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Nutrients for Healthy Skin: Inside and Out

Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients can give your skin the youthful glow of good health.

Vitamins Good for Skin Nutrition continued...

You can also try a topical vitamin C cream to encourage collagen production, just as your body does naturally when you are young. The trick here is to use a formulation containing the L-ascorbic acid form of vitamin C, the only one that can penetrate skin layers and do the job.

You can find vitamin E in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, and asparagus. But it's difficult to get a lot from food, so many people take a supplement. (Be aware, though, that some recent research warns that large doses of vitamin E can be harmful. Stay with 400 international units per day or less to be on the safe side.) Used in a cream, lotion, or serum form, vitamin E can soothe dry, rough skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

More Vitamins for Healthy Skin

Vitamin A. If your vitamin A levels are up to snuff from the foods you eat, adding more probably won't do much more for your skin. That said, if those levels drop even a little below normal, you're likely to see some skin-related symptoms, including a dry, flaky complexion. That's because vitamin A is necessary for the maintenance and repair of skin tissue. Without it, you'll notice the difference. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamin A.

Topical vitamin A is the form that makes a real difference in your skin. Medical studies show a reduction in lines and wrinkles, good acne control, and some psoriasis relief, all from using creams containing this nutrient. For example, in research presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2003, researchers from France showed that topically applied retinol plus vitamin C demonstrated a "reversal of skin alterations induced by chronologic aging and photoaging."

In another study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, doctors found that foods high in beta-cartotene -- a form of vitamin A -- appeared to reduce the risk of psoriasis.

The prescription treatment for acne called Retin-A is derived from vitamin A. The less potent, over-the-counter formulations are sold as retinols and used as anti-aging treatments.

Brush Up on Beauty

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