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Posted by Dr. Margo Weishar
Should you be taking or applying your vitamins? We broke down the vitamins needed to unveil your best skin!
Vitamin A – the vitamin responsible for the group of retinoids. Retinoids have been studied for decades and have been proven to treat acne and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Externally: Using a topical retinoid can improve texture and tone, decrease pore size, and brighten appearance. Internally: vitamin A is important for vision, immune system function, cell reproduction and supports healthy skin and wound healing. Answer: Apply it! A pea size amount is all you need to apply at night. We recommend introducing this product gradually to avoid dryness.
Vitamin B – There are a couple of different B vitamins that have a healthy role in the skin.
Vitamin B3, Niacinamide (Nicotinamide), and Niacin Externally: This is an essential ingredient for certain acne and rosacea treatments due to its anti-inflammatory function. It also slows down the natural aging process resulting in healthier, youthful appearing skin. Internally: B3 has proven in clinical studies to prevent and reverse skin cell damage from UV exposure. Research shows it can prevent recurring non-melanoma skin cancers such as a basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma, in high-risk patients! Answer: Both! Niacinamide is found in many anti-aging creams and serums. Using this product will enhance your overall tone and revive your skin! Talk to your doctor about starting a vitamin B3 supplement such as Nicotinamide for additional skin cancer prevention. If you tend to blush and flush, take niacin with caution as it likely causes an intense flushing!
Vitamin B5, Pantothenic Acid Externally: This B vitamin works to maintain the skin barrier by reducing water loss and improving the skins hydration and elasticity. Adding a vitamin B5 gel into your skin care regime will help decrease fine lines and leave your skin hydrated and glowing! Answer: Apply it! Maintaining a well balanced diet will help ensure you’re getting enough B5
Vitamin C – this well-known vitamin is doing a little bit more than just boosting your immune system! This potent antioxidant can be used to treat and prevent changes in the skin associated with photo-damage.
Externally: Vitamin C serums can be applied daily to neutralize the damage from environmental toxins, pollutants and UV exposure which are the culprits of skin cancer, collagen and elastin breakdown and sun damage. Internally: vitamin C is essential for collagen production and has a major antioxidant and immune function role. Answer: Both! We love topical vitamin C serums to really see the magic and your daily oral supplement to enhance the benefits! Apply and take daily to prevent and protect!
Vitamin D – you may know this one as the “sunshine vitamin” But this doesn’t mean basking in the sun is an excuse to get your daily dose! Yes, our skin does synthesize vitamin D with exposure to UVB however, that is not the only way to get sufficient levels!
Externally: Be sure to wear your SPF 50 when getting your daily dose of sunshine! Internally: Healthy bone support, immunity booster, and of course, beautifies the skin! When it reaches its target in the skin, it boosts elasticity and collagen production, reduces inflammation and enhances a radiant complexion! Answer: Take it! Vitamin D3 is a great supplement to boost your levels and reach these effects.
Vitamin E – Last but not least, vitamin E, another photo-protective antioxidant that helps fight off the damage we get from UV exposure.
Externally: Applying vitamin E topically in combination with a topical vitamin C, can deliver the properties needed to combat aging and sun damage. Vitamin E also reduces inflammation and is a rich, hydrating topical! Apply with caution, as some people are sensitive to this product! Internally: You can get adequate E in your multivitamin! Taking this daily will enhance cell protection and prevent oxidative stress damage! Answer: Both! Is there a sunscreen alternative?
With the summer just around the corner we have another supplement on the rise to enhance your sunscreen called Heliocare! This supplement is a natural extract that has been clinically studied and has shown to decrease the number of sunburns, redness, and damage from UV exposure. Many people struggling to apply and reapply sunscreen can now take this supplement to help internally provide sun protection! Ask us about Heliocare at your next visit!
Dominique Marques is a nurse at Springhouse Dermatology currently studying to become a Nurse Practitioner at the University of Pennsylvania.