Are you taking your skincare vitamins? We know that different vitamins are vital to our nutrition, but did you know that our skin needs vitamins to function properly and stay healthy looking?
Choosing the right skincare products can feel overwhelming, but it’s as easy as learning your ABCs! Different vitamins support various skincare functions and offer a range of benefits, but it is important to note that they are all antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent free radical damage that occurs from oxidative stress.
Esthetician Note: Free radicals are reactive molecules that cause damage to our cells and cellular structures. They cause visible damage to our skin and accelerate skin aging. They are created by natural processes in the body, and external triggers such as UV exposure, smoking, stress, and pollution. Antioxidants work to bond with these free radicals to prevent this oxidative stress and damage that can cause visible signs of aging.
Fun Fact: We have natural antioxidants and vitamins in our skin like melanin, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid. We need vitamin C in our skin, but we actually don’t make it naturally.
Retinol and retinoids are derived from vitamin A. They support a more youthful cell turnover and can support the natural production of proteins in the skin like collagen and elastin. It can improve the look of lines and wrinkles, firm the look of sagging skin, reduce the look of dark spots, and re-densify the overall look of the skin. It can also minimize the appearance of breakouts and smooth the look of skin texture.
It’s a misconception that because vitamin A derivatives can accelerate skin shedding that they exfoliate. But, retinol and retinoids are not exfoliants. Overall, retinoids are the most effective and proven skincare ingredient to improve the visible signs of skin aging.
How to use:
- This ingredient should be used at night.
- Because it’s so potent, it should only be used 1-3x a week to begin. As your skin builds a tolerance, add more days.
- Make sure to apply retinol/retinoids to dried skin to prevent unnecessary irritation.
- Using retinol with exfoliants can be too potent and cause irritation, redness, and dryness.
- Do not use while pregnant or breastfeeding.
B vitamins are a category of ingredients that support barrier function, hydration, cellular energy, and metabolism. B vitamins are crucial for healthy-looking skin. The two most common B vitamins in skincare are B3 (niacinamide) and B5 (panthenol). They work well for all skin types, including sensitive skin, and pair easily with other skincare ingredients.
Niacinamide can reduce the look of pore size, excess oil and shine, dark spots, redness, and breakouts. It is ideal for normal to oily skin, but has benefits for all skin types. It can encourage the production of ceramides and support the skin barrier.
Panthenol is both a humectant and an emollient which allows it to support skin hydration and barrier function. It’s a soothing antioxidant that is ideal for normal to dry skin, but it offers benefits for all skin types. Provitamin B5 gives the skin a more supple look and feel and can help with redness associated with sensitivity.
How to use: B vitamins can be used day or night and pair well with your other serums and skincare ingredients. You will generally find this ingredient in serums and moisturizers.
Vitamin C is a whole category of skincare ingredients with a range of benefits. Pure vitamin C is ascorbic acid, but there are many derivatives of vitamin C and botanical sources of vitamin C used in skincare. We don’t make vitamin C naturally, but it’s essential for the regeneration of vitamin E in the skin, supporting the production of collagen, and protecting the integrity of proteins in our skin.
Vitamin C is a daytime antioxidant superstar. It can help fight the impact of free-radical damage from aging and UV exposure in your daytime skincare routine (but it can be used day or night). It can reduce the look of dark spots, hyperpigmentation, lines, wrinkles, and smooth the look of skin tone for a more even-looking complexion.
How to use: Pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a potent skincare ingredient that delivers the most active form of this vitamin. Start using it a few days a week to see how your skin tolerates it. Different forms of this ingredient are best suited for different skin types, therefore we have a few options of Vitamin C products so you can find what’s best for you.
Vitamin E is the most abundant oil-loving vitamin in our skin. This antioxidant helps stabilize vitamin C. Because vitamin E is abundant in our skin, it benefits all skin types and is easily tolerated. The nourishing and soothing properties of this nutrient are especially beneficial for dry, dehydrated, sensitive, or breakout-prone skin.
Vitamin E can have hydrating, moisturizing, nourishing, and barrier-supportive properties. You’ll often see it paired with vitamin C. These two antioxidant vitamins together can have an increased effectiveness from 4x-8x in helping prevent visible free radical damage from UV exposure. They can also help prevent the appearance of premature aging, improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots and hyperpigmentation, and help support the natural process of healthy cell formation. In fact, vitamin C helps the skin regenerate vitamin E. They are the perfect pair!
How to use: Vitamin E by itself is very thick and can be highly unstable, so it can oxidize and deactivate when exposed to UV light. Proper skin care formulations will have vitamin E in a stable form and paired with other ingredients that ensure it will benefit our skin in the most meaningful ways.