Dry skin is not just treated with topical treatments like moisturizers but also with your diet, including essential vitamins. There are many important vitamins that your body needs to maintain hydrated, plump, youthful-looking skin. What are the best vitamins for dry skin?
Important vitamins, nutrients, and minerals required for preventing dry skin are as follows:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3 EPA & DHA
Collagen, probiotics, and omega-3 fatty acid aren’t vitamins in the medical sense but can and should be taken in pill form as a supplement if you aren’t getting enough from your diet. They are included in this list as they are essential for preventing dry skin.
It can be very difficult to get everything through food alone, so supplements fill that void. By no means are supplements an alternative to living a healthy lifestyle or eating healthily. But if you can’t get everything from food alone, supplements are useful and convenient ways to top up.
Read on to learn more about the 8 best vitamins for dry skin, as well as the best food sources for these vitamins.
Also, for an excellent vitamin for dry skin, take a look at our top pick, the Garden of Life Vitamin Code for women or men. Garden of Life includes the best ingredients along with live probiotics, enzymes, and antioxidants for greater absorption.
8 Best Vitamins for Dry Skin
1. Vitamin A
The first vitamin on our list of best vitamins for dry skin is vitamin A. Vitamin A is an amazing vitamin as far as dry skin and signs of aging are concerned because this vitamin helps develop deep layer skin tissue that keeps skin firm and healthy.
There are many foods that help give you a good amount of this vitamin, so it is fairly easy to ensure you take in the required amount.
Vitamin A is one of the best vitamins for reducing signs of aging. It also stimulates fibroblasts—the cells responsible for developing skin tissue that keeps your skin elastic and healthy.
2. Vitamin E
The second vitamin on our list of vitamins that help dry skin is vitamin E. Vitamin E is really a healthy skin vitamin as it helps make your skin glow as well as reduce skin dryness. Free radicals and toxins in the environment pull water from our skin, making it dry and dehydrated.
Vitamin E plays a main role in creams and lotions as an antioxidant, but it also helps soften skin and prevent many skin conditions. Get the required amount of vitamin E in your diet as it is known to protect cells from oxidative damage due to its potent antioxidant properties.
If you aren’t getting enough vitamin E from your daily diet, then it is important to take a supplement that contains vitamin E. There are also multivitamins that contain vitamin E plus all the other best vitamins needed for optimal health.
3. Vitamin C
The third vitamin on our list of best vitamins for dry skin is vitamin C. Vitamin C prevents pigmentation and acts as an antioxidant. It is a vital, healthy skin vitamin – a vital part of your diet if you want to have that glowing, more youthful-looking skin.
When I was a child, every day, my mom would give me vitamin C tablets, and she told me it was so I don’t get sick or get a cold. This is common motherly advice to take vitamin C to avoid a cold; however, there’s not much proof for this.
There have been studies, however, showing that getting enough vitamin C is important for collagen production.
Collagen is really important when it comes to our skin, making it look plump, younger, and have greater elasticity. All of this will help prevent dry, dehydrated, cracked, and flaky skin.
Collagen is also really important not just for preventing skin conditions but for helping your whole body as well. I feel like collagen is massively overlooked as people just see it as a vanity thing, like just a trendy ingredient added to expensive anti-aging creams. But it’s so much more.
Collagen is the biggest form of protein found in our body (source), so it is really important for holding together our bones and muscle. It protects your organs as well as provides a structure for your joints and tendons.
So it is important to ensure your body is producing a good amount of collagen as you’re getting older, not just for reducing signs of aging but to strengthen your joints as well.
Vitamin C is found in high levels in your epidermis at the top layer of your skin as well as the dermis, the inner layer of skin. If you look at anti-aging products, you’ll find collagen, but you’re also very likely to find vitamin C.
So vitamin C and collagen both kind of go hand-in-hand very well together. Without adequate amounts of vitamin C in your body, your body can’t actually form collagen or store collagen.
