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What nutrients are good for the skin?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
You may already know the importance of natural antioxidants inside the membranes of your cells (vitamin E is the most common in the skin): protecting you against free oxygen radicals in the membrane and lipid portions of the cell. They're especially important for protecting your skin, because they help thicken your epidermis while the sun quickly depletes levels of vitamin E. Your body will replenish its own vitamin E if you are eating smart, but adding some extra vitamin C (which protects the water soluble portions of your cells) can help decrease the appearance of wrinkles and improve the formation of collagen and elastin. Only certain types of vitamin C will penetrate the skin -- one called L-ascorbic acid does this particularly well. To work, it must be in a concentration of at least 10 percent and must be kept acidic. So, you can't just rub oranges on your face and expect it to work. L-ascorbic acid gets oxidized by the sun, rendering it ineffective, so use it at night.

Niacin (vitamin B3) and panthothenic acid (vitamin B5) are other vitamins (taken orally or topically) that are good for the skin. In fact, topical niacin helps prevent injury caused by the sun, and increases the level of certain fats and protein in the skin, which improves its barrier function, and it helps reduce the yellowing of skin that's associated with glycation (the yellowing can disappear between four and 12 weeks of use).
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.