Healthy skin starts from within, and eating a nutritious diet will help you achieve a radiant glow. Certain nutrients help your skin stay clear and retain its elasticity, providing protection against damaging elements in the environment and offering anti-aging benefits. If you don't get enough of skin-boosting nutrients from your diet, vitamin supplements may help you get more beautiful skin. If you have any medical conditions or want more dramatic results, see your dermatologist for more options.
Vitamin A helps your skin stay moisturized and supple and also offers some protection from the sun's damaging rays. Sun exposure drains vitamin A from your skin, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. A lack of vitamin A causes skin dryness and can lead to more sun-damaged skin with fine lines or wrinkles. You can get more vitamin A in your diet by eating foods such as carrots, spinach, liver, kale, cantaloupe, apricots, papaya and mangoes or by taking vitamin A supplements. The National Institutes of Health advises men to consume 900 micrograms -- or 3,000 IU -- of vitamin A daily and women to consume 700 micrograms -- or 2,310 IU each day.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means it helps your body fight harmful elements in the environment which cause your skin to age. Free radicals such as pollution, smoke and the sun's rays take a toll on skin, triggering wrinkles, loss of elasticity and age spots. Vitamin E helps prevent some of the effects of free radicals on your skin. A variety of vegetable oils contain vitamin E, including sunflower oil, wheat germ oil and corn oil. Almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, peanuts, spinach and broccoli also offer vitamin E, or you can take a supplement containing vitamin E. The National Institutes of Health advises adults to consume 15 milligrams of vitamin E daily.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant which helps your skin combat the effects of aging. Vitamin C offers some protection from the sun's rays and may promote collagen production, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Collagen helps your skin stay supple and youthful looking. Vitamin C also boosts your immune system and offers anti-inflammatory properties, reducing swelling and infections in your skin. The Institute of Medicine recommends women consume 60 milligrams of vitamin C a day and men consume 75 milligrams per day.
Some minerals can help your skin stay healthy and glowing. Selenium offers antioxidant benefits, according to the National Institutes of Health. Selenium can help prevent wrinkles and fine lines from the sun and environmental hazards. NIH advises consuming 55 micrograms of selenium a day. You can get selenium from tuna, beef, cod, chicken, eggs, Brazil nuts, turkey or supplements. Copper is another skin-boosting mineral, as it helps your skin develop elastin, the flexible fibers which make skin supple. Copper is found in oysters, shellfish, whole grains, beans, nuts and potatoes. IOM recommends consuming 700 micrograms a day of copper.
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Skin Wrinkles and Blemishes - Treatment; December 2008
- Harvard School of Public Health: Vitamin A
- National Institutes of Health: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin A and Carotenoids
- National Institutes of Health: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin E
- MedlinePlus; Vitamin C; February 2011
- National Institutes of Health: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Selenium
- MayoClinic.com; Wrinkle Creams: Your Guide to Younger Looking Skin; October 2010