What Vitamins Are Good for Skin and Hair?
Below, we will cover the top 7 nutrients for healthy skin and hair:
1. Amino Acids
Amino acids are molecules that combine to form proteins. Essentially, they are the building blocks of proteins, which themselves are the building blocks of all the tissues in your body—including skin and hair.
Amino acids have many benefits to hair health. They help strengthen the hair shaft, allowing it to hold onto more moisture, and they help to form keratin, the protein that makes up as much as 95 percent of the hair shaft.
Amino acids are also essential for skin health. In particular, the amino acids L-lysine and L-proline are the two main amino acids involved in collagen synthesis. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and helps to form many body tissues as well as provide the structure for all our organs. Collagen forms the soft tissues of our skin, bones, and cartilage and is essential for skin and soft tissue health.
As we age, collagen production gradually declines, as does the health and elasticity of our skin along with it. In order for the body to produce collagen, it needs L-lysine and L-proline in sufficient quantities. It also requires vitamin C and B vitamins in sufficient quantities. When you give your body the nutrients it needs to build collagen, it can make a significant difference in the health of your hair and skin.
Providing your body with collagen precursors is also much more effective than taking animal-based collagen, as the collagen molecule is very large and difficult for the body to break down.
Other amino acids besides L-lysine and L-proline are also important for skin and hair health. By supplementing with a Complete Amino Acid Complex, you can supply your hair and skin with the nutrients they need to regenerate and stay healthy.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a very important nutrient. It acts as an antioxidant, helping to fight free radicals and boost immune system health. Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals. Free radicals are unstable electrons that can cause chemical reactions known as “oxidation” that can be harmful to our cells. Oxidative stress can damage cells and speed up the aging process. Antioxidants can provide an electron to free radicals making them more stable and less reactive. As a result, oxidative stress is reduced and your cells are protected.
Your skin and hair, being on the surface of your body, are the most exposed to the environment and take the biggest hits from the tens of thousands of free radicals that we face on a daily basis. Vitamin C helps protect your skin and hair from free radical damage, keeping them healthy and strong.
Vitamin C is also required by the body for the synthesis of collagen. Without it, collagen synthesis could not occur and your soft tissue health would suffer dramatically. It is one of the best vitamins for skin health, and is by far the best vitamin for skin repair.
3. B Vitamins
B vitamins are critical for many cellular processes in the body. B vitamins are also very helpful for hair growth as they play a key role in producing red blood cells. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to the scalp so that hair follicles can continuously regenerate.
Some B vitamins also play a role in collagen production, which supports the health of all your body’s tissues.
B vitamins are also beneficial for skin health because they prevent cell damage and water loss, thus keeping skin plump and hydrated. B vitamins can also offer some relief from inflammation in the body.
4. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential for cellular growth and can help hair—the fastest growing tissue in the body—grow in faster and healthier. Vitamin A also helps produce sebum, the oil that keeps your skin moisturized and hair healthy.
Too much vitamin A, however, has been linked to hair loss. So, while you don’t want to be deficient in this important nutrient, you don’t want to eat too much either.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A is 700 micrograms for women and 900 micrograms for men. While some vitamin A supplements are available, it is recommended to try to meet your vitamin A needs in your diet. Vitamin A can be found in foods like milk, eggs, yams, carrots, pumpkin and kale. Vitamin A is also a fat-soluble nutrient, so eating it with a healthy fat like olive oil or ghee can improve the bioavailability of this essential vitamin.
Iron is another important nutrient for skin and hair. It is used by red blood cells to carry oxygen to damaged cells and tissues, assisting in their repair. A lack of iron can also lead to anemia, which may contribute to hair loss. Iron is perhaps most abundant in red meat, but it can also be found in legumes and dark leafy green vegetables.
6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are excellent for skin and hair health. They are essential fatty acids that are energy sources and membrane constituents. They also influence cell and tissue metabolism. Omega-3 fatty acids help produce the skin's natural oil barrier as well, which is critical in keeping skin hydrated and plump. Omega fatty acids also help improve your hair health by helping to improve hair density and diameter.
Biotin is also beneficial for hair and skin health. Biotin is a type of B vitamin (B7) that you can find in foods like eggs, whole grains, fish, nuts, seeds, and meat. Biotin aids in maintaining the mucous membranes of the skin. It also plays a crucial role in the process of metabolizing fat, which further supports skin health. A deficiency in biotin is also known to cause in skin rashes.
Biotin benefits hair health by stimulating keratin production in hair and can increase the rate of follicle growth. Keratin is the protein that makes up to 95% of the hair shaft.
Additional Nutrients for Skin and Hair Health
In addition to the nutrients mentioned above, some nutrients that have been linked to better hair and skin health include:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
Other Ways to Improve Skin and Hair Health
The health of your skin and hair depends not only on what you put in your body, but also what you put on your body. Many people use toxic beauty products that damage their skin and hair. You can significantly improve your hair and skin health just by ditching toxic shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, lotions, toothpastes, and soaps.
Find natural and organic alternatives like our Organic Shampoo and Conditioner. These healthy hair products are made with wildcrafted soap nut, artesian spring water, naturally fermented probiotics, and a carefully crafted blend of organic herbal extracts. They are also designed to support the health of your scalp microbiome, helping to create the right balance of bacteria on the skin.
While they are primarily used as a shampoo and conditioner, they can also be used as a body wash or hand soap. Our Organic Shampoo and Conditioner is alcohol-free, chemical-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, stearate-free, gluten-free, and contains no dyes, no fragrances, and no synthetic preservatives. It is also completely vegan-friendly.
Using a natural and organic plant-based shampoo and conditioner like these, and ditching the toxic hair and skin care products, can have significant benefits for you skin and hair health.
Healthy Body, Healthy Hair and Skin
The health of our hair and skin is a reflection of the health of our bodies. If you want to have nice skin and healthy hair, you need to take proper care of your health by eating a balanced diet of organic whole foods, staying properly hydrated, keeping your stress levels low, staying well rested, practicing proper hygiene, exercising regularly, and minimizing your exposure to toxic chemicals found in foods and other products. These healthy habits create the best conditions for optimal health, and when your body is healthy, your hair and skin will also be healthy.
In addition to taking care of these important health foundations, supplementing with some of the nutrients mentioned above, particularly amino acids and water-soluble vitamins like vitamins B and C, can also provide additional support for hair and skin.