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Exploring the Benefits, Food Sources, Daily Intake, Side Effects, and Best Practices for Using Vitamin B6 in Skincare

Last updated: Aug 2023
In this article:

Benefits of Vitamin B6 for Skincare

1. Anti-inflammatory properties:

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in maintaining the health and appearance of our skin. It offers numerous benefits for skincare:

  • Reduces redness, irritation, and puffiness caused by skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and dermatitis
  • Calms and soothes the skin, promoting a clearer and more even complexion

2. Collagen production:

  • Enhances collagen synthesis, leading to improved skin elasticity and reduced signs of aging
  • Keeps the skin supple and firm

3. Improves skin tone and texture:

  • Regulates sebum production, preventing excessive oiliness or dryness
  • Promotes a more balanced and healthy complexion, reducing blemishes, rough patches, and uneven skin tone

4. Helps treat acne:

  • Regulates hormonal imbalances, reducing the activity of androgen hormones that contribute to excess oil production
  • Controls oiliness and prevents clogged pores, aiding in the treatment and healing of acne lesions

Incorporating Vitamin B6 into your Skincare Routine

1. Dietary sources:

Now that we understand the various benefits of Vitamin B6 for skincare, it's important to know how to incorporate it into your routine effectively. Here are some tips:

  • Including foods rich in Vitamin B6 in your diet, such as poultry, fish, bananas, avocados, spinach, and sweet potatoes
  • Ensuring you get an adequate intake of the vitamin from within

2. Topical application:

  • Looking for skincare products that contain Vitamin B6, such as moisturizers, serums, and masks
  • Applying these products as part of your daily skincare regimen, paying attention to areas of concern or sensitivity

3. Consult a dermatologist:

  • If you have specific skin concerns or conditions, it's always best to consult a dermatologist who can suggest suitable products or supplements containing Vitamin B6 for your skincare needs

Food Sources of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in the body's metabolism and overall health. It is involved in the production of energy, the synthesis of neurotransmitters, and the formation of red blood cells. While vitamin B6 can be found in a variety of foods, it is important to ensure that your diet includes adequate sources of this important vitamin. In this guide, we will explore some of the best food sources of vitamin B6 and how to incorporate them into your meals.

1. Meat and poultry:

Meat and poultry, such as chicken, turkey, beef, and pork, are excellent sources of vitamin B6. Including lean cuts of these meats in your diet can help you meet your daily requirements. Try grilling or roasting chicken breast, broiling lean cuts of beef, or adding sliced turkey to your sandwich.

2. Fish and seafood:

Fish and seafood, such as salmon, tuna, shrimp, and cod, are also great sources of vitamin B6. In addition to providing this essential nutrient, they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other beneficial nutrients. Enjoy a grilled salmon fillet, bake some cod with a squeeze of lemon, or include some shrimp in your stir-fry for a tasty and nutritious meal.

3. Whole grains:

Whole grains, such as wheat, oats, barley, and quinoa, are not only high in fiber but also contain vitamin B6. Opt for whole grain bread, pasta, and cereals instead of their refined counterparts. You can also incorporate cooked quinoa or barley into your salads or use it as a side dish for added nutrient benefits.

4. Legumes:

Legumes, including chickpeas, lentils, and beans, are excellent sources of vitamin B6. Whether you enjoy them in soups, stews, salads, or purees, adding legumes to your meals is a tasty and nutritious choice. Consider making a hearty lentil soup, a chickpea curry, or a black bean salad to boost your vitamin B6 intake.

5. Nuts and seeds:

Nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds, are not only rich in healthy fats but also contain vitamin B6. Snack on a handful of nuts, sprinkle some seeds over your salads or yogurt, or include them in your baking recipes for a nutrient-filled treat.

6. Fruits and vegetables:

Certain fruits and vegetables are also good sources of vitamin B6. Bananas, spinach, avocados, and potatoes are particularly rich in this nutrient. Enjoy a banana as a quick and easy snack, add spinach to your salads or smoothies, use avocado as a spread or dip, or incorporate potatoes into your main dishes or side dishes.

