Vitamin B12 is one of the most important micronutrients for human biological processes. Often times people have many questions about B12, like is vitamin B12 good for energy or hair? B12 supports cellular energy production, ensures efficient transport of oxygen in the blood, and can even stave off symptoms of depression.1 But, is Vitamin B12 good for skin, too?
In a word: definitely. Vitamin B12 benefits for skin include cell regeneration for healthy skin, hyperpigmentation prevention and treatment, maintaining the energy needed to stay consistent with our skincare routine, and more. Incorporating Vitamin B12 and anti-aging supplements into your skincare regimen will help ensure that you maintain beautiful and healthy skin.
In this article, we’ll explore the basics of B12 and break down six key benefits of using this super-nutrient for skincare.
What is Vitamin B12?
In human nutrition, there are two key types of nutrients we need to survive:2
Macronutrients, or substances that the body requires in large amounts to function such as protein, fat, and carbohydrates
- Micronutrients, or chemicals that the body just needs trace amounts to thrive, such as vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and iodine
Despite their diminutive name, micronutrients play a huge role in biological processes from digestion to cell energy production. So if you have ever wondered how to gain energy naturally, B12 can be a solution. Vitamin B12 is one of these vital micronutrients, and it has a few major nutritional duties:
- Facilitates cell energy creation, which assists in cell and DNA production
- Helps maintain healthy blood-oxygen saturation
- Prevents megaloblastic anemia, which can cause fatigue and physical weakness
Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is one of eight key B vitamins:
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (niacin)
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
- Vitamin B7 (biotin)
- Vitamin B9 (folic acid, or folate)
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
Each B vitamin is vital to healthy human function, but maintaining proper levels can sometimes be a hurdle. Since B12 is only available in animal products and fortified plants, herbivores must supplement their B12 intake.
Whether you’re researching skincare for yourself or seeking the perfect gift for a self-care guru, don’t underestimate the power of B12 to transform your skin.
6 Benefits of Vitaim B12 for Your Skin Health
B12’s critical roles in the human body supplement healthy skin development, helping us maintain vibrant, healthy, and functional skin. Let’s explore six major vitamin B12 benefits for skin.
#1 Encourages Cell Regeneration
Just like your favorite detoxifying face mask, your body is constantly shedding dead skin cells to make way for freshly-generated ones. One of B12’s major functions in the human body is to facilitate the production of ATP, cellular energy that’s used to—among other things—generate new skin cells.
As B12 helps to oxidize fatty acids for use as an energy source and catabolizes amino acids to create ATP, the body is harnessing that cellular energy to:
- Release dead skin cells from the surface of the skin
- Create new, healthy replacement skin cells
A steady, constant flow of dead cell release and fresh cell generation is critical:
- Cell regeneration keeps skin looking healthy and fresh.
- Regeneration maintains skin elasticity, preventing wrinkles and smile/frown lines.
- Constant replenishment heals injuries like sunburns, puncture wounds, and acne.
When your body is operating with a vitamin B12 deficiency, cell energy production and regeneration decrease, as does the fresh, healthy appearance of your skin. Maintaining healthy B12 levels is vital for your skin’s appearance and function. Using other products such as serums will only bolster the appearance of youthful skin. Learn more about the advantages of vitamin C serum.
#2 Maintains Excellent Blood-Oxygen Circulation for Nourished Skin
One of the blood’s most important functions is transporting oxygen to various locations in the body, including the skin. Optimal blood flow is vital for skin health, but a vitamin B12 deficiency can disrupt this all-too-important system.
In healthy individuals, oxygen moves throughout the body via the following pathway:
- When we breathe in, our lungs fill with air, and oxygen molecules come into contact with small blood vessels called capillaries.
- Hemoglobin molecules—concentrated in red blood cells—reversibly bind to oxygen molecules. Each hemoglobin molecule typically attaches to four oxygen molecules.
- Red blood cells carry hemoglobin and the temporarily-attached oxygen molecules throughout the body, and oxygen detaches from hemoglobin when needed.
One symptom of anemia is the inability for hemoglobin to attach to its maximum number of oxygen molecules—instead of carrying four, hemoglobin only carries one to three. This reduction in blood-oxygen saturation critically impacts a variety of biological systems, but it also gives skin a pale, sickly appearance.
With a healthy level of Vitamin B12, you can maintain optimal blood-oxygen circulation, giving your skin its rosy, elastic qualities. Oxygen transport also allows the skin to heal from injuries and breakouts quickly, keeping skin blemish-free.
#3 Prevents Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation, while common in older populations, can happen to anyone of any race or age.
When the skin deposits too much melanin—an organic pigment that darkens skin—in one small area of the body rather than dispersing it evenly, hyperpigmentation occurs.3 Hyperpigmented areas are commonly referred to as age spots, liver spots, or sunspots.
Vitamin B12 can both prevent and treat hyperpigmentation of the skin and nails, and even reverse prematurely greying hair.4 B12 is a useful prevention and treatment method because:
- It facilitates cell regeneration, which replaces the hyperpigmented cells with properly pigmented ones.
