Vitamins and Other Ingredients for Healthy Skin
Apart from a healthy diet, clean living and good skincare habits, there are certain vitamins and other natural ingredients that are powerful allies in the pursuit of healthy, glowing skin.
No doubt, there are hundreds of effective topical ingredients for the skin that deliver amazing results, but sorting through what they are and what they do can be a daunting task. Here are just a few simple and affordable ingredients you can keep in mind when searching for your next skincare product .
Vitamin A – Topically applied Vitamin a is one of the best ingredients for preventing and minimizing wrinkles, fade brown spots and improve rough texture of sun damaged skin. Vitamin A (marketed at Retinol (OTC) or Retinoid (Prescription) stimulates cellular turnover to encourage the production of new collagen, revealing a smoother, tighter complexion over time. Prescription grade Vitamin A can be irritating to the skin, causing redness and peeling for weeks. The best way to begin using Vitamin A on your skin is to start with an OTC Retinol product twice a week and slowly build to nightly use. You need just a pea-size amount of cream to the entire face at night. Do not use a Vitamin A cream during the day.
Vitamin B3 – This antioxidant boosts hydration and reduces redness in the skin, making it a beneficial ingredient for those with Rosacea. It’s also works to inhibit the transfer of melanin to skin cells which helps minimize hyperpigmentation. Look for Niacinamide on the label. This ingredient increases the production of ceramides and fatty acids in the skin to strengthen and protect the skin’s barrier which enables the skin to retain moisture levels and keep irritants from penetrating the skin. Apply products with Vitamin B3 morning and night for best results.
Vitamin B5 – Like Vitamin B3, this ingredient softens and conditions the skin. It increases hydration and improves texture and elasticity. Ideal for reconditioning dry, rough and sun damaged skin. When applied to the skin, Vitamin B5s healing and soothing qualities offers relief from itchiness, inflammation and reduces redness.
Vitamin C – This well-known antioxidant fights free-radials that are responsible for signs of aging and is found in moisturizers or treatment serums. Vitamin C effectively fades brown spots, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, and firms the skin making this an ideal ingredient for those with sun damage. Look for concentrations of more than 5% of the ingredient for best results. Use Vitamin C creams or serums in the morning under your sunscreen and at night under your night cream.
Vitamin E – Another well-known ingredient. Vitamin E is one of the most powerful antioxidants, but your body can’t produce it. Eating a healthy diet, taking supplements and applying topical Vitamin E protects and repairs the skin. It also delivers powerful moisturizing qualities to the skin, restores dry skin to a healthy condition and increases the skin’s defenses against UV damage. Vitamin E also has the ability to neutralize free radicals, making this ingredient an important anti-aging must-have. Look for products containing 1% of the ingredient or more for best results. Use products with Vitamin E before sun exposure to protect the skin, then after sun exposure to minimize inflammation and reduce the effects of UV damage.
Vitamin K – This antioxidant is best known for its ability to reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes, minimize tiny spider veins, redness from rosacea, and broken capillaries. Look for a topical gel containing 2% Vitamin K (listed as Phytonadione). This ingredient is commonly formulated with 0.1% Retinol (Vitamin A), Vitamin E and Vitamin C. Use this treatment at night, under other night creams if desired.
Other Skin Boosting Ingredients to Look For
Caffeine – This powerful antioxidant is an anti-inflammatory that gives the skin a boost. It minimizes inflammation, brightens the skin and reduces the appearance of fine line. Often found in eye creams, caffeine is a popular anti-aging ingredient that delivers immediate results. As a body treatment, caffeine is often used in a sugar or salt scrub to minimize the appearance of cellulite.
Mushroom Extract – This relatively new ingredient in the skincare industry (except in Asia) is getting tons of press. That’s because mushroom extract (look for Cordyceps on the label) delivers powerful results. Different types of mushrooms have the ability to restore skin cells to their natural healthy condition, prevent the loss of collagen and restore moisture levels, making them an important anti-aging ingredient.
Lipids – Found naturally in the skin, lipids (listed as linoleic acid, ceramides and cholesterol) are in many creams and lotions. Lipids strengthen the skin’s barrier and helps maintain moisture levels in the skin.
Natural Oils – Natural oils are not only effective cleansing agents (they break down makeup and grime), oils like Jojoba, Avocado and Grapeseed oil deliver rich moisturizing benefits to overly dry skin. Oils work to restore the skin’s natural balance, minimize signs of aging and refine the texture of the skin. The only oils that clog the pores and cause oily skin are synthetic oils (mineral oil) – avoid those. Oils ideal for oily (or acne-prone) skin include lightweight oils like tea tree oil, argan oil and squalene oil.