Beauty Vitamin Breakdown: What You Need to Look Your Best — Today!
Ever wonder what the core vitamins are that we need for healthy skin, hair and nails? Top experts from the fields of dermatology, nutrition and nutraceuticals weigh in to define the key vitamins, minerals and super foods we need to boost our beauty health and the absolute best way to get it for maximum results.
Vitamin B5 or Panthenol
“Panthenol is a power-packed moisture and barrier-enhancing ingredient. It's an excellent humectant, which means it helps the skin maintain its natural moisture balance," says Dr. Sherry Ingraham, dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology.
How to get it: Sebamed Liquid Face and Body Wash is packed with Panthenol that promotes preservation of the skin's barrier instead of stripping away protective lipids, which we see in typical soap-based cleansers, says Ingraham.
“Vitamin A is essential to the skin as it is a natural exfoliant, helping to keep skin smooth and glowing, reduce wrinkles, keep pores open and help prevent acne. Without it, nails can become brittle and break," Says Dr. Audrey Kunin founder of DermaDoctor.
How to get it: Romaine lettuce, spinach and sweet potato with the peel. Topical sources include prescription Retin A and cosmetic 1% retinol.
SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0; $79, Amazon.com
“This essential mineral is vital for skin repair, wound healing and acne treatment and prevention. It is required in very small amounts, and is thus known as a trace mineral," says Kunin.
How to get it: Raw oysters contain the highest level of zinc. Don't like raw mollusks? Try real maple syrup or enriched cereal.
365 Everyday Value Organic 100% Pure Grade A Maple Syrup; $9.99, WholeFoodsMarket.com
Red Palm Oil
“Primarily harvest in Africa, this is the new super oil that is phenomenal for health and beauty. Put it into you drink for a more effective anti-inflammatory agent than pomegranate or as a better treatment for fine lines, wrinkles and anti-aging than acai. While it can be ingested, topically you can use it like Moroccan argan oil only this oil absorbs 100%. Take a small drop to save dried cuticles or apply anywhere you have dry skin," says Scott-Vincent Borba, Founder Scott-Vincent Borba Inc.
How to get it: The purest form from Africa that Borba has found is Juka's Red Palm Oil. For more information (especially on how to cook with red palm oil), Borba suggests visiting MyAfricanKitchen.com.
“This super fruit looks like a large cherry and is 1000 times more potent than acai or pomegrante when it comes to anti-oxidants," says Borba. Loaded in Vitamin C, it help boosts the skin, aid in collagen production and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Plus it's not only your skin that benefits. “It's great for hair and nails and all of the above!" chimes Borba.
How to get it: It can be used in food or drink or on your face directly. Since it's hard to get your hand on the extract, try to get it in liquid form—the most concentrated version.
Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Power C x 30 Vitamin C Brightening Serum, $85: Sephora.com
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
“Having a scalp with good circulation, free from dandruff and inflammation affects how your hair lays on the head, which impacts how healthy and thick it appears. Omega-3 fatty acids are a part of the scalp cells responsible for generating hair follicles, and they're anti-inflammatory, so they're great for healthy hair growth and appearance," says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD and Author of S.A.S.S.! Yourself Slim.
How to get it: Sardines, which you can add to cooked whole grain and veggie pasta dishes, garden salads or even in fish tacos. Another source, tuna.
Wild Planet Wild Albacore Tuna; $3.99, WholeFoodsMarket.com
“Antioxidants fight off free radicals—nasty substances that build up in our bodies every day and cause premature aging of all of our cells, including skin. But the antioxidant lycopene may also help prevent wrinkles. One recent study found that a combination of tomato paste and olive oil boosts pro-collagen, a molecule that gives the skin its structure and keeps it firm and youthful," Sass says.
How to get it: Scientists think that lycopene, found in cooked tomatoes is the key, and olive oil boosts its absorption from your digestive system into your bloodstream. “I use tomato paste and olive oil to make vegetarian chili," adds Sass.
Muir Glen Organic Tomato Paste; $1.39, WholeFoodsMarket.com
"I have noticed that my clients with the strongest and healthiest nails take Omega 3 fatty acids and fish oil regularly, in combination with biotin and the B vitamins, says Michelle Saunders, Celebrity Manicurist. "This vitamin cocktail helps maintain the moisture in nails and hair that is essential in preventing them from getting too brittle!"
How to get it: Ask your doctor to recommend a multi-viatmin with all of these ingredients!