When you think about your diet, chances are you’re mentally checking off all of the healthy foods you know are good for you (and how many of them you’ve actually eaten recently). But what about your skin diet? That’s right, just like you need to nurture your body with vitamins and minerals, so too do you want to “feed” your face with nutritional ingredients.
Yes, good skin starts with your inner health, but ingestible vitamins can’t do it all. The amount of, say, vitamin C you need to make your skin look brighter and more even is physically impossible to eat. That’s because your body can only absorb a set amount of most vitamins and minerals — the rest is just flushed out as waste (read: in the toilet). And, only a certain percentage of the vitamins it is absorbing are actually designated for your skin. In other words, you can eat five pounds of oranges, but that doesn’t mean your skin is going to suddenly look more radiant.
Which is where skincare comes in. Products with high percentages of vitamins and minerals provide targeted benefits to the areas that need them most. A vitamin C serum applied to a sunspot is going to be a heckuva lot more effective. With that in mind, we went to dermatologist Dr. Sejal Shah of SmarterSkin Dermatology in NYC to learn which topical vitamins we should be using and why. So, grab yourself some orange slices and settle in to learn just how good a healthy skin diet can be for your complexion.
“The benefits of topical vitamin A, aka retinoids, are well known and range from improving acne to reducing signs of aging,” says Dr. Shah. “They increase cell turnover, prevent dead skin cells from clogging pores, boost collagen synthesis, and help reduce hyperpigmentation and even out skin tone.”
Find it in:
Sweet Chef Beet + Vitamin A Serum Shot, a lightweight gel essence that smooths rough skin and refines pores with the power of beets and vitamin A.
Blithe Gold Apricot Pressed Serum is a solid serum that gives you a smooth and glossy glow without any stickiness.
“Vitamin B strengthens epidermal barrier function, resulting in an improvement in the moisture content of the skin,” notes Dr. Shah. “It stimulates keratin protein and acts as an antioxidant. It also may help improve inflammatory conditions, such as acne, rosacea, and eczema. Studies have shown that it can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and reduce hyperpigmentation.”
Sweet Chef Kale + Vitamin B Serum Shot is like green juice for your face. The milky essence has nutrient-rich kale, plus soothing and skin-barrier strengthening panthenol (aka vitamin B).
Blossom Jeju Pink Camellia Blooming Vitamin Radiance Booster uses vitamin B3 derived from beet root extract to rejuvenate tired skin and improve elasticity.
Leegeehaam Life Hyal B5 Moisture Mask has some serious hydration powers, thanks to the heaping helping of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 infused into the mask.
“Topical vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and has a number of benefits for the skin,” says Dr. Shah. “Its antioxidant activity protects the skin against damaging free radicals that are induced by UV radiation and other environmental pollutants. It also plays a role in collagen synthesis and can boost its production, therefore improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It can help reduce hyperpigmentation and brighten skin.”
Sweet Chef Ginger + Vitamin C Serum Shot, a dark-spot and acne-erasing wonder, is a lightweight serum that brightens hyperpigmentation of all types.
Liz K First C Serum Pure Vitamin C 13% has a massive concentration of the purest form of vitamin C — L-ascorbic acid. It does everything from brightening and evening out skin tone to fighting premature aging.
Wish Formula I’m Pro Vitamin C Ampoule Pad this on-the-go pad is soaked with radiance-boosting vitamin C, making it both convenient and effective at smoothing and strengthening your complexion.
“Vitamin E has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” explains Dr. Shah. “It primarily provides protection against free radicals generated by UV radiation and other environmental factors, but it has also been shown to have a moisturizing effect on the skin.”
Common Labs Ggultamin Vitamin E Real Jel Mask is a two-step gel mask that calms and revitalizes damaged, sensitive skin to make it look instantly more youthful.
Leegeehaam Vita Propolis Ampoule is a gwang-giving ampoule that evens and smooths your complexion with propolis extract, Centella Asiatica, sea buckthorn, and a trifecta of skin-nourishing vitamins.
Blithe Vital Treatment Pulp Essence 8 Nourishing Beans is an essence that features “bursting” beads that release a mega-dose of skin-plumping vitamin E upon contact with the skin.
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