Do you suffer from dry skin? With so much hand washing happening on lockdown many of us are getting dry and cracked hands. Did you know that dry skin also can be a telltale sign of a vitamin deficiency?
Nutrient deficiencies can impact everything from our immunity to our mental health. Even the healthiest plant-based diets can fall short from time to time — that’s where smart supplementation comes in.
Related reading: What vitamins should you take? The ultimate guide
Our skin is our body’s largest organ and first line of defence. It also tends to be a very good indicator of our overall health — whether we are getting enough vital nutrients, hydration, and sunshine.
Irritation, excessive dryness, or other skin conditions are usually a sign that something deeper is out of balance.
Related reading: The best vitamins for glowing skin
Our skin’s natural elasticity enables it to protect our immune system from invaders. When our skin is too dry, it inhibits the skin’s protective barrier from functioning properly.
When it comes to dry skin, what vitamin deficiencies should you be on the lookout for? What vitamins are good for dry skin? Read on to discover the 5 best vitamins for dry skin.
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What are the signs of a dry skin vitamin deficiency?
Some signs that you may be suffering from a dry skin vitamin deficiency include:
- Dry cracked hands
- Scaly patches of itchy, flaking skin
- Red or white bumps on the skin
- Sudden rashes
Often dry skin vitamin deficiencies can also be responsible for hair and nail issues. So be on the lookout for excessive hair loss or brittle nails.
Related reading: The 7 best vitamins for women’s hair growth
What vitamin deficiencies cause dry skin?
Dry skin can be caused due to a wide variety of factors including dehydration, environmental factors such as cold weather or the chemicals in our products, as well as nutrient deficiencies.
When it comes to vitamin deficiencies, there are a few essential nutrients to keep in mind:
B-Vitamin deficiencies have been linked to a range of skin conditions, including acne, rosacea, and even hyper pigmentation of the skin. Make sure you are eating enough of these B-Vitamin rich foods such as whole grains, meat, fruits, dark leafy vegetables, seeds and nuts.
Low Vitamin D levels in the blood have been associated with eczema and psoriasis — both dry skin conditions. Getting enough sun exposure on lockdown can be tricky, but try to aim for 15-30 minutes, at least 3 times a week.
Vitamin C is essential for Collagen production, and a deficiency may lead to skin dryness. Make sure you are eating foods rich in Vitamin C such as berries, peppers, kiwi, strawberries, broccoli, and kale.
What vitamins are good for dry skin?
Taking vitamins and supplements for dry skin is not a substitute for a healthy diet, but it can be a great way to get some moisture back into your skin.
We asked our Nutrition Experts for their recommendations of the very best vitamins for dry skin.
Vitamin C for Collagen synthesis
Vitamin C is well known for being an antioxidant with powerful immune boosting benefits. A lesser known fact is that Vitamin C is essential for Collagen synthesis — an important building block of our skin and tissues.
CoQ10 for anti-aging
Levels of Coenzyme Q10, otherwise known as CoQ10, naturally decline with age. Recent studies have shown that CoQ10 may enhance skin elasticity, reduce visible signs of aging, and improve skin smoothness.
Astaxanthin for skin elasticity
Astaxanthin is one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants with a vast array of benefits for skin health. Clinical research indicates that Astaxanthin decreases redness, improves elasticity, and helps the skin to retain moisture.
Omega-3 for hydrated skin
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Research indicates that Omega-3s may improve skin hydration by providing a protective barrier to the skin which keeps hydration locked in.
Collagen for skin repair
Collagen is an amino acid that is sometimes referred to as the scaffolding of our skin and tissues. It gives our skin its structure, elasticity and has some pretty impressive regenerative properties which facilitate the growth and repair of tissue.
The bottom line
Although the vitamins on this list may be helpful for people who are suffering from dry skin, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing chronic dry skin, as this could be the sign of a more serious medical condition.
Think you might be suffering from a dry skin-related vitamin deficiency? Take our 5-minute quiz and we’ll evaluate your diet, lifestyle, habits and medications to recommend exactly what your body may need right now.