Beauty Benefits of B Vitamins

Written by Harriet Green, Nutritionist, The Nutrition Nutcracker

 - B-complex vitamins are invovled in a number of functions within the body.

 - Vitamin B3 has been shwon to improve moisture retention  of the upper most layer of the skin.

 - Deficiancies of B vitamins can lead to dry skin, dermatitis and acne.

 - Supplementing your diet with B vitamins can boost appearance and strength of both hair and nails.


The B Vitamins, known collectively as B-complex vitamins have a number of functions within the body including: nervous system function, immune system function and energy production. Each nutrient (or B Vitamin) has a distinct function, however they all work together to maintain health and vitality. As B vitamins are water soluble and therefore not retained by the body, it is important that we take in enough of these through diet or supplementation. These nutrients can be found in a variety of places: foods, drinks and topical treatments. You can find Vitamin B benefits in commercial or homemade beauty products.

the benefits of topically applied Vitamin B

Vitamin B has recently received attention within the world of beauty, with a number of studies demonstrating how the inclusion of Vitamin B within face creams can help to prevent aging. In particular, Nicotinamide, a derivative of Vitamin B3 (Niacin), has been shown to improve the ability of the epidermis, the upper-most layer of the skin, to retain moisture - leading to softer, smoother skin with less dryness and flakiness, and a reduction of fine lines. Nicotinamide can also serve as an effective skin-lightening agent when added to moisturisers. A study by Bisset et al, presented at the Annual Meeting of Dermatology in 2003, demonstrated that a topical form of vitamin B was shown to dramatically reduce the effects of aging in human skin.

beauty benefits

B-Complex Vitamins enhance beauty by promoting healthy hair, skin and nails, by counteracting damage caused by free-radicals - molecules that breakdown healthy cells and contribute to ageing and disease. Deficiencies of any of these B Vitamins can lead to dry, grey skin, dermatitis, wrinkles, acne, rashes, hair loss and weak, splitting nails.

b vitamins for healthy hair

B vitamins help us to metabolise food sources, providing nutrients to the whole body including the hair and hair follicles. Deficiencies of vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5 can result in poorly nourished hair follicle cells, potentially causing hair to become brittle and stunt hair growth. Not getting enough Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid can also slow down cell division within the hair follicles, which also slows down hair growth. Vitamin B7 (Biotin) is also essential for maintaining the texture, tone and strength of your locks, and a deficiency can lead to hair loss. This vitamin can also be used to treat cradle cap; a scalp condition which affects infants.

b vitamins for healthy skin

If you are suffering with chronic skin issues, or even just sick of dealing with a dull and unhealthy complexion, the cause may be a Vitamin B deficiency. Vitamin B12 helps to regulate your skin's pigment production and location, preventing hyperpigmentation - the darkening of skin in certain parts of your body. Vitamin B3 is used to improve the appearance or severity of some skin conditions, whereas Vitamin B5 can help to minimise acne by helping the body to breakdown oils in the form of triglycerides and cholesterol. The University of Maryland Medical Centre reported research which shows that supplementation of Vitamin B5 can also help to lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, indirectly promoting healthy skin. Vitamin B5 also helps to promote faster healing of skin wounds and is most effective when combined with Vitamin C.

b vitamins for healthy nails

Your nails require a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet in order to grow and be healthy. Nail disorders include: brittle nails, splitting nails, pale nails, or chipped nails. A number of B Vitamins are important for nail health. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) helps the body to absorb the essential mineral iron, which is necessary for healthy and strong nails. Without enough access to usable iron,the fingernails can turn white, brittle, thin, grow abnormally (taking on a spoon-like appearance). Vitamin B12 is also key to nail health, playing an important role in the formation of red blood cells. A deficiency of B12 can lead to the development of anaemia. One of the symptoms of anaemia is pale, unhealthy or unsightly nails. Vitamin B9 (Folate) is also important for the health and growth of nails, as this helps with the development of new cells (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention).

Note: Supplements must not be used as a substitute for a variedand balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any medications, please consult adoctor before use.Discontinue use and consult a doctor if adverse reactions occur.


  • Bisset, D. et al. Topical palmoitoylpentapeptide: effective agent to reduce the appearance of facial aging. 61st American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Facts about Folic Acid
  • University of Maryland Medical Centre; Vitamin b-5 (Pantothenic Acid); Steven D Ehrlich; June 1, 2009
  • University of Illinois at Urbana Champagne: Dietary Sources of Iron.