Very rarely do we hear about the beauty of Vitamin B’s and the essential role they play in achieving radiant skin and optimum health of the entire body.
There are eight B vitamins in the B family and because they are all water soluble, they are eliminated through your urine and must be replenished either with supplements or foods. Only when you begin depending on them to nourish your body will you begin to see true results manifested on the surface of your skin.
Below is an introduction to each B vitamin but it is most important if you decide to take a supplement to take a B-Complex as opposed to an individual B vitamin to avoid creating a deficiency or imbalance. For example if you decide just to take biotin for luscious hair and strong nails you are left unable to absorb vitamin B5, creating deficiency that leaves your skin vulnerable to breakouts. Also please consult your wellness practitioner, especially if you are taking any pharmaceutical drugs as there may be contraindications.
And Introducing Your Beautiful B’s:
Vitamin B1 AKA Thiamin
Beautiful skin relies on your body making new healthy cells, managing stress and protecting your immune system and Thiamin is the nutrient that will help your body do all three. Some foods loaded in Vitamin B1 nuts, oats, oranges, eggs, beans, sunflower seeds and peas
Vitamin B2 AKA Riboflavin
Ribofavin is essential for preventing premature aging, cracks in the skin and hair loss. Because it helps the body break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats and allows oxygen to be used by the body, your skin is going to benefit via healthy digestion and cellular function. Also, if eyes are a vulnerable asset in your genetics, Vitamin B2 protect glutathione, an important antioxidant in the eye and it has been noted in medical journals that adding more foods with riboflavin can lower the risk of developing cataracts. Some foods loaded in Vitamin B2 are eggs, nuts, dairy products, lean meats, broccoli, brewer’s yeast, Brussel sprouts, wild rice and other whole organic grains, mushrooms and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin B3 AKA Niacin
Niacin is also essential for helping the body break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats and assists in the overall functioning of your digestive system and skin (ummm do you see how the health of your digestive system is essential for achieving gorgeous skin?). Vitamin B3 also helps your body repair wounds, sun damage and hyperpigmentation while building the surface immunity of the skin and allowing it to retain moisture so you can experience a more soft and dewy skin that can withstand the external elements. Some foods loaded in Vitamin B3 turkey, salmon, chicken, anchovies, peanuts, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, okra, peas, parsnip, winter squash and pumpkins.
Vitamin B5 AKA Pantothenic Acid
Vitamin B5 has been known to help prevent and reduce the appearance of age spots and again, help your body digest and metabolize fats and carbs. Also because hormone imbalances play a major role in many skin conditions, Pantothenic Acid is essential for the healthy production of stress and sex related hormones. Last but not least, if you suffer from oily skin in need of balance, B5 is your best friend! Some foods loaded in Vitamin B5 lentils, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, chicken, shiitake mushrooms and whole organic grains.
Vitamin B7 AKA Biotin
Biotin is the quintessential B vitamin for beautiful skin, shiny long locks and strong healthy nails. Since it helps metabolize fats, it can help energy levels and lessen your body’s tendency to store fat. Some foods loaded in Vitamin B7 leafy greens (spinach), egg yolks, strawberries, cheese, shellfish, raw cauliflower, avocados and sweet potatoes
Vitamin B8 AKA Inositol
inositol plays a vital role in the healthy communication of neurotransmitters in the brain. It also has been shown to ease anxiety and PMS symptoms promoting a sense of wellbeing, peace, and happiness. Inositol allows the body to experience less anxiety, better stress management and even improved sleep and clearly your skin will reap the benefits. Some foods loaded in Vitamin B8 oranges, peaches, pears banana, whole organic grains, bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and asparagus and green leafy vegetables
Vitamin B9 AKA Folate
Folate helps maintain the skin’s natural beauty with its concentrations of antioxidants that reduce its levels of oxidative stress and also neutralize free-radicals. Folate provides increased hydration by boosting the skin-barrier function, which translates to more moisture-retention less surface dryness. Some foods loaded in Vitamin B9 Asparagus, eggs, leafy greens, citrus, beets, broccoli, organic papaya, bananas, avocado and whole organic grains.
Vitamin B12 AKA Cobalamin
Vitamin B12 may be one of the most popular B vitamins but it is also one that most people are deficient in. This is probably because we are either taking it solo in supplement / shot form and it needs B9/Folate to give optimal support to red blood cells which are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout your body (hello gorgeous skin and energized body) but also because perhaps *vegetarians/vegans are not getting it in their diet since it is primarily found in meats, dairy and fish. Some foods loaded in Vitamin B12 dairy, eggs, meat, clams, sardines, *nutritional yeast.
Vitamin B deficiencies most definitely manifest outward on the skin. If you suffer from acne, uneven skin texture, surface inflammation, premature age spots and wrinkles, sensitivity to sunlight and dryness as well as psoriasis, eczema and even topical rashes, you may want to up you B-complex intake through both supplements and foods.
I hope this inspires a deeper understanding of how to achieve beautiful skin and you see it more as something that is achieved from within and less from what you put on it.
After 16 years as a practicing esthetician, I can confirm that most any skin condition has to do with an internal imbalance, inflammation or deficiency in one or many nutrients. Rarely have I ever seen product as the answer to achieving the skin you have always dreamed of.