Skin is the largest organ of the human body. Also, the skin performs lots of important functions which are vital for overall health and wellbeing. The general structure of the skin can be identified as the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous layer. (1)The skin performs mainly three vital functions as protection, regulation, and sensation. The structure of the skin is specialized to different layers as above to perform specialized functions. The epidermis is responsible for preventing the loss of water and body fluids from the body. A healthy balanced diet rich with vitamins will improve skin health and protect skin from drying. So in this article, we discuss 30 Best Foods Which Contain Essential Vitamins for Dry Skin. (2)

Suffer from dry skin?

Dry skin (Abstract)

Dry skin is also called xerosis. It occurs due to a lack of enough hydration in the epidermis which is the outermost layers. Generally, the epidermis is composed of fat and protein that helps to prevent skin from dehydration. Dehydration occurs when there is a lack of proteins and lipids, making it easy to evaporate moisture. The skin becomes dry due to a variety of reasons such as external cold temperature and low humidity. In addition to this, factors like overall health/deficiencies of vitamins, aging, and lifestyle choices (smoking, over-washing with harsh soaps, overuse of sanitizers, and lipid solvents containing alcohol) are more prone to develop dry skin. Dry skin is most commonly found in areas such as hands, arms, and lower legs. (3) Due to dry skin, you may feel the following conditions.

  • Feeling of skin tightness especially after showering or swimming
  • The feeling of skin roughness
  • Itching of the skin
  • Flaking, scaling, or peeling of the skin (4)

Most essential vitamins for dry skin

Deficiencies of vitamins cause the skin to become dry. The untreated dry skin can crack and become infected. Moreover, it can cause skin cancers.  Therefore the deficiencies of the skin need to be corrected.

“Faith and prayers are the vitamins of the soul; man cannot live in health without them”

Mahalia Jackson

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a skin-healthy vitamin that contributes to maintaining skin health in a variety of ways. It protects the moisture of the skin effectively and provides a radiant glow. In addition, it helps to maintain healthy dermis and epidermis which are the outermost layers of the skin. Lack of vitamin A will develop eczema and other skin problems. (5)

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from harmful free radicals. Furthermore, it engages in repairing body tissues while producing skin-protecting collagens and healing the damaged dry skin. Collagens help to reduce water loss by acting as a barrier. (6)

Vitamin B

The eight B vitamins improve skin hydration and avoid skin rashes and wrinkles. As well as that, vitamin B improves digestion and makes it easier to absorb nutrients. Particularly it helps to maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails. 5)

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant. The main role of vitamin E is to protect against sun damage. It absorbs harmful radiation and protects the skin from forming dark spots and wrinkles. Also, vitamin E has a cutaneous wound healing effect. 5)

Vitamin D

Several research studies have proved that a higher level of Vitamin D in the blood is directly proportional to the moisture content of the skin. As well as that, vitamin D helps to protect the skin against sun damage. (5)

Foods enriched with vitamins

Excellent fruits loaded with vitamins

1. Oranges

Vitamins for dry skin - Oranges

A variety of citrus fruit with high nutrition profile. One of the most popular sources of vitamin C. One large orange can provide 100% of the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake). Other than vitamin C, orange contains B vitamins including thiamine (B1) and folates (B9) in moderate quantities. (7)

2. Strawberries

Vitamins for dry skin - Strawberries

Strawberry is a delicious fruit loaded with a wide variety of nutrients including vitamins. It is a good source of vitamin C. Consuming 2- 3 strawberries per day will help to achieve the daily vitamin C requirement of the body. (8)

3. Papaya

Vitamins for dry skin - Papaya

Papaya is a delicious fruit with a wide nutrition profile. Per serving it provides 88.3 mg of vitamin C. The daily requirement of vitamin C can be achieved by having one cup of papaya. (9)

4. Kiwi

Vitamins for dry skin - Kiwi

Kiwifruit is also called Chinese gooseberry. Obviously, it is an excellent source of nutrients with low calories. It is rich in vitamin C. If you take two kiwi fruits per day, you may get 230% of the daily vitamin C and 70% of the vitamin K needs. (12)

