Do you find yourself confused on what extra vitamins are needed to boost your skin’s health?

Do you want to make sure the supplements you are currently taking has the right optimum dose that your skin and body needs?

In this week’s blog, I wanted to share with you my top list of vitamins required for beautiful healthy skin.

I will briefly go through what it does and why it is important, food sources which you can get them from and optimum doses (which I find typically can only be achieved with supplementation especially if you’re living in a polluted environment, have a stressful lifestyle or travel a lot). I know we all aim to eat well and we hope we would get sufficient nutrients in our food but since modern day farming depletes the natural soil that the food grows on or feed on, supplementation has become a necessity in our modern day life.

Vitamins are organic and can be broken down by heat, air and acid.

What this means is it’s tougher to get it from food and other sources due to cooking, storage and simple exposure to air can inactivate these more fragile compounds. Hence the benefits of organic, raw food.

Now to ensure we maximise the nutrients we are taking in, it is important to:

  1. Ensure our digestive system is working properly (i.e. it’s not inflamed, the gut lining wall absorbs nutrients effectively and we have the right amount of enzymes and good bacteria to process the food).
  2. Ensure our detoxification system is working optimally (i.e. our gut, liver, kidneys, skin and antioxidants are removing toxins and waste regularly and efficiently)
  3. Ensure our metabolic system is working smoothly (i.e. the nutrients we absorb is being used to repair the skin and balance our hormones, rather than fire fighting illnesses, toxins, pollutants and stresses.
  4. The food we are eating is rich in nutrients for the reasons mentioned above.

Each of these is a big topic on it’s own and if you would like me to expand on any of these and write a blog about it, please do let me know.

For now, let’s assume your digestive system, detoxification system and metabolic system is working like clockwork (woohoo!!), let’s look at the important vitamins necessary on a daily basis to achieve and maintain beautiful healthy skin.

NOTE 1: Please seek nutritional advice or a specialist if you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, breast feeding, suffer from allergies or taking other medications that may interact with the supplements.

NOTE 2: Please note the recommended supplement doses are much higher than the RDA (recommended daily allowance). RDA has been set by the government as a reference to what the general population should be getting. These levels are designed to prevent you from developing nutritional deficiency diseases e.g. scurvy or rickets. However there is a big difference between absence of disease and optimum health. RDA also does not take into account the environment we live in, the pressures of daily life, medication we may take and the easy access to processed food which all depletes the nutrients we take in and need.

NOTE 3: Always start at a lower dose and slowly work your way up.





What does it do?

Vitamin A, or retinol, is one of the most widely acknowledged nutrients for healthy skin. It helps maintain the immune system, protect against oxidation and may have anti-carcinogenic properties too.

Vitamin A influences the physiology of the skin by

  • helping to promote healthy skin turnover (i.e. the time the skin takes to renew itself)
  • boosting growth factors in the dermal layer (increasing collagen and elastin)
  • inhibiting sebaceous gland activity (reducing oil production and reducing breakouts)
  • suppressing androgen formation (the male hormone which increases oil production and increases facial hair).

Lack of Vitamin A causes the skin to become dry, rough and scaly often first appearing as rough raised bumps on the back of the arms (also known as hyperkeratosis pillaris). Vitamin A is great for reducing premature wrinkles, acne and in some cases even reducing the risk of psoriasis.

Best food sources

Pre-formed Vitamin A is called beta-carotene and this can be found in vegetables e.g. carrots, watercress, cabbage, squash, sweet potato, melon, pumpkin, mangoes, tomato, broccoli, apricots, papayas, tangerines and asparagus. The most Vitamin A-rich foods include liver, cod liver oil and egg yolks from pastured chickens.

Recommended supplement dose

Between 2500-5000 IU (or 750 mcg – 1500 mcg) daily. If you’re of a child-bearing age, anything over 10,000IU (3000 mcg) is not recommended just in case you conceive as it may contribute to birth defects in the foetus.



What does it do?

There are 8 common B vitamins which all play an important role in:-

  • converting food into energy
  • involved in cell metabolism
  • promoting cell growth and division (new cells)
  • forming red blood cells
  • enhancing your immune system
  • easing stress and improve moods

These include Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 plus biotin (B7) and folate (B9).

B Vitamins are extremely vulnerable to heat and processing which means that even though they’re found in many foods, it may be difficult to get enough from your diet alone. Supplementation is particularly important if:-

  • You are over 50 years old
  • You are stressed
  • You very active or athletic
  • You have a diet high in carbs and sugar
  • You are pregnant
  • You just had weight loss surgery
  • You have high alcohol consumption
  • You are a regular dieter, vegetarian, vegan or infants of vegan mothers.

