Do you have dry, flaky skin?
Sometimes it seems that no matter how much moisturizer you put on your skin or how much water you drink, the dryness doesn’t go away. So what are you missing? The answer could be vitamins.
What Causes Dry Skin?
The skin care industry is saturated with products and promises to help people moisturize their dry skin. But what makes your skin dry to begin with?
There are a number of factors that contribute to dry skin and it’s important to consider all of them before purchasing the ‘next best product’.
Genetics play a pretty large role in determining your skin type and how it behaves. Your genes regulate skin cell production and may not always work like they are supposed to. They may cause skin cells to grow too quickly, which can lead to skin-clogging issues, such as acne.
There may also be gene mutations that contribute to having dry skin. There’s a protein called filaggrin that plays a role in forming and hydrating the skin barrier, which helps keep moisture in. The filaggrin gene (FLG) also plays a critical role in the skin’s ability to protect itself from environmental factors, such as sun exposure. If the FLG isn’t functioning properly, skin cells may not mature properly. This can lead to your skin barrier not being able to hold in the proper amount of moisture. This, along with other factors, could even lead to skin conditions like eczema or even melanoma.
Your DNA plays a big part, but there are other factors to consider, so read on to learn more.
Like so many other changes our bodies go through during the aging process, our skin is also affected. As we age, our skin is more vulnerable to becoming dry, rough and less elastic. The epidermis also thins as we age and because of this, our skin is less able to retain water and more likely to dehydrate. Our skin’s metabolic system also slows as we age, which contributes loss of moisture and elasticity.
Low or no moisture in the air will cause your skin to dehydrate. Whether the lack of humidity is due to desert-like conditions or cold weather, having dry skin can make your skin appear dull and any wrinkles you may have will become more noticeable. Your skin may also appear to be rough. Anyone who has spent a good amount of time in Colorado during the winter will understand what we are talking about.
Oddly enough, if your skin is dehydrated, the sebaceous glands may kick into high gear and overcompensate for the lack of moisture, producing an excess of oil. Since dehydrated skin leads to a build up of dead skin cells, combing that with the excess oil and other impurities on the skin’s surface can cause pores to clog and lead to breakouts.
It goes without saying, but you need to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Drinking water is important, but there are other nutritional factors that can help you and your skin stay hydrated.
Maintaining a balanced diet is a key to keeping your skin sufficiently hydrated. Certain foods with omega-3 fatty acids (think fish oil) and other essential fatty oils impact the health of your skin. Fats in foods sometimes get a bad rap, but our skin needs a certain amount of the essential fatty ones to stay healthy. Foods high in protein help build and repair tissue. Protein also provides amino acids, which contribute to the production of collagen, elastin and keratin. You might have heard of these three proteins through skin care marketing, right?
Best Vitamins For Skin That Is Dry
Vitamins could be the answer for skin dryness, as well as skin health. There are many skincare products on the market developed specifically for dry skin.
Below are several vitamins you can add to your skincare routine and diet that can help your skin maintain moisture and repair your skin’s moisture barrier.
1. B Vitamins
Vitamin B3 is also known as niacinamide. These days, you’ll find it in many skin care products, due to its ability to help retain moisture in the skin and protect it from UV damage. Niacinamide applied topically live in the outermost layer of skin (the epidermis) and helps regulate skin moister.
Vitamin B5 is an amazing vitamin for dry skin because it can help hydrate your skin while repairing the skin’s barrier. This will help your skin retain moisture while protecting against environmental factors. It can also calm irritation and help heal broken skin.
If you have a dry, itchy scalp, you can apply this vitamin topically to soothe your scalp and promote healthy hair growth.
Folic Acid (B9)
When learning how to get rid of dry skin, you’ll likely come across folic acid. Folic acid is also called vitamin B9. Vitamin B9 can help protect your skin against the sun’s harmful rays that can lead to dry skin. Applying folic acid can lessen the effect of the sun’s rays on your skin, help prevent sun damage, reduce signs of aging, and even control acne!
2. Vitamin C
It’s a well-known fact that Vitamin C helps boost collagen production, but Vitamin C creams can also treat fine lines and wrinkles in addition to hydrating your skin! In skincare products, vitamin C is typically found in the form of ascorbic acid, also known as L-ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is a potent skin-soothing agent and antioxidant and helps improve the appearance of aging.
Vitamin C/Ascorbic Acid when combined with other antioxidants or agents can really boost their effectiveness. When ascorbic acid is used alone in higher concentrations, such as 15% or 20%, it is effective at evening out skin tone. Look for products combining vitamin C with ingredients like ferulic acid or hyaluronic acid for powerful moisturizing and antioxidant help.
Oral supplements are another form of Vitamin C that can go a long way in improving skin hydration! Be sure to add some Vitamin C to your diet by eating broccoli, potatoes, and leafy greens.
3. Vitamin E
Vitamin E can help moisturize and heal dry, cracked skin. It can also help reduce the appearance of scars!
You can reap the benefits of vitamin E if you ingest it or apply it topically. you can easily add it to your diet in the form of nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils.
Applying Vitamin E is a great part of any dry skin treatment because it can help make your other skincare products more effective! For example, when paired with Vitamin C, vitamin E works to protect your skin from the sun.
Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is a great dry skin vitamin because it increases cell turnover. When your dead skin cells are sloughed off, newer, healthier skin cells appear. You may notice less flaking once your skin gets used to the retinol.
Slowly introduce retinol into your skincare routine because it can cause irritation and even make your dryness worse, especially at first. You can dilute it with a moisturizer to help prevent dryness. Use the retinol treatment at night and wear sunscreen during the day.
Topical and Ingested Vitamins for Dry Skin
Now that you know some of the best vitamins to combat dry skin, you can search for them in skincare products and introduce some of them into your skincare routine, as well as your diet! You’ll be able to tackle your dryness problem from both the inside and outside. Healthy, hydrated skin awaits you!