It is basic knowledge that of all the food and nutrients that we consume that vitamins have by far the greatest impact on the health and appearance of our skins. Generally, good health is reflected in our skin – even conventional Chinese medicines and other more traditional practices judge our health through the appearance of our skin.
A healthy skin is therefore reflective of a good diet. This is especially true if you consider that greasy and oily foods tend to aggravate the onset of acne and simple breakouts. The role of vitamins in our diet does not go unnoticed when it relates to our skin’s appearance and likewise its health. Basically, without the essential skin vitamins, the skin tends to take on an appearance of dryness and dullness.
Vitamin A is commonly associated with good skin because of its abilities as a good anti-oxidant. However, Vitamin A itself is the general term given to a group of molecules (alcohols and aldehydes) that can exist in either form under given circumstances. Carotenoids and retinol are other popular names for Vitamin A. It is one form of the carotenoid structure in particular (beta-carotene) that gives the group its anti-oxidant properties. An anti-oxidant is simply a molecule that can remove radical scavengers along the skin’s surface and thus help in the maintenance of youthful vibrant skin. In general, radicals are naturally produced by the body during is metabolism, but these radicals are highly reactive and have the tendency of attacking the skin’s cells – in particular being responsible for early signs of aging and wrinkles. As you could probably guess from the name carotenoid, carrots are among the food types rich in Vitamin A.
Vitamin B (in particular Vitamin B2 or riboflavin) too has the similar function of Vitamin A in terms of healthy skin promotion, only instead of itself being an anti-oxidant it is the catalyst for the reaction which produces anti-oxidants within the body. As a catalyst, its job is the speed up the rate at which the anti-oxidant is produced by creating the ideal conditions for the reaction within the body.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is also an anti-oxidant, and is in fact one of the better known and better recognized anti-oxidants around today. But fighting off the harmful free-radicals is not the only function of Vitamin C – it is one of the essential components for the production of collagen tissues. Collagen is in fact the stuff that makes up our skin, so collagen regeneration means younger-looking and healthier skins.
Vitamin D is quite unlike all the other vitamins involved in healthy skin appearance, for it is one that is responsible for the healthy tan of the skin. Vitamin D is produced naturally by the skin when exposed to sunlight, and is the reason for the healthy glow observed in the skin after brief exposures to the sun.
Finally, Vitamin E provides the function of an anti-oxidant. It is however one of the most powerful anti-oxidants used by the body in its constant battle against free-radicals.