When you were a kid, your parents probably had you take a multivitamin to help you grow. Now that you’re an adult, you might not be so concerned about developing strong bones or about gaining in size. But, vitamins will play a big role in your life and in your diet. A number of vitamins play an important role in protecting your skin from the signs of aging. Along with considering skin rejuvenation treatments and surgery to reduce the signs of aging, it’s also worth taking a peek at the vitamins you’re ingesting or applying to your skin. Some have a huge part to play when it comes to minimizing wrinkles, spots and other signs of getting older.
If you’ve ever used a topical product that claims to fight wrinkles, you might be very familiar with the role vitamin A plays in helping your skin. Retinol, a known wrinkle-fighter, is derived from it. Products that contain retinol or retinoids, the synthetic form of vitamin A, are known to help increase cell turnover and improve the production of collagen in the skin. Retinoids not only help minimize wrinkles. They are also helpful for minimizing dark spots and hyperpigmentation, since they encourage exfoliation.
You can find retinoids in both over-the-counter and prescription products. As you might have guessed, the prescription strength products tend to be stronger. If you have particularly sensitive skin, it can be helpful to speak with your facial plastic surgeon first or to try a milder over-the-counter retinol product. When you use a product with retinol, it’s often best to apply it at night, since it does make you more sensitive to sun exposure. You’ll also want to be particularly diligent about wearing an SPF every day when using retinol.
It can seem like there’s nothing vitamin C can’t do. It not only helps your immune system and improves your body’s absorption of certain nutrients, but it’s also great for your skin. Vitamin C helps reign in free radicals that cause skin damage, helps encourage collagen production, and helps fade dark spots. When you’re focusing your skin, the best way to get your vitamin C is topically.
Applying a moisturizer or serum that contains the vitamin can help reduce dark spots and improve the texture of your skin. There are just a few things to keep in mind: vitamin C is a bit volatile, and will break down when exposed to sun or air. For that reason, look for a product that contains it and that is also packaged in an opaque, airtight container.
While evening in the best time for your retinoids, morning is the best time for your vitamin C. Put a product containing it on your skin first, before your sunscreen, to give your skin even more protection against sun exposure and free radicals.
Vitamin E is known as an antioxidant and a moisturizer and it’s fairly common in skincare products. It’s also often found in sunscreens, as it provides an added layer of protection against sun exposure (just don’t rely on vitamin E instead of SPF). While it might be tempting to take a vitamin E supplement to further protect and moisturize your skin, you’re probably getting enough from your diet or in a multi-vitamin. Go ahead and use topical products with vitamin E to your heart’s content, but speak with your doctor before taking a vitamin E supplement, or any supplement, for that matter.
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
As you get older, your skin begins to lose its protective barrier. Redness becomes more common. Some anti-aging products, particularly those that contain retinoids, can also make redness worse, particularly if you have sensitive or reactive skin.
That’s where niacinamide, or vitamin B3, can come in handy. It helps strengthen your skin’s protective barrier by encouraging the production of fatty acids and ceramides. The stronger your skin’s barrier, the more protected it is, and the less redness you’ll see. Topical products with niacinamide can be particularly helpful if you suffer from rosacea, as they can minimize redness and flushing associated with the condition.
While using skincare products that are packed full of vitamins won’t replace surgery or treatments such as Botox or fillers, they can help you keep the signs of aging at bay for some time. If you’re interested in learning more about the role vitamins play in skincare and more about what you can do to keep your skin looking youthful for longer, make an appointment with Dr. Stephen Smith, a fourth generation facial plastic surgeon in Ohio, today. Call (614) 245-4263 to schedule your consultation.