Optimize Your Skin Health: Top 8 Natural Supplements and Vitamins

Are you looking for ways to get naturally younger-looking, clear skin? The following dietary supplements and vitamins have been scientifically proven to help clear up clogged pores, boost radiance, calm inflammation, reduce imperfections, and even slow down signs of aging. Read on to find out which nutrients and vitamins that skin of yours may be screaming out for, and what you can do to get naturally luminous skin.

The connection between your skin health & your diet

People are often quick to credit enviably clear complexions to great genes or potent products, but naturally, bright skin often starts with diet choices. You’re probably aware that some of your habits affect your skin — things like whether you wash your face daily or whether you wear SPF regularly, but more and more research shows a strong connection between the nutrients you are getting and your complexion.

Did you know?
In a recent study, people with acne were shown to suffer from vitamin E, A, and zinc deficiencies. (30)

The 8 best vitamins and supplements for naturally clear skin

Vitamin A – the acne antagonizer

Dermatologists often recommend vitamin A for patients with acne-prone skin. This is because vitamin A is a very effective anti-oxidant that decreases the size of sebaceous glands and the amount of oil skin produces.

Anti-oxidants protect the skin by limiting the production of free radicals in the body, which otherwise damages skin cells. When your body doesn’t have enough vitamin A, dead skin cells build-up, clogging pores, and triggering breakouts. Vitamin A has been shown to:

  • Help the body shed off dead skin cells (1)
  • Reduce inflammation – vitamin a can help calm down swollen, red areas on the skin causing breakouts (2)
  • Reduce severe acne (3)

We highly recommend consulting a healthcare provided before taking vitamin A in supplement form. This is because studies have shown that high levels of vitamin A may lead to vomiting, dry skin, hair loss, or birth defects. (4)

Did you know?
Self-confidence is often negatively affected by acne, and depending on the severity, studies have shown that acne can have a pretty huge and devastating impact on our mental health if left untreated. (5)

slides pineapple and crushed pineapple in glass jar

Pineapple is a natural example of rich vitamin C, good for skin health.

Vitamin C – the fixer-upper

If you have scarring, hyperpigmentation, rosacea, are recovering from a major acne breakout, or just generally feel like your lifestyle habits have led to having duller skin when you look in the mirror, you may want to consider asking your healthcare professional about supplementing with vitamin C.

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect your body’s cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when bodies convert food into energy. People are also exposed to free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet light from the sun. (6) This powerful antioxidant has been shown to:

  • Help boost collagen production (7)
  • Repair sun-damaged skin when taken orally for at least 8 weeks (8)
  • Have a strong, hydrating effect on dry skin (9)
  • Help heal wounds and address discoloration when applied topically and, daily for at least 3 months. It can also help smooth out scars and fade brown spots (10)

A Note for sensitive skin & topical vitamin C. When used topically, vitamin C can be too harsh for certain skin types, and may even react poorly with ingredients found in some cosmetic products. (11) If you have sensitive skin, ask your healthcare practitioner about supplementing vitamin C, orally.

Did you know?
Pumpkins contain antioxidants vitamin A and vitamin C which help soften skin, calm irritated breakouts, and boost collagen production to prevent the signs of aging. (12)

collagen powder in wooden bowl with wooden spoon

Youthful skin often means fewer sweets in your diet. The ingestion of sugar, in particular, has been shown to accelerate the signs of aging. (21)

Collagen – the age-defying booster

If you are over 30 and feel like the changes in your complexion may have to do with your age, you may want to consider taking collagen daily. (13) In fact, the typical woman will likely lose 1 to 2 percent of her body’s collagen every year as early as her mid-30s, the rate increasing with age. (14) Ingesting collagen has been shown to:

  • Result in anti-aging effects for the skin and boost skin collagen production (15)
  • Increase skin elasticity (16)

Did you know?
A few randomized trials have shown that herbs and spices, such as oregano, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and garlic are effective for the treatment of dermatological disorders. (17)

Magnesium – The de-stressor

If you feel like your breakouts are connected to stress or are hormonal, consider asking your practitioner about taking a magnesium supplement. Magnesium can help improve your skin’s overall appearance. Magnesium can be helpful in reducing acne and other skin disorders by lowering cortisol levels, stabilizing hormonal imbalances, and improving overall cellular function. Magnesium has been shown to:

  • Minimize inflammation (18)
  • Reduce levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone (19)
  • Make vitamin C more effective if you have enough magnesium (20)

Your body actually releases magnesium as a defense against stress, but sometimes you need more if you are not getting enough in your diet. Incorporating a daily supplement may give you the amount you need to clear up your skin.

