We give you the lowdown on the best vitamins for overall health and those that you should look for in skincare lines!
Whilst in an ideal world, we all would get optimum nutrition from diet alone, there are several factors that can affect the quantity and quality of nutrients both in our food, as well as the body’s absorption and utilisation! Here, we give you the lowdown on a few great vitamins both you and your customers should focus on supplementing with!
Vitamin D plays an important role in skin cell development and repair, thanks to its role in the production of a compound called cathelicidin, which some individuals cannot produce. Vitamin D also plays an important role in immune health, tooth and bone health, hormonal balance and mental health. It can be obtained in small amounts through food such as oily fish, egg yolks, cheese and red meat. Vitamin D is also created by the body through the skin’s exposure to sunlight.
It is recommended by the Department of Health to take a daily supplement of Vitamin D at a dose of 10 micrograms (400 IU) throughout the year. However, amounts required vary depending on your customer’s level of deficiency and circumstances. In general, requirements for vitamin D are increased during pregnancy; for the elderly and in particular for those in care homes; those with dark skin (African, African-Caribbean or south Asian backgrounds) and in those suffering from malabsorption syndromes.
Particularly during the period of lock-down, an intake of vitamin D is even more relevant especially if you are indoors most of the day. Research has shown that Vitamin D can enhance the natural immune response against various infections including the common cold and flu ( influenza virus), upper respiratory tract infections and Vitamin D can inhibit chronic inflammation.
Vitamin C, also referred to as L-ascorbic acid, is naturally present in bright orange coloured fruits and vegetables. Unlike animals, humans are not able to naturally create vitamin C so must be obtained through the diet.
Vitamin C’s functions are wide and varied from immune support to creating neurotransmitters (chemicals that help communicate information from the brain to other parts of the body). It also improves the absorption of non-haem iron, the form of iron present in plant foods. Factors such as stress, prolonged storage of food, and simply cooking foods containing vitamin C, can all negatively impact our vitamin C levels and result in fatigue, widespread connective tissue weakness, and a general lack of glow and lustre in skin and hair.
What About Vitamins in Skincare?
Vitamin E is used by the skin to protect itself from damage from various sources, including damaging UV radiation and air pollutants, and may also be helpful in healing burns, ulcers and other wounds that occur as a result of accidental injury. Vitamin E has potent antioxidant and powerful anti-inflammatory properties and when applied topically these characteristics mean vitamin E may help alleviate some of the symptoms of eczema.
Vitamin E and C have a special relationship. Vitamin E is a peroxyl radical scavenger, which means it reacts with this type of free radical to form a tocopherol radical (vitamin E with the addition of the free radical). When vitamin C is present, it will act as a hydrogen donor to create a stable molecule, leaving the vitamin E molecule whole again.