Vitamins for skin

Vitamins for skin

The skin is often a mirror for what is going on in the body, whether there is a hormonal imbalance that needs addressing, the body is lacking certain nutrients, or whether stress is having an adverse effect.

Besides wrinkles, fine lines and blemishes, skin can be affected by conditions such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema. These conditions are often treated topically but using diet and lifestyle alongside creams and lotions to tackle the underlying issues can be successful in managing skin issues.



The digestive system is home to trillions of beneficial bacteria that carry out useful functions including digesting plant matter and providing immune protection. There are also many beneficial bacteria that live on the skin.

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that have health benefits in the body. Supplementing with probiotics has been proven to be effective in supporting immune function, promoting healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients and reducing inflammation associated with many skin conditions[1].


Vitamin C is important for skin as it is required to create collagen[2]. Collagen is a protein found in the connective tissue and provides the skin with strength and cushioning.

Vitamin C is found in a lot of skin care products and serums. Topical application of vitamin C has been shown to protect against premature ageing of the skin caused by repeated exposure to the sun and reduce pigmentation[3].


Vitamin E, alongside vitamin C, helps reduce skin inflammation after exposure to ultraviolet light[4].

It also strengthens the skin and helps with its elasticity. Vitamin E can be helpful in decreasing signs of acne and eczema. It has been found to speed up cell regeneration, and has been used to help heal scars, acne and wrinkles, as well as having been shown to help skin look healthier and younger[5].


Vitamin A functions as a powerful antioxidant in the body and helps reduce the build-up of harmful free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells in the body causing inflammation, illness and ageing.

The anti-inflammatory nature of vitamin A has been shown to be effective in helping many common skin conditions including psoriasis, eczema and acne[6].


Sun exposure is the primary source of vitamin D for most people. It is required for the production and turnover of skin cells. Besides vitamin D production being triggered by the sun, it has been found to be protective against damage from UV rays[7]. However, sun exposure should be enjoyed in safe moderation as too much can be damaging to the skin so taking a quality vitamin D3 supplement is another option. 


The mineral zinc is involved in collagen synthesis which helps keep skin plump.

It has been found to be important for eliminating acne as it regulates and controls the amount of testosterone in the body, which plays a dominant role in the stimulation of acne[8]


Dry skin is a common condition. Luckily there are several supplements you can take to help improve this.


Omega-3 fatty acids can help skin stay healthy and radiant, by managing oil production[9].

Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to benefit the skin by helping to prevent acne and related inflammation[10].


Another B vitamin, vitamin B5 (also known as pantothenic acid) helps prevent skin water loss, improves wound healing and the integrity of the skin as a barrier[11].

Besides oral supplementation it is present in many topical skin treatments as well.


Vitamin B3 or niacin assists in improving circulation of blood and increases hydration of the skin[12]. The extra water retained by the skin has shown to be effective in reducing wrinkles.


Certain lifestyle habits such as smoking and excess tanning can cause premature skin ageing and result in unhealthy skin.

Genetics will play a part in the health of your skin and how quickly signs of ageing develop.

There are certain obvious hereditary traits such as skin type which have a bearing on the skin's appearance and quality. In addition, genes are responsible for the production of proteins such as collagen and  an increased predisposition to skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis. 


There are five hormones that have an effect on skin as we age. These are oestrogen, testosterone, thyroid hormones, insulin and cortisol.

As women grow older, oestrogen levels decline, and the skin can become dry, less elastic and more fragile.

Testosterone stimulates the glands that produce oils to protect the skin. But over-production of these oils may cause acne breakouts.

An overactive thyroid can cause warm, sweaty, flushed skin, while an underactive thyroid can lead to dry and coarse skin.

High insulin levels from eating too much sugar can lead to oily skin and trigger acne.

Too much stress increases levels of cortisol, which can weaken the immune system and accelerate ageing.


Including plenty of vegetables and fruit in your diet is an effective way to help ensure healthy skin. The rainbow of colours from different plants provides a variety of nutritious antioxidants to help combat the effects of ageing.

Drinking enough water staves off dehydration and allows vital biochemical reactions to take place in the cells. Water is essential to maintain the optimum skin moisture, deliver nutrients and remove toxins.

Looking after your skin is fundamental to looking after your health. Inessa Advanced Multivitamin, Advanced Omega-3 Fish Oil and Daily Biotic provide the best quality supplements to keep your skin in optimal health. If you have any concerns about the health of your skin, it is advisable to see your GP.

 If you enjoyed reading this article, you might like The best vitamins for memory.


[1] Al-Ghazzewi, F. & Tester, R. (2014) ‘Impact of prebiotics and probiotics on skin health’ Beneficial Microbes 5(2);99-107.

[2] Shuichi, S. Ozawa, Y. Toda, T. et al. (2014) ‘Collagen peptide and vitamin C additively attenuate age-related skin atrophy in Sod1-deficient mice’ Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry 78(7);1212-1220.

[3] Al-Niaimi, F. & Chiang, N. (2017) ‘Topical vitamin C and the skin: Mechanisms of action and clinical applications.

[4] Nachbar, F. & Korting, H. (1995) ‘ The role of vitamin E in normal and damaged skin’ Journal of Molecular Medicine 73(1);7-17.

[5] Ganceviciene, R. Liakou, A. Theodoridis, A. et al. (2012) ‘Skin and anti-aging strategies’ Dermato-Endocrinology 4(3);308-319.

[6] Kuenzli, S. & Saurat, J. (2001) ‘Retinoids for the treatment of psoriasis: Outlook for the future’ Curr Opin Investig Drugs 2(5);625-630.

[7] De Haes, P. Garmyn, M. Degreef, H. et al. (2003) ‘ 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 inhibits ultraviolet B-induced apoposis, Jun kinase activation, and interleukin-6 production in primary human keratinocytes’ Journal of Cell Biochemistry 89(4);663-673.

[8] Cervantes, J. Eber, A. Perper, M. et al. (2017) ‘The role of zinc in the treatment of acne: A review of the literature’ Dermatologic Therapy 31(1);e12576.

[9] McCusker, M. & Grant-Kels, J. (2010) ‘Healing fats of the skin: the structural and immunologic roles of the w-6 and w-3 fatty acids’ Clinics in Dermatology 28(4);440-451.

[10] Spencer, E. Ferdowsian, H. & Barnard, N. (2009) ‘Diet and acne: a review of the evidence’ International Journal of Dermatology 48(4);339-347.

[11] Ebner, F. Heller, A. Rippke, F. et al. (2002) ‘Topical use of dexpanthenol in skin disorders’ American Journal of Clinical Dermatology 3(6);427-433.

[12] Simpson, E. Bohling, A. Bielfeidt, S. et al. (2012) ‘Improvement of skin barrier function in atopic dermatitis patients with a new moisturiser containing a ceramide precursor’ Journal of Dermatological Treatment 24(2);122-125.

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Inessa Team

Our team pull together science-backed information to bring you up to date health and wellness insights.