A well-balanced diet rich in important minerals and vitamins is essential for healthy hair and skin. But, given that vitamins and nutrients from our diet penetrate our bloodstreams and feed our skin, is it necessary to administer them topically via skincare creams, lotions, and ointments? “Both internal and exterior vitamin use is essential for skin health.” Dr. Chytra V Anand, cosmetic dermatologist and founder of Kosmoderma Clinics, explains how topical treatments work. The absorption rate of active vitamins applied to the skin is greater than 90%, she confirms. Here’s everything you need to know about incorporating vitamin-enriched skincare products into your routine.
Vitamin A, often known as a retinoid in the beauty industry, is the only chemical that has the ability to reprogram cells. It has the ability to impact cell behaviour by causing them to flip over more quickly, enhancing renewal and overall skin suppleness and balance. Vitamin A increases collagen and elastin formation by activating fibroblasts. Vitamin A promotes skin health and makes the skin look younger: it minimizes outward indications of ageing such as open pores, small wrinkles, and dark spots. It is used to treat acne and oily skin, adds Dr Anand, and it also helps to normalise the look of pigmentation due to its ability to normalise the action of tyrosinase, an enzyme that produces melanin.
Vitamin B3 (or niacin) is a water-soluble vitamin that our bodies utilise in a variety of ways. It aids with memory enhancement, calcium retention, digestive system improvement, and anxiety reduction. Niacinamide is an excellent topical drug which may be purchased in lotions and serums. It can reduce the effects of aging and has an anti-inflammatory effect, as well as being soothing for the skin. It renews the skin by delivering energy to the cells and is effective in treating post-acne blemishes, explains Dr. Soma Sarkar, medical director of Dr. Soma’s Dermatology and Aesthetic Clinic. Niacinamide works with natural skin ingredients to reduce enlarged pores, tighten pores, uneven skin tone, and dullness. This is due to its capacity to normalise the pore lining, which prevents debris from obstructing pores. It also aids in the renewal and restoration of the skin’s surface against transepidermal moisture loss by increasing ceramide synthesis. “Niacinamide is an excellent antioxidant. “It can help balance out skin tone and eliminate dark spots for brighter skin when combined with Vitamin C and glutathione,” adds Dr Sarkar.
Pantothenic acid inhibits water loss and aids with moisture retention, preventing dryness, flakiness, and itching. It also protects your skin from UV-induced redness. It also increases glutathione production, which is a potent antioxidant that fights free radical damage.
Vitamin C is an all-arounder when it comes to skincare. It has photoprotective properties and can be used to strengthen your skin’s barrier against sun damage. It is a potent antioxidant that fights free radical damage and targets indications of premature ageing such as pigmentation and fine wrinkles. “The stable form of Vitamin C is L ascorbic acid, and the minimum quantity accessible in your lotions and serums should be 15 to 20%.” Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that aids in the reduction of oxidative stress. “It also benefits in wound healing and infection control,” explains Dr. Sarkar. It helps lighten hyperpigmentation areas and promotes skin rejuvenation by promoting collagen synthesis and reducing melanin production. Vitamin C lotions and serums help to strengthen the skin’s immune system, preventing premature ageing and further degradation of the skin barrier.
Vitamin E, like Vitamin C, is an antioxidant. It is fat-soluble and works well as a moisturiser and calming lotion. The most active form is alpha-tocopherol, and Vitamin E protects the skin from UV rays by absorbing it. “It aids in the manufacture of collagen and elastin, which aids in the construction and renewal of skin.” When coupled with Vitamin C, alpha-tocopherol acts as an antioxidant and can target free radicals. “Topically, vitamin E is utilised to relieve burns, inflammation, and scarring,” explains Dr. Sarkar.
Vitamin K is an anti-inflammatory and has an effect on the vasculature of the skin (by assisting in the induction of rapid blood clotting), which helps minimise bruising and swelling swiftly. “Vitamin K can be given in a cream formulation post-surgery for wound healing and edoema reduction,” Dr. Anand says. Vitamin K lotions have recently been utilised to minimise the appearance of dark circles for the same reason.