It is important to ensure the availability of the nutrients that best protect the health of the skin.

As one of the only organs directly exposed to the outside elements, the skin must be protected from the inside out.

The best nutrients for the skin

Therefore, both the daily diet and the skin regimen (yes, you too, men) must include the protection of these 10 nutrients for the skin.

1. Lycopene

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that has natural properties that protects against UV rays. A diet rich in lycopene gives the skin some protection from the harmful rays of the sun. Lycopene is found in watermelon, tomatoes, pink grapefruit, and papaya.

2. Asthaxanthin

Astaxanthin is a pink compound found in foods such as shrimp and krill. It is one of the only carotene compounds that does not convert to retinol in the body, therefore 100% of its antioxidant strengths are reserved for fighting free radicals.

With long-term use, studies have shown that astaxanthin is amazing for skin health and elasticity, and has even been shown to visibly improve the appearance of the skin by reducing the signs of aging such as such as dry skin , wrinkles, and age spots .

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is great for the skin, both internally and topically. Its antioxidant properties protect the skin against harmful free radicals , while promoting the natural production of collagen .

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 500 to 1,000 milligrams in diet or vitamin C supplements per day is sufficient. While the vitamin C diet can be found in citrus fruits, Brussels sprouts, red peppers, and other foods, topical vitamin C is growing in popularity.

4. Vitamin A

Vitamin A, or its precursor, beta-carotene, is found in carrots or spinach and ensures the good maintenance and repair of skin cells and tissue . If you are deficient in vitamin A, you may notice dry or flaky skin, because your skin is not repairing itself fast enough. Vitamin A can be found in red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, or also in dark green vegetables.

5. Omega 3 fatty acids

Omega-3s are associated with decreased inflammation and are known to increase the shine of the complexion itself by blocking hydration. Good sources of omega-3s are fatty fish like salmon, walnuts, and flax seeds.

6. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is effective in counteracting the harmful effects of UV exposure and provides antioxidant protection.

Experts indicate that natural vitamin E at around 400mg per day has been observed to reduce sun damage and wrinkles and improve skin texture. Topical vitamin E is used to balance the skin and reduce the appearance of “sun spots.”

7. Biotin

Biotin is a B vitamin that is largely responsible for providing the foundation for radiant skin and hair.

Experts often recommend anywhere from 1,000-5,000 mcg per day, which usually requires a supplement. Food sources of biotin include peanuts, chard, and tuna.

8. Vitamin K

Topical vitamin K cream has been identified as one of the best (and only) treatments available for the effective reduction of dark circles.

9. Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid has the remarkable capacity for a total of 1,000 times its weight in water, therefore, it is an ideal food to maintain the hydration of your skin.

In addition, it acts as a cell binding agent, keeping skin cells from separating (i.e. wrinkles).

10. Alpha lipoic acid

This powerful antioxidant is one of the only nutrients that is both water soluble and fat soluble. This means that it can protect skin cells from free radical damage both on the inside and on the surface.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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