Some people are blessed with healthy, smooth skin. Others of us, well… are not. If you’re one of the millions of people suffering from skin problems, you surely know the frustration. Whether you have acne, rosacea, dry skin, oily skin, or any of the countless other skin health problems, we understand and are here to help.
The health of our skin is very important, and not just for cosmetic reasons. Did you know that the skin is actually an organ? In fact, it’s the biggest organ in our bodies (or on our bodies, if you want to get technical!) Maintaining healthy skin helps us maintain overall good health, and also helps us feel more confident and happy.
While applying lotion and following a healthy diet can help your skin, sometimes that’s not enough. However, there are also good supplements for skin health, which can help provide some assistance. In this article, we’ll go over the best supplements to promote healthy skin, and how each product works. Let’s start with the basics!
What Are Supplements That Support the Skin?
There is a whole class of effective skin supplements that are designed to help improve the health of your skin. They can help keep your skin more moist, and help it look better, giving you more confidence. They can help reduce the symptoms of various skin disorders and conditions, and help to prevent breakouts from happening.
There are a wide variety of good supplements to help your skin. The majority of them are either vitamins, minerals, or other natural products. For this list, we chose the best skin supplements that come from natural, safe sources. All of the products on our list are available over the counter, and each offers unique benefits to improve skin health.
How Can Supplements Help Support Your Skin?
No single supplement can offer all these benefits, but some of the best supplements for skin health can help greatly improve the overall look and feel of your skin. Many people like to use a combination of multiple products, including supplements, skin care topicals, etc. While this is not strictly necessary, using a combination of good skin supplements can provide optimal results.
Why Should You Take Supplements that Promote Skin Health?
People often ask us if taking good skin care supplements is really necessary. The answer is actually no – it’s not strictly necessary to take these products. However, if you’re reading this guide, chances are you are not fully satisfied with the health or appearance of your skin, and are looking for a way to improve your skin – and supplements can help. On top of that, the best skin care supplements do not typically cause many side effects, if any – so there is little risk to trying them out! Here are some reasons why you should consider using top skin supplements.
- Skin health is important – you may think of the health of your skin as purely a cosmetic factor, but that is simply not the case. The reality is that your skin is actually an organ, and should be treated like any other organ. If your heart was not healthy, you’d surely want to help improve your heart health – and the same should be true when it comes to your skin! Having healthy skin is very important because it helps to protect our bodies from disease and infection, prevent dehydration, maintain body temperature, and more. The health of our skin affects most aspects of our overall health – so it’s much more important than you might think!
- Having healthy skin is a huge confidence boost – if you’ve ever struggled with skin problems that are visually apparent, such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, etc. you know that it can be very embarrassing. It’s hard to work up the confidence to step out of your comfort zone if you literally don’t feel comfortable in your own skin! There are many effective supplements to help your skin look and feel great.
- Many effective skin supplements are also good for overall health – several of the best skin care supplements that we recommend to our readers are also great tools for overall health. Many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, C, E, zinc and others can help improve your skin health while also supporting your overall health – it’s a win, win!
Supplements for Supporting Healthier Skin
What is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A is a common vitamin and a blanket term for a group of retinoids. Vitamin A serves a role in many aspects of our health, but primarily, it’s important for it’s role in immune function, vision, skin health, reproductive health, and cellular communication. Available in both topical creams and in standard oral supplements, vitamin A is a powerful way to support skin health.
How Vitamin A May Help Support Your Skin
Vitamin A stimulates the dermis, which is where your natural collagen, blood vessels and elastin are.
How to Take Vitamin A
Vitamin A is included in multivitamins, and also found in some foods. So, you’re probably already consuming some of it in your normal diet.
Although this vitamin is common in oral supplement form, it’s even more popular in topical versions. Vitamin A creams, salves and topicals are widely available, and a great way to target problem skin areas. For these topicals, simply apply them to affected areas. It’s a good idea to start with a small spot of skin initially, just to make sure your skin doesn’t react negatively.
Vitamin A Side Effects
Long-term heavy use of these products can result in unwanted side effects, including fatigue, stomach discomfort, nausea, and others. As for topical creams, the vitamin A itself shouldn’t cause any problems, but there’s always the potential of your skin reacting negatively to another included ingredient. As mentioned, start with a small area of skin just in case.
What is CoQ10?
Although the name might sound like a robot from a sci-fi movie, CoQ10 is actually a natural enzyme and antioxidant that is naturally produced in the human body. It’s commonly referred to as Coenzyme Q10. It’s naturally present in every cell and tissue in our bodies, and is involved in many biological processes.
How CoQ10 May Help Support Your Skin
As mentioned, CoQ10 is a natural part of our overall health and the way our bodies function. However, as levels of this coenzyme decline (largely due to aging, stress and other factors), so does our natural ability to regenerate and repair skin cells.
