Seven skin savers

The secrets to a radiant complexion are tucked in your cupboards and fridge

Who knew that fruit or vitamins could be better for your skin than a jar of lotion? Before you pop any supplement, though, check with your doctor. The dosages suggested by our experts may exceed the recommended daily intake for specific vitamins, but all fall within a safe range for healthy adults. And, while food sources are always preferable, they’re not always feasible at these intakes: you’d have to eat 41 servings a day of beef liver, for instance, to get the amount of vitamin B6 suggested.

The radical blaster

Beta carotene works with other antioxidants to counteract free radicals, the disease-causing agents that accelerate aging.
Take it for fewer wrinkles and reduced sun damage.

· Get 10,000 IU daily from 1 large carrot, 3/4 cup (175 mL) mashed sweet potato, 3/4 cup (175 mL) boiled spinach, 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) cubed
mango or 2 cups (500 mL) cubed cantaloupe. It’s safest to get this vitamin from food. If you’re a
smoker or have gastrointestinal cancer, avoid high-potency beta-carotene supplements as they can be harmful.

The softener

Vitamin A helps keep skin smooth and moist and combats complexion problems.
Take it for softer skin.

· Get 2,500 IU daily from supplements, but always consult a doctor first. Too much vitamin A in supplement form can increase the chance of hip fractures, liver abnormalities and having a baby with birth defects. It is also found in chicken liver, milk and eggs.

The healer

Zinc aids oil-gland function, encourages healing of wounds, helps control rash-causing inflammation and regenerates skin cells.
Take it for fewer wrinkles and faster wound healing.

· Get 15 milligrams daily from a supplement. Avoid doses of 150 milligrams or more, which may weaken the immune system.

The youth protector

Vitamin C slows the skin’s aging process, helps produce collagen (the connective tissue that keeps skin firm and youthful) and protects skin cells from free radicals.
Take it for smooth skin with a youthful glow.

· Get 1,000 milligrams daily, with as much as possible from foods such as red peppers, papaya, raw broccoli and fortified fruit juice. Don’t exceed 1,000 milligrams, since taking too much of any antioxidant can negate its effects.

The smooth operators

Vitamins B2 and B6 aid in the anti-inflammation process, help treat acne and other skin conditions, and play a role in synthesizing prostaglandin hormones, which help determine skin’s smoothness.
Take them for improved acne and soft smooth skin.

· Get 50 milligrams of each daily from a B50-complex supplement or multivitamin. You’ll also find them in nuts, meat and eggs.

The anti-ager

Working in conjunction with other antioxidants, vitamin E reduces wrinkle formation, protects skin cells and prevents UV-light damage.
Take it for improved skin texture, fewer wrinkles and reduced sun damage.

· Get 200 IU daily from a supplement containing natural-source vitamin E, which is more easily absorbed by the body.

Skin’s worst enemies