Best Food Sources

Mushrooms, watercress, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, alfalfa sprouts, squash, tomato, chicken and salmon, sardines, lamb, eggs and cottage cheese, bananas, nuts and seeds.

Recommended supplement dose

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 100mg/ day
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 100mg/ day
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 50mg- 150mg/ day (it can cause flushing if you’re sensitive so reduce your dose)
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) also known as the “anti-stress” vitamin 100-500mg/ day
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 50 – 100mg/ day (you can increase up to 200mg/ day if you suffer from PMS)
  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) 400 – 1000mcg/ day

This is typically well balanced in a Vitamin B Complex supplement.

  • Biotin (B7) is also known as the  “beauty vitamin”  – 300mcg/ day
  • Folate (or folic acid in synthetic form) 400-1200mcg/ day



What does it do?

Vitamin C is a major vitamin essential for the formation of collagen. This helps to keep not only the skin firm, but also the bones and joints healthy. Vitamin C helps to keep the skin supple so it doesn’t scar easily e.g. reducing stretch marks during growth spurts or pregnancy. It is also an important antioxidant, detoxifying pollutants, promoting tissue healing and tissue integrity.

Best Food Source

Citrus fruits, kiwi, guavas, strawberries, tomatoes, green peppers and alfalfa sprouts, lemons, grapefruits, limes, broccoli and cauliflower.

Recommended supplement dose

2000mg/ day (if you smoke, are stressed or live in a polluted environment, you may want to increase your intake. Don’t go more than 5000mg/ day).


What does it do?

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that helps healthy bones (important to not only keep your spine long as you age so you don’t shrink but also keep your facial bone structure strong which is important to keeping youthful features longer.) Also known as the sunshine vitamin, it maintains stable nervous system, balanced hormones, proper functioning of muscles, cell growth, energy utilisation and boost healing.

A high proportion of my patients that I see with acne typically have low Vitamin D.

Although our skin can make Vitamin D (best time is spending about 10 minutes under direct sunlight about midday), we still don’t get enough especially when we have pollution around us, over use our sunscreen, spending more time indoors, working longer hours in offices and living in big cities where buildings block the sunlight.

Best Food Source

Salmon, sardines, egg yolk, shrimp, mackerel, cottage cheese, herring

Recommended supplement dose

1000-2000 IU/ day. This is one vitamin that I always recommend my patients to check. If you don’t know your levels, go get yourself checked! It’s a simple blood test which your doctor can do for you. Ask for 25(OH)D – which is also called 25-hydroxy-vitamin D. It is a better marker for overall Vitamin D status.

For deficiency <25nmol/L  – Vitamin D should be prescribed. Recheck your levels after 4-8 weeks of therapy.

For insufficiency (25 -50 nmol/L)  – Vitamin D can be purchased over-the-counter or prescribed depending on the practitioner and how fast the levels increase. There have been studies showing daily dose of 5000 IU will help to increase this safely but this is best started and monitored by a healthcare professional.

Normal levels are 50 – 70 nmol/ L – maintain on dose 2000IU/ day

Preventative levels 80 – 120 nmol/L – maintain on dose 1000IU/ day

If you are planning to increase your daily dose to more than 2000 IU/ day, please consult your practitioner before doing so.



What does it do?

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from DNA damage and helping to deliver life-giving oxygen to the cells. It also speeds up wound healing and help to keep the skin supple. Great for scar healing, taken internally as well applied topically.

Best food sources

Sunflower seeds, peanuts, sesame seeds, beans, peas, wheatgerm, sardines, salmon and sweet potatoes, olives, spinach, asparagus and other green leafy vegetables.

Recommended supplement dose

100-1000IU daily (make sure this is present as d-alpha tocopherol which this is the natural  form compared to dl-alpha-tocopherol which is synthetic.) It’s best to take Vitamin E together with Vitamin A and C which enhances its effects.


And that’s it –  my top 5 Vital Vitamins for Beautiful Healthy Skin. Hope you found the list useful.

I’ll be writing another blog soon looking at my top minerals for beautiful skin plus ingredients beyond vitamins and minerals e.g. essential fatty acids, probiotics, grape seed extract, CoQ10 and many more.

Now, over to you …..

Do you have a favourite ingredient for beautiful healthy skin?

Do you have a favourite brand of supplements you can’t go without?

Do let me know as I’m always on the lookout…would love to hear you.

Until next blog, stay beautiful.