One of my favorite creative parts of my life is uncovering hidden natural ingredient and supplement gems that take my health and beauty to the next level. I put the same amount of obsessiveness, research and experimentation into my own internal beauty routine as I do my cosmetic creations for Afterglow Cosmetics and Exuberance Beauty. These are my top 8 favorite vitamins for glowing skin.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil was a favorite of Native Americans for wound care and other natural wellness therapies. Derived from the seeds of the evening primrose plant (Oenothera biennis), evening primrose oil is loaded with omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Evening primrose oil may contribute to your glowing skin goals from the inside by positively impacting your natural hormone balance. This means softer, firmer, more supple skin and less acne. In fact, a study in The International Journal of Cosmetic Sciences found that supplementing with 3 x 500 mg per day of soft gel evening primrose oil capsules for 12 weeks significantly improved participants’ skin moisture, transepidermal water loss, elasticity, firmness, fatigue resistance and roughness compared to a placebo. Solgar makes my favorite brand of cold-pressed, gluten-free evening primrose oil supplements. Buy Solgar’s evening primrose oil here on Amazon.com or from your local natural food store.
Found in every cell of the human body, zinc is essential for our bodies to function. But did you know that this trace mineral also has powerful properties when it comes to skin care? While not technically an antioxidant, zinc does its part to promote healthy skin from the inside out by fighting free radicals and safeguarding the production of collagen, which is a vital part of skin elasticity, firmness and suppleness. Due to its impact on immune function, zinc may also help prevent acne breakouts. Zinc at its best works synergistically with other trace minerals like copper. Try a trace mineral blend that includes zinc like Life Extension’s Only Trace Minerals supplement here on Amazon.com or at your local natural food store.
Also known as Equisetum, this vascular plant has a multitude of medicinal properties, including antiseptic and anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition to purifying skin and preventing acne, horsetail is also thought to be an effective defense against wrinkles and other effects of aging due to its role in maintaining healthy connective tissues. Many supplementing with horsetail report much stronger, longer and healthier nails and hair growth as well. Flora makes my favorite horsetail supplement called Vegetal Silica. Buy Flora’s Vegetal Silica here from Amazon.com.
This water-soluble B vitamin supports a number of biological functions, including everything from metabolic functions to the digestive system. Sufficient biotin is a key part of the skin’s role as a protective barrier. Biotin deficiency, meanwhile, has been connected with dull, dry skin. Just how important is biotin? It’s earned the moniker of “vitamin H” for its impact on both hair growth and skin health. I love this Biotin – Hair, Skin & Nails supplement made with coconut oil found here on Amazon.com.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Primarily found in fish oil, Omega-3 fatty acids keep the aging process at bay by blocking the release of enzymes which break down the skin’s collagen. The result? Firmer, more hydrated, taut skin with fewer fine lines and wrinkles.
Do you think you’ve got it covered with your healthy diet? Apparently, even most healthy Western diets that include fish are still not getting the crucial quantity of Omega-3s necessary to maintain glowing skin and vibrant health. Even more critical and unaddressed by the Western diet is the poor balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3s you need to ingest via food or supplementation to really see glowing skin and overall health benefits. Personally, my body loves this Omega-3 supplement from Nordic Naturals which you can find here on Amazon.com or at your local natural foods store. A great vegan alternative is Udo’s Oil – 3*6*9 Blend by Flora which you can find here on Amazon.com or at your local natural food store.
Vitamin C has long been known to boost immune function, protect against heart disease and even safeguarding eye health. Here’s one more reason to add Vitamin C to your list of near-magical must-haves: brighter skin. In fact, one study showed that, in combination with Vitamin E, people who took a Vitamin C supplement had more vibrant skin after just four months. The Synergy Company makes my favorite brand of Vitamin C, Pure Synergy – Pure Radiance C 100% Natural Wholefood Vitamin C, which you can find here on Amazon.com.
Ultra rich in antioxidants, this “super nutrient” is particularly celebrated for quickly manifesting glowing skin from within. Astaxanthin is a dark red carotenoid found in a specific microalgae called Haematococcus pluvialis.
Fun fact, flamingos are actually born grey and white. They don’t turn pink until they consume this amazing nutrient. You won’t turn shades of pink, but you might just be amazed at how quickly you see glowing skin. A 2002 Japanese study of women around 40 years old taking 2mg of astaxanthin a day demonstrated visible signs of improved skin tone, texture, fewer fine lines and less under-eye puffiness within 2 weeks of daily supplementation.
In fact, natural astaxanthin’s unique molecular structure makes makes it a far more powerful antioxidant than Vitamin C or Vitamin E. Studies show natural astaxanthin antioxidant power is 1000 times more effective than Vitamin C and up to up to 500 times more effective than Vitamin E.
Personally, my skin was noticeably softer, brighter and smoother within three weeks of supplementing 1 x 12mg per day with this brand of Astaxanthin which you can purchase here on Amazon.com or from your local health food store.
All additional supplementation is useless if your digestive system doesn’t have the ability to absorb nutrients. Unfortunately, gut and absorption issues have reached chronic levels. There is mounting evidence that a healthy gut means better beauty. By now we’re all aware of the incredible health boosting potential of probiotics, AKA “good” bacteria, when it comes to promoting digestive regularity. However, you may not be aware of their potential for skin beautification. As part of a clean diet, probiotics have been linked with reduced inflammation, less acne, rosacea, skin rashes and even hair loss, prompting the Dermatology Times to declare them to be an important part of achieving the “glow of health.”
Fermented foods and beverages such as fermented sauerkraut and kimchi or kombucha are great natural probiotic sources and sold at many grocery stores. I personally have a brewing batch of kombucha in my kitchen as I type this. Another wonderful probiotic supplement is Garden of Life’s Primal Defense ULTRA which you can find here on Amazon.com or in your local health food store.
Supplement your beauty routine from within with these 8 vitamins for glowing skin! Have these supplements worked for you? What success have you had using supplements to support your health and beauty? I’d love to hear about your success in the comments below!
Kristin Adams is a Natural Beauty Expert as well as the Founder & CEO of Afterglow Cosmetics. Kristin is dedicated to bringing you products and information to encourage safer, more natural lifestyle choices that support your health and beauty at its highest and best. Click here to read more about Kristin.