In 1933, a statement was released involving the “study of vitamins” and the “constant development of new and novel methods for their administration.” The statement went on, “One of these is the application of ointments or creams rich in vitamin containing substances directly to the skin.” It followed that this practice would help to correct, “mild skin morbidities, large pores, lines, wrinkles, sallowness, etc.” Twenty years later, Helena Rubenstein’s released her Lanolin Vitamin Formula with vitamin A. It would set you back $1.50 for a one month supply and $2.50 for a two month supply. We’ve come a long way since then! Well, whatever your “skin concerns” may look like, there’s probably vitamin for that today.
According to Mary Lupo, MD and professor of dermatology at Tulane University, “the body only delivers only a certain percentage of vitamins to your skin, no matter how much you ingest.” Our bodies do their best, but in order to guarantee that we’re hitting the target, we need to make sure that we help out by putting these vitamins there ourselves. One of the best ways of doing so is by looking out for certain vitamins in your skin care products.
Otherwise known as tocopheryl, vitamin E works in several ways to provide antioxidant benefits to the skin. Although both natural and synthetic forms of the vitamin are beneficial, the natural form is more potent and longer lasting. Vitamin E helps to protect skin from environmental pollutants and is found often in sunscreen because of its ability to defend skin against UV light. Pair it with Vitamin C for a one-two punch against aging.
Vitamin B3 is best for reducing redness and boosting hydration. Also known as niacinamide, vitamin B3 increases productions of fatty acids and ceramides, which are both play major roles in the skin’s protective barrier. Says Leslie S. Baumann, MD and director of the University of Miami Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute, “As that barrier is strengthened, skin is better able to keep moisture in and irritants out.” The results of one study showed that moisturizers containing B3 tempered the redness caused by rosacea. In addition, the wonder vitamin interferes with the transfer of pigment to cells in the skin, decreasing the appearance of dark spots.
Also listed as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a superstar for diminishing the look of dullness, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and fine lines. Vitamin C is a proven preservative of skin’s resiliency and helps to smooth and firm skin, while evening out skin tone, increasing hydration and making it visibly more radiant. Hema Sundaram, MD, advises looking for moisturizers with this vitamin in the list of ingredients and see the benefits for yourself.
Retinol, or Vitamin A, more commonly, is probably the gold standard of ingredients for skin, providing benefits to combat everything from bumps, rough texture, wrinkles, and fine lines According to Doris Day, MD and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at University Langone Medical center, “There are more than 700 published studies on retinoids. They’re tried and true ingredients. Anyone who wants younger looking skin should use one.”
If you want younger, brighter looking eyes, you may want vitamin K. One study concluded that daily use of vitamin K in an eye cream over four months lightened under eye circles significantly, but because of the retinol content in the cream, it was unclear which vitamin was responsible. However, Dr. Berman says the retinol may ease Vitamin K’s ability to be absorbed by skin and prevent darkness.
Let us know what vitamins your skin has been taking and how they’re working for you. We love to get your comments and suggestions.