Sensitive, oily skin? Try vitamin B
Vitamin B is essential for healthy skin and deficiencies in it can lead to eczema or acne. There is a whole family of B vitamins with different jobs to do, so it pays to get to know them. For example, a paucity of vitamin B2 can cause skin to be oily. I have even read that it can take only a very slight deficiency. Dr L H Leung of Hong Kong University advocates high doses of vitamin B5 for acne sufferers.
Leung links vitamin B5 to sebum in this way. If the body has a shortage of coenzyme-A it will allow lipids to accumulate in the sebaceous glands, sebum excretion is increased, and acne begins to appear. And how does the coenzyme-A deficiency come about? A shortage of pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5.
It should be said that the high B5 doses recommended by Dr L have unpleasant side effects (such as diarrhea). So it is preferable to look at your diet. B vitamins are easily found in meat, eggs and dairy. And there is yet another good reason to take flax oil (as a supplement or a teaspoon of seeds sprinkled on food): it contains generous amounts of vitamin B (plus clinical trials show it to be effective at repairing age damaged skin).
In addition to B2 and 5, B3 is useful in the spotty skin dept and niacinamide, a water soluble form of vitamin B, is gaining a reputation in the fight against acne. B3 is also called niacin and this is increasingly turning up as an anti-aging cosmetic ingredient. NIA 24 is a skincare brand that is big on niacin and beloved by Kate (although I must say there many ingredients in its formulations that I wouldn't cheer about). I must say that it would be worth checking out Olay's Professional Pro-X range, the Wrinkle Smoothing cream has niacinamide and panthenol.
Pevonia's De-Aging Body Lotion also contains niacinamide and, in my experience, chest and shoulder breakouts were definitely kept under control. Glotherapeutics GloPeptide + Defense is a TIA recommended serum that has niacinamide and vitamin B complex. In researching this post, I got tempted to try out Epicuren's Milk Cleanser with vitamin B and kukui nut oil. Another interesting brand from Korea, Biolee Acnique, puts pine pollen (rich in vitamin B and E) center stage as a cure for most skin ailments and an antioxidant.