What Fad Diets Are Doing to Your Skin

The age-old adage “eat better, look better” has always been one piece of advice that seems pretty straightforward. But in today’s lose-weight-fast world of dieting, where exactly does that leave our recommended intake of vitamins—and how is it affecting us both internally and externally? “The trend right now is geared toward ‘lifestyle diets’ that deviate from the Standard American Diet and its guidelines,” explains celebrity nutritionist Christine Avanti. “While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s more important than ever before to monitor your intakes to make sure you’re not deficient.” 
 
Did You Know?
Consisting of eight different vitamins, the vitamin B family as a group provides the biggest overall beauty benefits—specifically, B7, commonly known as biotin, which works to help strengthen hair and nails. Good sources of it include nuts, eggs, oats, liver and salmon.
  
Signs You Are Vitamin Deficient:
In Your Hair
How it shows up: How vitamins affect your hair can be split into two areas: your scalp and your strands. Deficiencies in follicles often show up as brittleness or dullness, while a dry scalp and dandruff indicate your diet is lacking essential nutrients. (In more extreme cases, hair loss can also be a sign.)

What You Should Do 
Vitamins A, B and C are key here, as they help stimulate oil production, increase blood flow and provide flexibility to strands to counteract breakage. Omega-3 fatty acids are also good for healthy, strong hair. Omega Insurance Foods like salmon, spinach, kale and flaxseed are all good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which aside from producing healthier hair, also help with skin cell renewal. But, if you aren’t getting enough in your diet, supplement with Vega Antioxidant Omega Oil Blend, which delivers a full spectrum of plant-based omegas. $25, myvega.com 
 
In Your Nails
How it shows up: Pretty much any nail concern—brittleness, discoloration, ridges and spots—can be tied back to a vitamin deficiency.

What You Should Do
Iron and zinc deficiencies are usually the first culprits, but vitamin B12 falls close behind, which is why it’s a common supplement to take when you want your nails to grow. Split nails in particular can also indicate you aren’t getting enough vitamin C. 
 
In Your Skin 
How it shows up: Since your skin is your largest organ, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that vitamin deficiencies can show up in many ways here. Serious deficiencies are a little different, but the most common condition linked to a deficiency is dryness, but can also include acne, eczema and redness.

What You Should Do 
Since vitamins C and E are antioxidants and have the ability to fight off free radicals when taken internally, they help support healthy skin and are tied to anti-aging (vitamin C, in particular, is essential for the body to produce collagen while vitamin E helps protect cell membranes). According to San Antonio dermatologist Vivian Bucay, MD, when it comes to how the skin is affected by vitamins, there are a lot of unanswered questions. “If you have a true deficiency, you will have to be in an extreme state and it will show up as a disease. But things like excessive vitamin A have been shown to dry out the skin; there is also evidence that B3 can help with acne in some cases.”
 
If You Have Dull Skin
You may need more vitamin D
Get it in: Salmon, whole-grain cereals, eggs, tuna and orange juice
 
If You Have Sun Damage
You may need more vitamin C
Get it in: Citrus fruits, broccoli, kale, kiwi, yellow bell peppers and strawberries

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