8 Best Vitamins and Supplements for Dry Skin
Depending on the cause of your dry skin, different treatment methods, including medicated ointments and moisturizers, may be used to increase skin hydration.
Additionally, lifestyle modifications, such as drinking more water and taking certain supplements, may improve skin dryness.
Here are 8 vitamins and supplements for dry skin.
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that's critical for many aspects of health, including the health of your skin.
Keratinocytes are skin cells that make up the majority of the outer layer of your skin, known as the epidermis.
What's more, research has indicated a correlation between vitamin D and skin moisture.
A study in 83 women found that those who had low vitamin D levels had lower average skin moisture than participants who had normal vitamin D levels, and that as blood levels of vitamin D increased, skin moisture content increased as well.
Another small 12-week study in 50 women observed that daily treatment with a nutritional supplement containing 600 IU of vitamin D led to significant improvements in skin hydration.
However, the supplement contained a combination of nutrients, so it's unclear whether treatment with vitamin D alone would have resulted in the same positive outcome.
A large percentage of the population is deficient in vitamin D, and given that the nutrient is essential for skin hydration, supplementing with it may help combat dry skin.
Vitamin D supplements are widely available in stores and online.
Be sure to discuss their use with your healthcare provider first and look for products that have been third-party tested to ensure the highest quality.
Research shows that low levels of vitamin D may increase the chances of dry skin. Therefore, supplementing with this nutrient may help increase skin hydration.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body and accounts for 75% of your skin's dry weight.
Some research has shown that taking collagen-based supplements may have a range of benefits for your skin, including decreasing wrinkle depth and increasing skin hydration.
A study in 69 women found that participants who consumed 2.5–5 grams of collagen per day for 8 weeks had significant improvements in skin elasticity and also experienced increased skin hydration, compared with a placebo group.
Another 12-week study in 72 women noted that taking a supplement that contained 2.5 grams of collagen peptides along with a blend of other ingredients like vitamin C and zinc significantly improved skin hydration and roughness, compared with a placebo group.
However, the supplement contained other nutrients, so it's unknown whether collagen alone would have had the same effects.
Plus, the study was funded by the supplement manufacturer which may have affected the study results.
If you want to try a collagen supplement to help with your dry skin, speak with your healthcare provider before purchasing a third-party certified product locally or online.
A good amount of evidence supports the use of collagen supplements for increasing skin hydration and treating dry skin.
3. Vitamin C
In fact, the skin contains very high levels of vitamin C, with some research finding a concentration of up to 64 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of the epidermal skin layer.
Unsurprisingly, studies have shown that increasing dietary vitamin C through vitamin C supplements may improve many factors of skin health, including skin hydration.
Plus, some studies have shown that when used in combination with other nutrients, vitamin C may help enhance skin moisture.
For example, a 6-month study in 47 men demonstrated that taking a supplement that contained 54 mg of vitamin C, as well as marine protein and a combination of other nutrients, significantly improved skin hydration, compared with a placebo group.
Other studies in women have shown similar results.
A study in 152 women found that participants who took a supplement that contained 54 mg of vitamin C, as well as zinc and marine protein, had significantly reduced skin roughness, compared with a placebo group.
However, in most of the available research on vitamin C's effect on dry skin, vitamin C is combined with other nutrients, making it impossible to tell whether the nutrient would have the same effect if it was used on its own.
Plus, many of the studies were sponsored by the pharmaceutical companies that manufactured the product being evaluated, which may have affected study results.
Regardless, based on the most current research, supplementing with vitamin C may improve overall skin health and help combat dry skin.
As with any new supplement, you should speak with a healthcare professional before adding a vitamin C supplement to your diet. These products are widely available in stores and online.
Vitamin C is an integral nutrient for skin health. Consuming supplemental vitamin C may improve dry skin, according to some studies. However, more research on its effects on dry skin is needed.
4. Fish Oil
Fish oil is well known for its skin-health-promoting properties.
It contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), two essential fatty acids that have powerful anti-inflammatory and healing properties and have been shown to benefit the skin in many ways.
Dietary supplements with fish oil may help boost skin hydration and improve the fatty acid barrier of the skin, which helps maintain hydration.
A 90-day study in rats with acetone-induced dry skin found that high-dose oral fish oil supplements significantly increased skin hydration, reduced water loss, and resolved dryness-related skin itching, compared with rats that didn't receive the fish oil.
In fact, the study noted that the fish oil group had a 30% increase in skin hydration after 60 days of treatment.
