By: Remy Raccuia
One of my trusted skincare gurus once told me “you can’t buy new skin, so you better take care of it”. While I definitely take skincare seriously and am constantly researching and experimenting with new products, I’ve learned there are a few essentials every skincare regimen must include. Aging skin is inevitable, but with the help of trusted vitamins and ingredients, we can help to slow down the effects of the aging process and even reverse some of the current damage. Here is a breakdown of the skin-benefiting vitamins you should know about:
Vitamin A can also be known as retinoid. I am sure your mother, dermatologist, or favorite skincare influencer can’t say enough about their retinol products. Retinol has been proven to minimize wrinkles, even skin tone, and create smoother skin (2019). I personally just started a retinol product, per my dermatologist recommendation. As I am only 21 years old, this product is purely preventative and I only use it three times per week. Retinol is extremely strong and you have to train your skin.
Important: I recommend consulting with your dermatologist on what retinol product is best for you and your skin. I personally have sensitive skin, so my doctor suggested I start on a very low dose.
Vitamin B3, B5, and B12 are the most common forms of vitamin B found in skincare products. Vitamin B3 increases the production of ceramides and fatty acids (check out my moisturizer article to learn more!). Because of these properties, it has been found to reduce the effects of eczema, rosacea, hyperpigmentation and more. B5 helps to lock in moisture and keep skin dewy and hydrated. My holy grail winter serum is formulated with B5!
Lastly, B12 increases collagen production which creates healthier skin, nails, and hair (Villines, 2019). B12 is found exclusively in animal products, so those who practice a vegetarian or vegan diet often have lower levels of B12. Due to this, it is important to look for skincare products that contain B12 in order to achieve healthy skin, nails, and hair.
Vitamin C is a must-have component within your skincare regimen. Vitamin C helps to increase collagen production, which is what keeps our skin looking youthful and plump (Bowman, 2020). As we grow older, our collagen levels decrease. By the time we reach peak adulthood, our elasticity is weakened. Because of this, vitamin C is a key ingredient in various skincare products, especially anti-aging products. I currently use an eye cream that has active ingredients of vitamin C and collagen, & I am loving the results!
In addition, vitamin C helps fight cancer caused by sun damage or pollution (Bilodeau, 2018).
Consuming Vitamin C orally can also make sunscreen more effective (REMINDER: always apply SPF daily)! You can consume vitamin C through a supplement or rich foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, leafy greens, and berries (Takken, 2020).
- Make sure vitamin C products are in an airtight container
- Once you buy the product, make sure to keep it in a cool place. Vitamin C can begin to turn brown if not stored properly.
- Vitamin C should be at 5% concentration or higher in order to see results.
- Pick a product that uses the L-ascorbic form of vitamin C. It is a pure form of vitamin C and creates effective results (Pullar, Carr & Vissers, 2017). Make sure to read the labels and ingredient section to determine which form the product contains.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to reduce the signs of aging and heal wounds or scars. Vitamin E is commonly used with vitamin C to see maximized results. By doubling the antioxidants, the vitamin duo can help to diminish dark spots and minimize fine lines faster. C & E help to fight free radicals which attack at our skin’s collagen production levels (Takken, 2020). Living in LA, I am exposed to higher levels of pollution so I make sure to always have a vitamin E product in my regimen at all times. There are many skincare products that can help create a ‘barrier’ between the atmosphere and our skin. Vitamin E can also be incorporated into our diets through almonds, spinach, and avocados (Villines, 2019).
Vitamin K is best used to reduce dark spots or scars. Vitamin K is essential for healing and blood clotting (Bowman, 2020). You want to use a vitamin K cream and apply it to the area of concern. Whether it be a scar, dark under eyes, or spot – vitamin K will help to diminish the appearance. Like other vitamins, we can incorporate vitamin K through leafy greens.
This article contains a lot of information, and most likely new information. Don’t stress! New skincare products can be incorporated slowly; try to focus on one area of concern at a time. Eventually, you will build a regimen that works for you because after all you can’t buy new skin!
2019. Do retinoids really reduce wrinkles? Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School.Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/do-retinoids-really-reduce-wrinkles
Bilodeau, K. (2018). Skin Serum: What it can and can’t do. Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/skin-serum-what-it-can-and-cant-do-2018061214029
Bowman, J. (2020). The 4 Best Vitamins for Your Skin. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/4-best-vitamins-for-skin
Pullar, J., Carr, A., Vissers, M. (2017). The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients. 9(8):866 doi:10.3390/nu9080866
Takken, A. (2020). How Vitamins C and E Work Together to Fight Skin Damage. Masterpiece Skin Restoration. Retrieved from https://masterpieceskinrestoration.com/blog/vitamins-c-and-e/
Villines, Z. (2019). List of the best vitamins for skin. MedicalNewsToday. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324943