The vitamin B complex. It may be fair to say it’s the vitamin complex that puts the ‘B’ in beauty. Sure Vitamin A is the “gold standard” when it comes to aging, and vitamin C and E are both powerful antioxidants, but when it comes to strengthening skin, hair, and nails, you can’t really beat the B vitamins. Let’s have a look at this beautifying octet and see why B vitamins are so essential for youthful skin, healthy hair, and tough as nails.
First thought to be one vitamin, later found to be eight, the B vitamins work together to keep our bodies working like the well-oiled machines they are. B1, B2, B3, B5, B7, B8, B9 and B12 all perform slightly different functions that help provide nutrients to our bodies and prevent everything from memory loss to migraines. However, lately vitamin B has been coming into attention from the beauty world, with a large number of studies showing how vitamin B’s inclusion in face creams can be a key component in the prevention of aging.
Nicotinamide, a vitamin B-3 derivative, in particular, has been shown to help the upper layer of skin retain moisture, with less dryness, flakiness, and fine lines, and has demonstrated skin brightening properties when added to moisturizers.
B Vitamins For Skin
Dull and unhealthy skin and certain chronic skin issues have all been associated with a vitamin B deficiency. B-12 regulates pigment location and production which can prevent darkening of the skin on certain parts of the body related to hyperpigmentation. Vitamin B3 can be used to minimize the appearance and degree of severity in some skin conditions, and B5 can help with acne by breaking down oils.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, supplementing with B5 can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels to promote healthy skin indirectly, and can, more specifically help to prevent acne by breaking down the oils in these compounds. Vitamin B5 has also been linked with a fast healing of wounds, especially when combined with vitamin C.
B Vitamins For Hair
B vitamins metabolize food, which means nutrition goes to the whole body, hair follicles included. B1, B2, B3, and B5 deficiencies can all result in weak hair follicle cells, and lack of B9, or folic acid, can slow cell division in follicles, slowing down growth.
Vitamin B7 or biotin, otherwise know as the “beauty vitamin” can help maintain strength, tone, and texture of hair and can even prevent hair loss caused by poor thyroid health and biotin deficiencies. Biotin can also be used to treat cradle cap in infants.
B Vitamins For Nails
Strong nails require a number of B vitamins to stay healthy. Vitamin B12 or riboflavin helps with iron absorption necessary for nail health, too little of which results in white, thin, brittle nails, and even abnormal nail growth. B12 also plays a role in the formation of red blood cells, hence the prevention of anemia, one of the symptoms of which is unhealthy nails. Vitamin B9, or folate, helps with the development of new cells, which contributes to nail growth.
While the body usually produces its own vitamin B, food sources include fish, meat, and vegetables. Fish has the highest B content, with salmon, tuna, trout, and cod topping the list. Lamb, poultry, eggs meat, and dairy are also good sources of Vitamin B and certain fruits, vegetables and legumes also rank high on the list. Avocados, pomegranates, and berries are all high in Vitamin B, as are green leafy vegetables, potatoes, and squashes. Soybeans, lentils, and kidney beans also have high concentrations of the vitamin.
What do you think? Does Vitamin B complex put the “B” in beauty? Let us know!