Top 8 Nutrients for Healthy Skin

by DailyHealthPost Editorial

healthy skin

Our skin is our largest organ and is not only what other people see but also protects us from external contaminants that would otherwise be very harmful to us.  That’s why having healthy skin is important.

In order to ensure that our skin remains healthy, our body requires a diet high in antioxidants and nutrients that promote skin growth and repair.

Here are the top 8 nutrients you need to pay attention to for healthy skin.


1. Vitamin A

vitamin a foods

Vitamin A is essential for collagen synthesis and can help treat wrinkles and prevent skin injury and ulcers. A study was done on a group of elderly people living in senior citizen facilities and found that topical retinol (Vitamin A1) application helped improve fine wrinkles associated with natural aging. This was partially due to increased collagen synthesis and better water retention in the skin [1].

Vitamin A is found in liver, and can be manufactured by the body from carotenoids found in carrots, leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, red peppers and some other fruit and vegetables.

2. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

ala food sources

Our skin is constantly bombarded with elements that cause oxidative damage such as UV radiation, smoke, and free radicals. ALA helps to fight the toxins that result from oxidative stress to the skin and lead to photoaging and even skin cancers [2]. ALA is the omega-3 essential fatty acid that you can find in plants and seeds.


dmae food sources


DMAE or Dimethylaminoethanol is another compound important in the manufacture and maintenance of our skin. It has been found that DMAE may be important in collagen synthesis and also improved the stratum corneum water content in the skin. It is widely used in anti-ageing formulas [3].

Small amounts of DMAE is usually produced by your body (mostly in your brain). High levels of this compound can be found in anchovies and sardines.

4. Zinc


Zinc is a mineral that is important in our diets and also has antioxidant properties that are vital to our skin [4]. It is able to protect against UV damage, improve wound healing, and improve our immune system. There’s a good reason why sunscreen brands use a synthetic version of this nutrient (zinc oxide) in their products.

Zinc is found in foods such as oysters and shellfish, red meats, poultry, and cheese. It can also be found in legumes, green beans, whole grains and some other vegetable sources but these are less easily absorbed and used.

5. Essential Fatty Acids

essential fatty acids


Essential fatty acids are potent antioxidants and important for many aspects of our health, including skin care. Essential fatty acids are important in the cell membranes of the skin, as well as in the skin barrier function and preventing inflammation. It can also help in the case of allergic skin diseases, acne and other skin disorders [5][6].

Generally speaking the western diet is very high in omega 6 fatty acids due to our overconsumption of processed foods. That’s why in order to maintain a healthy ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 we should eat more natural food sources that include but are not limited to fish, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed oil, walnuts and so on.

6. Vitamin B-Complex

vitamin b complex foods

Vitamin B helps provide important benefits to the skin and a deficiency may lead to different skin defects. A study done with rats showed that they developed different types of skin disorders based on whether they were deprived of B6, B2 or flavin [7] . Another study found that deficiency in vitamins B2 and B6 affected the maturity of collagen in the skin and may be related to skin lesions [8].

Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B6 can be found in whole grains, spinach, liver, and dairy products.

7. & 8. Vitamin C and E

vitamin c foods


Vitamin C and E are both strong antioxidants and therefore useful in combatting oxidative stress in our skin [10]. Vitamin C and E are often used in combination. Together, these two vitamins have been found to possess photoprotective properties [9]. These vitamins are also able to protect against skin cancers [11].

Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables such as oranges, green peppers, watermelon and berries. The best source of vitamin E is wheat germ but it can also be found in liver, eggs, nuts, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, avocado and asparagus.

vitamin e foods

Bottom Line

Following a diet that includes these vitamins and nutrients will help prevent a number of skin disorders and improve its overall complexion as well as help facilitate its function in protecting us from environmental pollutants and damage.