These 5 Supplements Can Keep Your Skin Healthy and Glowing

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

As the largest organ in the body, our skin protects us from UV radiation, chemical exposures, and pathogenic bacteria from the outside environment.

The skin’s natural ability to make collagen slows down as we age. And the body needs various vitamins and healthy fats to keep functioning properly. While there’s no stopping natural aging completely, some supplements could help prolong and maintain skin health.

Supplements can increase nutrients for the skin and sometimes do this from the inside out. While most nutrients’ skin needs can be met with a healthy diet, it’s sometimes difficult to maintain a balanced diet. The supplements below have been shown to boost skin health as we age. 

1. Zinc

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Zinc is a trace mineral found in several foods like cereals, red meats, and seafood, and is beneficial to maintaining healthy skin. Because our skin is in a constant state of cell turnover and renewal, the skin undergoes various processes that use zinc-based enzymes. One review in Dermatologic Surgery found that zinc can even help the skin heal wounds and reduce inflammation.

Zinc is also used in dermatology to treat several ailments, such as eczema, acne, and even wrinkles. In some cases, a topical cream, when applied to an area on the skin, can effectively treat these skin ailments, according to a study published in Dermatology Research and Practice. The review also found that sunscreens with zinc oxide help prevent UV damage and, in turn, prevent skin cancers.

Read More: How the Chemicals in Sunscreen Protect Our Skin

2. Collagen

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Collagen in our skin makes up 75 percent of the weight of the skin’s cellular structure of proteins and other components. Taking collagen can increase the skin’s firmness and elasticity and improve its texture by reducing the size of pores and fine wrinkles.

When hydrolyzed collagen supplements are taken orally, it causes fibroblasts to create more collagen and hyaluronic acid. When participants in a study took a daily dose of collagen, scientists saw an improvement in their skin’s elasticity. The effects stayed for 30 days after they stopped taking the collagen supplement.

However, one study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology analyzed claims of collagen supplements advertised on social media, like YouTube and Instagram, and found that they were inflated and not supported by current literature. It’s best to talk to a professional before taking collagen to improve your skin health.

3. Nicotinamide

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Applying nicotinamide, also known as vitamin B3, on the skin has been shown to help with water-loss in skin, and improve acne, hyperpigmentation, and rosacea, according to a study in Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences.

Nicotinamide may also help prevent common skin cancers, according to an article published in American Health & Drug Benefits. The daily supplement, taken twice a day for a year, could reduce the risks of developing actinic keratosis, a type of pre-cancer seen in sun-damaged skin. However, the study was done on participants who had skin cancer in the past and were at high risk for developing new skin cancers, which means more research is needed.

Read More: Air Pollution Might Age Skin, But Is Anti-Pollution Skincare the Fix?

4. Pre and Probiotics

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Our skin hosts a microflora, or microorganisms that are similar to the microbiome of the gut, that helps protect against invading pathogens. The skin’s natural microbiota can influence aging, sensory nerve function, and the immune system, according to a study published in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.

Pre or probiotics can help keep the microflora on the skin in a healthy balance. By doing this, the supplements enhance the skin’s natural barrier against pathogens.  

If the skin’s barrier is disrupted, it can cause acne and rosacea. Probiotics can also then help reduce the number of harmful bacteria on the skin. If taken orally, probiotics can enhance the body’s nutrient absorption and systemic inflammation.

5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

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Taking supplements like fish oil rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids helps with inflammatory skin issues like sun-damaged skin, melanomas, carcinomas, acne, wound healing, and dry skin. The fatty acids in these supplements overall improve the skin’s barrier functions. These benefits can come in supplement or topical form.

Read More: Your Skin Can Become Dry, Cracked, and Damaged in the Winter — Here’s Why

Article Sources

Our writers at use peer-reviewed studies and high quality sources for our articles and our editors review for scientific accuracy and editorial standards. Review the sources used below for this article:

Read More: 20 Things You Didn’t Know About… Skin

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