What Vitamins Are Good For Your Skin? A Dermatologist Weighs In.

Publish date:
January 30, 2015
fatty acids, supplements, vitamins, vitamin a, skin care, q&a, dermatologist, omega 3, healthy foods

Although I don't take any vitamins or supplements, I’ve been considering it more and more lately. Vitamins can help with diet deficiencies (I eat terribly), hair growth (yes, please!), and skin care. That last one is especially important to me, as I’m perpetually struggling with dry, red skin.

Unfortunately, there are many different kinds vitamins out there, and it can be easy to do more harm than good. I've made it my 2015 mission to become more informed on vitamins with skin benefits. First step: talk to a dermatologist, Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas.

Are There Vitamins Women Should Take For Their Skin Type, Such As Oily/Dry/Aging/Acne?

"[People with] oily or acne prone [skin] should take beta carotene or vitamin A, which mimic the effects of Accutane. [People with] dry, cracked skin should focus on building the skin barrier, so take high omega-containing supplements such as flax seed."

What Effect Can Vitamins Have On The Overall Health And Appearance Of Skin?

"Vitamins are crucial to maintaining the proper structure of the skin. Vitamin deficiencies cause redness, flaking, and a breakdown of the skin barrier or a decrease in collagen production."

Which Vitamins Are Best Specifically For Skin?

"All vitamins are needed, but those associated with skin rashes when deficient include vitamins A, Bs, C, D, and Zinc and essential fatty acids."

How Long Does It Take To See Results?

"Some work in a day or two; I just had a case of Perleche, or cracking around the mouth, and gave vitamin C, which healed the sores in just two days."

Should You Consult With A Physician Before Starting To Take Vitamins?

"Yes, to get an education and avoid overdosing or underdosing."

Can Vitamins Have Negative Side Effects?

"Absolutely. For example, zinc toxicity has been described so you need to dose properly."


Those last two points are especially important to keep in mind. I wouldn’t recommend going to CVS and buying any vitamins that look good; I know the gummies can be tempting. Always talk to your doctor first, especially since taking certain kinds or amounts of vitamins can actually be bad for you.

It also helps to be aware of side effects. I knew someone with epilepsy who started taking the B-complex vitamin biotin without knowing it can interfere with anti-seizure medication (although luckily she wasn’t taking medication at the time).

My takeaway: I might give some omega-3 vitamins a chance (after consulting with my doctor first, of course). At the same time, I’ll also try to remember to eat more healthy food like spinach, blueberries, and salmon, because vitamins should never be a replacement for that.

  • Do you take vitamins to improve your skin?
  • If so, what kinds of vitamins do you take?

P.S. We're giving away free products in honor of xoVain Skin Care Week! Click here to enter.

Photo: Dima Sobko/Shutterstock