Inner Beauty
By Sherrie Strausfogel
Vitamins give you what no beauty potion can—gorgeous skin that glows from the inside out
It’s not only the creams and lotions you put on your body but what you put into your body that will make you more beautiful. Your skin craves nutrients to thrive. A deficiency of an essential vitamin, mineral, fatty acid, or protein can result in impaired manufacture of healthy new skin cells. Vitamins, minerals, and other supplements can actually improve the look as well as the health of your skin and that of your hair and nails.

“Dietary nutrients can influence the overall appearance of the skin in a number of different ways,” says Alan C. Logan, ND, who is an invited faculty member at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Continuing Education and coauthor of The Clear Skin Diet and the upcoming Your Skin, Younger. “There are certain nutrients that support normal structure of the skin’s layers, most notably essential fats, such as fish oil and borage oil, and the protein units called peptides from fish collagen.”

Logan says that a wide range of vitamins, including vitamins A, C, and E, and minerals, such as zinc and selenium, are responsible for maintaining skin function. Specifically, these nutrients help to tame inflammation and are vital for keeping the skin’s antioxidant defense system operating.

“Most chronic skin conditions, including acne, and the skin aging process itself are rooted in inflammation and oxidative stress,” says Logan. “From sunburn to psoriasis, acne to eczema, inflammation is often the common thread in most skin conditions.”

Nonvitamin nutrients, such as phytochemicals, the natural chemicals that give plants their taste, texture, and color, have beauty benefits as well. Lycopene (the red plant pigment in tomatoes), anthocyanins from blueberries, and flavonoids from cocoa are antioxidants that help protect against UV damage from the inside out. Not coincidentally, antioxidants such as these are among the same ingredients that have popped up in topical products in recent years.

Logan notes the importance of nutrients that support the production of energy within the skin. “The energy production centers of each skin cell, the mitochondria, become less efficient through the aging process, and this progressive inefficiency has been linked as a causative factor in the visible signs of aging. The good news is that CoQ10, quercetin, taurine, and other nutrients can support skin energy through the aging process,” he says.

Your skin renews itself with a complete cellular turnover every five to seven weeks; however, it may take up to three months to see external results of internal vitamin supplementation.

Michael T. Murray, ND, is the author of more than 30 books on natural health, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Third Edition. He is regarded as one of the world's top authorities on natural medicine, and is a sought-after lecturer and educator. Visit him online at

Product Examples

Nourish skin, hair and nails with Natrol BioSil Skin, Hair, Nails capsules, which encourage your body to produce collagen, which in turn reduces fine lines and wrinkles, thickens hair, and fortifies nails.
Natural Factors Hair, Skin & Nails capsules contain extracts of antioxidant-rich olive fruit and green tea leaf, pure hyaluronic acid to prevent wrinkles, collagen-supporting MSM, biotin for strong hair and nails, plus a host of vitamins, including A, C, and E.
Strengthen your skin, hair, and nails with Hübner Original Silica Gel from Bioforce USA. Natural silica reduces wrinkles by helping skin retain moisture, inhibiting inflammation and supporting formation of collagen, the foundation of skin, hair, and nails. The gel form makes it easy to absorb.
Target the cause of acne below the skin with Genuine Health Perfect Skin Softgels, which help reduce inflammation and sebum production to clear up acne in as little as four weeks. The formula contains EPA from wild fish oil, EGCG from green tea, and zinc and selenium.
Improve the shine, texture, and strength of your skin, hair, and nails with Irwin Naturals Healthy Skin & Hair Plus Nails softgels. This comprehensive formula provides silica from horsetail, biotin, proline, and lysine for collagen production, and vitamin C and bioflavonoids for antioxidant protection.
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