Dry skin is a common problem and is often caused by vitamin deficiencies. Choosing the best vitamins for dry skin depends largely on individual dietary habits. Some vitamins are particularly beneficial for promoting healthy skin, and if a person has difficulty adding these foods to the diet, a supplement may be needed. Some of the most important vitamins for this problem include vitamins A, B, C, D, and E. If just one or two of these vitamins are missing, these supplements may be purchased separately, although a multivitamin containing all of them may be more appropriate for some people.
Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is one of the most important vitamins for dry skin. This vitamin is primarily responsible for producing healthy skin and hair, so deficiencies often lead to the development of dry skin. Foods that are rich in retinol include sweet potatoes, carrots, raw spinach, and eggs. Other good sources include bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli.
There are several types of B vitamins, and each is important for maintaining healthy skin. While many B vitamins are found together in some foods, it is usually considered best to find a good B-complex vitamin supplement in order to make sure enough of each is consumed. Dosage instructions on the packaging should be followed closely.
Vitamin C helps to produce collagen, a type of fibrous tissue that allows the skin to stretch. Good sources of vitamin C include tomatoes, citrus fruits, broccoli, and strawberries. Some topical creams and lotions that contain this vitamin can be used to soothe the discomfort of dry skin while healing it at the same time.
Often overlooked, vitamin D is important for healthy skin. While the best source of this vitamin is being exposed to direct sunlight, some foods have it added. Milk, as well as some fortified cereals, are good choices, although almost everyone could benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement.
Vitamin E is especially important when considering vitamins for dry skin. Vegetables, nuts, and wheat germ are good dietary sources of vitamin E. When it comes to treating dry skin, however, topical formulations are much more beneficial in healing dry, damaged skin. Added benefits of using a topical treatment include itch relief and wrinkle reduction.