Obtaining that Gwyneth Paltrow fresh-off-the-beach-long-weekend skin can seem impossible, with applying toner seven times (it’s a thing, seriously), exfoliating regularly, moisturizing day and night, and never forgetting sunscreen.
While all of these things may help you get glowing skin, true beauty comes from within, and from what you put into your body!
The Fab Four: A-C-E Skincare + Omegas
These four key nutrients play a vital role in boosting your skin clarity, texture, and glow:
Known as retinoids and carotenoids, vitamin A is increasingly popular as a topical boost to your skincare routine. Retinols are one of the active forms of vitamin A that can fight aging, smooth the texture of your skin, and even encourage cell turnover for a youthful glow. Start slow if you choose the topical route, retinol can cause irritation.
BEAUTY TIP: Look for creams with retinol as an ingredient over the counter, or see your dermatologist about a prescription for retinoic acid.
Many marketed skin-loving supplement complexes also contain small amounts of vitamin A. Since vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, you can actually overdose on it! It’s rare, but taking a handful of gummy vitamins daily is not a good idea. In fact, vitamin A and retinoids can be toxic to fetuses during pregnancy, so talk to your doctor if you are using or taking vitamin A while pregnant!
BEAUTY TIP: Look for 2,500-5,000 IU Vitamin A supplements taken orally act as powerful antioxidants, fighting free radicals and supporting cellular health.
Vitamin A also aids in healthy tissue growth and helps to fortify our immune system. Adding this powerful vitamin to your daily skincare and vitamin routine can help improve skin health inside and out!
This powerhouse vitamin is crucial to achieving an effortless glow. Taking oral Vitamin C is a pretty low risk unless you have kidney issues since vitamin C is excreted through your urine and not held in tissues like vitamin A.
Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant, fighting antioxidants to maintain cell health. Much like vitamin A, vitamin C can be taken orally and applied topically. Serums with vitamin C can help prevent dry skin, aging, and give your skin a well-rested, firm appearance.
Oral vitamin C supports collagen production, which is the protein that makes our skin firm and tight. Taking vitamin C also helps your body fight free radicals and can even boost your sunscreen’s (you’re wearing sunscreen daily, right?) protecting power.
BEAUTY TIP: Try adding a nightly vitamin C serum and a supplement with 60-200 mg vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid.
Out of all of the research I have done on vitamin E, my favorite term for this vitamin is “free radical scavenger.” Think of vitamin E as a kid during an Easter egg hunt, except the eggs are free radicals that can damage your cells! This powerful vitamin has 8 forms, but the most common in supplements is dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate. Vitamin E plays a vital role in the health of our cell membranes and skin integrity (read: firmness and bounce).
Just like omega 3s, vitamin E reduces cell damage after sun exposure and can stop wrinkles from forming after too much time in the sun.
BEAUTY TIP: When applied directly to the skin, vitamin E oil can soothe sunburn and moisturize.
Alpha-linolenic acid, known as omega-3, is a key part of our cell membranes and can give skin firmness and bounce. Adding oral omega-3s can help prevent drying, flaking skin in colder months and provides UV protection, acting like an internal sunscreen! Omega 3s actually stop the breakdown of collagen after UV exposure, stopping skin damage and even preventing wrinkles related to sun exposure.
BEAUTY TIP: Fish oil and krill oil supplements are the main sources of omega 3s, try storing them in the freezer to prevent a fishy taste.
Don’t forget the sunscreen! And other tips:
- How to Stay Protected From the Sun All Day
- Five Common SPF Myths
- Chemicals Are Out, Natural Skin Care is In
Our favorite beauty supplements. Look and feel radiant, inside out.
Caroline is a Clinical Registered Dietitian for MedStar Health and Hospital Systems in Baltimore, Maryland. She completed her Masters Degree in Dietetics from San Jose State University and moved back to Charm City to be with her fiancee. When she’s not providing medical nutrition therapy to her patients, Caroline enjoys cooking, waterfront walks and crab-anything (crab pizza is the best!).