Our Top Pick Vitamins To Look For In Your Skin Care
One of the buzzwords commonly used today in skincare is ‘cosmeceuticals’. Google the word and you’ll find there are a number of similar definition’s, but ultimately a cosmeceutical product is one which provides added benefits to the skin beyond moisturising – in other words, it contains ingredients which actually have a profound effect on the skin.
According to Joseph DiNardo, author of Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary, cosmeceuticals are powerful products which address the signs of ageing today – and they are backed by real science. And these new powerful ingredients are primarily antioxidants – chemical compounds or substances that protect the body’s cells from the damaging effects of oxidation.
Here are my top picks to look out for:
- Alpha Hydroxy and Beta Hydroxy Acids: mild fruit and milk acids that help to exfoliate skin and promote a smoother, fresher complexion. Top pick for DiNardo is lactic acid, an AHA derived from milk which is not only a powerful re-surfacer but can also moisturise.
- Coffeeberry: a powerful, natural antioxidant which is extracted from the fruit of the coffee plant. This is a relatively new discovery which you will hear a lot about in the future.
- Essential Fatty Acids: these are important in your diet (omega 3 and omega 6) as the body cannot produce them, but they are also good for your skin when applied topically. DiNardo describes them as essential building blocks to maintain the structural function of the skin (along with ceramide and cholesterol). One fatty acid you may have heard of in skin care already is rosehip oil.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid: this is another ingredient which has some antioxidant benefits but can be irritating to some skin types.
- Growth Factors: these include Human Growth Factor, Epidermal Growth Factor, Nerve Growth Factor and Fibroblast Growth Factor. DiNardo says all of them are involved in the cell division and tissue proliferation process.
- Coenzyme Q10: this is another potent antioxidant and free radical fighter which features in a number of skin care products. The body produces it, but as we age production declines making it an essential skin care ingredient.
- Idebenone: this is one of the most potent and versatile synthetic antioxidants on the planet and a close relative of coenzyme Q10. A multifunctional compound, it works in several ways to decrease oxidative stress, stopping further damage and actually reversing it.
- Peptides: these are substances which act as messengers in the skin, allowing the epidermis and dermis to communicate more efficiently. DiNardo says that two of the most commonly used are Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 (Matrixyl), which signals cell molecules to help build new collagen, and Acetyl Hexapeptide-3 (Argireline), which signals cell molecules to minimise wrinkles.
- Vitamin A: the most active form of this vitamin which you may have heard of is Retin- A or tretinoin, which is only available on prescription. A milder form of this is a derivative of vitamin A, is retinol. DiNardo describes vitamin A as a rejuvenating molecule – it improves the density of dermal collagen, improves skin elasticity, tone and texture and smooths the skins surface.
- Vitamin C: this is another powerful antioxidant which works towards better health both internally and externally and is backed by a fair amount of scientific evidence when it comes to treating wrinkles. A common name for it in skincare is ascorbyl palmitate. However, Vitamin C is highly unstable as it oxidises rapidly when exposed to air, so you need to look for products which state that the ingredient is stabilised.
- Vitamin E: another antioxidant which can reduce sun damage. In the body, its essential biological function is to protect lipids from oxidation and free radical damage. DiNardo says that vitamins E and C work best when used in combination with each other, and also a ‘terminating’ enzyme (SOD or glutathione), a metal such as selenium, or an antioxidant such as polyphenols (from trees) to fight off free radicals.
- Hyaluronic Acid: DiNardo describes this as an ‘old standby’ which is found in cleansers and moisturisers. It helps the skin to retain moisture and also plumps it out.
- Teas (green, white, yellow or black): these provide effective polyphenol antioxidants to the skin. A problem with these are the sources – some have high levels of polyphenols while others are lower.
Find out more in the amazing book, Slow Ageing, Fast Living, one of our fav’s.
Carolyn (Caz) Rowland is a fashion designer, model, lifestyle blogger and professional Image Stylist. Caz is also a qualified NLP Master Therapist, Advanced Practitioner of Matrix Therapies, Time Line Therapist, Practitioner of Hypnotherapy, has a Diploma for Business and Life Coaching. Caz is happily married to her husband Simon, and raised four beautiful children, who are now young adults and a teenager.