Additionally, research indicates that daily treatment with doses of fish oil ranging from 1–14 grams of EPA and 0–9 grams DHA for 6 weeks to 6 months improved symptoms of psoriasis — a chronic, inflammatory skin disease — including scaling or dry, cracked skin.
Fish oil has also been shown to decrease skin inflammation and protect against sun damage, making it an all around skin-friendly supplement.
There are many great, third-party-certified fish oil products available in stores and online. Speak with your healthcare provider first to determine the best choice and dosage for your needs.
Fish oil may help improve skin hydration and decrease moisture loss. Plus, it has been shown to improve dry, scaling skin in those with psoriasis.
5–8. Other Supplements for Treating Dry Skin
In addition to the nutrients listed above, studies have shown that supplementing with several other compounds may be an effective way to improve skin moisture.
- Probiotics. A study found that supplementing both mice and humans with Lactobacillus plantarum bacteria improved skin barrier function and skin hydration after 8 weeks. However, more research is needed.
- Hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is often used topically to improve skin hydration, but recent research shows that ingesting this compound in combination with other nutrients may significantly increase skin hydration.
- Aloe vera. A study in 64 women found that supplementing with fatty acids derived from aloe vera for 12 weeks significantly improved skin moisture and skin elasticity, compared with a placebo.
- Ceramides. Ceramides are fat molecules that are important components of healthy skin. Some research has shown that supplementing with ceramides may increase skin hydration, which may help treat dry skin.
Some research suggests that the supplements listed above may help enhance skin moisture and treat dry skin.
However, more research is needed before these compounds can be recommended as effective ways to naturally relieve dry skin.
Supplementing with probiotics, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera extracts, and ceramides may improve dry skin, but more research is needed.
Although taking certain supplements may help improve dry skin, several other factors can contribute to skin dryness and should be considered.
For example, dehydration is a common cause of dry skin, so upping your water intake can be a healthy and easy way to improve skin hydration.
Following an unhealthy diet, having micronutrient deficiencies, and not eating enough may also cause or worsen dry skin.
Therefore, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider if you're experiencing significantly dry, irritated skin to rule out more serious health conditions.
Dry skin can be a sign of an underlying health condition, so it's important to contact your healthcare provider if you have unexplained, significantly dry skin.
The Bottom Line
Dry skin is a common condition that can be caused by a number of factors, such as dehydration, allergic reactions, and diseases like hypothyroidism.
Research has shown that taking certain vitamins and other nutritional supplements, including vitamin D, fish oil, collagen, and vitamin C, may help improve skin hydration and help keep your skin healthy and nourished.
However, although the supplements on this list may act as helpful tools for people who have dry skin, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider if you're experiencing unexplained, chronic dry skin, as this can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
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1. Stay Informed<p>A first order of business in pet evacuation planning is to understand and be ready for the possible threats in your area. Visit <a href="https://www.ready.gov/be-informed" target="_blank">Ready.gov</a> to learn more about preparing for potential disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. Then pay attention to related updates by tuning <a href="http://www.weather.gov/nwr/" target="_blank">NOAA Weather Radio</a> to your local emergency station or using the <a href="https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app" target="_blank">FEMA app</a> to get National Weather Service alerts.</p>
2. Ensure Your Pet is Easily Identifiable<p><span>Household pets, including indoor cats, should wear collars with ID tags that have your mobile phone number. </span><a href="https://www.avma.org/microchipping-animals-faq" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Microchipping</a><span> your pets will also improve your chances of reunion should you become separated. Be sure to add an emergency contact for friends or relatives outside your immediate area.</span></p><p>Additionally, use <a href="https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/order-your-pet-safety-pack" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">'animals inside' door/window stickers</a> to show rescue workers how many pets live there. (If you evacuate with your pets, quickly write "Evacuated" on the sticker so first responders don't waste time searching for them.)</p>