Did you know?
If you think acne only happens to teens, think again. Studies show between 40 and 55% of adults in the US deal with low-grade acne. (22)

Zinc – the head healer

When zits happen, zinc can help. Zinc is another powerful anti-oxidant and important micronutrient required for the normal functioning of the skin. Feeling stressed out and noticed you have what feels like tiny pimples on your scalp? You could likely benefit from getting more zinc in your diet orally or try a topical zinc treatment, such as zinc shampoo. (23) Zinc has been shown to:

  • Successfully treat erosive pustular and crusting of the scalp when taken orally in zinc sulfate form (24)
  • Assist with the healing of damaged skin – topically applied, zinc can help to treat acne and accelerate wound healing (25)
  • Pajamas treated with zinc have been shown to be effective in the treatment in the quality of sleep and stress of Atopic Dermatitis (AD) suffering individuals – in one specific study, zinc oxide-functionalized textile was shown to control infection and reduce inflammation (26)

Did you know?
Give your skin a sip of red wine. Resveratrol, a powerful anti-oxidant found in red grape skins, has been found to prevent the wrinkles, lines, and sagging caused by environmental skin agents like smog and second-hand smoke. (27)

Omega-3 – The calming combatant

Omega-3 fatty acids are some of the best natural anti-inflammatories on the planet. And if you suffer from psoriasis, you definitely want to ask your healthcare provider about getting them through a dietary supplement. Supplementary treatment with omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to help treat psoriasis. (28) Omega-3s have also been shown to:

  • Counteract inflammation of the skin (29)
  • Help lessen the redness of the skin (30)
  • A lack of omega-3 has been linked to rough, scaly skin and dermatitis (31)

Did you know?
Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. It affects up to 50 million Americans annually. (32)

vitamin e oil in bottle

Vitamin E oil helps with acute sub damage to the skin.

Vitamin E – the environmental protector

Using a vitamin E oil can actually somewhat lessen the effects of spending a lot of time outside without proper SPF protection. It has been shown to be especially effective at repairing acute sun damage (i.e. sunburns) when taken in combination with vitamin C. (33) Vitamin E has also been shown to:

  • Reduce acute and chronic skin damage caused by UV irradiation (34)
  • Neutralize free radicals and act as a powerful anti-oxidant (35)
  • Improve immune function and skin durability (36)

According to the National Institutes of Health, teens, adults, and pregnant women should consume around 15 milligrams of vitamin E (mg) each day. We recommend asking your healthcare provider about supplementing vitamin E topically before bed or orally. (37)

woman putting on sunscreen on her face

It is essential to have enough vitamin D to help treat skin damage and keep skin healthy.

Vitamin D – the UV fighter

If you have sun-damaged skin, vitamin D can also be especially beneficial. Vitamin D has been shown to:

  • Help heal skin and address discoloration from long-term sun damage (38)
  • Make you possibly more prone to suffering from acne, based on some research (39)

Did you know?
Vitamin D can now be delivered topically in a cream form. A randomized control study in 2014 safely delivered D3 through the dermal route. (40)

The bottom line

It’s always a good idea to seek consultation from your practitioner or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have concerning a skin condition and using a natural remedy for treatment.

It’s always best to try and get any nutrients you may be missing in your diet from food. But if you’re finding it hard to get skin healthy nutrients into your diet, chances are you will benefit from dietary supplements. Now you know, you can actually wine and dine your way to get clear skin, naturally!

If you are a practitioner, consider signing up to Fullscript. If you are a patient, talk to your healthcare practitioner about Fullscript!

Write a more personalized treatment plan
in less than a minute.

Try it now!

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4384860/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29099763
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5029236/
  6. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12419467/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673383/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10522500
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/
  12. https://fullscript.com/blog/health-benefits-of-pumpkin
  13. https://fullscript.com/blog/what-is-collagen
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583892/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5742730/
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5742730/
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92761/
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25023192
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452159/
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4530145/
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20620757
  22. http://www.sciepub.com/reference/130968
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3158327
  24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7082580
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4120804/
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3656624/
  27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583891/
  28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3133503/
  29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28341437
  30. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25573272
  31. https://www.nap.edu/catalog/10490/dietary-reference-intakes-for-energy-carbohydrate-fiber-fat-fatty-acids-cholesterol-protein-and-amino-acids
  32. https://www.aad.org/media/stats/conditions/skin-conditions-by-the-numbers
  33. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9448204?dopt=Citation
  34. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8502584
  35. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3997530/
  36. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15753137
  37. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/
  38. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28576736
  39. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4580068/
  40. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3976443/

Fullscript content philosophy

At Fullscript, we are committed to curating accurate, and reliable educational content for practitioners and patients alike. Our educational offerings cover a broad range of topics related to integrative medicine, such as supplement ingredients, diet, lifestyle, and health conditions.

Medically reviewed by expert practitioners and our internal Integrative Medical Advisory team, all Fullscript content adheres to the following guidelines:

  1. In order to provide unbiased and transparent education, information is based on a research review and obtained from trustworthy sources, such as peer-reviewed articles and government websites. All medical statements are linked to the original reference and all sources of information are disclosed within the article.
  2. Information about supplements is always based on ingredients. No specific products are mentioned or promoted within educational content.
  3. A strict policy against plagiarism is maintained; all our content is unique, curated by our team of writers and editors at Fullscript. Attribution to individual writers and editors is clearly stated in each article.
  4. Resources for patients are intended to be educational and do not replace the relationship between health practitioners and patients. In all content, we clearly recommend that readers refer back to their healthcare practitioners for all health-related questions.
  5. All content is updated on a regular basis to account for new research and industry trends, and the last update date is listed at the top of every article.
  6. Potential conflicts of interest are clearly disclosed.
Send this to a friend