Beauty is going back to the basics – it’s not about certain serums and moisturizers, but the natural ingredients in them. Nutrients are necessary for keeping a healthy skincare routine, and knowing the benefits of the best vitamins will help you make the best choice for your specific skin type and conditions. But how do vitamins affect skincare?
How Do Vitamins Impact Skin Care?
Your skin’s condition often reveals what’s going below: if your body needs nutrition, your skin will let you know. Premature ageing, acne, psoriasis – the list goes on and on. Many health experts say that vitamins and minerals in all forms – from food, topicals, and supplements – are necessary for reaching and preserving a healthy complexion.
One class of vitamins is better than the rest; they are called antioxidants, and many specific nutrients under this umbrella can make a huge difference in how your skin feels and looks, and even in how well it ages! A diet high in antioxidants can stave off the effects of free radicals, broken, highly reactive molecules that do cellular damage and prematurely age skin.
Pay attention to the ingredients of the supplements. We’re living in an era where the number of moisturizers, cleansers, and serums formulated with vitamins hitting store shelves increases every day. Which vitamins should you use?
Alpha-tocopherol, better known as Vitamin E, is one nutrient that everyone should include in their skincare routine. A moisturizing antioxidant, vitamin E protects the skin barrier, improving skin hydration, and protecting skin-cell membranes from oxidation by free radicals. All this is necessary for protecting the skin when it’s bombarded by UV rays. When combined with another crucial nutrient, vitamin C (more on this below!), it can have some of the protective benefits of sunscreen.
Why Choose Vitamin E?
You’ll find vitamin E as a topical, and its antioxidant properties make it a popular treatment for many skin disorders. It’s integral to the treatment of burns, surgical scars, and wounds. For certain conditions, consult with a dermatologist before using vitamin E.
L-ascorbic acid is the scientific name for Vitamin C, a vitamin you’ll find in almost every orange beverage. You don’t have to drink a ton of OJ every morning to get its benefits, though – which is good because orange juice is high in sugar!
When using any topical vitamin C product, you should know that it’s unstable, breaking down after exposure to sunlight and oxygen. The best skin formulas with this antioxidant come in airtight packaging to protect the formula from oxidizing.
Why Choose Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that boosts collagen production, eliminates environmental stressors, and decreases pigment formation. It neutralizes free radicals to protect against damage caused to skin cells by things like pollution and UV rays. Damaged skin cells mean accelerated signs of ageing, including wrinkles, fine lines, and discoloration.
Rounding out our top three is Vitamin A, widely considered one of the most effective skincare ingredients available. It comes in many forms, though its most famous derivative is the over-the-counter retinol. It works by binding to receptors in skin cells, strengthening the protective function of the epidermis, preserving collagen from degradation, and stimulating skin cell turnover.
Why Choose Vitamin A?
The powerful effects make vitamin A is an effective acne fighter. Research studies also show that creams containing this nutrient can reduce lines and wrinkles, relieve psoriasis, and provide other anti-ageing benefits. One vitamin A derivative, retinoic acid or tretinoin, is a topical treatment for both hyperpigmentation and fine lines; you can only get this with a prescription, and it can have some adverse effects like sensitivity and redness.
What Are Some Of The More Overrated Vitamins?
Many nutrients are overrated as skincare ingredients and don’t necessarily translate into a good product. For instance, Vitamin D is necessary for health and wellness, which can translate into good-looking skin, but using a vitamin D-infused moisturizer or serum won’t help you. With some safe sun exposure and a healthy diet, your body can create most of the vitamin D you need.
It’s also necessary to look more into any products containing “vitamin B.” It’s not a single nutrient, but rather a group of eight: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), B6, biotin (B7), folate (B9), and B12. The best of these options for skincare is a derivative of vitamin B3 called niacinamide, which can relieve dryness and skin conditions like eczema.
The vitamin B example is a good lesson for choosing skin care products: don’t take what’s on the label at face value! Always read the ingredients and research what they can do to your skin.