7 essential vitamins for your skin

Your skin protects your body every single day. The health of your skin impacts your overall wellbeing and how you feel about yourself. So, when there comes a way to treat your skin and body in one fell swoop, it’s a no brainer.  Holistic skincare is a balance between the inside and outside. I believe that in addition to a balanced diet – my preference is paleo – and a good skincare regime, there’s an important role for vitamins found in food and supplements.

Here I’ve chosen seven vitamins that aid skin health and anti-ageing. If you’re a proponent of eating your way to skin health, I’ve also listed foods rich in these vitamins and the supplements and dosage to look for.

1. Vitamin B

In the beauty world, vitamin B is a multitasking superhero. In particular, B3 (or Niacinamide) is at the forefront of dermatologic science in both its topical and oral applications. When applied topically – I recommend a strength of 5-10% – B3 improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture. It’s also gentler than other ingredients in fighting fine lines and wrinkles, while having powerful results in lightening and evening the skin tone. The result: smoother, softer, more even toned skin. On a microscopic level, its also rebooting the skin’s immune system that gets depleted by the sun. That’s why vitamin B3 – you’ll find 5% in my Concentrated Hydration+ and 10% in my Illuminator (coming soon) –  has been proven to replenish the immune system, repair sun damaged cells and fade pigmentation.

When taken orally, B3 aids in minimising the development of skin cancers.

Foods rich in vitamin B
Green leafy vegetables, fortified whole-grain cereals (high in B3), mushrooms (source of B3), asparagus (source of B3), spinach, poultry, bananas and lentils.

Supplements and recommended dosage
Bioceuticals Mega B, Metagenics Meta B complex, Eagle Tresos Activated B Pulse.
Take  one tablet daily.

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is definitely a must. Again, its benefits are evident when used both topically and orally. Most people think vitamin C is only good at helping to kick a cold; however, it’s also essential for collagen production. As an antioxidant, it fights free radicals that can damage DNA and lead to cancer. My new Illuminator, coming soon, cleverly combines active ingredients including vitamin C and vitamin B3 to illuminate skin, fade pigmentation and promote collagen production in the dermis. Our Concentrated Moisturiser combines Vitamins C A and E, powerful anti oxidants for your skin.

Foods rich in vitamin C
Oranges, capsicums, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, grapefruit, guava and kiwi fruit. 

Supplements and recommended dosage
Eagle Beta A-C.
Take one to two tablets twice daily.

3. Vitamin D

While the sun is the best natural source of vitamin D (the body makes its own when exposed to enough sunlight), it’s important to balance sun exposure with the risk of skin cancer, especially in a country like Australia. Primarily known for its role in bone health, vitamin D, otherwise known as the “sunshine vitamin,” also repairs skin damage and prevents infections. It is also linked to fighting cancer and lowering depression. Your vitamin D needs are rarely met by food alone, so supplements are important in meeting the shortfall.

Foods rich in Vitamin D
Mushrooms, fatty fish and tofu.

Supplements and recommended dosage
Eagle Vitamin D3 1000 IU.
Take one to two capsules daily.

4. Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (Q-10) is an antioxidant powerhouse that’s found naturally in our bodies. But, as we age, our levels of Q-10 diminish*. Like vitamin B, one of Q-10’s most vital roles is fighting off free radicals that impact cell regeneration. Not only does Q-10 give us energy and provide an immune system boost, it powers skin cell growth and maintenance. So as our natural supplies of Q-10 lessen as we age, it’s important to get it from supplements.

*Common cholesterol-lowering medications also deplete Q-10.

Foods rich in Q-10
Beef, sardines and mackerel. Vegetarian sources of Q-10 include spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, peanuts and soybeans.

Supplements and recommended dosage
Bioceutical CoQ10 Excel 150mg.
Take one daily.

5. Fish oil

For all round wellbeing you can’t go past fish oil. It’s a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly important for your body and brain. And if its broader health benefits weren't enough to get you across the line, the omega-3 found in fish oil also helps a raft of skin issues. Amongst them, it reduces acne, redness and inflammation, alleviates skin flaking and dryness, and improves and sustains your skin’s ability to absorb moisture.

Foods rich in omega-3
Salmon, trout, sardines, tuna, mackerel, flaxseed oil,chia seeds, walnuts, fish roe, soybeans and spinach.

Supplements and recommended dosage
Metagenics: Metapure EPA/DHA.
Take two capsules twice (am and pm) daily.  

6. Magnesium

If there’s a mineral that helps our body function at a biological level, and plays a role in our overall wellbeing, it’s magnesium. Its specific benefits include helping with muscle repair, reducing fluid retention, helping us sleep, and aiding skin health. Because magnesium can detoxify the top layer of skin, it helps to relieve many skin concerns. Three areas where you’ll notice a difference in your skin with magnesium include: treating allergic reactions, combating wrinkles and managing pimples.

Foods rich in magnesium
Dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yoghurt, bananas, dried fruit and dark chocolate (as if we needed an excuse).

Supplements and recommended dosage
Bioceuticals Ultra Muscleze P5P.
Take one to two tablets twice daily or approx. 300-400mg per day.

7. Turmeric

Unfairly dubbed “poor man’s saffron,” turmeric is not only a tasty addition to curries, it’s absolutely packed with goodies including vitamin C, calcium, potassium and zinc. But, above all this, the most touted benefit of the spice is a chemical called curcumin. This potent anti-inflammatory fights bacteria as if it were going out of fashion. Again, if that's not enough, its anti-inflammatory capacity helps fight aging, wrinkles, acne and dark spots.

Foods rich in turmeric
The turmeric root is the only major dietary source of curcumin. Luckily for you, turmeric is very tasty, so the recipes you can create are only limited by your imagination – here’s a good place to start.

Supplements and recommended dosage
One to two capsules a day.


Dr Natasha Cook