How Does A B12 Deficiency Affect Your Skin?
There are certain things that you probably know your skin needs to look its best — like hydration and a cleanser that removes bacteria without being too harsh. But did you know that your skin also needs a healthy dose of Vitamin B12 to look great?
Unfortunately, though, if you’re like millions of other people, your skin isn’t getting nearly as much B12 as it needs.
It’s estimated that as many as 9% of people have a B12 deficiency and as many as 40% have low enough levels to benefit from increasing their B12 intake. You are especially at risk if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet. When you look at people who are over the age of 65, the estimate jumps to a whopping 20%. Unfortunately, having a B12 deficiency can lead to some serious skin issues, including:
1. Dark spots
Most people don’t know it, but hyperpigmentation — more commonly referred to as “age spots” or “liver spots” — is actually a symptom of a B12 deficiency!
When you have enough B12 in your system, it helps to control your body’s supply of melanin — or, the pigment that gives your skin and hair their natural color. If you have too much melanin, you’ll wind up with areas of skin that are darker than others. Typically, most of that excess melanin is found in areas that have gotten a lot of exposure to the sun over the years — like your face or your hands — which is why age spots tend to show up in the same places on different people.
Reducing your body’s melanin supply won’t happen overnight, no matter how much B12 you take. So, if you’re looking to remove those dark spots on your face as quickly as possible, you can double your efforts by using a special hyperpigmentation product (like our Youth cream, which has been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of dark spots) in addition to the B12.
It’s impossible to look and feel your best if your skin is covered with the redness, rashes, inflammation, and blisters that eczema can cause. Luckily, several studies have shown that B12 – when applied to the skin mixed with avocado oil — can offer significant relief to people who suffer from eczema. That’s because B12 can help prevent skin cells from releasing too many cytokines — or, the type of proteins that create inflammation.
For best results, also apply a cream designed to reduce redness and itchiness that doesn’t contain any harmful steroids (try SkinAgain’s Relief).
3. Dull and dry skin
Let’s face it — anyone would look older if their skin was dry and dull! Dry, dull skin is a common symptom of having a B12 deficiency. If you’re looking for an all-natural way to make your skin look more vibrant, try taking a daily B12 supplement. It can add some much-needed moisture to your skin, while also helping to make wrinkles and acne less noticeable. When you look at it that way, B12 can be the ultimate pick-me-up for just about any skin issue on the planet. (SkinAgain may not be able to help with your B12 deficiency problem, but our AHA Exfoliating Cream can help with your dry and dull skin.)
But the issues don’t end there…
If you’re not getting enough B12, you can feel tired, have a tingling sensation in your hands and feet, have trouble remembering things, and suffer from mood swings. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t produce B12 on its own, so you’ve got to be proactive about making sure you get enough of it from outside sources.
So, what’s the best way to get your daily dose of B12?
According to the National Institutes of Health, men and women over the age of 14 should get 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of B12 every day. Children need about half that, while pregnant and lactating women need slightly more than that.
Unless you have a severe B12 deficiency as determined by a blood test, you don’t necessarily have to head to the vitamin store and pop a pill or receive injections to increase your B12 levels. Luckily, this vitamin is found in a variety of foods — from tuna to fortified breakfast cereals, to pork, to salmon, to yogurt and eggs — so most people can get all of the B12 they need while also indulging their taste buds.
But if you prefer to take a supplement, we recommend Kind Organics B-12 spray which can be found for around $11 online. It’s organic, non-GMO and made from whole foods so that it’s absorbed and used more effectively by your body.
What about those B12 injections you’ve heard about?
You’ll need to get them directly from your doctor, which makes them far less convenient than simply sticking to a healthy diet or taking a vitamin capsule every day. Plus, there’s no hard evidence that these shots pack a bigger punch than food and pill supplements do.
Your best bet? Talk to your doctor if you’re worried about a possible B12 deficiency. He can do a simple blood test that shows exactly how much B12 is floating around in your system. If you do have some kind of deficiency, genetics may not be to blame. Some medications can actually prevent all of the B12 you’re getting through your food and your supplements from fully absorbing into your system. Your doctor can tell you if you’re taking anything that’s working against your body’s supply B12 — and how you can solve the problem.
– Your SkinAgain Family