Skincare vitamins are essential for a radiant, healthy-looking complexion. They provide vital nourishment for your skin, protecting and improving its appearance over the long term with consistent use.
Your skincare regimen should incorporate vitamin-rich products at every step, from cleanser to moisturizer. But it’s not enough to just use skincare vitamins–you need to understand what these vitamins do for your complexion for the best results. Here’s what you should know:
Vitamin A Skincare
Vitamin A shows up on your product label as a retinoid. These vitamin A derivatives go by many names, including tretinoin, trifarotene, and tazarotene in prescription form, and retinols in over-the-counter formulations. Retinols may also be called retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, and retinyl linoleate.
What Vitamin A Does:
- Improves acne breakouts
- Encourages skin cell turnover and collagen formation
- Minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Smooths the appearance of skin tone and texture
- Reduces the look of hyperpigmentation
How to Use Vitamin A:
- Target acne breakouts with a special retinoid cream or lotion.
- Use a night cream with retinol as a key active.
- Supplement your anti-aging regimen with a vitamin A serum.
- Stronger retinoids can irritate sensitive skin, so start with a product that has lower concentrations of gentler retinol.
- You should avoid prescription-strength retinoids during pregnancy. If you want a powerful product that can be used while pregnant, try The Cream. It has acceptable levels of retinyl palmitate for use during pregnancy.
- Skin treated with vitamin A needs protection from UV damage during the day. Always wear sunscreen while using retinoids.
Vitamin C Skincare
Vitamin C isn’t just a part of your daily diet–it can be a transformative part of your daily skincare routine. L-ascorbic acid is considered the strongest form of vitamin C skincare, but you can also see results with other forms such as ascorbyl palmitate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, and ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate.
What Vitamin C Does:
- Diminishes the appearance of dark spots for brighter-looking skin
- Prevents free radical damage with its antioxidant protection
- Improves the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles
- Acts as an anti-inflammatory to calm redness
- Helps control breakouts and diminishes the look of acne scars
- Prevents transepidermal water loss to help skin stay hydrated
- Supports collagen production for a smoother appearance to skin’s tone and texture
How to Use Vitamin C:
- Apply a vitamin C moisturizer in the daytime to enhance the protective qualities of your sunscreen.
- Address skin issues with The Serum, which contains vitamin C to promote a glowing complexion. (Use The Serum day or night under moisturizer.)
- Give special attention to the delicate skin in the under-eye area with The Eye Cream. Vitamin C can smooth the tone and texture of skin, brighten the appearance of the eye area, and diminish the look of fine lines or dark circles.
- Do a patch test of vitamin C products, particularly those with L-ascorbic acid, if you have sensitive skin.
- Vitamin C products degrade faster when exposed to too much light or air, so look for dark-colored bottles with airtight delivery mechanisms. Store these products away from direct sunlight.
Vitamin D Skincare
You may take vitamin D supplements if you don’t get enough sun exposure (your body needs sunlight to produce vitamin D). But your skin can also benefit from vitamin D skincare products. While topical vitamin D won’t boost the vitamin’s levels in your body, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can help your skin look its best.
What Vitamin D Does:
- Supports the skin barrier
- Protects skin from environmental aggressors such as UV rays
- Helps calm and soothe skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema
How to Use Vitamin D:
- Reduce the symptoms of skin conditions such as psoriasis with a topical cream or lotion.
- Improve the appearance of skin with vitamin D oil, serum, or cream.
- As a reminder, topical vitamin D skincare won’t elevate your blood levels of vitamin D. A vitamin D deficiency can only be addressed with oral supplements
Vitamin E Skincare
Like vitamins C and D, vitamin E is an antioxidant that nourishes and protects skin. But vitamin E is also super hydrating because it draws water to your complexion and locks it in for a moisturized skin barrier. You’ll see vitamin E listed as tocopherol or tocopheryl acetate on your product’s ingredient label.
What Vitamin E Does:
- Hydrates for a soft and supple skin texture
- Helps prevent damage such as lines and dark spots caused by free radical exposure
- Fortifies the skin's moisture barrier
- May help diminish the appearance of scars or wounds
How to Use Vitamin E:
- Use it in a luxurious moisturizer. The Ultimate Soothing Cream provides long-lasting hydration and nourishment that works especially well for dry or stressed skin.
- Hydrate freshly exfoliated skin. The Essence combines vitamin E and natural exfoliating acids such as phytic and salicylic acids for a refreshed and renewed complexion.
- Moisturize and protect thinner skin with The Eye Cream, which combines vitamins C and E to powerful effect.
- Vitamin E skincare is generally beneficial for all skin types.
What Is the Best Vitamin for Skin?
The best vitamin depends on your skincare goals. If you want to brighten your complexion, vitamin C is an excellent choice. Would you rather encourage skin cell turnover to diminish the signs of aging? Vitamin A retinoids are a top choice.
In the end, when it comes to skincare vitamins, use the same approach you do with your dietary intake–strike a healthy balance for the ultimate skin support.
Is Vitamin C or E Better for Skin?
Both vitamins C and E offer great benefits for your skin. As antioxidants, they condition and support skin health, but they also have their own specific attributes (such as brightening for vitamin C and hydrating for vitamin E). Your best bet: Make sure both vitamins are well-represented in your skincare routine.
Can I Use Vitamin C and E at the Same Time on My Face?
Vitamins C and E work well together and can be used at the same time. They’re particularly good during the day as a complement to your sunscreen’s protective capabilities.
Which Vitamin Is Best for Anti-Aging?
Vitamin A skincare is a popular choice for anti-aging because it's so effective at skin cell turnover. However, the other skincare vitamins all do their part to beautify your complexion by improving tone and texture, promoting firm and supple skin, and reducing the look of lines and dark spots.
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