Pesky pimples, dull skin, dry, brittle nails…can a vitamin B deficiency be the hidden culprit to many of our common skin problems? According to Emily Trampetti, board-licensed esthetician and founder of Skin Property Virtual Esthetics, yes, and here, she explains all you need to know.
The beauty benefits of vitamin B.
There are eight B vitamins – all water-soluble – that our body depends on for many important body functions like DNA synthesis, energy production, immunity and nervous system health (brain!). All water soluble vitamins can essentially be urinated out of our body, so it is pretty rare to ever have too much of them. But deficiencies can happen, often through malnutrition.
In particular, B vitamins tend to be mainly found in animal products like meats and dairy, so vegans and vegetarians are more at risk with developing deficiencies. To ensure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet, it is often advised to eat a well-balanced diet across all food groups.
And yes, vitamin B deficiencies can be shown through skin conditions. B12 deficiencies, in particular, have shown correlations with hyperpigmentation on extremities and various lesions. But because B vitamins are so connected to keeping our body functioning – conditions like acne, rashes or sensitivity can also show if one is deficient.
How do you know if you’re getting enough vitamin B?
Healthy skin required ample hydration retention, immunity, cellular function, rejuvenation and natural detoxification and healing. B vitamins are very connected to these roles in the skin and, without them, the skin cannot keep up and may become dehydrated, inflamed and essentially sick. The best thing to do to ensure your skin is not being affected by a vitamin B deficiency is to eat a well-balanced diet.
If you are a vegan or vegetarian, it might be worth grabbing a supplement. And it’s always best to talk to your doctor if you think you might have a deficiency. All skin problems don’t point to vitamin deficiency, so being a good detective is always helpful in figuring out root causes of things.
What specific foods are rich with Vitamin B?
Many of the B vitamins are found in animal products like beef, pork, seafood and poultry, along with dairy products like milk, yogurt and eggs. Many B vitamins can also be obtained from whole grains, legumes, soy, nuts and certain fruits and vegetables.
How can vitamin B beautify your skin?
Because B vitamins are so connected to cellular function, metabolism, and immunity, they are essential for healthy, radiant skin. In fact, some deficiencies can present themselves as skin issues like acne, rashes, inflammation and severe dryness. Ensuring you’re getting a balanced diet rich in foods that contain a variety of vitamins and minerals is important to healthy skin.
Can you apply vitamin B directly on your skin?
Topically, some B vitamins are excellent preventative and “fixers” of common skin problems including acne, eczema, psoriasis, aging and pigmentation. Many studies have shown Niacinamide (vitamin B3 derivative) is a powerhouse topical ingredient that can help with almost every skin type and condition. Other ingredients you may see in your beauty products are biotin (from vitamin B7), known for hair and nail health, and panthenol (from vitamin B5), which is a wonderful hydrating ingredient for the skin.
In my experience, niacinamide is a fabulous ingredient to incorporate into your beauty routine for skin health. Otherwise, focus on diet for your overall B vitamins – or supplementation if you doctor finds deficiencies.
Is it common to have a vitamin B deficiency and not even know it?
There are eight total B vitamins – they are all water soluble (which means it’s hard to overdose since you will urinate what you don’t need). All eight micronutrient vitamins in the “B Complex” are super important for our body’s metabolic function, nervous system and brain function, and DNA synthesis. If you are deficient in B vitamins, you would most likely have symptoms telling you something may be wrong, but it may be easy to zone in on a deficiency vs. something else. Some varieties of vitamin B deficiencies can present as potentially extra fatigue, irritability, anxiety or depression, which might be easier to put off vs. more apparent symptoms like skin rashes, acne, anemia, or even muscle degeneration that can also present with vitamin B deficiencies.
According to most nutrition research, if you get a well-balanced diet of meat, fruits, vegetables, dairy and whole grains, it is hard to develop a vitamin D deficiency. However, there have been studies that show those who are strictly vegetarian or vegan, and those with nutrient absorption deficiencies (like Crohn’s or digestive tract conditions) are more at risk. If you want to check your vitamin B levels, I recommend talking to your doctor to determine your risk factors.
MEET THE EXPERT
Emily Trampetti is a board-licensed esthetician and skincare expert who is transforming her clients’ skin virtually through her unique program, Skin Property Virtual Esthetics. Her mission is to give everyone the tools, knowledge and resources to finally take control of their skin on their own, individual terms.