Vitamins and minerals are essential for proper function of every organ in the body - and the skin is no exception. Furthermore, deficiencies of some vitamins and minerals are particularly detrimental to the skin and may result in skin diseases and/or accelerated aging. While severe vitamin/mineral deficiencies are rare in the developed countries, mild deficiencies are surprisingly common.
To maximize the effects of any skin rejuvenation program, one needs to consume adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. This doesn't mean, however, that one needs to indiscriminately gobble up megadoses of vitamin/mineral supplements. In most cases, excessively high doses do not provide extra benefits.
Furthermore, high doses of some vitamins and most minerals may be toxic. For those few vitamins when doses above RDA (recommended daily allowance) may provide extra benefits, one should not exceed safety limits. Below we focus on vitamins and minerals that are particularly important for skin health.
VITAMIN A - Greatest skin benefits: Helps with fine lines and wrinkles. As some have learned the hard way, attempting to hide fine lines and wrinkles behind layers of make up is a losing battle. Better to improve the condition of your skin with products containing retinoids. Prescription products like Retin-A and Renova utilize Vitamin A derivatives to great effect, but some people's skin may react with uncomfortable stinging, redness or scaling.
Fortunately, "Retinol," a non-prescription Vitamin-A derivative contained in many over-the-counter products can provide much of the same benefits with less risk of irritation and sun sensitivity. However, due to the lower levels of retinoids in some consumer products, it may take a bit longer to see the desired result.
VITAMIN B's - Greatest skin benefits: A healthy glow, moisture retention. Vitamins B-3 (niacin) and B-5 (pantothenic acid) have become popular additions to skin-care products because of their ability to assist in retaining moisture. B-3 is a relatively new ingredient on the marketplace but has demonstrated great promise, offering a milder alternative to acidic exfoliators like glycolic and salicylic acid, which some feel is too harsh for their complexions. B-5 is a more common skin-care additive, and is widely recognized for its (along with Vitamin E) moisturizing ability. It's also good for those with sensitive skin, as some creams made with Vitamin-E have been known to cause irritation.
VITAMIN C - Greatest skin benefits: Repairs sun damage. Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) has been one of skin-care's hot sellers for the past several years due to its proven effectiveness as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are a critical natural defense against "free radicals," unstable molecules that age the skin as a result of pollution, smoking and sun exposure. Topical Vitamin C can protect the skin from UV damage caused by prolonged sun exposure by reducing the amount of free radical formation. However, while it can help safeguard against skin damage and reduce discoloration, it should be used in conjunction with, not in place of, a good sunscreen. Yet another benefit of Vitamin C is its ability to enhance the synthesis of collagen: a critically important skin protein that strengthens structural support and resilience of the skin.
VITAMIN E - Greatest skin benefits: Repairs dry, rough skin. Vitamin-E (alpha tocopherol) is another powerful antioxidant that is commonly used in lotions and creams for its moisturizing ability. Though some of the "miraculous" healing claims of Vitamin-E supporters have been exaggerated over the years, it is still widely recognized for its proven ability to help retain moisture in the skin.
VITAMIN K - Greatest skin benefits: Repairs dark, under-eye circles. night's sleep is always recommended, topical Vitamin-K is a good additional defense against discoloration under the eyes. Often used as a treatment for spider veins, topical Vitamin K enters through the pores all the way to the damaged capillary or artery and helps to clot the blood, thus stopping any seepage (often the cause of dark circles) and allowing the tissue to heal itself. In addition...
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