Back-to-school season is fast approaching and patients want to look their best as the summer winds down. To prepare for the change in seasons, we’d like to walk through the vitamin ABCs and highlight these three gold-standard ingredients that can provide a foundation for healthy, glowing skin.
Vitamin A refers to a class of molecules called retinoids, including retinol and retinaldehyde, which are converted into retinoic acid – the active form of vitamin A – in the skin.
Vitamin A is a gold-standard anti-aging skincare ingredient thanks to these benefits:
Firmness and Elasticity
Vitamin A is one of the most effective ingredients for promoting collagen production. Collagen is a protein that provides structural support and strength to maintain skin elasticity and firmness, and vitamin A provides unparalleled improvements to the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots.
Vitamin A also increases skin cell turnover, promoting the growth of new cells while encouraging dead skin cells to be shed. This can help improve skin texture and unclog pores, reducing the likelihood and severity of breakouts. Retinoids also help regulate sebum production and reduce inflammation.
Note that in high doses, accelerating skin turnover can lead to dryness and sensitivity, called retinization. Make sure patients slowly ease into retinoid product usage, starting with infrequent use and gradually increasing and only applying retinoids at night.
Vitamin A inhibits melanin production, helping to fade dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and to even out the skin tone, resulting in a brighter complexion.
The active form of vitamin A, retinoic acid, is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals, including wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, redness, and acne.
- Multi-Complex Night Crème, an overnight moisturizer with powerful anti-aging benefits including improved firmness, brightness, and hydration.
- Advanced Retinol, a retinol serum that replenishes moisture using bioidentical lipids to prevent sensitization while delivering the benefits of vitamin A.
Vitamin B ingredients are a gold-standard in skincare for their softening, hydration, skin barrier support, brightening, and soothing properties. The most common B vitamins used in skincare are vitamin B3 (niacinamide) and vitamin B5 (panthenol).
Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)
- Moisturizes and strengthens the skin barrier, enhancing its resilience against environmental stressors and free radical damage.
- Brightens and evens skin tone, reducing the appearance of dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and discoloration.
- Minimizes pore appearance and regulates sebum production, giving the skin a smoother appearance.
- Calms redness, irritation, and inflammation.
Vitamin B5 (Panthenol)
Panthenol is a humectant, meaning it attracts and retains moisture, resulting in improved skin hydration and softness.
It also soothes and calms the skin, with anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate redness, irritation, and promote skin healing.
- Vita-B Enzyme Polish, a dual-action exfoliant that uses vitamins B3 and B5 to soften, hydrate, and reveal bright and youthful skin.
- Boost+ Essence, a regimen-enhancing silky formula with 2% vitamin B3 that repairs and sustains the skin barrier for better results, faster from all products in a regimen.
Vitamin C refers to ascorbic acid and its derivatives, which are gold-standard ingredients for their antioxidant strength and collagen promotion:
Vitamin C ingredients are potent antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals caused by environmental stressors like UV radiation and pollution. While not a substitute for sunscreen, vitamin C provides a degree of protection against UV damage by reducing oxidative stress and damage, which can contribute to signs of premature aging, including lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin C helps inhibit the production of melanin, and regular use can lead to a brighter, more even complexion and a reduction in the visibility of age spots, sunspots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Firmness and Elasticity
Like vitamin A, vitamin C helps stimulate collagen production, improving skin elasticity, firmness, and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C supports the skin’s natural healing process, aiding in the repair of damaged skin and improving the overall appearance of scars and blemishes.
Vitamin C comes in a variety of different forms, which have different shelf lives and penetrate the skin with different effectiveness. Like vitamin A, it’s best to work vitamin C into a skincare routine gradually to avoid sensitivity or irritation.
- C-Stem®, a concentrated anti-aging serum that uses tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate – a lipophilic form of vitamin C that has a longer shelf-life and enhanced skin penetration – to significantly brighten, reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and soothe.
- Vita-C Peptide Spray, an aromatherapeutic mist that improves elasticity and delivers a quick burst of hydration with magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, a water stable form of vitamin C.
- Vita-C 20, a brightening moisturizer with 20% L-ascorbic acid that promotes youthful, wrinkle-free, hydrated skin and enhances protection against UV and free radicals.
Vitamins A, B, and C form a helpful foundation for a skincare routine and impart benefits that will make skin look and feel more beautiful than ever this fall. For more fall regimen recommendations, read this article next.