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Vitamins in skincare products and their benefits for the skin

Vitamins are an integral part of a healthy diet. But our skin can reap the benefits when they are applied topically. Which vitamins should you include in your skincare line-up? What kind of benefits do they have for the skin?

Vitamin A

Vitamin A or retinol is one of the most potent skincare ingredients, with decades of research to prove its efficacy. It minimises the signs of aging, and it can also help with a whole host of skin concerns. With retinol, think marathon, not a sprint. It is best to ease into it gently if you never used it before, and don’t expect results overnight.

What does vitamin A do?

• Boosts collagen and elastin production
• Increases cell turnover
• Fades hyperpigmentation
• Can treat blemishes

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another powerful ingredient we all need in our routines. Read more on all the benefits of vitamin C for the skin. Same as with vitamin A, a less-is-more approach works. You can still reap the benefits even with lower concentrations.

What does vitamin C do?

Vitamin C is an antioxidant and protects the skin against pollution and UV light by neutralizing free radicals. The beauty of vitamin C is it prevents new damage and treats existing damage to the skin.

• Vitamin C is vital for the production of collagen as it boosts collagen synthesis.
• It inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase, which helps turn tyrosine into melanin. It targets a post-inflammatory response that is the cause of hyperpigmentation which can occur after a bout of spots or other skin trauma.
• Some research suggests it can inhibit acne-causing bacteria in the skin.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is known as tocopherol or tocopheryl acetate. It occurs in the skin naturally, however as we get older, the levels of vitamin E deplete. But the skin can benefit from topical application. If you check the ingredient list of your products, you are probably already using vitamin E in your routine. In some cases, vitamin E can cause congestion in oily skin types. That is usually down to the product formulation. Opt for lighter serums rather than heavier moisturisers.

What does vitamin E do?

• Vitamin E is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and decreases oxidative damage to the skin.
• It has anti-inflammatory properties.
• Vitamin E is fat-soluble and can penetrate deeper into the skin to deeply moisturise.
• Protects against Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) and helps restore the moisture barrier.
• Some research suggests vitamin E can help speed up healing.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 is also known as Niacinamide and one of the more popular ingredients used in skincare products.

What does Niacinamide do?

• Repairs and supports the skin’s moisture barrier function by increasing the levels of ceramides in the Stratum Corneum.
• Hydrates and has anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the skin.
• Helps fade hyperpigmentation.
• Brightens and evens out the skin tone.
• Regulates sebum production.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is not as well researched or as popular as some other vitamins on this list. However, its topical application does have benefits. It is a popular ingredient in eye creams.

What does vitamin K do?

• It aids the skin’s natural healing process.
• It has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce swelling and bruises. In some cases, doctors recommend it after surgical treatments.
• It helps the formation of blood vessels and collagen. Vitamin K is used in eye creams, as it helps repair fragile capillaries that make the dark circles appear worse.

Which vitamins are essential in your skincare routine?

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Roberta Striga

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