Between the ever-growing market of skincare products available to us, from the pharmacy and Mecca lines to clinical cosmeceuticals, it can be hard to determine exactly what makes a product worth purchasing. Our firm belief is that formula comes first! An effective formula of actives (the ingredients that can make change in the skin) combined with hydrating, smoothing and protective ingredients are the keys to a product worth investing in.
So let’s breakdown three of the essential vitamins to skin health!
Vitamin A: Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate, Retinaldehyde
Vitamin A’s first function is to increase cell turnover - the production of new skin cells and removal of old ones. This cycle slows down as we age so it makes it a first point of call for reducing the signs of aging. By improving how long skin cells hang around, Vitamin A can smooth the skin’s texture and bring congestion and breakouts to the surface to clear them out, making it a tool used for acne management also.
Less potent forms of vitamin A such as Retinyl Palmitate can also have antioxidant properties that help to defend against environmental stressors such as UV radiation, pollution and lifestyle factors. Gentle retinyl palmitate can be found in multivitamin products such as Image’s Vital C Hydrating Repair Creme.
With time, (think at least 6 months!) more potent forms of Vitamin A such as Retinol and Retinaldehyde can stimulate the production of collagen and elastin which smooths out the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. However, it’s important to be realistic about the timeline of using Retinol, it’s no overnight fix but it’s worth the wait! Our retinol of choice is Aspect’s Retinol Brulee.
When using Retinol, slow and steady wins the race so it’s important to introduce it slowly with one or two nights a week to reduce possible irritation. Vitamin A works best when paired with its best friend, the anti-inflammatory Vitamin B family.
Vitamin B: Niacinamide, Panthenol
The true multitool of skincare vitamins, Niacinamide (B3) packs a punch in the benefits it can bring. For oily and combination skin types, it can regulate the production of oil to mattify shiny areas. For dry, sensitive skin types it can improve the level of ceramides, which are part of the ‘glue’ that holds the skin cells together and increase the resilience and hydration of the skin while decreasing inflammation. Panthenol (B5) also finds itself in our tool kit of skin hydrators, which draws water into the skin for plumper, softer skin.
Niacinamide can also assist in evening out the skin tone, brightening up post-acne scars and pigmentation so is a key part of our pigmentation and acne treatment prescriptions as it will reduce inflammation in acne and sensitive skin types, which can lead to pigmentation.
Finally, Niacinamide is another of our antioxidant ingredients which with its soothing properties, makes it an excellent alternative for sensitive skins that can’t tolerate the potency of Vitamin C.
A fantastic Niacinamide based serum is Aspect's Extreme B 17
Vitamin C: L-ascorbic Acid, BVOSC, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate,
Rounding out the trifecta of skin nutrition is Vitamin C. Renowned for its brightening properties, vitamin C is an effective pigment regulator, helping to smooth out uneven skin tone for a bright, radiant complexion.
Vitamin C also is a powerful antioxidant that mops up free radicals caused by UV exposure and environmental stressors before they can damage your precious cell DNA and lead to sun spots and premature aging. That’s why we consider the best buddy to your sunscreen if you’re serious about managing pigmentation and preventing aging!
This antioxidant action also makes it fantastic for skin conditions such as Rosacea which naturally causes free radical damage from the regular inflammation of the skin.
However, as great as Vitamin C can be, it can be pretty potent depending on the form. That’s why we recommend different forms depending on your personal skin type. Gentle forms of vitamin C such as Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate are suitable for inflamed skin such as those with acne or redness. A fantastic vitamin c for oily, acne-prone skin is Aspect’s Jungle Brew which combines brightening vitamin c and anti-microbial and soothing botanical extracts.
For those with tolerant skin ready to take a potent active blend, consider a mix of ultra-stable and effective BVOSC (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) and peptides to defend against damage while working on reversing the visible signs of aging in one go! Our vitamin C of choice for ageing skin is Aspect’s Extreme C20 and Image Skincare's Vital C Hydrating Anti Ageing Serum which partners stable and effective forms of vitamin C with skin firming peptides.
Now that you’ve got the skincare ABC’s covered and better understand which of our essential vitamins for skin health are suitable for you, we can’t wait to see how your skin improves! For more information on products listed above or for questions about integrating these products into your skin routine, come ask our friendly skin therapists in salon!