With the rise of skincare trends and so much hype on social media, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the information. From influencers raving about the latest miracle product to countless DIY face mask recipes, where does one even begin?
If you need help figuring out where to start or are looking to cut through the noise and get straight to the essentials, this guide is for you. Below, we share the top vitamins we love that can make a difference in your skin health.
Vitamin B3 is one of the eight B vitamins. It plays a vital role in converting the food we eat into usable energy and maintaining the health of our skin, nervous, and digestive systems.
It comes in two forms: niacin and niacinamide. Niacin is often used to treat high cholesterol and to reduce the risk of heart disease, while niacinamide is used in many skincare products due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Vitamin B3’s primary functions include:
- Energy production: It helps our body break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy.
- DNA repair and production: Niacin is involved in DNA synthesis and repair and plays a role in our cellular response to stress.
- Digestive system support: It helps produce certain hormones in our adrenal glands and removes harmful chemicals from the liver.
- Improving skin health: Niacinamide can help reduce redness, inflammation, and acne.
Why we love it
Fortifies and hydrates the skin
Niacin and niacinamide team up to keep our skin barrier strong and intact. Whereas niacin helps with cell energy and DNA repair, niacinamide further strengthens our skin by boosting the production of ceramides. This combination locks in moisture and keeps out harmful environmental pollutants.
Fights signs of aging and improves skin texture
Beyond skin hydration, Vitamin B3–niacinamide in particular–also helps in collagen production. And we know that collagen reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improves skin elasticity and minimises the appearance of pores to give your skin a smoother texture.
Protects and repairs
Niacinamide offers a defence mechanism against the harmful effects of UV radiation. While it doesn’t replace the need for sunscreen, it complements sun protection by helping repair UV-induced damage. Niacin is also an excellent remedy for post-sunburn or skin irritations since one of its main jobs is to help the body grow and repair itself.
Reduces skin concerns
Addressing specific skin concerns is another area where Vitamin B3 shines. Niacinamide is especially effective in treating hyperpigmentation, helping to even out skin tone and fade dark spots. If you have oily skin, you would be happy to know that niacinamide can also regulate sebum production, leading to fewer breakouts. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties inherent in both niacin and niacinamide offer relief from conditions like acne and rosacea, reducing redness, swelling, and irritation.
May also help with skin cancer
Recent studies have suggested that Vitamin B3 when taken in the right amounts, can help reduce our risk of non-melanoma skin cancers. While more research is needed, the potential protective effects of this vitamin against skin cancer make it an even more valuable nutrient for skin health.
Where to get Vitamin B3
- Skincare products: Many products are now fortified with niacinamide. It’s commonly seen in serums, moisturisers, sunscreens, facemasks, toners, essences, and eye creams.
- Supplements: If you’re looking to boost Vitamin B3 intake, supplements are available over the counter. It can be in niacin tablets or capsules, multivitamin supplements, B-complex vitamins or niacinamide supplements.
- Diet: Some rich sources include chicken, tuna, turkey, brown rice, mushrooms, and peanuts.
Also known scientifically as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a nutrient that plays an essential role in many bodily functions. These functions include collagen synthesis, boosting the immune system and detoxification.
Another term you may hear alongside Vitamin C is sodium ascorbate. Essentially, it’s the sodium salt of ascorbic acid. It offers the same benefits as ascorbic acid but is often considered gentler on the stomach, especially when taken in larger doses.
Why we love it
Great for skin pigmentation
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can neutralise free radicals in our skin. This helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Also, it can inhibit the enzyme responsible for producing melanin–the complex pigment responsible for the colouration of our skin, hair, and eyes–which can lead to a brighter and more even skin tone.
Smoothens and brightens skin
Vitamin C is crucial for collagen synthesis, providing skin structure and elasticity. This results in reduced fine lines and wrinkles and improved skin texture. Its brightening properties also fade pigmentation, reduce redness, and diminish under-eye circles, giving our skin a radiant appearance.
Protects and repairs
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant against UV-induced free radicals, environmental pollutants, and sun damage. Also, it helps rapidly heal our wounds, blemishes, and acne scars.
Hydrates and soothes
Formulations with Vitamin C derivatives, like magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, hydrate our skin by reducing water loss. And because it has anti-inflammatory properties, it alleviates redness and inflammation, making it beneficial for conditions like acne and rosacea.
Where to get Vitamin C
- Skincare: Many skincare products are now enriched with Vitamin C. Mostly, they are serums, moisturisers and face masks. Our ENRICH Vitamin C night & day creams have a string of Vitamin C ingredients in them, a testament to our very own Dr Rich’s strong advocacy for the benefits of Vitamin C in skincare.
- Supplements: The health market is flooded with Vitamin C supplements, available in various forms such as tablets, capsules, powders and effervescent tablets.
- Diet: A balanced diet is a natural source of Vitamin C. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are classic sources. Other Vitamin C-rich foods include strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, kiwi, and guava.
Vitamin D, often referred to as the “Sunshine Vitamin,” is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps maintain the health of our bones and teeth, supporting the immune system, brain, and nervous system and regulating insulin levels, among other functions.
Why we love it
Reduces risk of skin cancer
By bolstering our skin’s defence mechanisms, Vitamin D can reduce the risk of certain types of skin cancers. If you are one of those with a higher susceptibility due to prolonged sun exposure or inherent genetic factors, adequate Vitamin D levels can help against the harmful effects of UV rays.
Promotes skin radiance
Vitamin D optimises the skin’s immune system, helping destroy free radicals notorious for causing premature aging. This results in a more radiant and youthful complexion that glows from within.
Research suggests that Vitamin D can regulate the production and activity of sebaceous glands, leading to less oily skin. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce the redness and swelling associated with acne breakouts.
Treats skin conditions
Beyond its preventive measures, Vitamin D has therapeutic benefits, especially for chronic skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Its ability to promote skin cell growth and repair damaged skin makes it a sought-after remedy for these conditions.
Enhances skin barrier
Just like Vitamin B3, Vitamin D fortifies our skin barrier, ensuring that the skin retains its moisture and remains resilient against external aggressors, leading to healthier, more supple skin.
Where to get Vitamin D
- Skincare: While sun exposure is the most natural way to get Vitamin D, you can still get it from skincare products like creams, serums and oil.
- Supplements: If you live in areas with limited sunlight or have specific health conditions that prevent you from getting enough Vitamin D, supplements can be a great option. They are available in various forms, including drops and tablets. Metagenics Vitamin D drops and tablets are available at ENRICH. You can ask our dermatologists or doctors to prescribe.
- Diet: Foods like fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines), cheese, egg yolks, and fortified foods (like dairy products and cereals) are also excellent sources of Vitamin D.
While the benefits of these vitamins are plenty, adding them to your diet or skincare routine may cause unwanted results. You can consult our healthcare professionals, especially if you have an existing medical condition or are taking medications.