower respiratory infections, increasing sex drive, and treating malaria and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Oral intake or topical application of zinc should be capped at 40 milligrams daily.
Taking a daily fish oil supplement provides the body with omega-3 fatty acids, which helps prevent dryness in skin. Fish oils can help give the body fats that maintain the skin’s elasticity and moisture. Fish oil is also said to prevent wrinkles and counteract the aging process in skin. Certain skin and hair related issues, such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, dandruff, and thinning hair, can be remedied by fish oil, as well.
Added omega-3 intake can also improve behavior and literacy of children with ADHD. It is also beneficial for deflecting cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Other benefits include reduced chance of developing anxiety and depression, prevention of certain cardiovascular diseases, and relief from arthritis.
Every 1000 milligrams of fish oil has 300 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids. Consumption of fish oil should be limited to 3000 milligrams daily.
Vitamin C is one of the most effective nutrients for the human body. However, the body cannot produce its own vitamin C. To take advantage of its benefits, a person must regularly take it in through food, drinks, or supplements.
The antioxidant properties of vitamin C counters skin damage caused by aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin, age spots, and sun damage. Though vitamin C can be ingested, serums and creams that contain the vitamin are best for treating skin damage.
One of the generic uses of vitamin C is prevention and treatment of the common cold. It is also believed to help lower hypertension and combat stroke, while also being a cure for cataracts, asthma, and lead toxicity. Vitamin C increases blood circulation, improves the mood, and even boosts libido. It also helps prevent heart diseases and certain cancers. For the elderly, decreased bone density is a common problem. Vitamin C helps increase bone density which can help inhibit the development of osteoporosis.
For maximum absorption of vitamin C’s benefits, it is recommended that adults take 500 milligrams every day. As much as 2,000 milligrams per day can be taken, but using too much vitamin C can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
While supplements greatly benefit the skin and the whole body, they should not be the main source of nourishment and nutrients. Rather, they should complement a healthy lifestyle of eating a nutritional diet and exercising.
Melissa Lobo is a young and energetic writer, a mom to a sweet little boy, and a fur-mom to two perfect pooches. Before becoming the associate content director for Project Female, she was a journalist specializing in topics related to women in politics and policy affecting women.