The Anatomy of a Multi-Vitamin

They say that beauty starts from within. Many of us take a multi-vitamin every day; a super jam packed dose of all our essential daily vitamins in one. But what is really in your one-size-fits-all super pill, and more importantly, we know they’re good for you, but how are effecting your skin? We broke it all down, lets take a look…  

Vitamin A Vitamin A, as we know, does the body good. Vitamin A is the name of a group of fat-soluble retinoids, including retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters. Many people take vitamin A as an important part of maintaining immune health as well as treating kidney stones, various diseases of the nervous system, improving menstrual periods and male sperm count, nose infections and loss of sense of smell, asthma, persistent headaches, kidney stones, overactive thyroid, anemia, deafness, mouth sore and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Vitamin A is commonly known and beneficial for treating skin conditions including acne, eczema, psoriasis, cold sores, wounds, burns and sunburn and has also been proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles that come with aging. Retinol cream has been a talked about product in the media for its proven anti-aging benefits. (as well as lesser known; keratosis follicularis (Darier’s disease), ichthyosis (noninflammatory skin scaling), lichen planus pigmentosus, and pityriasis rubra pilaris.)  

retin a cream tretinoin

Vitamin B Complex For many years, people thought there was only one type “B” Vitamin, but in fact, there are several and all are needed for healthy skin. Vitamin B enhances the permeation of blood and fluids into different areas of the skin, so that the outer layers of the skin receive oxygen that is carried by the blood. Each play a major role in the activities of enzymes and proteins that regulate chemical reactions in the body. Vitamin B complex is made up of:

  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine): Thiamine helps to convert glucose into energy and has a major role in nerve functions, and is an antioxidant that helps to increase blood circulation. Vitamin B1 also protects us from the effects of ageing, smoking and effects of alcohol consumption
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): Riboflavin is involved in the energy production and helps to improve vision. It also improves skin health.
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin): Niacin helps to covert carbohydrates, fats and alcohol into energy. It helps in maintaining skin and aids in the functions of the digestive and nervous system. Niacin has shown to improve the epidermis, the upper most layer of the skin to retain moisture while nicotinamide, when applied topically reveals softer, smoother skin with less dryness and flakiness and reduction of fine lines.
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): Pantothenic acid is needed to mobilize carbohydrate, protein, fats and alcohol and helps to produce red blood cells and steroidal hormones. “Vitamin B 5 has shown the capability to reduce oil formation and thus, reduces acne formation. It has also become very popular in skin care industry because of its ability to assist in retaining moisture.  It helps hydrate and hydrated skin appears plumper, healthier and shows signs of ageing much slower. Vitamin B5 is also needed for healthy growth and production to fight eczema.”
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine and pyridoxamine): Pyridoxine is needed for protein and carbohydrate metabolism along with the formation of red blood cells and certain brain chemicals. B6 has also been proven to treat acne.
  • Vitamin B7 (biotin): Biotin is also needed for energy metabolism along with amino acid, fat and glycogen synthesis. Biotin is required to make skin, hair and nails healthy. It also helps to treat specific skin diseases like seborrhea dermatitis, acne and eczema.
  • Vitamin B9 (folate or folic acid): Folate is also needed to form red blood cells which carry oxygen around to the different organs in the body. It is also needed in the development of fetal nervous system. Pregnant women need high amount of Folate in their diet.
  • Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): Vitamin B12 helps the body to absorb essential mineral iron which is necessary for healthy hair, skin, and strong nails. It helps improve mood, boost energy, prevent aging, and treat Alzheimer’s disease.  

Vitamin C Vitamin C has been thought for many years to treat the common cold and support immune health. Back in the day, traveler’s were said to have gotten “scurvy” which is a disease based around the lack of vitamin C consumption. Vitamin C is found in many citrus fruits and foods and can also be taken orally in pill form and used topically in creams and serums. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C known as  ascorbic acid and its role in collagen synthesis make vitamin C a vital molecule for the health of skin cells. In some studies, vitamin C has shown to help prevent and treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced photo damage and highly effective at reducing free radical damage, such as that caused by overexposure to the sun or pollution. Vitamin C has also been known to regulate the production of collagen in the skin. Increasing the amount of vitamin C in the diet can contribute to improved skin health and faster healing.  

Vitamin D Most people associate vitamin D with the sun, milk, cheese, egg yolks, and fish and know it to be a crucial component in strong, healthy bones and teeth. Although vitamin D is not known to treat wrinkles or prevent acne, It is however an extremely important element in your daily vitamin intake. In recent years, Ultraviolet light therapy and vitamin D creams are widely prescribed treatments for psoriasis.  

Vitamin E Vitamin E is a commonly known vitamin as well as antioxidant to benefit skin health. Vitamin E helps to repairs damaged cells, rid the body of free radicals and reduce wrinkles and premature aging. When combined with vitamin A, vitamin E is especially effective at preventing certain skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma by 70%  

Vitamin K Vitamin K is typically a lesser known but very important component in healthy skin. Vitamin K can be taken orally or used topically, however most of the time, is used topically. Vitamin K promotes healthy blood, blood clotting, and reduces fine lines and wrinkled as well as those stubborn black under-eye circles. People who have vitamin K deficiency might wrinkle easier or have a harder time absorbing the vitamin.  

Zinc Zinc is a metallic trace element. It is commonly found in sunscreen and plays an important role in protecting your skin from UV rays. Very minimal amounts of zinc are needed for human health, However, Zinc has used for boosting the immune system, treating the common cold and recurrent ear infections, preventing lower respiratory infections and even assisting with down syndrome, and dandruff. Zinc take be taken orally or used topically to treat acne, aging skin, herpes simplex infections, and to speed wound healing. Zinc treats acne by helping to reduce the amount of natural oil, or sebum, produced in the skin and could also help heal damaged skin around acne that does develop. One article even referred to zinc as ” a 24-hour, on-call skin mechanic. It helps repair damaged tissues and heal wounds.”  

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