Incorporating these food sources of vitamin B6 into your meals and snacks can help ensure that you are meeting your daily requirements. However, it is important to note that vitamin B6 can be destroyed by heat and prolonged cooking. To retain maximum nutrient content, consider steaming or lightly cooking your vegetables and opting for grilling or baking your meats and fish whenever possible. Additionally, if you are concerned about meeting your vitamin B6 needs, talk to your healthcare provider about whether a supplement is necessary.

Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in various bodily functions. It aids in the metabolism of proteins, helps produce red blood cells, supports brain function, and contributes to the proper functioning of the nervous system. It is important to ensure that individuals of different age groups, including adults, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and children, meet their recommended daily intake of vitamin B6. Let's delve into the specific guidelines for each group:

1. Adults

For adults aged 19-50 years, the recommended daily intake of vitamin B6 is 1.3 milligrams (mg). Men and women above the age of 50 should aim to consume 1.7 mg and 1.5 mg per day, respectively. You can incorporate enough vitamin B6 into your diet by consuming a variety of foods. Good dietary sources of vitamin B6 include:

  • poultry
  • fish like salmon and tuna
  • bananas
  • potatoes
  • spinach
  • fortified breakfast cereals

By including these foods in your daily meals, you can easily meet your vitamin B6 requirements.

2. Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women:

Pregnant and breastfeeding women have higher vitamin B6 needs to support the healthy growth and development of the fetus and infant. During pregnancy, the recommended daily intake of vitamin B6 increases to 1.9 mg, while breastfeeding women need approximately 2.0 mg per day. Including foods rich in vitamin B6 in your diet, such as:

  • chickpeas
  • fortified cereals
  • sweet potatoes
  • chicken

can help meet these increased needs. Consulting with a healthcare provider is also important to ensure an appropriate vitamin B6 intake during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

3. Children:

Children have different requirements for vitamin B6 as they grow and develop. The recommended daily intake for children depends on their age. For children aged 1-3 years, the recommended intake is 0.5 mg. Between 4 and 8 years of age, children should aim for 0.6 mg per day. From 9 to 13 years, their requirements increase to 1.0 mg. Good sources of vitamin B6 for children include:

  • whole grain bread
  • lean meats
  • nuts
  • bananas
  • fortified cereals

Encouraging a balanced and varied diet helps ensure that children meet their vitamin B6 needs.

In summary, vitamin B6 is important for various bodily functions and should be included in the diet of adults, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and children. By incorporating a variety of foods rich in vitamin B6, it is possible for individuals to meet their recommended daily intake. However, it is always beneficial to consult with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to assess individual needs and ensure optimal overall nutrient intake.

Potential Side Effects of Vitamin B6

Nerve Damage

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in various bodily functions such as brain development, metabolism, and immune system health. While it is generally safe when consumed in recommended amounts, excessive intake of vitamin B6 can lead to some potential side effects. It is important to be aware of these potential side effects to ensure the safe and responsible use of vitamin B6 supplements or fortified foods.

One of the potential side effects of excessive vitamin B6 intake is the development of nerve damage, known as peripheral neuropathy. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include numbness, tingling, loss of sensation, and muscle weakness in the hands and feet. It is important to note that this side effect primarily occurs in individuals who consume extremely high doses of vitamin B6 for an extended period, typically exceeding the recommended daily intake of 100 mg.

Digestive Upset

High doses of vitamin B6 can cause digestive upset, resulting in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. These symptoms are usually temporary and subside once the excess vitamin B6 is eliminated from the body. To avoid digestive upset, it is recommended to stick to the recommended daily intake and consult a healthcare professional if considering high-dose vitamin B6 supplementation.

Skin Reactions

Some individuals may develop allergic reactions or skin rashes as a side effect of high vitamin B6 intake. Signs of a skin reaction may include hives, itching, redness, or swelling. If any of these symptoms occur after consuming vitamin B6 supplements or fortified foods, it is advisable to discontinue use and seek medical attention for proper evaluation and guidance.


Excessive consumption of vitamin B6 has been associated with an increased sensitivity to sunlight, known as photosensitivity. This side effect can cause sunburn-like symptoms, including redness, blistering, and increased skin sensitivity to sunlight. To prevent photosensitivity, it is important to limit sun exposure, wear protective clothing, and use sunscreen when outdoors, particularly if you are taking high doses of vitamin B6.

