In Part 1 of this article, I discussed a handful of vitamins and nutrients that you can take internally to benefit your skin. You can also “feed” your skin by applying biologically-active vitamins and nutrients topically. Here are eight vitamins, minerals and nutrients you can apply to your skin for anti-aging skin care – to achieve a more youthful, vibrant appearance.
Please note there are many products on the market that contain the following ingredients. I personally favor cosmeceuticals – skin care products that contain the purest pharmaceutical-grade biological actives. While this article isn’t a product review, if you need help deciding which products to buy, I encourage you to contact my office (see my information at the bottom of this article).
Vitamin C, available without a prescription, has emerged as the wunderkind of topical skin repair agents. Its antioxidant action is clinically-proven to reverse damage caused by free radicals while also stimulating collagen growth. This is a good thing. More collagen equals visibly younger-looking skin. One caveat: vitamin C preparations are notoriously unstable, and can actually cause free-radical damage once they degrade. Therefore, make sure to store your vitamin C cream or other preparation in a cool dark place and discard if the color changes. An anhydrous (non-water containing) vitamin C cream, or one that also contains ferulic acid, enhances the vitamin’s stability.
Retin A, also known as tretinoin, is a form of vitamin A available by prescription. A tretinoin cream works in a variety of ways to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and to minimize the signs of aging. Some of these ways include increasing the skin’s thickness, regulating oil production, stimulating collagen production, and even possibly turning back the aging clock of skin cells. Take care with using Retin A, though, as some people develop local irritation when using it.
Copper peptides are absorbed deep into the dermis, where they’re effective in stimulating the skin to heal and repair itself. The result is increased collagen production and decreased wrinkles. A copper peptide product is also good to use following the exfoliant use of alpha hydroxy acids and Retin A to promote optimal healing and repair.
CoEnzyme Q10 levels diminish in the skin as we age. A cream containing this vitamin-like compound increases your cells’ ability to produce energy. The likely outcome for users of topical CoEnzyme Q10 is diminished wrinkles, improved texture and increased elasticity – in other words, better, younger skin.
Hyaluronic Acid, which also diminishes in our skin through aging, attracts many times its weight in water. A moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid can “plump” skin, filling fine lines for a noticeably younger appearance. One note: in dry climates, the hyaluronic acid may try to pull water from the skin instead of the air. Be on the lookout for drier skin, and increase your moisturizer use accordingly.
SMOOTH AND EVEN IT OUT
Alpha hydroxy acids, present in many moisturizers, are clinically-proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and to even out skin tone. Look for preparations that contain at least eight percent AHA but that don’t exceed 15 percent (at least not without the supervision of your dermatologist).
Niacin A was featured in a recent 12-week study, and showed that a five-percent niacin preparation reduced fine lines and wrinkles, faded extra pigmentation and blotchiness, and smoothed rough skin. A bonus: this topical vitamin is very safe and easy to use.
Vitamin K is a vital component of the blood’s clotting factors. Along with a diet rich in vitamin K or a supplement, a vitamin K cream can be applied topically to reduce dark under eye circles.
With a practical routine of repair, hydration and smoothing, a vibrant, youthful appearance is close at hand when you “feed” your skin with biologically active vitamins and nutrients.