I've mentioned before on twitter that I take vitamins, and I mostly take them to help out the state of my skin - which is rarely good. I've accepted the fact that my skin is never going to be perfect no matter how much skincare I use and what diet I eat - acne is pretty much incurable. But even though it's incurable, I have noticed that eating well at taking my vitamins stops my skin from getting so aggravated. Vitamins just help along the way to get better skin. I stopped taking them for a while and I definitely noticed a difference in my skin. It got immediately worse, and then it takes a bit of time and patience for them to take effect again. So onto what I take! I take all of these Vitamins daily - unless stated otherwise! I'd grab a cup of tea for this one if you're going to read the whole thing - I go into a bit of detail!
Vitamin C - This is a no brainer really. Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins for your body to have - and it's pretty common and easy to get in your every day diet. There is plenty of fruit and veg that are abundant in this vitamin - but I'm aware that on a daily basis, I don't eat enough fruit and veg to help my skin. Although that is getting better now that I'm juicing most days!
Vitamin C aka Ascorbic Acid - is vital for the production of collagen which ultimately helps strengthen skin, and aids skin repair. Skin repair is a massive problem for acne sufferers like me. I can have a spot for only two days but it can take weeks for the sore red marks to disappear, and sometimes it scars because it takes so long. Scarring and healing time is definitely reduced by taking this. So less scarring means a happier face! It's also said to reduce wrinkles and skin dryness - but I suppose I'll notice the wrinkle thing when I'm older.
Zinc - Zinc is talked about quite regularly in improving spots - in other words Sudocreme! Sudocreme contains zinc which is why it improves and heals spots. A lot of skincare specialists recoil at the thought of using sudocreme on the face - but that's because zinc in large quantities strips the skin of it's natural oils and can make it really dry. So slathering yourself in it isn't the best idea - but I will never stop applying it in little dots over the top of my spots - because it works! Anyway, I take it in tablet form because acne is supposedly linked to a lack of zinc in the diet - so I'm just upping my zinc intake. Taking zinc tablets and having it in your diet can reduce sebum production which most of the time is the cause of a spot. And it's a great skin healer too!
Fish Oil - (I've run out but I'll get more ASAP) I don't eat any seafood, which means I don't reap the benefits from oily fish. The reason I don't is a long story - but all you need to know is fish and sea creatures freak me out so I physically can't bring myself to eat them. So this is probably my most important supplement for me personally because I definitely don't get much Omega-3 from anything else. So not only is it doing great things for my skin, but for my whole body. There are two subcategories of omega-3 with big long, unpronounceable names but all you need to know is - one of them is great for your brain (always a winner) and one is great for your skin. The part that is good for your skin regulates oil production in the skin and hydrates it at the same time. Which is AMAZING. I have oily skin, but underneath the oil, it can actually get pretty dehydrated and this definitely helps.
Evening Primrose Oil - A by-product of Omega 6 called Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) has amazing properties for your skin. And luckily evening primrose oil is full of GLA! It helps improve; the moisture of the skin and helps skin hold onto it's natural "internal" moisture (i.e. not the moisture added by a moisturising cream); elasticity is improved and skin doesn't break or tear as easily; it softens the skin; and it firms the skin. This is probably the supplement that I've seen the most improvement from my skin but that's because taking evening primrose oil it massively reduces inflammation too, which can often be what makes a spot look so bad. The spot could be relatively small, but the skin around it is sore and inflamed making it look twice as big. So overall my spots are much smaller and less offensive. Evening primrose oil helps balance hormones too, so when I take this I find my hormonal breakouts are definitely to a minimum. And when this is combined with Omega-3 it's said to have even more health and skin benefits - which is probably why I noticed a great difference in my skin when I started taking this: I was already taking omega-3!
Acai - This doesn't have any major benefit to my skin that I'm aware - but as it is an anti-oxidant it's probably helping my skin on some level. Mainly I take it because it reduces bad cholesterol and aids heart health. I think I'm a bit paranoid about ever having a heart attack. I've seen one of those bad boys and it doesn't look at all fun! It's supposed to help with weight loss too because it works as a carb blocker and supposedly makes your body unable to fully digest and process carbohydrates - I can't say I've noticed an effect of this, but I'm not actively trying to lose weight so I suppose I wouldn't see a difference. Just through trying to eat clean over the last few weeks I've reduced my carb intake, substituting for alternatives, or trying recipes that leaves them out completely so I suppose the carb blocking feature isn't getting put to work much anyway! If I notice a difference I'll update you!
Vitamin D - this isn't something I take all of the time. Mostly through the darker winter months, when it's harder to get some natural sunlight. It's a pretty simple explanation for this one. Lack of vitamin D can lower your mood and make you sluggish and lethargic, which is something that effects pretty much everyone in the British winters. Taking the supplements makes me feels just as energised as if it were summer. I read an article when I was at uni written by a doctor that said, every British person should take this supplement and should be provided by prescription because apparently, we never get enough vitamin D no matter the time of year - and lack of vitamin D can cause other health issues. Vitamin D is essential in the proper absorption of calcium, so lack of vitamin D can affect your bone and muscle health. And as it plays a massive part in a healthy immune system it can reduce your chances of cold and flu. I haven't had the cold or the flu once this winter! Come to think of it now I'm writing this down, I should probably just take them all year round!
Aloe Vera - I only take this when I need it, because I can have intestinal problems and this just puts me to rights. Sometimes I get so bloated I look pregnant! It's not supposed to be used long term for bowel health any way, so just taking it when my stomach is particularly sore is fine.