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Skincare can get really complicated, really fast. Before committing to an intense, 10-step K-Beauty regimen or calculating retinol percentages – stop. Go back to the basics: skincare ingredient ABCs. Learn more about these popular skincare vitamins and ingredients below.
What Vitamin A Does: Slows Aging + Strengthens Skin Barrier
Other Names: Retinol, Retinal or Retinyl Esters
Great For: Stimulating collagen production and evening skin tone
Vitamin A in Skincare
Vitamin A, aka retinol
, is a powerful antioxidant that slows signs of aging. A must-have for those with moderate to visible signs of aging, vitamin A stimulates fibroblasts, which strengthen skin’s protective barrier and aid in cell and tissue growth. By promoting cellular turnover, slowing oil production and keeping pores clear, vitamin A is known to effectively resolve acne. Vitamin A is also a useful ingredient in evening skin tone, as it inhibits the excessive production of the enzyme needed for pigment production.
What Vitamin B3 Does: Moisturizes + Soothes
Other Names: Niacinamide
Great For: Hydrating and reducing redness in dry, irritated skin
Vitamin B3 in Skincare
There are 8 different types of B vitamins, all of which have various benefits and sources. Our go-to is vitamin B3
. A hydrator and redness-reducer, vitamin B3 boosts production of ceramides and fatty acids in the skin, which help form the skin’s protective barrier to keep moisture in and pollutants out. Vitamin B3 softens, smooths and refines skin texture by improving skin congestion and slowing down the transportation of melanin to the skin’s surface (translation: no hyperpigmentation).
What Vitamin C Does: Protects + Improves Texture
Other Names: Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP) or Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP)
Great For: Brightening complexion and shielding against free radical damage
Vitamin C in Skincare
Vitamin C is an essential step in every skincare regimen, regardless of age or skin concerns. Since vitamin C is volatile, it’s important to look for a stable
form so that actives can be delivered to skin at the optimum dosage. When certain forms of vitamin C are exposed to air, heat and light, they can become unstable, leading to inactivity and oxidization that can irritate the skin. However, a stable form of vitamin C is a power-packed antioxidant that brightens and shields against the free radicals that cause wrinkles, sagging and aging. Using vitamin C
topically encourages collagen and elastin production in the skin, which together reduces the formation of wrinkles. Not only does vitamin C even skin tone and prevent against pigmentation damage, but it also infuses skin with radiance and luminosity. Double win!
What Vitamin E Does: Hydrates + Repairs
Other Names: Tocopherol or Tocopheryl Acetate
Great For: Strengthening skin’s barrier and supporting cellular restoration
Vitamin E in Skincare
Vitamin E is a reparative moisturizer that neutralizes free radicals and strengthens skin’s moisture barrier. This antioxidant is deeply hydrating, promotes cellular restoration from sun damage and provides healing support for scars and burns. Vitamin E
is a common skincare ingredient in moisturizers in part because of its anti-inflammatory quality, which soothes and calms irritated skin.
Skincare Vitamins in Action
Knowing when and how to take skin vitamins is essential to getting results. Here are the skincare tips and tricks
we abide by:
- Use Vitamin C in the AM: Vitamin C protects skin from pollution, UV damage and free radicals. Apply vitamin C in the morning to prevent against daily environmental damage.
- Use Vitamin A in the PM: Always apply retinol in the evening because it makes skin more susceptible to sunburns. Furthermore, the body cycles through its natural circadian rhythm at night, and the application of retinol amplifies this reparative process in the skin.
- Vitamin C and E are BFF: Vitamins C and E work synergistically to support each other’s antioxidant functions. Vitamin C promotes collagen production, while vitamin E maintains the cross links between collagen fibers to keep skin strong.
- Vitamin B Plays Nicely with Others: Vitamin B3 is found in a variety of skincare products from serums to face masks. B3 is often paired with other active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or folic acid for impressive results.
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