- B12’s promotion of healthy blood-oxygen saturation transports oxygen to injured skin effectively, where it can heal hyperpigmented skin quickly.
While hyperpigmentation is harmless and painless, some people consider it unsightly. While intravenous B12 injections are a well-established treatment in severe dermatological cases, prevention is the best medicine—by ensuring a healthy level of B12, you can keep your skin evenly pigmented and healthy-looking.
#4 Prevents Anemia
Megaloblastic anemia is caused by a deficiency in B12 or B9 (folic acid).5 While minor cases slightly disrupt blood-oxygen saturation (as discussed in a previous section), severe megaloblastic anemia carries serious health impacts:
- B12 facilitates cell energy production and cell formation, including the formation of red blood cells. During a severe, prolonged B12 deficiency, the body produces fewer red blood cells due to energy loss.
- Even though the body continues to produce some red blood cells, they’re oval-shaped instead of circular, preventing optimal oxygen attachment to hemoglobin for transport throughout the body.
People suffering from anemia often experience dermatological impacts, including one or all of the following:
- Pale, fragile skin
- Wrinkling and frown/smile lines
- Brittle nails and hair
- Rashes and acne
Anemia also makes it even more difficult for these skin conditions to heal. With reduced blood-oxygen saturation, hemoglobin transports less oxygen to these ailing parts of the skin, resulting in longer healing times for injuries and infections.
Avoiding megaloblastic anemia by maintaining healthy B12 levels is crucial for preventing skin injuries—like the ones above—and healing existing blemishes.
#5 Helps Dry, Flaky Skin Feel Nourished
Regardless of your skin type, you’ve likely experienced dry or flaky skin, especially if you live in a cold, dry climate. But, Vitamin B12 can prevent and heal these annoying—and sometimes painful—skin characteristics.
With the power of cell regeneration and blood-oxygen transport, B12 encourages skin healing and shedding of dead cells. While oral B12 supplements are an excellent treatment for a deficiency and can help establish prolonged healthy B12 levels, numerous topical skin treatments like lotions, creams, and serums include additional B12 to promote skin healing.
The availability of both products—oral and topical B12 supplements—and their efficacy for treating common skin maladies like dry, flaky skin illustrate a key element of wellness: There is rarely one magical solution to a medical problem.
While maintaining healthy levels of B12 throughout your life can help prevent dry, flaky skin and encourage quick healing during flare-ups, you’ll sometimes need an additional product—like a B12 topical ointment—to fully reap the benefits of a healthy substance.
#6 Improves Energy
While B12 facilitates cell energy production, it also makes a larger impact on humans’ energy levels as a whole.
With a well-functioning cell regeneration and circulatory system, you can prevent fatigue, low metabolism, reduced cognitive function, and shortness of breath, all of which improve your overall energy level. And, of course, the reverse is true—B12 deficiencies can lead to all of these symptoms.
When low blood-oxygen saturation impacts the brain, it uses the reduced energy to simply perform the functions critical for survival. And, when humans experience fatigue or energy loss, we do the same thing—we focus on the life-sustaining activities like eating, breathing, and working while seemingly less important functions (like our self-care routines) fall to the wayside.
By reaping the benefits that healthy B12 levels have on your general energy level, you can stay motivated to perform both vital functions and supplemental tasks that promote your overall wellness like exercise, socializing, and your skincare regimen.
Maintain Great Skin Naturally with Cymbiotika Synergy
Is vitamin B12 good for skin health? Maintaining healthy B12 levels isn’t just good for your skin—it’s also vital for maintaining a variety of bodily functions, including dermatological prevention and healing.
But, if you live a mostly-vegan lifestyle, taking a vitamin B12 supplement is crucial. Cymbiotika’s Synergy Vitamin B12 blend is perfect for maintaining healthy B12 levels at home, at work, or on the go. With twelve pumps of our delicious, berry-flavored blend each day, you can promote your skin health, help your body produce energy, and meet your wellness goals.
Made with zero animal products, gluten, or artificial fragrances, our B12 blend will encourage cell and DNA regeneration, boost energy, and help you maintain healthy skin and nails. With an extra boost of one of the most important micronutrients, your skin can stay healthy, rosy, and fresh.
- US National Library of Medicine. Vitamins and Minerals for Energy, Fatigue and Cognition: A Narrative Review of the Biochemical and Clinical Evidence. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7019700/#B169-nutrients-12-00228
- National Institutes of Health. Vitamin B12. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/
- American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Hyperpigmentation. https://www.aocd.org/page/Hyperpigmentation
- PubMed. Reversible hyperpigmentation of skin and nails with white hair due to vitamin B12 deficiency. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3740873/
- Johns Hopkins Medicine. B12 Deficiency Anemia. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/vitamin-b12-deficiency-anemia
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Micronutrient Facts. https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/micronutrient-malnutrition/micronutrients/index.html