Can topical vitamins protect your skin against aging and improve its appearance? Here are four vitamins that have benefits when you apply them to skin and how to use them to get their benefits.
Vitamins are essential for a healthy body, but some are also important for a clear, youthful-looking skin. If you look at the ingredients in some skin care products and anti-aging creams, you’ll find they contain certain vitamins, but are they really effective? Get the know-how on which anti-aging vitamins for skin really work.
Vitamin A Vitamin A is no stranger to topical skin care products. A derivative of vitamin A is the active ingredient in topical retinoids available by prescription for treating acne and aging skin. In these products, vitamin A helps to increase the rate of skin cell turnover, which makes skin look smoother and more youthful. It also helps to lighten age spots and dark skin pigmentation.
Vitamin A in retinoid creams fights acne and blackheads and has proven benefits for the treatment of skin aging by helping to preserve collagen, the protein that gives skin its support and keeps it from sagging.
You can get some of the benefits of retinoids without a prescription by using skin care products that contain retinols. Retinols have weaker activity than prescription-strength retinoids, but they still soften fine lines, improve skin texture, lighten pigmented areas and reduce clogged pores. Some people experience mild skin irritation when they use products containing retinols, but this usually gets better with repeated use. To get the benefits of vitamin A topically, look for moisturisers anti-aging creams that contain retinols on the ingredient list.
Anti-Aging Vitamins for Skin
Vitamin B3, also referred to as niacin, has anti-aging skin benefits too. The most potent form for skin health is niacinamide, an ingredient found in some skin care products. In one study, women who used a cream containing 4% niacinamide showed improvement in under-eye wrinkles compared to those who used a placebo. Niacinamide also reduces skin redness, hydrates the skin and lightens age spots. Look for niacinamide as an active ingredient in some skin care creams.
Research shows that vitamin C reduces wrinkles when applied to the skin. It works partially by stimulating the production of collagen. As an added benefit, it helps to repair free radical damage that comes from exposure to the sun due to its antioxidant properties.
Unfortunately, vitamin C is very unstable and needs to be protected from light to avoid breakdown. In fact, vitamin C loses its potency as soon as you open the bottle. Another problem is some vitamin C preparations aren’t able to cross the outer layer of the epidermis to enter the dermis where it can exert its anti-aging effects.
Topical vitamin C has anti-aging benefits, but you need to use a product that’s properly formulated to reach the dermis of the skin, and it has to be stored in a container that’s airtight and resistant to light. This can be a challenge to find. Fortunately, researchers are looking at ways to make vitamin C more stable.
Vitamin K is a vitamin required to form factors that help the blood clot when skin is damaged. Some companies add it to products used to treat dark skin pigmentation and under-eye circles. The verdict is still out on whether it works for this purpose. Many of these skin creams also contain a de-pigmenting agent, so it’s hard to say whether vitamin K is working or not. Some small studies show that using a vitamin K cream speeds up the healing of bruises. You can find a variety of skin creams marketed as a treatment for dark under-eye circles and bruises, and some people are convinced they make a difference, but there isn’t enough research to say one way or another.
The Bottom Line?
These vitamins are a requirement for a healthy body, but they can also improve the appearance of your skin. If you buy skin care products that contain vitamins, buy from a reputable company, and make sure the product contains enough of the active ingredient to make a difference.