5. Guava

Vitamins for dry skin - Guava

Guava is a kind of super-fruit with a unique flavor, taste, and nutrient profile. An excellent source of vitamin C. Consuming 100 g of guava fresh fruit will provide 228 mg of vitamin C. It is three times more than the required RDI. (13) Furthermore, it has identified that the thick outer rind composed of higher levels of vitamin C than the inner creamy pulp. Therefore it is important to have the practice to eat the outer rind of guava. Other than vitamin C, this fruit contains vitamin A in higher amounts and vitamin B in moderate amounts. (14)

6. Blackcurrants


Blackcurrants are comprised of high concentrations of vitamin C. 100g of fresh blackcurrants provide more than 300% of RDI of vitamin C. Obviously the vitamin C content of blackcurrants is four times greater than that of the oranges. Other than vitamin C, blackcurrants are also composed of a significant amount of vitamin A(15)

7. Banana

Different varieties of banana exist with varying nutrient profiles. Banana is a rich source of vitamin B (vitamin B6), vitamin A, and vitamin C. Eating one medium-size banana (4.5 oz/ 126g) after a meal will provide 2% of RDI of vitamin A, 15% of RDI of vitamin C, and 33% of the RDI of vitamin B6. (25)

8. Watermelon

It is a sweet fruit that provides hydration and essential nutrients including vitamins. It is a skin-healthy fruit with promising health benefits. Watermelon includes vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin B. One cup diced (152g) of fresh watermelon will provide 16% of the RDI of vitamin C, 5% of vitamin A, 4% of vitamin B1, and 4% of vitamin B6. (26)

9. Avocados

Avocados are high nutrient fruit with a unique profile of nutrients. 100 g of an avocado provides 20% of the RDI of vitamin B9, 14% of the RDI of vitamin B5, and 13% of the RDI of vitamin B6. Besides it provides 17% of the RDI of vitamin C and 10% of the RDI of vitamin E per 100g of serving. (35)

10. Mango

Mango is an excellent warehouse for vitamins and minerals. It contains nearly 20 different vitamins and minerals. 50% of the daily vitamin C needs, 8% of vitamin A need, and 8% of the vitamin B need can be fulfilled by ¾ cup of mango. (38)

11. Lemons

Vitamins for dry skin - Lemons

Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C. It is a citrus fruit. Other than vitamin C, it contains folates (vitamin B9). Importantly, a quarter cup of lemon juice provides 31% of the RDI of vitamin C and 3% of the RDI of folates. (10)

Vegetables to be included to overcome dry skin

1. Broccoli

Vitamins for dry skin - Broccoli

Broccoli is a dense source of vitamin C while a minor source for vitamin E, and vitamin B. Surprisingly, one cup of broccoli provides an equal amount of vitamin C as an orange. Particularly, half a cup (45g) of broccoli provides 70% of the RDI of vitamin C. (11)

2. Tomato

A good source of vitamin C. Adding one medium-size tomato to once diet can provide about 28% of the RDI of vitamin C. Other than vitamin C, tomatoes contain folates (Vitamin B9). Eating tomatoes in the fresh form with help to preserve the nutrient content. (16)

3. Carrots

Carrots are nutrition-rich vegetables loaded with vitamins and minerals. A half-cup of carrots will provide 73% of the daily requirements of vitamin A and 5% of the daily requirement of vitamin C.(32)

Leafy green vegetables loaded with vitamins

Leafy green vegetables

Some popular green leafy vegetables are spinach, kale, cabbage, collard greens, and romaine lettuce. The research findings, it has identified that all most all green leafy vegetables are a rich source of vitamin A and vitamin K. With varying proportions they will meet the RDI of these vitamins. (33)

Fatty fish rich with vitamins

1. Salmon


A rich source of nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamin B. 100 g of salmon will provide 18% of the RDI of vitamin B1, 29% of the RDI of vitamin B2, 50% of the vitamin B3, 19% of the RDI of vitamin B6, 7% of the RDI of vitamin B9 and 51% of the RDI of vitamin B12. Moreover, salmons provide vitamin A and vitamin D in moderate amounts. (17)