This makes vitamin C super important when it comes to collagen production and important for preventing skin conditions.
4. Vitamin D
I also highly recommend you get enough sunshine each day for vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for healthy skin and the rest of your health. You can take vitamin D in a supplement form or get only about 10 minutes of sunshine a day for enough vitamin D.
Even if it is cloudy outside, you can get some vitamin D through the clouds; however, it won’t be as much as when it is sunny. If you live in a warm area, such as California, and getting plenty of sun exposure, you still may have vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common in people around the world – even in sunny climates. To see if you are deficient in vitamin D, it is best to see a doctor who can give you a blood test.
If you are deficient in vitamin D, increase your sun exposure, take a vitamin D supplement, or increase foods that are rich in vitamin D.
The fifth vitamin on our list of best vitamins for dry skin is zinc. Zinc is one of the most widely researched supplements, especially when it comes to treating acne. It is also an important healthy skin vitamin.
When ingested, it can actually treat early signs of acne as well as wrinkles and other signs of aging. So it has a lot of benefits. Zinc can be found in a lot of medicated and prescribed skincare products, including sunscreen, so it is also commonly used topically.
There is a lot of research to suggest that zinc is good for hormonal acne and for regulating your body’s hormonal balance. If you find that you break out a lot, you may not be getting enough zinc and need to increase your body’s zinc levels.
See a doctor for medical advice diagnosis on whether you are deficient in zinc or not. A doctor will assess your severity of dry skin and provide medical advice that is customized to your specific situation.
The sixth item on our list of vitamins that help dry skin is collagen. Vitamin C is beneficial in helping the body produce collagen. You can also take a collagen supplement such as the Andrew Lessman Marine Collagen Peptides Powder.
Collagen, as mentioned earlier, is the most abundant protein in the body, but it’s massively overlooked, even by its own brands. Companies market it as a beauty product, which kind of makes it seem like it’s not really important for skin health or overall health.
What I love about collagen and what collagen tells your body is it makes it very obvious when your body needs more collagen. For example, fine lines and wrinkles are obvious signs of aging that we all know, but also when your hair’s feeling brittle or maybe your joints are aching, that’s when you know that you really lack collagen.
When we start to age, collagen naturally weakens, but also when we get stressed out, this can also weaken collagen in the body, affecting our joints, hair, skin, nails, and more. Sun damage over the years will break down collagen.
Many years of sun damage is hard to reverse, but you can take a collagen supplement to help strengthen your skin. Collagen plays a huge part in the elasticity of our skin and the overall structure and appearance. So keeping your collagen levels up is only going to do your skin some good.
It also helps with digestion, and a healthy gut or immune system leads to proper skin health.
There is research that suggests collagen can’t actually make it to where it needs to go in your body to actually show any improvements. If you think about it, everything goes through our bodies like your very own acid bath.
So when you’re picking your collagen supplement, it’s really important to look for one that contains hydrolyzed collagen protein. This is because it’s easier for your body to absorb and actually use it. It doesn’t break down as easily in the body, so you can actually benefit from it.
To learn more about collagen in the diet, see the post I wrote: What Foods Help Produce Collagen?
The seventh item on our list of best vitamins for dry skin is probiotics. My interest in vitamins and supplements began when I tried to find a solution for my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
I would eat anything, whether it was healthy or bad, and it would make my stomach react in the worst way. One of the things that really helped with this is probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria for your gut.
After taking probiotics for a few months, I started to see quite a few positive changes in my skin. I have a dry skin type, and it would get really dry and itchy skin during the cooler months. The itchy skin would peel and flake and just be very uncomfortable.
After doing some research, I learned that the state of your gut and the immune system reflects on your skin. The state of your inside reflects on your outside, which is very basic. I think we all kind of know the “you are what you eat” theory.
I learned that many issues could be from vitamin deficiencies and a lack of proper diet. Vitamine deficiencies come from eating the wrong foods or missing the proper foods in your diet.