3. Make a Pet Evacuation Plan<p> "No family disaster plan is complete without including your pets and all of your animals," says veterinarian Heather Case in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9NRJkFKAm4" target="_blank">a video</a> produced by the American Veterinary Medical Association.</p><p>It's important to determine where to take your pet in the event of an emergency.</p><p>Red Cross shelters and many other emergency shelters allow only service animals. Ask your vet, local animal shelters, and emergency management officials for information on local and regional animal sheltering options.</p><p>For those with access to the rare shelter that allows pets, CDC offers <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/emergencies/pets-in-evacuation-centers.html" target="_blank">tips on what to expect</a> there, including potential health risks and hygiene best practices.</p><p>Beyond that, talk with family or friends outside the evacuation area about potentially hosting you and/or your pet if you're comfortable doing so. Search for pet-friendly hotel or boarding options along key evacuation routes.</p><p>If you have exotic pets or a mix of large and small animals, you may need to identify multiple locations to shelter them.</p><p>For other household pets like hamsters, snakes, and fish, the SPCA recommends that if they normally live in a cage, they should be transported in that cage. If the enclosure is too big to transport, however, transfer them to a smaller container temporarily. (More on that <a href="https://www.spcai.org/take-action/emergency-preparedness/evacuation-how-to-be-pet-prepared" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>.)</p><p>For any pet, a key step is to establish who in your household will be the point person for gathering up pets and bringing their supplies. Keep in mind that you may not be home when disaster strikes, so come up with a Plan B. For example, you might form a buddy system with neighbors with pets, or coordinate with a trusted pet sitter.</p>
4. Prepare a Pet Evacuation Kit<p>Like the emergency preparedness kit you'd prepare for humans, assemble basic survival items for your pets in a sturdy, easy-to-grab container. Items should include:</p><ul><li>Water, food, and medicine to last a week or two;</li><li>Water, food bowls, and a can opener if packing wet food;</li><li>Litter supplies for cats (a shoebox lined with a plastic bag and litter may work);</li><li>Leashes, harnesses, or vehicle restraints if applicable;</li><li>A <a href="https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/emergencycare/pet-first-aid-supplies-checklist" target="_blank">pet first aid kit</a>;</li><li>A sturdy carrier or crate for each cat or dog. In addition to easing transport, these may serve as your pet's most familiar or safe space in an unfamiliar environment;</li><li>A favorite toy and/or blanket;</li><li>If your pet is prone to anxiety or stress, the American Kennel Club suggests adding <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/create-emergency-evacuation-plan-dog/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">stress-relieving items</a> like an anxiety vest or calming sprays.</li></ul><p>In the not-unlikely event that you and your pet have to shelter in different places, your kit should also include:</p><ul><li>Detailed information including contact information for you, your vet, and other emergency contacts;</li><li>A list with phone numbers and addresses of potential destinations, including pet-friendly hotels and emergency boarding facilities near your planned evacuation routes, plus friends or relatives in other areas who might be willing to host you or your pet;</li><li>Medical information including vaccine records and a current rabies vaccination tag;</li><li>Feeding notes including portions and sizes in case you need to leave your pet in someone else's care;</li><li>A photo of you and your pet for identification purposes.</li></ul>
5. Be Ready to Evacuate at Any Time<p>It's always wise to be prepared, but stay especially vigilant in high-risk periods during fire or hurricane season. Practice evacuating at different times of day. Make sure your grab-and-go kit is up to date and in a convenient location, and keep leashes and carriers by the exit door. You might even stow a thick pillowcase under your bed for middle-of-the-night, dash-out emergencies when you don't have time to coax an anxious pet into a carrier. If forecasters warn of potential wildfire, a hurricane, or other dangerous conditions, bring outdoor pets inside so you can keep a close eye on them.</p><p>As with any emergency, the key is to be prepared. As the American Kennel Club points out, "If you panic, it will agitate your dog. Therefore, <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/create-emergency-evacuation-plan-dog/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">pet disaster preparedness</a> will not only reduce your anxiety but will help reduce your pet's anxiety too."</p>
Evacuating Horses and Other Farm Animals<p>The same basic principles apply for evacuating horses and most other livestock. Provide each with some form of identification. Ensure that adequate food, water, and medicine are available. And develop a clear plan on where to go and how to get there.</p><p>Sheltering and transporting farm animals requires careful coordination, from identifying potential shelter space at fairgrounds, racetracks, or pastures, to ensuring enough space is available in vehicles and trailers – not to mention handlers and drivers on hand to support the effort.</p><p>For most farm animals, the Red Cross advises that you consider precautionary evacuation when a threat seems imminent but evacuation orders haven't yet been announced. The American Veterinary Medical Association has <a href="https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/emergencycare/large-animals-and-livestock-disasters" target="_blank">more information</a>.</p>
Bottom Line: If You Need to Evacuate, So Do Your Pets<p>As the Humane Society warns, pets left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost, or killed. Plan ahead to make sure you can safely evacuate your entire household – furry members included.</p>
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