3 Must-Have Vitamins for Great Skin

Beautiful woman in a bathrobe applying skin moisturizer in the bathroom

Medically reviewed in February 2021

Updated on April 12, 2022

Sometimes your skin likes it better when you slather on your vitamins rather than swallow them.

To give your skin a youthful glow, experts recommend trying the topical versions of these vital vitamins.

Vitamin A
Derivatives of vitamin A known as retinoids may be the only reliable wrinkle-fighter on the skin-care market. Retinoids also help repair sun damage and prevent the development of actinic keratosis, a type of precancerous skin growth. Tretinoin is the prescription-strength version of this skin helper, but there are some milder over-the-counter creams and lotions that contain a type of retinoid called retinol. Ask a dermatologist what would be most beneficial for your skin.

Vitamin C
This antioxidant vitamin stimulates your skin's production of collagen and elastin fibers, making your skin firmer and more elastic. To get a solid dose of C, look for products that contain at least a 10 percent concentration of L-ascorbic acid.

Vitamin E
Also a potent antioxidant, E can help slow down the formation of wrinkles and improve the performance of your sunscreen. Look for dl-alpha-tocopherol on labels. It's the only form that's been shown to produce noticeable improvements when used topically.

To get the most benefit from these nutrients, apply the products at night, right before you hit the sack. Sunlight will zap their strength.

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