The Role of Vitamins in Skincare

November 6, 2014

We all know that nourishing the inside of our bodies requires a range of nutrients, especially vitamins. The same is true for the outside of our bodies – our skin. In fact, great skin starts with the nutrients you put in your body and extends to what you put on your body. For healthy skin from the inside-out and outside-in, vitamins play an important role in anti-aging and healing skincare.

Scientific research continues to indicate that what we put in our bodies – and on our bodies – has a significant impact on our health. Great nutrition chock full of vitamins can help us ward off many diseases, behavioral conditions, emotional imbalance and keep us looking and feeling our best. For our best skin, this nutrition starts on the inside with what we eat and drink. Just as we work hard to consume a diet that protects our inner organs, we should do the same for our outermost and largest organ, our skin. Fortunately, the diet that is good for our insides is also good for our outsides. That includes nutrient-dense vegetables, fruits, lean protein sources and whole grains. Vitamins that fuel cells and work to repair and refresh skin can be found in each of these food groups.

The next step to radiantly beautiful complexion is applying vitamins topically through skincare products that are rich in phyto-nutrients. Whether in food or skincare products, plants provide the best source of vitamins directly from nature. Vitamins absorbed through skin can have a positive effect on each layer of our skin. The deeper vitamins penetrate into layers of skin, the more potential they have to improve cells that will eventually rise to the surface. The result: rejuvenated, smoother, younger-looking skin.

The role of vitamins in skincare is vast. Therapeutic and antioxidant vitamins are known to heal acne-prone skin, relieve chronic skin conditions and reduce the signs of aging by invigorating tired, splotchy and wrinkled skin. So what are the best vitamins for skincare? We’re breaking it down for you here:

Vitamin A: Perhaps the best defense against aging skin, vibrant vitamin A reduces wrinkles, improves skin tone and helps fade dark spots on skin. Vitamin A in skincare is effective because it contains retinoids that quickly address skin concerns. They can be irritating if not formulated correctly and they are best used at night as sunlight can inactivate this powerful vitamin.

Vitamin B3 or Niacin: This B-complex vitamin helps hydrate skin by retaining water in the epidermis, as well as strengthening and protecting skin. When applied topically, it creates softer, smoother skin and reduces fine lines. Derivatives of niacin can help lighten hyperpigmented skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it a promising treatment for blistering skin conditions like acne and rosacea. It is also used for dermatitis because it relieves skin itchiness and dryness.

Vitamin C: As one of the most potent antioxidants, Vitamin C supports the structure of skin that is often damaged by sunlight, pollution and smoke. It works by encouraging the production of collagen, which makes skin firm and elastic, smoothing away sagging, fine lines and wrinkles. Antioxidants in general help protect our entire bodies from the damaging effects of free radicals on cells so applying them topically helps this nutrient reach skin cells directly.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D is an essential nutrient to for skin cell development and regeneration. It supports the immune function of skin by protecting against microbes that may be otherwise absorbed. It also helps retain moisture for suppler, softer skin texture.

Vitamin E: Similar to vitamin C, Vitamin E is an antioxidant that reduces wrinkles and evens skin tone. It helps protect skin by slowing the production of damaged cells from UV exposure. When combined with vitamin A, it may reduce basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) by up to 70%.

Vitamin K: Typically used for blood clotting, vitamin K stimulates blood flow to reduce dark circles and bruising. When combined with the powerful element retinol, it can lighten and smooth under-eye “bags” where thin skin tends to be discolored and puffy.

CoQ10: Formally known as coenzyme Q10, this vitamin-like substance is known to improve skin roughness and fine lines when combined with antioxidants and minerals.

Think of your skincare routine as a daily multi-vitamin for your skin. It should nourish and support each layer of skin, and leave you looking and feeling revitalized. Treat your skin the way you treat your inner organs, with a wholesome dose of daily vitamins.

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