Best Supplements for Skin Health: Picking the right supplements for skin health is essential to support its glow and beauty throughout the years. Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients may help the skin’s barrier function, promote regeneration, hydration, elasticity, and even slow down aging.
But how do they work in the first place?
Can Skin Supplements Work?
It’s impossible to say if a particular skin supplement will work for you. As with any supplement, this depends on lifestyle factors, diet, habits, dose, and even when exactly you take the supplement. For example, folate supplements during the first few weeks of pregnancy are great to protect the fetus from severe congenital disabilities, but not effective if taken later.
The general take on health supplements in the medical and scientific community is that they have to be used sparingly since the available evidence of their effectiveness is limited and controversial at best. Of course, supplements seem to be a wise approach to deal with specific (and confirmed) nutrient and mineral deficiencies, but in most other cases, the best approach would be to get the nutrients you need from a diverse and healthy diet. If that’s not an option, the right supplement could still be beneficial in certain situations.
Best Supplements for Skin Health: Nutrition and Skin Health
Nutrition has a significant impact on skin health. What you eat, how much you drink, and even how much time you spend fasting throughout the day—all of these factors are extremely important for skin beauty and health. The right dietary choices could help you look younger for years to come.
For example, studies suggest that foods rich in antioxidants could help to delay skin aging by reducing oxidative stress. Vitamins C and E support collagen synthesis, which could be beneficial for skin elasticity and firmness. Lutein, a carotenoid abundant in dark leafy greens, seems to support skin hydration and glow, as well as protect it from ultraviolet radiation. 
Well, at least that’s what the available studies say!
So, what are the best vitamin supplements for the skin, and what’s the science behind their potential effects?
Best Vitamin Supplements for Skin
The most common skin conditions that make people consider taking a high-quality skin supplement include dry skin, skin pigmentation (dark spots), redness, itching, eczema, wrinkles, and acne. Although a lack of a particular nutrient doesn’t usually cause these issues, the right vitamins could support your skin’s natural regeneration potential, barrier function, and immune properties.
Skin supplements are available in a wide variety of products, including those for internal use (capsules, tablets, soluble vitamin powders), skincare products (creams, serums, masks), and even injections (only for professional use.) But how do they work in the first place? Let’s explore the available evidence in more detail.
If you’re interested in one specific nutrient, use the navigation links below to start reading about it right away:
Vitamin A is the general name for a group of nutrients from the retinoid group. In terms of skin benefits, one of the most well-studied effects of vitamin A is its ability to help with acne. Specifically, some forms of vitamin A can suppress the activity of sebaceous glands in the skin, potentially reducing excess oiliness and improving acne breakouts.
Additionally, studies reported that vitamin A might help to retain skin moisture and increase collagen production in the skin, reducing visible signs of aging like dryness and wrinkles. The same effects may help to support skin regeneration and speed up the healing of minor wounds!
Last but not least, vitamin A has photoprotective properties, meaning it could protect the skin from damage due to ultraviolet radiation—and the resulting signs of premature aging. 
The only downside is that excess intake of vitamin A comes with quite a few documented side effects, including osteoporosis (bone weakness) and hip fracture. So, while vitamin A is one of the best supplements for healthy skin, always keep an eye on how much of it you get every day and never exceed the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in a wide range of processes in the body—from energy metabolism to the functioning of various enzymes. Sometimes biotin is also called vitamin H, the H standing for” Haar und Haut”—which means” hair and skin” in German. Not surprisingly, biotin is touted as the best supplement for skin health by many experts.
Symptoms of biotin deficiency include dermatitis, rashes and itchiness, hair loss, and weak nails. If you’ve been dealing with any of the symptoms above, there’s a chance that biotin could support your skin’s health.
Collagen is one of the main structural proteins in the human body, as it serves as a” framework” that keeps all tissues in place. No wonder that collagen makes over 75% of healthy and young skin!
As the years go by, though, collagen production in the skin goes down. The resulting loss of elasticity and firmness is exactly what causes the wrinkles and fine lines that appear as we age. Some studies have reported that collagen supplementation could have a positive effect on skin hydration and elasticity, and even reduce wrinkle depth!  
Vitamin C is one of the best supplements for the skin thanks to its wide range of potential skin benefits. Some of its main physiological functions include supporting collagen production, as well as protecting the skin from ultraviolet radiation and oxidative stress.
Keep in mind that although vitamin C is available both in supplements for internal use and in the form of topical products, there isn’t enough data to conclude that topical products work better. In general, the best way of reaping the potential benefits of vitamin C for your skin is just to get more of it from your diet.
The active form of vitamin D affects the division and maturation of skin cells, supports the immune properties of the skin, and helps to keep a healthy balance between optimal integrity and selective permeability in the skin. Vitamin D is also essential for bone strength, blood pressure regulation, general immunity, and keeping a healthy balance of micronutrients like phosphorus and calcium. Topical forms of vitamin D (creams, ointments) can be used to soothe skin inflammation, even support the skin during chronic conditions like psoriasis.
Studies estimate that over 40% of US adults have a certain level of vitamin D deficiency, so keeping an eye on your intake of this nutrient is always a wise idea.
Skin colonizers are a unique type of skin supplement that supports and enhances your skin’s microbiome— meaning, the bacteria that naturally live on the skin. Essentially, skin colonizers are probiotics (beneficial bacteria) for the skin that have a few potential benefits:
- They support the growth of healthy bacteria (which outcompete dangerous germs like Staphylococcus aureus and other)
- They produce antimicrobial substances that fight off disease-causing germs.
As a result, these changes may significantly promote skin health, reduce local inflammation, soothe chronic processes, fight off infections like acne, and even help with autoimmune conditions.
Among all vitamins, vitamin E is one of the most potent antioxidants. By significantly reducing oxidative stress and free radical damage to the skin, vitamin E may delay signs of aging due to sunlight exposure, decrease the risk of developing skin cancer, help with chronic and autoimmune conditions, and improve skin tone.
Last but not least, scientists have found a link between oxidative stress and hair loss. One study reported that oral vitamin E helped a group of volunteers get a 34.5% increase in their number of hairs after eight months of using the supplement!
The topical use of vitamin K preparations leads to a significant improvement in skin regeneration and wound healing. To a great extent, this effect is based on the ability of vitamin K to support healthy blood clotting.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), most often called just omega-3s, are great in protecting the skin from ultraviolet radiation and the resulting aging of the skin (photoaging).
Also, studies indicate that having a higher intake of omega-3s compared to omega-6s in your diet has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. This anti-inflammatory action helps to keep away such conditions like acne but basically works all around the body too.
Best Supplements for Skin Health: Summary
There is a wide range of skin supplements on the market, claiming to have outstanding benefits for skin health and beauty. Sadly, that’s not always the case, and many people purchase supplements that have little to offer in terms of skin benefits.
According to the available scientific studies, the best supplements for a healthy, glowing, and youthful skin include vitamins A, C, D, E, K, collagen, biotin, skin colonizers, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Although these nutrients can’t be considered remedies in the traditional sense of the word, the benefits they offer definitely could come in handy to support anyone facing any kind of skin issue. Try some of them to see if they work for you!
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