Although we have more and more products that we can use for our facial care, resort to the basic thing always works: vitamins, old known, keep on having their place in our beauty routine. Many creams, serums, masks, and even injectable cocktails use vitamins to ensure a “good face effect”. But, what are the vitamins that can help us to improve our skin?
To begin with, we must separate what is useful for us topically (applied directly to the skin) from what we want to use orally. Orally, it is enough to ensure the daily intake through food, and occasionally through vitamin supplements, but it is not necessary to be obsessed: massive doses of vitamins taken orally will not be able to benefit our skin more than the appropriate doses. The topical route can help to compensate for some situations of dull skin, irritation, or dehydration, even when there is a correct intake of vitamins by oral route, since the effect is more direct.
Important vitamins for healthy skin
The vitamins that we will most frequently see in formulas to apply to the skin are the following:
Vitamin C for skin
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is one of the best-known anti-aging molecules used in beauty products. Vitamin C plays a fundamental role in the synthesis of collagen, the protein molecule that supports skin cells. When the skin synthesizes little collagen, it can be noticed through lack of firmness and poor wound healing, so in these cases vitamin C can be useful. Additionally, vitamin C has been shown to improve inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and eczema.
Due to its chemical structure, vitamin C has the disadvantage of oxidizing, that is, of modifying its chemical structure when exposed to air, which is a challenge when formulating cosmetic products with vitamin C.
To compensate for its instability, it is packaged the products in small, dark bottles, or in single-dose vials, or the formula is prepared with modified vitamin C which the skin itself transforms into active vitamin C. In any case, it is worth paying attention to the stability of the product once the container is opened, since the period of use of some cosmetics after opening it can be very short.
But it is this ability to oxidize that makes vitamin C an excellent antioxidant, that is, it is capable of preventing skin cells from being affected by oxidative damage. And what is oxidative damage? Well, simplifying a lot, they are changes that occur in molecules of our skin by being exposed to pollution, radiation and metabolic waste that come from the skin’s own function.
There is an idea that vitamin C can stain the face. What actually happens is that the cosmetic with vitamin C can remain deposited in skin irregularities if good daily hygiene is not done. When in contact with the sun, vitamin C blackens and becomes visible, giving the appearance of dirty or stained skin. This problem can be easily prevented with good hygiene and routine exfoliation. If you have problem and don’t want to eat vitamin you can try PDO Threads by MedSPA. It helps to tighten the skin tissue and increase callagen.
Vitamin A for skin
Vitamin A in skin products appears as retinoids: retinaldehyde, retinol, retinyl esters and, in the case of anti-acne drugs, tretinoin. The different forms of vitamin A topically are able to stimulate skin renewal through better collagen synthesis, minimize inflammation in cases of acne and rosacea, and regulate the production of sebum in oily skin, transforming the skin with wrinkles, blemishes, or acne marks for smoother, more beautiful skin. That is why retinol and its relatives are considered one of the best anti-aging molecules on the market.
Vitamin A for the skin has a disadvantage – it makes the skin more sensitive to sunlight, so it is recommended that retinoids are always used at night and a sunscreen is added during the day.
There is an exceptional case in which modifications are made to vitamin A and the formula that contains it so that you use the cream during the day, but as a general rule do not use a retinoid during the day unless the manufacturer of the product or the dermatologist specify it. At the beginning of the treatment the skin may feel a bit uncomfortable, so it is recommended to start the treatment every other night for a couple of weeks until the skin gets used to it and you can use your cream every night.
You should not abuse vitamin A, since the hypersensitivity it causes is not minor. Always start with low-dose products, as getting excited about the treatment and starting with high doses can lead to red, tight, and even burning skin.
It is also not advisable to use large amounts orally: if you want to ensure its intake you can resort to foods that contain it or multivitamins with adequate amounts for daily consumption. There are over-the-counter medications with respectable amounts of vitamin A to use orally, but they should not be used for more than two weeks without medical or pharmaceutical advice.
Vitamin E for skin
Vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant and complements the activity of vitamin C. Vitamin C is soluble, i.e., it has affinity for water, while vitamin E is fat soluble and dissolves better in the fat tissue.
Thus, both vitamins work in a different and complementary way, protecting the skin from oxidative damage. Vitamin E is also capable of improving the level of hydration of the stratum corneum, reducing the depth of wrinkles and improving the smoothness of the skin. Furthermore, it has been seen to be involved in the formation and growth of collagen and connective tissue, as well as in the control of the cell cycle.
Vitamin E, when in physiological concentrations, has also been seen to prevent various damages related to cellular aging. There is evidence that cell damage exists when there are not adequate amounts of vitamin E, but there is no evidence that excessive amounts of vitamin E enhance this function, so there is no need to obsess over how much vitamin E we use. It is enough to ensure a good intake with the diet, and a topical cosmetic supplement is more than enough to ensure its function.
Vitamin B5 for skin
Vitamin B5 is often used in cosmetics in the form called panthenol, which is a slight modification of pantothenic acid (a biologically active form of vitamin B3). Its greatest use for the skin is topically, as it has been shown to be able to facilitate wound healing.
It also helps to maintain the level of hydration and avoid irritation, which is why it is frequently seen in vitamin cocktails with a “good-looking effect” and in creams or gels for after sun exposure.
Vitamin B3 for skin
The form of vitamin B3 that is often used in cosmetics is nicotinamide and its derivatives. It works very well to control acne and rosacea redness, as well as to control the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.
Vitamin K for skin
Vitamin K is being used in recent years in cosmetics, and until recently doctors had more uses than aesthetic.
There are studies that indicate that topical vitamin K1 has a good skin repairing power, as well as a certain usefulness in the treatment of dark circles. However, the mechanism by which this vitamin works when applied to the skin remains to be investigated, and what are the minimum amounts that should be used in each case.
Vitamin K deficiency is rare. It can be consumed in many green leafy vegetables and in broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprout and, in smaller amounts, in fish, meat and eggs. It is included in many creams developed to reduce scars after surgery and encourage the healing of other skin wounds.