CoQ10 levels peak at age 20-30, and decline steadily from there. So, if you’re over 30, chances are your CoQ10 levels are not what they once were, and you may possibly benefit from adding this supplement to help your skin.
How to Take CoQ10
Interestingly, there are multiple ways to take CoQ10. It can be taken orally, and is available in capsule form as well as liquid concentrates. It can also be applied topically, directly to problem areas on the skin.
Regardless of which form you choose, you’ll want to closely follow the directions listed on the product packaging. Oral supplements should typically be taken with food, unless the package says otherwise. Topicals can simply be applied to problem areas.
CoQ10 Side Effects
CoQ10 does sometimes cause side effects, although most people report very minor effects, if any. The most common complaints are stomach problems, such as nausea, diarrhea, decreased appetite, etc. Speak with your doctor if you have any concerns. If you use a topical product, try it first in a small area. That way, if it causes a negative reaction, it will be contained to a small spot of skin.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a vitamin you are surely familiar with. It’s one of the more commonly used supplements. It’s a powerful antioxidant and immune booster that has significant benefits for many aspects of your health. It’s found naturally in fruits and vegetables, and it’s included in all multivitamins and many other dietary supplements.
How Vitamin C May Help Support Your Skin
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, meaning it helps to block damage caused by free radicals. Essentially, this means that it protects cells from damage. This vitamin is needed for the repair of damaged tissues and the growth of new cells. Vitamin C supplements may help minimize the appearance of wrinkles and other skin problems, as well as helping to prevent future issues. Vitamin C is also an important part of the body’s natural production of collagen, which makes it a key component of overall skin health.
How to Take Vitamin C
Vitamin C is included in many foods, multivitamins and health supplements. It’s available in stand-alone supplements containing high doses of vitamin C. It’s also available in topical creams and beauty products. Regardless of the form, increasing vitamin C intake can be helpful for the health of your skin.
If you’re taking an oral supplement, simply follow the instructions found on the product packaging. If you’re using a topical, apply a small amount to the affected area of skin.
Vitamin C Side Effects
Vitamin C rarely causes serious side effects, so long as it is taken in proper dosages. MayoClinic lists all the potential side effects. With topical vitamin C creams, it’s always possible that your skin will react negatively to one or more of the included ingredients. We recommend spot-testing the cream by using it on a very small area at first, to see how your skin handles it.
What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is a common nutrient that is important for overall health. It’s also a potent antioxidant that has many benefits to skin health. Like all antioxidants, vitamin E can help to fight cell damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin E is included in multivitamins, sold as a standalone supplement, and available in topical creams.
How Vitamin E May Help Support Your Skin
Antioxidants such as vitamin E are considered the front line of defense against free radicals, which can cause damage to cells including skin cells.
How to Take Vitamin E
As mentioned, you can find normal vitamin E oral supplements, or you can go with a topic cream. If you choose the latter, look for something that lists “tocopherol” on the label, as these products will contain a blend of other antioxidants in addition to vitamin E. Use topical creams sparingly, and spot-test on a small area the first time you use the cream. For oral vitamin E supplements, simply follow the dosage instructions on the label, and take your dose with food.
Vitamin E Side Effects
Common side effects of vitamin E include nausea, tiredness, headache and mild rash. More severe side effects are possible, but rare. Topical creams typically cause few, if any, side effects. However, keep in mind that each cream includes different ingredients, so there’s always a possibility of an allergic reaction, skin irritation, etc. For topical creams, it’s best to test the product on a small area of skin before using it all over, just in case you react negatively to it.
What is Zinc?
Zinc is an essential mineral that is very important to overall health. It can be found naturally in some foods, but it can be difficult to get adequate amounts of zinc through our diets alone. Zinc plays a number of roles in the body.
How Zinc May Help Support Your Skin
Zinc is key to many normal functions in the body. It’s primarily used as for immune support, but it’s may also be beneficial in maintaining the integrity of skin and mucosal membranes. Zinc also functions as an antioxidant, helping to decrease oxidative stress and inflammation. Plus, it’s a helpful mineral to take for overall health!
How to Take Zinc
Zinc is available both in supplement form and in topical creams. If you choose to take an oral supplement, be sure to follow proper zinc dosage and follow the instructions on the product package. For topical creams, simply apply a thin layer of the cream to any affected areas of skin. It’s a good idea to start with a small area, just in case your skin reacts to any ingredients in the cream.
Zinc Side Effects
Zinc can cause some side effects, particularly when taken in large doses. The most common issues are nausea and vomiting, but other side effects are possible. Topical zinc creams typically do not cause any problems, but as mentioned, it’s a good idea to test it out on a small area of skin.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the “healthy fats”. Considered essential fatty acids, Omega-3s are found in various foods, including seeds, nuts, fish and more. In supplement form, these fats are typically found in the form of fish oil or flaxseed oil. Oil is extracted from the oils of fatty fish, or from flaxseeds, because of the high omega-3 fatty acid content of these foods. The oil is then packaged in capsules for convenience. There are other forms of omega-3 fatty acid supplements, but fish oil and flaxseed oil are the most common.
How Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help Your Skin
Omega 3’s offer many skin benefits. They have anti-inflammatory effects, which help to reduce inflammation and redness/swelling – both in the skin and in muscle tissues. Depending on your diet, you may already get a good amount of these essential fats. Then again, unless you eat a lot of fish and other omega-3-rich foods, you are likely not consuming optimal amounts. Omega-3 fatty acids are good supplements to promote skin health, and they can also help to support our overall health and wellbeing.
How to Take Omega-3 Fatty Acids
As mentioned, omega-3 fatty acids usually take the form of fish oil or flaxseed oil and also krill oil capsules. Both forms are typically packaged in capsules, although flaxseed oil is also available in large bottles. Regardless of the type you choose, you’ll want to follow the dosage instructions. These supplements should typically be taken with food.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Side Effects
Fish oil and flaxseed oil can cause some gastrointestinal issues, including bloating, gas, nausea, etc. Taking a dose with a meal, and/or using time-release formulas, may help reduce these effects. Some people also notice a fishy aftertaste after taking fish oil – again, this can be reduced by taking your dose with food, and/or freezing the capsules before taking.
Vitamin B Complex
What is Vitamin B Complex?
A vitamin B complex is a health product that combines the eight B vitamins, which are B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, and B9 (folic acid). These vitamins are important to our overall health, and serve a number of very important roles in the human body. B vitamins also have benefits for skin which makes vitamin B complex one of our recommended top skin care supplements.
How Vitamin B Complex Helps Skin
B vitamins, and particularly B3, B5 and B12, help to improve skin health in a number of ways. B3, otherwise known as niacin, may help with acne.
How to Take Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B complex comes in pill/capsule form, and typically contains a significant amount of the RDAs for the most important B vitamins. You’ll want to follow the dosage instructions and not take too much. Sometimes B vitamins are also included in topical creams, but oral supplements are more common.
Vitamin B Complex Side effects
There are some side effects associated with B vitamins, including diarrhea and abdominal pain. If you experience these side effects, stop taking the supplement and speak with your doctor.
What is Calcium?
Calcium is a common mineral that is necessary for proper health. It’s found naturally in some foods, particularly in dairy products. You might not initially think of calcium when you think about supplements for skin health, but in reality this mineral has a lot of positive effects on the skin.
How Calcium May Help Support Your Skin
Calcium is a very common element in the human body, and is important for a number of processes within our bodies. Primarily, it aids in cell growth and regeneration by helping regulate the rate of cell production. This may possibly help keep skin looking young and vibrant.
How to Take Calcium
Calcium supplements come in tablet/pill form, so it’s pretty easy to take. Follow the dosage instructions on the product packaging, and try to take your dose with food to aid in absorption.
Calcium Side Effects
The most common issues reported with calcium supplements are nausea and constipation. More serious side effects are possible, particularly with high doses and/or long-term use.
What is Silica?
Silica is a little-known chemical compound made of silicon and oxygen, the two most abundant elements on earth. Silica is naturally present all over the place; in foods, in rocks, in the crust of the earth, in various cosmetic products, and naturally in your body.
How Silica May Help Support Your Skin
Silica is an important part of bone and skin health, and is essential for our bodies when we are young and growing. As we age, natural levels of silica decline.
How to Take Silica
Silica typically comes in capsules, so it’s easy to take. Simply follow the dosage instructions on the product packaging. It’s best to take this supplement with food.
Silica Side Effects
Since silica supplements have not undergone sufficient medical research, there is some concern about the long-term use of these supplements. There are concerns about vitamin deficiency caused by silica’s tendency to remove other vitamins from the body. Other side effects are possible, so speak with your doctor before taking silica.
What is Selenium?
Selenium is one of the supplements that you’ve probably never heard of before. It’s an essential mineral, that is naturally found in the body, albeit in small amounts. Selenium essentially functions as an antioxidant, especially when it’s used in conjunction with vitamin E.
How Selenium May Help Support Your Skin
Like all antioxidants, selenium helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. This applies to all cells in the body. Selenium may also help reduce inflammation and redness.
How to Take Selenium
Selenium comes in pill/capsule form, so it’s simple to take. It’s best to take with meals. Follow the dosage instructions on the product you’re using. Keep in mind that the RDA for selenium. Considering you likely already get some from your diet, it’s unwise to exceed the recommended serving amount on the product you’re using.
Selenium Side Effects
So long as proper dosage standards are followed, selenium does not typically cause side effects. With that said, taking too much can cause issues like fever, nausea, bad breath, and others. There are also some long-term health concerns with high doses of selenium, including problems with the liver, heart and kidneys.