How to Ensure Safe Use

To ensure the safe use of vitamin B6 and minimize the risk of side effects, it is recommended to follow these guidelines:

Stick to the Recommended Daily Intake

  • The recommended daily intake of vitamin B6 for adults is 1.3-1.7 mg, depending on age and gender. Avoid exceeding this dosage unless under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Consult a Healthcare Professional

  • If you are considering high-dose vitamin B6 supplementation for specific health concerns, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional who can determine the appropriate dosage and monitor your progress.

Read Product Labels

  • When purchasing vitamin B6 supplements, carefully read the labels for dosage instructions, precautions, and potential side effects. Choose reputable brands and products that have undergone third-party testing for safety and quality.

Report Any Adverse Reactions

  • If you experience any unusual symptoms or side effects while taking vitamin B6, including those related to nerve damage, digestive upset, skin reactions, or photosensitivity, report them to your healthcare professional immediately for evaluation and appropriate action.

By understanding the potential side effects and following these guidelines, you can safely incorporate vitamin B6 into your diet or supplementation routine, reaping its benefits without compromising your health. Remember, moderation and informed choices are key to ensuring a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Best Practices for Using Vitamin B6 in Skincare

Consulting with a dermatologist:

  • Before incorporating Vitamin B6 into your skincare regimen, it is advisable to consult with a dermatologist. They can assess your skin type and condition, understand your specific concerns, and determine if Vitamin B6 is suitable for you. Additionally, they can provide personalized recommendations and guidance on the best ways to use it.

  • Choosing skincare products with Vitamin B6:

    When selecting skincare products with Vitamin B6, it is important to consider their ingredients and formulation. Look for products that contain a stable form of Vitamin B6, such as pyridoxine HCL or pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P). These forms are more readily absorbed by the skin and provide better results.

    Another aspect to consider is the presence of complementary ingredients. For instance, Vitamin B6 works synergistically with ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to enhance its benefits. Opt for products that combine these ingredients to maximize the potential of Vitamin B6 for your skin.

  • Understanding proper usage and dosage:

    It is crucial to understand the proper usage and dosage of Vitamin B6 in your skincare routine. Start by reading the instructions provided by the manufacturer and follow them diligently. Typically, a small amount of product containing Vitamin B6 should be sufficient for its benefits to manifest.

    Overuse of Vitamin B6 can cause adverse effects such as skin irritation or redness, so it is important to stick to the recommended dosage. If you experience any discomfort or negative reactions, discontinue use and consult with your dermatologist.

  • Potential interactions with other skincare ingredients:

    While Vitamin B6 is generally safe to use, it is important to be aware of its potential interactions with other skincare ingredients. Some ingredients, such as retinol or alpha-hydroxy acids, may increase the skin's sensitivity, and using them together with Vitamin B6 can cause irritation. Considering this, it is advisable to introduce new products gradually and monitor how your skin reacts to them.

    If you are using other skincare treatments or medications, inform your dermatologist to ensure there are no contraindications or negative interactions. They will guide you on how to incorporate Vitamin B6 into your routine without compromising the effectiveness of other products.

In conclusion, Vitamin B6 can be a valuable addition to your skincare routine. By following these best practices, including consulting with a dermatologist, choosing suitable products, understanding proper usage, and considering potential interactions, you can harness the benefits of Vitamin B6 effectively. Remember, consistency and patience are key when incorporating any new skincare ingredient, including Vitamin B6.


  • Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, has been recognized for its beneficial effects on the skin.

  • It helps maintain healthy skin by promoting collagen synthesis, which improves skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Vitamin B6 also aids in regulating oil production, making it beneficial for those with oily or acne-prone skin.

  • It acts as a natural exfoliant, removing dead skin cells and promoting a smoother, more radiant complexion.

  • Its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe inflamed or irritated skin, making it suitable for individuals with sensitive skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.

  • Vitamin B6 can be found in various skincare products such as serums, creams, and face masks, providing a convenient way to incorporate its benefits into a skincare routine.