Topical vitamins for the skin

Published August 31, 2021, 8:00 AM

by Dr. Kaycee Reyes

The best ones that work

HOT TOPIC[AL] Topical medication is the application of medicine or supplements, ranging from creams, gels, foams, and lotion to ointments, on body surfaces or mucous membranes

We all know that vitamins are important for our overall health, including our skin. But applied topically, they can offer so much more. This is because creams and serums deliver all the goodness directly to it, and that means faster and more visible results. What’s even better is that there are more vitamins out there that are good for the skin than we know—ever heard of vitamin K? So what are the top skin vitamins to look out for?

There have been a lot of studies proving that topical vitamins offer a wide range of benefits, from better hydration, improvement in skin texture, fading of scars, spots, and marks, reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, delay in skin aging, and better overall skin health. Like ingested ones, however, topical vitamins offer different benefits, too.

Here are the best vitamins for the skin and the specific benefits that it can offer.

Vitamin A. This vitamin helps the skin heal from sun damage, improve melasma, reduce acne, and can also address fine lines and wrinkles as it encourages cell turnover. Derivatives of this vitamin include retinoids, tretinoin, and isotretinoin. Beware, however, that it can affect your skin’s sun sensitivity, so don’t go overboard and introduce it gradually.

Vitamin Bs. Ever heard of niacinamide? Yes, it’s a vitamin B3 derivative. This vitamin in particular helps retain the skin’s moisture by maintaining its lipid barriers. This is helpful for those with dryness issues such as eczema. It also helps with pigmentation and fine lines. Another B vitamin to look out for is panthenol pantothenic acid, orvitamin B5. It has anti-inflammatory and hydrating effects that is important in hydration and wound healing.

There have been a lot of studies proving that topical vitamins offer a wide range of benefits, from better hydration, improvement in skin texture, fading of scars, spots and marks, reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, delay in skin aging, and better overall skin health.

Vitamin C. If you already have vitamin C in your arsenal, then maybe you can skip this part! Kidding aside, vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant that protects the skin from pollutants, improves skin hydration and complexion, treats dark spots or hyperpigmentation, and stimulates collagen production that results in brighter, even-toned skin. Be careful, however, as pure vitamin C is usually unstable so store it properly and replace it once it oxidizes or changes color. 

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Vitamin E. Another well-known skin care vitamin. Like vitamin C, it guards the skin from oxidative damage by fighting free radicals and also helps the skin with hydration and wound healing, addressing scars, and dry skin. In skin care, it is usually mixed other vitamins to maximize its benefits.

Other notable vitamins. If you’ve always had dark undereyes, vitamin K1 could certainly help as it aids in blood clotting that may reduce the appearance of undereye circles or improve overall brightness. Plus, it also offers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it a great choice too. 

As you can see, topical vitamins offer a lot of benefits for the skin, but don’t use them excessively. Like oral vitamins, too much can lead to toxicity—and for the skin that means allergies, adverse reactions, and skin damage. Moreover, skin concerns and their severity may vary from person to person, so better to consult a dermatologist on the dosage that is right for you. Finally, remember that creams and serums are not the only answer to better skin. Of course, a proper diet, a healthy lifestyle, and restful sleep all go hand in hand in keeping your skin in tip top shape.

 
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