A World Full of Vitamins

We source so much of what our body needs from nature and that includes all our important vitamins that our body uses to function to the best of its ability. This is especially true for our skin. Our skin loves vitamins and while there are a number of them that does a body good, there are four main ones that your skin will forever adore you for.

Vitamin A The primary benefit of vitamin A and its derivatives in cosmetics is their ability to normalize keratinization (horny layers) by regulating skin cell growth and differentiation. This results in decreased roughness and decreased facial wrinkling. Therefore, vitamin A is often called the “skin normalizer” or “rejuvenating agent”.

Vitamin C Interest in vitamin C as a cosmetic ingredient is mainly a result of its ability to quench UV-induced free radicals and to regenerate vitamin E, another potent antioxidant. There are various forms used in cosmetics and L-ascorbic acid is the most active form of vitamin C that has numerous benefits for the skin. In clinical studies vitamin C has been found to act as an effective antioxidant and soothing agent and to stimulate collagen synthesis. It is thus used often in anti-aging products and soothing after-sun lotions. In addition, vitamin C has been found to have skin-lightening properties helping to reduce dark pigmentation and age spots.

Vitamin E Because of its ability to quench free radicals the term “protector” has been used to describe the actions of vitamin E. Studies have shown that vitamin E reduces UV-induced skin irritations and lipid peroxidation. Clinical improvement in the visible signs of skin aging has been documented to show a significant decrease in skin wrinkling. This may be also be due to the excellent moisturizing effect of vitamin E. It has been reported that vitamin E in combination with vitamin A produces increased storage of vitamin A when applied topically. This sparing action is another valuable benefit of vitamin E. These data validate the popularity of vitamin E as an antioxidant, moisturizing and rejuvenating ingredient.

Provitamin B5 Provitamin B5 or D-panthenol has been used for years in hair care products because it functions as a humectant that increases the water content of hair and improves its elasticity. D-panthenol is inactive but is readily converted to pantothenic acid in the skin. Pantothenic acid is then incorporated as an important component in the energy cycle of the cell. Panthenol can also attract water into the upper layer of the skin and is thus effective as a moisturizer and softener. Moreover, panthenol can promote epithelization thereby enhancing the regeneration of the skin.

Other Vitamins Niacinamide (or nicotinamide), a form of vitamin B3 (niacin), has great anti-aging properties as it has been shown in clinical studies to improve the appearance of aged, hyperpigmented and photodamaged skin. Topical 1% vitamin K was found to be effective in speeding up the resolution of small bruising. A similar formulation combined with retinol has been described effective for under eye circles.

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