Vitamins are micronutrients that our body requires to function effectively. A regular supply of vitamins helps fulfill our nutritional needs. Since our skin is the largest organ of our body, it is only logical to believe that vitamins can do wonders for our skin.
If you’re thinking about which vitamins to consume, you should consult a doctor or nutritionist, but if you’re looking for vitamins to apply on your skin, knowing the benefits of each vitamin can help you make the most appropriate choice for your skin.
Generally, vitamins can help improve your skin in multifarious ways, such as protecting it from free radical damage, improving fine lines and wrinkles, and lightening hyperpigmentation. Basically, these a vitamin available for every single one of your skin concerns – you just need to know which one offers what benefits.
Can Ingesting Vitamins Help Your Skin?
Taking vitamins orally might be beneficial for your body, but it won’t necessarily make a huge difference in the condition of your skin. This is because ingesting a vitamin doesn’t have the same impact on your skin as targeted application. When you consume vitamins, they will be distributed everywhere in your body and your skin, lessening the overall impact.
So, the best option is to continue consuming vitamins by incorporating them into your diet and by applying to directly on your skin for targeted treatment.
Now you know that vitamins are important for your overall health, but you might still be wondering what the benefits are of applying them topically.
Well, here are some of the most important vitamins that your skin can benefit from.
1. Vitamin E
Also known as alpha-tocopherol, vitamin E has been an integral part of the skincare industry since decades. Vitamin E serves as a moisturizing antioxidant; it improves the health of your skin by enhancing its hydration and guarding the skin barrier. Since it is an antioxidant, it also protects your skin-cell membranes from oxidation by free radical, mainly when your skin comes into direct contact with UV rays. Vitamin E offers the best benefits when mixed with vitamin C. The best skin treatment option are serums with vitamin c and e.
How It’s Used:
Many creams, ointments, and skin treatments contain vitamin E. They can be used to treat various skin disorders and other skin concerns such as wounds, burns, and surgical scars. Apart from this, you can use face creams, oils, and serums containing vitamin E to hydrate your skin.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the most popular antioxidants used to treat various skin concerns. Also known as L-ascorbic acid, this antioxidant helps boost the production of collagen, reduce pigmentation, and protects your skin against external factors. Vitamin C is one of the most hydrating skincare ingredients that can help rejuvenate your skin and reduce signs of aging.
Vitamin C effective neutralizes the effect of free radicals on our skin, protecting against potential damage caused to skin cells by UV rays and pollution. The more damaged your skin cells, the more evident and accelerated the signs of aging. An anti-aging vitamin c serum can help reduce and even reverse aging signs significantly.
Vitamin C also helps treat hyperpigmentation as it performs just like tyrosinase— the enzyme responsible for converting tyrosine into melanin. By doing this, vitamin C drastically decreases melanin formation. Moreover, it can also help reduce discoloration caused by melasma.
Topical vitamin C, especially vit C serums should be handled with utmost care. This miracle skincare ingredient is quite unstable as it breaks down and becomes ineffective when exposed to sunlight or oxygen. While most vitamin c skin care products come in dark-colored bottles, it’s best to store them in cool areas.
How It’s Used:
Vitamin C is often combined with vitamin E or ferulic acid. That’s because the combination of these skincare ingredients enhances the stability of the vitamins and increases sun protection for the skin. Vitamin C is found in creams, oils, and most commonly, face serums. Even though it is a natural ingredient, it is also highly potent. Therefore, you need to apply only a few drops to see visible results.
Vitamin C is widely recognized as one of the best vitamins for skin health due to its numerous beneficial properties. Firstly, it is a potent antioxidant, which means it helps in protecting the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress, leading to premature aging of the skin. By neutralizing these free radicals, Vitamin C helps in maintaining the skin's youthful appearance and texture.
Secondly, Vitamin C plays a crucial role in the synthesis of collagen, a vital protein responsible for the skin's elasticity and firmness. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. Regular use of Vitamin C can stimulate collagen production, helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and improving the overall texture of the skin. This makes Vitamin C an essential ingredient in many anti-aging skincare products.
Lastly, Vitamin C is known for its brightening properties. It can help to fade pigmentation, reduce redness, and even out the skin tone. This is particularly beneficial for those who suffer from sun spots, age spots, or hyperpigmentation. Regular application of Vitamin C can lead to a brighter, more radiant complexion.
3. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a very popular skincare ingredient that has gained a lot of popular during the past few years. While this vitamin comes in many forms, it is most famous for its main derivative – retinol. Vitamin A is the first vitamin to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a topical skincare ingredient. That’s because it is highly potent and can change the appearance of the skin’s surface miraculously.
Vitamin A, specifically retinol, binds to receptors in the skin cells, strengthening the function of the epidermis. This enhances your skin cell turnover, improving the appearance of your skin, and also protects the degradation of collagen, making it a fantastic anti-aging ingredient. Moreover, vitamin A is also great to prevent acne and remove acne scars.
Tretinoin, commonly known as retinoic acid, is another vitamin A derivative that can only be availed through prescription. This ingredient is also used as a topical treatment for hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and acne. Even though it delivers great results, it comes with its own set of mild side effects such as redness and sensitivity.
How It’s Used:
Retinol comes in various topical forms, specifically in creams and moisturizers. Even though vitamin A has undeniable benefits, a majority of people are reluctant to use it due to the adjustment period that comes with such a powerful ingredient.
If you’ve only recently started using vitamin A products such as retinol moisturizer, you should start with a lower concentration and avoid using it regularly. Instead, you should use it every other day, only during nighttime since retinol makes the skin more susceptible to sun damage. Once your skin begins to build up a tolerance, you can start using it more often.
As magical as retinol is, you won’t instantly notice any results. You may even experience slight discomfort, redness, and sensitivity during the first few weeks of usage. However, after a few weeks, you can expect to see a noticeable difference in your skin in the form of reduced wrinkles, brighter complexion, and lesser acne.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is another super-important ingredient that is vital for your entire body, including your skin. You naturally produce this vitamin from sun exposure, but you can’t risk UV damage, can you? Therefore, it is important to find other sources of vitamin D. This vitamin is so vital that a deficiency can lead to diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and even bone problems. So, if you do decide to get vitamin D naturally (through sunlight), you should apply sunscreen before heading out. Also, doctors can prescribe vitamin D supplements to help your body and skin remain healthy.
How It’s Used:
Vitamin D isn’t a typical ingredient that is added to skincare products. Instead, your skin itself helps in the production of vitamin D. So, even though vitamin D doesn’t directly impact the skin, it is still vital for a healthy body, which means healthy skin.
These are just a few important vitamins that are vital for your skin health; many more are still undergoing research.
So, what vitamins do you incorporate in your skincare routine? Let us know in the comments below!
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Christine Wright is a trusted beauty expert and an esthetician who is loved by editors and bloggers. She is a prolific writer on the topics of natural, chemical-free skin and body care. She also does reviews on store brand beauty products, with fairness and a real point-of-view. She is well-known of creating products for specific skin types, especially to those with ultra-sensitive faces.