With there being at least 13 essential vitamins all women need, it’s no surprise that most have at least one type of nutrient deficiency. The unfortunate truth is, even if you eat a pretty healthy, nutrient-dense diet, it can be hard to ensure you’re getting every single vitamin your body requires. Often, this comes down to the fact that we don’t know we’re deficient in certain vitamins — so we’re not actively supplementing.
When left untreated, vitamin deficiencies can lead to various health issues, ranging from fatigue and irritability to more serious issues with fertility, mental health, bone strength, pain and immune function. The good news is, the early warning signs of vitamin deficiencies could be more obvious than you think. In fact, they could be staring back at you in the mirror!
Read on for the 5 ways vitamin deficiencies can show up on your face. While these are a good starting point, always see your doctor so they can determine whether you have a vitamin deficiency before starting any supplementation or making any dietary changes.
If your lips are giving you serious Casper vibes, it could be a sign of an iron deficiency. This is incredibly common, particularly in young women due to blood loss during menstruation and avoiding red meat. Left untreated, low iron levels can lead to anaemia, which is when the body doesn’t have enough iron to produce adequate levels of red blood cells. This can lead to fatigue, a weakened immune system and heart palpitations. The experts recommend upping your intake of red meat, seafood, beans, dark green leafy vegetables and iron-fortified cereals.
A facial rash
Got a rash that just won’t go away? If yourbeauty products don’t seem to be to blame, it could be a vitamin B12 deficiency. This condition has been linked to dermatitis and changes in skin pigmentation. Animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy are naturally high in vitamin B12 so if you’re vegan you may need to supplement. Otherwise, some foods have been fortified with vitamin B12 (typically soy products, plant milks and some breakfast cereals) so it’s good to check the label.
If it’s not because you’ve had a crappy night’s sleep or bawled your eyes out during The Notebook, puffy eyes can be a sign of an iodine deficiency. This can lead to thyroid dysfunction, which can cause weight and fertility issues. While most people think of table saltwhen they hear iodine, this actually isn’t the best source. Instead, the experts recommend eating more fish, egg and sea vegetables like kelp and dulse.
Noticed your skin has looked paler lately? If it’s not because you’ve been spending more time inside binge-watching Narcos, a vitamin B12 deficiency could be the culprit. As well as the facial rash we mentioned earlier, another symptom is feeling more tired than usual.
Okay, so it’s not technically a feature on your face. But if your hair has been feeling extra dry and brittle lately, it could indicate you’re lacking in vitamin B7 or Biotin. This essential nutrient helps our body process proteins and sugars and plays a role in keeping your heart and nervous system healthy. Some other symptoms of B7 deficiency include hair loss, a scaly, red rash around the eyes, nose and mouth and numbness or tingling in the arms or legs.