Healthy Skin ABCs
Alphabetically speaking, vitamins and minerals are an integral part of healthy skin. From supporting with collagen production to reducing hyperpigmentation, the nutrients outlined below work hard for your skin so you don’t have to. So if you’re curious where to start, or you’re looking to level up your skincare game, we’ve got you covered: from A-Z.
Vitamin A has been around the block. This nutrient is hardworking and one that you can count on (both topically and internally) to get the job done. In its topical forms (retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters) Vitamin A reduces fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and acne breakouts. It does this by improving barrier function and increasing cell turnover and collagen production. Internally, a deficiency in Vitamin A is linked to abnormal skin thickening, rashes, and increased risk for skin infections. It’s important to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day (like bell peppers, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and spinach) so you know that you’re getting enough.
When it comes to B Vitamins, there are a couple that are skin health standouts. One of them is Niacinamide (or Vitamin B3). This skincare multitasker provides a variety of aesthetic benefits, including improved skin barrier function, reduced TEWL (transepidermal water loss), reduced facial redness and blotchiness, and reduced acne lesions. Another one is Panthenol (or Vitamin B5); panthenol is special because of its ability to reduce inflammation and support barrier function. It’s also often included in cosmetic formulas to help mitigate the irritating effects of other ingredients.
Vitamin C is the antioxidant rockstar of the skin. Internally, Vitamin C is a key factor in collagen and elastin production - which means fewer fine lines and wrinkles. Topically, it plays a vital role in protecting our skin from UV damage, as well as improving skin texture and reducing hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin D is our immune system’s BFF. It works throughout our body to reduce inflammation and support wound healing. This is important for skin health because conditions like rosacea and acne often have an infectious component; and conditions like eczema and psoriasis compromise our skin’s natural barrier function.
Selenium is a great friend to Vitamins A and C. This mineral works in tandem with the aforementioned antioxidants to protect your skin from UV rays. In addition, selenium deficiency is linked to an increased risk for developing skin cancer.
Zinc is another hard-working mineral. In topical preparations, zinc has anti-microbial and acne fighting actions. Internally, zinc keeps our immune system functioning optimally and our skin cells dividing properly. In fact, zinc deficiency is linked to pigmentation changes, decreased hair and nail growth, and skin lesions on body sites exposed to repeated pressure and friction.
Article Written by:
Brennan Dedecker - The Protégé Program Naturopathic Medicine Intern
Brennan is Connected’s inaugural Naturopathic Medicine Intern in The Protégé Program He is a fourth-year student at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and will be working under the guidance, mentorship and supervision of Dr. Newell. His passion is getting to the root cause of their skin concerns and supporting his patients on their journey to better skin. He believes in simple and easy to implement strategies that are evidence based and tailored to the individual.