Vitamins essential for skin health

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Many nutrients (vitamins and minerals), herbs and other phytonutrients help support good skin health. Adopting healthy lifestyle and improving your water intake amongst other wellness goals help improve skin health.

Vitamins are essential for our health and body functions, vitamin deficiencies can cause adverse effects on the skin. Vitamin C and vitamin E play such important roles in protecting your skin from the sun, deficiencies in either vitamin can increase the risk of skin damage, including skin cancer.

Vitamins essential for Skin Health

  1. Vitamin K

Vitamin K is essential in aiding the body’s process of blood clotting, which helps the body heal wounds, bruises, and areas affected by surgery. The basic functions of vitamin K are also thought to help certain skin conditions.

Vitamin K can be found in many different topical creams for the skin, and it can help treat a variety of skin conditions. Doctors frequently use creams that contain vitamin K on patients who have just undergone surgery to help reduce swelling and bruising. This may help speed up skin healing. However, research on vitamin K’s effects on the skin is more limited than that for vitamins E and C.

Main food sources of Vitamin K are kale, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, green beans. 

2. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant. Its main function in skin care is to protect against sun damage. Vitamin E absorbs the harmful UV light from the sun when applied to the skin. The body has an ability to protect itself from damage cause photo protection which is the body’s ability to minimize the damage caused by UV rays this helps prevent dark spots and wrinkles. The body produces vitamin E through sebum, an oily substance discharged though the skin’s pores. In the right balance, sebum helps keep the skin conditioned and prevents dryness. If you have particularly dry skin, vitamin E can possibly help counteract a lack of sebum. Vitamin E also helps in the treatment of skin inflammation.

3. Vitamin D

Getting enough vitamin E in your diet is important. Most adults need about 15 mg of vitamin E per day. Main food sources of Vitamin E:  nuts and seeds, such as almonds, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds

The main source of vitamin D is the sunlight and it is absorbed by the skin. Cholesterol converts to vitamin D when this happens. Vitamin D is then taken up by your liver and kidneys and transported throughout the body to help create healthy cells. This includes the skin, where vitamin D plays an important role in skin tone. It may even help treat psoriasis.

Getting 10 minutes of sun exposure a day (check with your doctor first, especially if you have a history of skin cancer), eating fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals, orange juice, and yogurt and eating foods that have vitamin D naturally, such as salmon, tuna, and cod. 

    1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is found at high levels in the epidermis (outer layer of skin) as well as the dermis (inner layer of skin).  Vitamin C is an antioxidant and its role in collagen production help keep your skin healthy. This is why vitamin C is one of the key ingredients found in many antiaging skin care products.

Taking vitamin C orally in a form of supplement can enhance the effectiveness of sunscreens applied to your skin for protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. It does this by decreasing cell damage and helping the healing process of bodily wounds. Vitamin C can also help fend off the signs of aging because of its vital role in the body’s natural collagen synthesis. It helps to heal damaged skin and, in some cases, reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Adequate vitamin C intake can also help repair and prevent dry skin.

Vitamin C food sources: citrus foods such as oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and spinach


Vitamins are essential for skin health, you might already be getting enough of these vitamins through your daily diet. Eating a balance healthy diet could be sufficient to meet the vitamin requirements such as Vitamin C, vitamin E and Vitamin K.  Ascendis Direct has nutritional supplements that may help, should you not be able to meet your vitamin requirements that are important for good health. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any dietary supplement.


  1. Michaels, A. J. (2011, September). Vitamin C and skin health
  2. Michaels, A. J. (2012, February). Vitamin E and skin health

Yours In Health

Mbali Mapholi


Author: Mbali Mapholi Inc

Mbali is a qualified clinical dietitian (Bsc. dietetics & PGDip dietetics) obtained from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. In dietetics she has special interest in Heart and heart related diseases, gastrointestinal (GIT) related diseases, weight management and African diet nutrition. She is a business woman with entities MiNutrition ZA and Mbali Mapholi Inc, under her belt. She is well published in the field of Nutrition with ray of media contributions (Radio, television and print media). Mbali believes is the type of eating that is nourishing, enjoyable, accessible and affordable. She believes in that nutrition education that is based on science delivered by a trusted source, is important to help people make informed nutrition decisions for themselves and those around them.

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