You know those annoying chin zits that conveniently show up right around that time of the month? Or how about that dull zombie look your skin gets when sleep hasn’t exactly been your biggest priority lately? We’ve all had those days (or weeks) when our skin isn’t looking its best, and it can be hard to narrow down what culprit is.
Often times, these skin issues happen because we’re lacking the necessary nutrients necessary to perform processes like cell turnover, repair damaged cells and keep a strong, protective lipid barrier. You can have the most perfect skincare routine in the world and still never see that ‘lit-from-within’ glow because of a deficiency in certain vitamins, minerals or essential fatty acids. Since most of us don’t have the time or expertise to craft the perfect skincare-focused diet, here are high’s five essential supplements you should be taking for healthy, beautiful skin:
*Always consult your doctor before adding new supplements into your routine*
1. B Vitamins
A deficiency in B Vitamins can show itself through acne, dry and flaky skin or rashes – scary, right?
B vitamins help your body produce ATP, the energy that your body’s cells need in order to perform every important function – including skin cell repair and replenishment. They also help to fight stress, boost levels of energy and even may help control cravings for certain foods at times. Convinced yet?
Because B vitamins are water-soluble, your body doesn’t store them up in case it needs them later. B vitamins each have their own unique purposes despite being grouped under the same umbrella name, which Newchapter.com explains:
B1 – Thiamin functions as a coenzyme in the metabolism of carbohydrates
B2 – Riboflavin is a coenzyme in numerous metabolic pathways and in energy production
B3 – Niacin helps in nerve function and is needed for processing fats and sugars in the body
B5 – Pantothenic Acid is important for breaking down fatty acids
B6 – Pyridoxine functions as a coenzyme in the metabolism of amino acids and glycogen
B7 – Biotin is vital for proper mitochondrial and enzyme function
B9 – Folic Acid (a type of Folate) is important for the metabolism of amino acids
B12 – Cobalamin is found only in animal products, so B12 is an important supplement for vegetarians and vegans”
While you can certainly take each of the B vitamins separately, it’s more efficient and cost-effective to choose a ‘complex’ that contains them all. Our favorite is this easily-digestible “Coenzyme B Food Complex” that contains “whole-food fermented B Vitamins” and “complementary traditional herbs and superfoods such as Turmeric, Maca, Hawthorn, and Astragalus” which they note as immune supporters too.
Your body naturally makes COQ10, but this process slows more and more as we age. With less available COQ10, your body’s cells become less efficient at processes like regenerating and repairing skin cells, and producing collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are the two proteins that keep skin looking youthful, bouncy and fresh – so we want as much of these as we can possibly get.
COQ10 is a lipid antioxidant known for its ability to prevent free radicals from developing in the body, fight existing free radicals, and even prevent the damage they cause. Additionally, it’s known to boost overall energy levels and the immune system as well.
high loves this supplement because….
While taking a multivitamin isn’t necessary if you actually get enough vitamins and minerals through a healthy diet, the reality is that most of us don’t.
Not only does a multivitamin boost your overall immune system and energy levels, it improves your body’s ability to perform everyday functions. Again, things like regenerative processes, keeping healthy protective systems in tact and retaining water in the skin, etc.
Melissa recommends this multivitamin.
4. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Essential Fatty Acids are a type of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA) directly linked to both skin appearance and health. Your body cannot produce EFA’s on its own, so the only way to get enough of them is by combining a healthy diet and/or supplements with topical application to the skin.
There are two main classes of EFA’s: Omega-6 and Omega-3. Your body uses both of these to make longer-chains that it needs for healthy skin function. Contrary to popular belief, fish oil is actually not the most ideal source of EFAs for women.
High’s favorite is formulated according what is best for women’s bodies. Not only is it packed with Omegas 3, 6 and 9 as well as GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid), its tested by a third-party lab to ensure quality and safety.
Probiotics are ‘good’ microorganisms, like certain types of bacteria and yeast that live in your digestive tract. They counteract ‘bad’ bacteria and help your body perform important processes like digesting food and making vitamins.
Aside from helping with digestion and improving the strength of your immune system, the connection between a healthy microbiome (your body’s balance of ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ bacteria) and healthy skin is real.
One study found that the intake of Lactobacillus casei is beneficial to the improvement of skin conditions including transepidermal water loss (TEWL), skin flakiness and skin barrier function in women.
Another study found that the intake of the strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus SP1 positively improves the appearance of adult acne.
high recommends choosing a probiotic supplement that’s both “live strain” & refrigerated. Two of our favorites are Healthy Trinity by Natren, or Megaflora by Megafood because of their commitment to research, testing for impurities and steps taken to ensure the probiotics are kept live and in-tact for maximum results.