1. Vitamin C
This vitamin is especially useful for people who have a lighter complexion. It also comes in handy during the summer months when the days are longer. Oregon State University found that vitamin C limits the effects of ultraviolet rays on the skin, thereby helping to boost the effectiveness of your sunscreen. In fact, this vitamin is stored in the skin and topical application is highly effective.
2. Vitamin E
This is one of the vitamins that work alongside vitamin C. It provides further photoprotection from the sun’s UV rays by strengthening the cell walls. This in turn helps to absorb energy from the sun, while protecting the skin from wrinkles, sagging and cancer. However, try not to overdo topical vitamin E treatments as they can clog pores.
An often-overlooked nutrient is zinc, but it is one of the most important for the skin, especially after an injury. This is found in very high concentrations in the epidermis and helps to speed up the healing process after tissue rupture or injury. It also helps to protect the skin from sun damage and plays the role of an antioxidant. When there is a zinc deficiency, patients may suffer from eczema-like symptoms.
For even more protection from the sun, consider selenium. There are many delicious sources for this in the regular diet, including crab, fish, wheat, chicken and turkey. Even so, Americans on the east coast generally get less selenium from their diets than other people in the U.S. Note that this nutrient protects you from free radicals. It slows the aging process, reduces dry skin and heals tissue damage.
5. Fatty Acids
Fatty acids are an essential part of the diet, and unlike some other nutrients, the body cannot make them on its own. Omega 3s are naturally found in soy, mackerel, flax and walnuts. Omega 6s are often found in poultry, grains, baked foods and cooking oils. They help to build up healthy membranes that produce the skin’s natural oil barrier. This helps to keep the skin looking plump, fresh and young. It may also help to prevent dry skin, blackheads and whiteheads.
6. Vitamin D
Perhaps one of the best sources of vitamin D is the natural sunlight. Even so, WebMD notes that the deficiency is more common than most people think, possibly because Americans spend so much time indoors. People in the northern United States, such as in New Jersey, are more likely to have a deficiency. Note that a study found that topical application of this vitamin helped to manage the symptoms of psoriasis.