The Role of Selenium in Skin Health: A Comprehensive Guide

selenium benefits for skin

Selenium is a trace mineral that plays a vital role in numerous physiological processes, including skin health. As an essential component of various antioxidant enzymes, selenium helps protect skin cells from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, selenium supports DNA repair mechanisms, collagen synthesis, and immune function, all of which contribute to healthy, radiant skin.

Antioxidant Protection:

One of the primary benefits of selenium for skin health is its antioxidant properties. Selenium helps neutralise free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage skin cells and accelerate the ageing process. By scavenging free radicals, selenium protects skin cells from oxidative stress, preventing premature ageing, wrinkles, and fine lines.

Collagen Synthesis:

Collagen is a protein that provides structural support and elasticity to the skin. Selenium plays a crucial role in collagen synthesis, promoting the production of new collagen fibres and maintaining skin firmness and resilience. Adequate selenium levels are essential for healthy collagen formation, ensuring smooth, youthful-looking skin.

DNA Repair:

Exposure to environmental pollutants, UV radiation from sunlight, and other stressors poses significant threats to the DNA integrity within skin cells. Over time, this damage can accumulate, leading to premature ageing, wrinkles, and an increased risk of skin cancer. Fortunately, selenium, a vital trace mineral, plays a crucial role in supporting DNA repair mechanisms, safeguarding skin health, and reducing the risk of adverse effects.

Understanding DNA Damage:

External factors such as UV radiation and environmental pollutants can induce DNA damage in skin cells. UV radiation, in particular, generates free radicals within the skin, which can cause oxidative stress and DNA mutations. Over time, this damage can compromise the integrity of the skin's genetic material, contributing to various skin conditions and accelerating the ageing process.

The Role of Selenium in DNA Repair:

Selenium is an essential micronutrient that supports numerous physiological processes, including DNA repair. Selenium is a key component of several enzymes involved in DNA repair mechanisms, such as base excision repair (BER) and nucleotide excision repair (NER). These mechanisms help identify and correct DNA damage, preserving the integrity of the genetic material within skin cells.

Protection Against Sun Damage:

Exposure to UV radiation is one of the primary causes of DNA damage in skin cells. Selenium's role in DNA repair mechanisms helps mitigate the effects of UV-induced damage, reducing the risk of sunburn, premature ageing, and skin cancer. By enhancing DNA repair, selenium contributes to the skin's ability to recover from UV-induced damage and maintain its health and vitality.

Reducing the Risk of Skin Cancer:

DNA damage and mutations increase the risk of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Selenium's ability to support DNA repair mechanisms helps minimise the accumulation of mutations in skin cells, reducing the likelihood of malignant transformation and skin cancer development. Incorporating selenium into your skincare routine may offer additional protection against the harmful effects of UV radiation and reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Other Benefits of Selenium for Skin Health:

In addition to its role in DNA repair, selenium offers other benefits for skin health. Selenium's antioxidant properties help neutralise free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in the skin, contributing to a more youthful complexion and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Selenium also supports immune function, which is essential for defending the skin against infections and promoting wound healing.

Immune Function:

The immune system plays a vital role in maintaining skin health by defending against pathogens and promoting wound healing. Selenium supports immune function by enhancing the activity of immune cells, such as T cells and natural killer cells. A robust immune response helps protect the skin from infections, inflammation, and other skin disorders.

Benefits of Selenium for Common Skin Conditions:


Selenium's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce acne breakouts by reducing sebum production, inflammation, and bacterial growth on the skin.


Selenium supplementation may alleviate symptoms of eczema by reducing inflammation, enhancing skin barrier function, and supporting immune regulation.


Selenium's antioxidant and immune-modulating effects may help manage symptoms of psoriasis, including redness, scaling, and inflammation.

Incorporating Selenium into Your Skincare Routine:

To harness the benefits of selenium for skin health, consider incorporating selenium-rich foods into your diet, such as Brazil nuts, seafood, eggs, and whole grains. Additionally, you can use skincare products containing selenium or selenium supplements to support skin health from within. However, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

From its antioxidant properties to its role in collagen synthesis and immune function, selenium offers numerous benefits for skin health. At The Orchid, we are committed to providing Australians with high-quality supplements and skincare products to support their overall well-being. Incorporating selenium into your skincare routine can help you achieve glowing, youthful-looking skin from the inside out.