When it comes to skincare and the abundance of products out there, it’s certainly overwhelming as an everyday consumer to know the fundamentals. Whether it’s a new skincare ingredient craze or products that you’ve been using for years – most people don’t know what’s important to look out for when building regimens and using skincare. If you’re after products with proven and visible results, it’s best to first get to grips with the basics; your Skincare A B C ‘s.
By A B C ‘s of course I mean vitamins; the nutrient-rich compounds that you’ll find in ingredients in skincare products. The subject of ingredients in skincare is quite complex, so I’m here to break it down.
The gold standard in skincare – Vitamin A is one of the few skin care ingredients that have a significant positive effect on the skin. Vitamin A includes retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, and provitamin A carotenoids like beta-carotene. As a molecule, it provides anti-aging benefits like no other ingredient. Beta-carotene is a form of Vitamin A found in plant foods like carrot, sweet potato, broccoli, mango and plants oils like rosehip, cacay and buriti. Applied topically Vitamin A is able to stimulate cell turnover, renewing and strengthening the skin. Due to the resurfacing properties of this ingredient, it can be used to treat a range of skin concerns like wrinkles, pigmentation and pimples.
There are different classes of Vitamin B which include, Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin B7 (Biotin), Vitamin B9 (Folate/Folic Acid) and Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin). These vitamins can’t be made in the body, so are an essential part of a healthy diet. The most commonly found in topical skincare is Vitamin B3 or Niacinamide, which has been shown to reduce inflammation and treat acne and rosacea by hydrating the skin. Niacinamide can protect the skin barrier from pollutants and irritants, stimulate cell turnover and the production of ceramides, which aid in retaining moisture in the skin. Similarly Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid can help to retain moisture in the skin, as it acts as a humectant. The other vitamin classes have shown no real benefits when applied to the skin.
Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant and essential nutrient which is also known by the active chemical name L-ascorbic acid. In the skin, Vitamin C can promote collagen production, decrease pigmentation by reducing melanin formation and reduces damage caused by free radicals – the molecules that increase the risk of sun damage, irritation from pollution and infection. Applied to the skin during the day, Vitamin C can help with treating acne, hyperpigmentation and protect against sun damage.
The essential vitamin produced naturally in our skin when in contact with the sun, Vitamin D is best attained from a healthy diet and/or supplementation. In skin care it isn’t a raved about ingredient but applied topically it does possess skin soothing properties and can protect and strengthen the skin.
Vitamin E or Tocopherol is the most commonly used in skincare products due to it being easily absorbed and it has the ability to be stored in the skin for a long period. Found in various vegetable oils like sunflower oil, Vitamin prevents damage from free radicals and aids in hydrating and plumping the skin.
Vitamin F is used to describe the essential fatty acid, Linoleic acid. It can help strengthen the skin’s barrier, keeping the skin hydrated in the process. You can find this ingredient in safflower, rosehip and sunflower oils.
Well, that’s all folks; This is as far as the skincare alphabet goes as far as I’m concerned because when it comes down to it, there are great ingredients, good ingredients, and ones that are certainly hyped up and not necessarily the most beneficial in a skincare regimen. So a great ingredient to look for is top of the list, Vitamin A – certainly worth a try if you’re looking to transform dull, stressed skin, especially when paired with Vitamin E. The good ingredients are Vitamin C and B3/Niacinamide particularly when paired with other good ingredients – to give your skincare regimen a boost and brighten skin.
Thanks for reading.
Here are some of my picks;
The internet is so saturated with misinformation, hype and really persuasive advertising, which makes it tricky to navigate and know what to trust and what to ignore. With anything, it’s always best to do your own research and know what is it exactly that you’re putting on your skin.
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