IS YOUR SKIN VIT FIT? – THE VITAMIN GUIDE TO SKINCARE
As the colder weather moves in it’s time to get skincare savvy and give your skincare routine a re-think. We all know that taking the right mix of vitamins is crucial for long term health but as we grow older they can also play a vital role in fighting the signs of ageing. Research shows that the body is only capable of delivering a small percentage of vitamins ingested to the skin and even then there’s no way you can direct them to tackle problem areas – like pigmentation or wrinkles. The answer is to apply vitamins topically to deliver potent nutrients exactly where you need it – from smoothing wrinkles, calming redness to erasing dark circles. A number of cosmetic companies first introduced vitamins into their skin creams in the 1930s. The two most common vitamins used then were A and D, but since then the list has grown considerably with the studies showing that using the right mix of topical vitamins whether in cream, oil or serum form will help keep your skin supple and glowing. Follow our user’s guide to the top vitamin ingredients.
Vitamin A The Wrinkle Fighter
What it does Anyone who wants younger looking skin should use this anti ageing powerhouse. When applied to the skin, vitamin A can boost collagen and is the fastest solution for wrinkle reduction, often showing first results in less than two months. This superstar ingredient will also fade pigmentation and help keep skin healthy and clear,
How to use Retinol, retinoid acid and retinyl palmitate are all forms of Vitamin A in various forms and strengths– the strongest, retinoic acid, is only available on prescription, while over the counter products usually contain retinoids/ retinyl linoleate (a synthetic form of Vitamin A). All forms are potent and effective but side effects include redness and itchy skin so if you are new to Vitamin A try over the counter products first because the retinol they contain is slowly converted to retinoic acid, the active ingredient in prescription creams, but in smaller amounts. All forms are best used as a night cream mostly, because sunlight makes most forms of vitamin A
Find it in For prescription creams see your dermatologist or call 0207 436 4441
Over the counter products: Indeed Labs retinol reface retinol skin resurfacer £13.33 (boots.com) or
La Riche-Posay Redermic ® Anti-Wrinkle Treatment £22.12 (boots.com
Vitamin B Counteracts Redness and Boosts Hydration
What it does A great winter skin ingredient when skin needs a moisture boost and protection from redness. There are various forms of Vitamin B but all can do wonders for the skin, but the most popular form is Niacinamide which has anti-inflammatory properties.
*Vitamins B1 & B2 aid cellular energy production and enhances activity of other B vitamins.
*Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) improves skin barrier function and ceramide production to boost hydration, stimulate production of collagen and fibroblasts and reduce hyperpigmentation. It is also a milder alternative to exfoliators like glycolic and helps skin become more even-toned
*Vitamin B5 helps tissue repair. Protects skin against sunburn and aids hydration.
Vitamin B6 particularly known for anti-inflammatory properties
How to use Apply morning and night on all areas of the face, neck and body but avoid eye area. If any irritation occurs stop using the product for one or two days and then try using every other day. If irritation continues, stop using
Find it in
Olay Regenerist 3 Point Super Serum £20.99
Oskia Bedtime Beauty Boost £74 (oskiaskincare.com)
SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 £98 skinceuticals.co.uk
Vitamin C The Free Radical Fighter and Brightener
What it does There are many different types including ascorbic acid L-ascorbic acid and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate but whatever form this favourite antioxidant has proven ability to stimulate collagen production, smooth rough patches and fade brown spots Also helps mop up the free radicals that trigger wrinkling and sagging and other signs of ageing
How to use Apply in morning and evening to face, neck and décolleté before sunscreen – an anti ageing powerhouse if used with vitamin A
Find it in Institut Estherderm Intensif Vitamin C Serum, a unique powder to serum formula, £27 followed by Intensif Vitamin C Cream, £64 from www.feeliunique.com
What it does Not one of the most popular ingredients but is easily absorbed by the skin and oftencalled the ‘sunshine vitamin because of its key role in cell metabolism and turnover. Also improves skin texture and smoothness, frequently used in in creams for problems like psoriasis and rosacea.
How to use – good for all over the complexion and can be used morning and night or for skin issues as prescribed by a skin doctor
Find it in Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clay Mask £6.66 boots.com
Vitamin E – The Repairer and Dry Skin Defender
What it does Vitamin E – often known as Tocopherol, is an antioxidant which is good for fighting free-radical damage and strengthening the skin’s moisture barrier. Recent research has also proved it has powerful anti-inflammatory action and wound healing properties which is why it is also incorporated into many products that help minimise scars, burns and stretch marks as well as one of the key components of sunscreens and nail products
How to use – use on face and body once or twice a day or as recommended by product
Find it in Lanolips 101 Fruities ideal for lips and dry patches £7.99 from feelunique.com
Boots Vitamin E moisture cream £2.59
Embryolisse Artist Secret Radiant Eye Beauty Cooling Stick £20.59 – a make up artist’s secret weapon for instantly smoothing and brightening the eye area
Vitamin K The Dark Circle Diminisher and Eye Brightener
What it does The least know vitamin but very effective for evening skin tone, reducing discolouration and dark circles. It works by controlling blood clotting, thus strengthening damaged and broken capillaries so you will mostly find it in eye creams.
How to use In one study daily use of a vitamin K eye cream significantly lightened circles after four months of use – try using twice a day am and pm or as directed
Find it in
Stratum C Menopause Vitality Eye Serum £54 dermacaredirect.co.uk
Reset your beauty clock
The clocks go back this Sunday which means an extra hour of beauty sleep so make the most of it Skin cells turn over more quickly when you sleep and If you don’t get enough sleep, your skin won’t renew itself and will start looking dull—especially as you age, when cell turnover is slowing down. Skin temperature also rises when you sleep, allowing topical treatments to penetrate the skin more effectively than they do during the day. Using an effective night cream will support your skin during this process. and the latest generation have been developed for all skin types working hard while you sleep to target everything from fine lines and wrinkles to sun damage and dehydration. Try Jojoba Night Cream £34.99 (hollandandbarrett.co.uk) which contains marine collagen and CoQ10 to encourage overnight skin renewal or James Read Sleep Mask Tan £20 (marksandspencer.com) if you want to wake up glowing.