2. Trout


A nutrient-dense freshwater fish. It is composed of a wide variety of vitamins. Especially rich in vitamin B including  28% of the RDI of vitamin B1, 16% of vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and 58% of vitamin B12 in 3 ounce serving of trout. Additionally, it provides about 12% of the RDI of vitamin E and smaller quantities of vitamin A and vitamin D. (36)

Oil sources to overcome dry skin

1. Cod liver oil

 Cod liver oil

It is a dense source of nutrient oil made from the oil found in the liver of codfish. It is a good source of vitamin D and vitamin A. One teaspoon (5 mL) of cod liver oil provides 90% of the RDI of vitamin A and 13% of the RDI of vitamin D. (18)

2. Olive oil

A rich source of nutrients which is extracted from the fruits of the olive tree. Importantly, it is a rich source of vitamin E where one tablespoon of olive oil provides 13% of the RDI of vitamin E. (37)

Protein sources for dry skin

1. Egg York

Egg york has high concentrations of nutrients including vitamins. It provides 100% of the RDI of vitamin A, D, and E. Moreover, egg york comprised of vitamin B in minor quantities. (19)

2. Mushrooms


Mushrooms are an edible fungus that provides many of the same nutritional benefits as vegetables. A kind of superfood enriched with vitamin B. But according to the view of scientists, the nutrition profile of mushrooms differs according to the type and the method of cultivation. (20)

Best Dairy products for dry skin

1. Cow’s milk

One of the most nutritional drink. The nutrition profile of milk is complex and it contains all most all the required nutrients including vitamins. Vitamin B is highly found in one cup of milk. Vitamin B12 and vitamin B2 are prominent among them. Besides, it contains vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin C in minor quantities. (21)

2. Cheese

Cheese is a dairy product. It is a great source rich in vitamin A, vitamin B12, and vitamin B2. One cup (132 g) of cheese will provide 26% of RDI of vitamin A, 18% of vitamin B12, and 29% of the vitamin B2.(27)

3. Yogurt

Yogurt is a fermented dairy product with a dense nutrient profile. It is loaded with high amounts of vitamin B. Vitamin B12 and vitamin B2 is found in higher amounts in yogurt. One cup (245g) of yogurt will provide 27% of RDI of vitamin B2 and 38% of RDI of vitamin B12. Other than these vitamins, yogurt contains vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E in minor quantities. (31)

Nuts and seeds that importantly contain vitamins

1. Almonds

One of the most popular nuts. It is a good source of vitamin E that provides 7.27 mg of vitamin E per serving. The recommended dietary need for vitamin E is 15 mg/ day.(34) 

2. Hazelnuts


Hazelnuts are the edible kernels from the “birch”. It is a rich source of vitamin B, especially folates (vitamin B9). 100g of fresh nuts will provide about 113 μg of folates which is 28% of the RDI. Moreover, this is a super source of vitamin E. 100g of fresh nuts will provide about 15 g of vitamin E, which is 100% of the RDI. (39)

3. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are collected from the large flower heads. (29) These seeds are a dense source of vitamin E which provides 7.4 mg or 50% of the daily requirement as approved by the FDA. Moreover, it is a good source of vitamin B that includes thiamin (vitamin B1) in higher quantities and niacin (vitamin B3), and pyridoxine (vitamin B6) in lesser quantities. (30)

More skin healthy foods

Cereal and oatmeal

Cereals are nutritionally important sources of many nutrients including vitamins. Importantly they comprised of vitamin B and vitamin E. (23) Among other cereals, oats are widely used by the whole world for their breakfast. One cup (49g) of oats will provide 27% of the RDI of vitamin A, 61% of the vitamin B6, 109% of the vitamin B9, 40% of vitamin B1, vitamin B3, and vitamin B2. (24)



Legumes provide a range of nutrients including vitamins. Most commonly consuming legumes include peas, lentils, soybeans, and broad beans. A good dietary source of vitamin B. Especially legumes include vitamin B9, vitamin B1, and vitamin B2. (28)

Soy milk

Soy milk

Plant-based non-dairy beverage. It is a rich source of vitamin B and vitamin C. Soy milk (245g) will provide 10% of the RDI of vitamin B1, 9% of the RDI of vitamin B2, 16% of the RDI of vitamin B9, and 2% of the RDI of vitamin C. (22)

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