Acne, eczema, rosacea, dry skin, and itchy skin are all skin conditions that directly relate back to overall skin health and the health of your gut and immune system. So having more bad bacteria versus good bacteria in your gut actually starts to damage the walls of your gut.
This is actually scientifically known as Leaky Gut Syndrome and is one of the main causes for really bad skin conditions. You can learn more about the leaky gut in our post about atopic dermatitis in adults.
When something harmful enters the bloodstream, the quickest way for you to get rid of it is through the skin, so it’s gonna make you break out. It’s going to show on your skin. So taking a high-quality probiotic and eating foods rich in probiotics is really going to help with dry skin.
For an excellent vitamin for dry skin, take a look at our top pick, the Garden of Life Vitamin Code. Garden of Life includes the best ingredients along with live probiotics, enzymes, and antioxidants for greater absorption.
8. Omega-3 Fish Oil
The eighth item on our list of best vitamins that help dry skin is omega-3 fish oil. Another supplement I take on a regular basis to prevent dry, itchy skin is omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil.
Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in not only the appearance and skin health. Good fish oils contain EPA and DHA. When you’re buying omega-3 fish oils, that’s what you want to look for on the back.
Wild Alaskan salmon is one of my favorite foods for the skin. You can get the same beneficial oil in the form of a supplement. I also have Omega krill oil that has great omega-3 oils in there to help improve your dry skin. It really helps reduce inflammation and helps hydrate your cells from the inside out.
The only problem is that some omega-3 pills are pretty big, but you get used to it as long as you take with enough water. And you don’t have to take every day if you also get your omegas from food.
Other Solutions for Dry Skin
If you have dry skin, you can put oils and moisturizers, and your skin is still going to feel dry. You could use a really great natural, non-toxic skin care line, but, as mentioned earlier, what you eat actually has a bigger impact on skin health.
So what you want to focus on for dry skin or itchy skin are the foods that are going to help hydrate you from the inside out. A lot of people eat processed foods, high amounts of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
These are common foods in the American diet, and they really dehydrate you from the inside out. It shows up on your skin, especially if this is a way that you eat on an ongoing basis.
In addition to the healthy skin vitamins mentioned earlier, I now want to share with you a few other things you can consume to also help nourish your skin from the inside out.
First of all, it’s really important to drink water. You want to hydrate your body to prevent dry skin and itchy skin. Start off your morning when you first get up with a nice big glass of water. You should be getting around 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.
Excess water loss is a big cause of dry skin. To avoid excessive water loss, it is critical to drink enough water. Excess water loss happens if you sweat more than usual or do excess exercise, and then you are not replenishing with water to balance the water loss.
If you want to use something for cooking, I recommend coconut oil instead. Coconut oil does have a kind of flavor to it, so if you don’t like the flavor of coconut oil, then you could also use avocado oil.
I love coconut oil so much due to the taste and the beneficial essential fatty acids. I actually will even spread it on my toast or put it into like oatmeal in the morning.
Coconut oil is high in healthy saturated fats and essential fatty acids, which are unlike bad fats such as trans fats. The healthy saturated fats in coconut oil can boost fat burning and provide your body with efficient energy.
The fatty acids found in coconut oil also possess antimicrobial and antifungal properties that can also help treat acne and moisturize your skin, preventing it from drying out.
You can get most of these healthy skin vitamins, nutrients, and minerals through a healthy, well-balanced diet. If you cannot get them all through diet, find a good supplement or multivitamin as insurance.
If you have vitamin deficiencies in certain vitamins such as vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin C, or vitamin A, you can be assured that your skin will not be able to retain moisture.
It is best to seek a doctor for medical advice diagnosis on which vitamins you are deficient in. Proper medical advice diagnosis will guide you in getting and using the right supplements for your needs.
Dry skin requires a good moisturizer to lock in moisture; however, equally, if not more important, is treating the dry skin from the inside of your body. Give your body what it needs so that you don’t have to rely on so much moisturizer, especially through the colder months.