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When looking to lighten the skin, finding the best natural products and methods is essential. However, if you want to go the vitamin route, consider eating vitamin-rich foods or using topical treatments rather than taking a supplement.
There are only a few vitamins good for skin whitening, however. These include vitamins A, B, C and E. Other vitamins, like D and K, can actually cause more pigmentation and darkening of skin, which will counteract the effect you’re looking for.
The following list details these skin-whitening vitamins, how they work and what they can do. There are also suggestions for supplementation, foods, topical products and the risks involved. But, you should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before undertaking any new supplement regimen. This will be especially true for those with preexisting health conditions.
Vitamin A helps produce fresh, new cells and plays a key role in skin whitening. One of the constituents of Vitamin A is retinoids. This improves skin tone as well as reduces fine lines, mitigates acne and promotes wound healing.
For the purposes of skin whitening, you should take up to 2400 mcg of Vitamin A everyday but no more than 10,000 mcg. Don’t expect results overnight. It will take time for a strict regimen of Vitamin A consumption before seeing any results.
Foods high in beta carotene will contain red, orange and yellow colors. These are fantastic for skin whitening because your body will convert beta carotene into vitamin A.
- Canned Light Tuna
- Dried Apricots
- Plain Yogurt
- Red Bell Pepper
- Sweet Potato
- Vitamin A Enhanced Milk
For a more effective and faster whitening treatment, you can try topical types of vitamin A. Look for ones that contain retinol or other retinoids. You should begin to see results within three months of regular use.
There are some warnings to consider with taking Vitamin A. Skin irritation can occur with topical treatments because of powerful retinoids. These can actually worsen your skin, making it red, dry and flaky.
Plus, you will have to guard against sun overexposure, wind and extreme cold. Also avoid drying and abrasive skincare products like peels, astringents, scrubs, masks and acne treatments with salicylic acid or benzyol peroxide.
What’s more, studies found that Vitamin A supplementation links to birth defects and can be dangerous with anticoagulants, certain cancer drugs, hepatoxic meds and prescription retinoids.
Another great skin whitener is Vitamin B. Not only will it protect against UV rays but it can also lessen skin irritation, prevent aging, stop breakouts and combat skin disease. But the magic of Vitamin B works wonders to not only lighten skin but also prevent hyperpigmentation.
If you want something that encompasses lightening along with the other issues mentioned above, take a Vitamin B-Complex because it will contain all variations of Vitamin B. However, the ones targeted specifically to lightening skin are Vitamin B12, B7 (biotin) and B3 (niacin).
Supplementation shouldn’t have to be necessary unless you have a marked deficiency. Most you can get from foods like:
- Black Beans
- Collard Greens
- Greek Yogurt
- Green Peas
- Kidney Beans
- Nutritional Yeast
- Pinto Beans
- Romaine Lettuce
- Soy Nuts
- Sunflower Seeds
- Turnip Greens
There are a host of topical vitamin B treatments for skin whitening. Some are serums, others are creams and yet there are those that come in masks, scrubs and cleansers. There’s body lotions, facial moisturizers and hydrating masks too.
What’s great about vitamin Bs is that they are water soluble, so it’s highly unlikely you will experience problems by consuming too much. The most that can happen is your urine will be bright yellow. But, high doses of vitamin B3 can lead to high blood sugar, skin flushing, liver damage and vomiting.
Of all vitamins for skin whitening, Vitamin C is king. All you need is 500 mg per day to see results in a matter of weeks. Vitamin C burgeons with antioxidants, like Glutathione, which provide a brightened glow to the skin. It fights aging and UV exposure along with reducing hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
The ingredients within Vitamin C, Ascorbic Acid and Glutathione, are what make whitening possible. It’s in many fruits, particularly citrus and berries:
- Acerola Cherries
- Brussels Sprouts
- Chili Peppers
- Kakadu Plums
- Mustard Spinach
- Rose Hips
- Sweet Yellow Peppers
There are a variety of topical products for skin whitening containing Vitamin C. Things like creams, cleansers, toners, scrubs, masks, moisturizers, serums and other skin treatments all work beautifully in this regard.
If you opt for the supplement, understand that you shouldn’t take too much because it can cause digestive issues. It’s because manufacturers pack more than is necessary, especially if you consume an excess of 2,000 mg at once. Large amounts of Vitamin C can cause nausea and/or diarrhea.
Not only does Vitamin E boost immunity, heart heath and brain function, it also contains powerful antioxidants, such as Glutathione, for skin whitening. This can brighten and balance your skin complexion, clear pores, reduce aging, improve scars and mitigate redness. It also absorbs harmful UV rays.
About 15 mg of Vitamin E is appropriate per day through diet. The best sources are:
- Almonds ; Almond Butter
- Corn Oil
- Olive Oil
- Peanuts ; Peanut Butter
- Soybean Oil
- Sunflower Seeds ; Oil
- Wheat Germ Oil
There are a host of topical creams, serums and lotions based on Vitamin E. As a matter of fact, most skincare products will contain this, either added or naturally occurring from the ingredients themselves. Plus, Vitamin E works best when used in tandem with other whitening aids.
It’s advisable that you refrain from taking oral Vitamin E unless explicitly directed by a qualified health care professional. Most over-the-counter capsules contain 400 mg, which is far more than you need.
Because Vitamin E is fat soluble, any excess will store within your body and it’s difficult to get rid of. Overuse of the supplement can lead to blood clotting and increased risk of stroke. It can also adversely interact with blood thinners as well as anti-cancer and cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Because these vitamins are plentiful in many foods, try to incorporate more of these into your diet to whiten skin. Only supplement when you know you won’t be able to or don’t like to consume those particular foods.
It will be awhile to see visible effects from regular supplementation. Don’t take an abundance of supplements believing the whitening process will be quicker. You will do more damage than whiten any amount of skin. But, with patience and time, you will notice a difference.
Using something like a cream, lotion, oil, serum or other topical treatment can speed things up without doing nearly as much harm. Additionally, if you’re looking for a skin solution to accomplish several issues, consider finding a trusted product that combines these fabulous vitamins.