Vitamins are chemical substances that are naturally occurring substances. They are found in the food we eat, produced in the body in small quantities, and now in the latest and best skin care. Regardless of naturally sourced or not, all vitamins are chemicals that can, in the right quantities, help support the skin.
What is a Vitamin?
Vitamins are organic compounds: naturally occurring substances that are required for the normal, healthy function of our bodies. Our body does not produce vitamins in large quantities, so we require our diet to meet our needs.
There are two types of vitamins: fat soluble vitamins and non-fat soluble vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins include A, D, E and K, and they are stored in places like the liver. Non-fat soluble vitamins are B and C, and are excreted via the kidneys. This is why your urine turns bright (and pungent) after drinking Berocca!
Many vitamins require other nutrients to be absorbed properly, and vice versa. This is why it is so important to eat a range of foods, not to just focus on one nutrient in food or supplement form. Great sources of vitamins are fresh fruits, dairy, vegetables, lean meat, fish, grains, eggs, legumes, seeds and nuts.
Vitamin D from the Sun
Vitamin D is produced in the body. A type of cholesterol sits in your skin and is activated by ultraviolet radiation. When it is activated by UVB radiation, the cholesterol is converted into Vitamin D. Vitamin D supports healthy, strong bones, and a lack of vitamin D can cause Rickett’s in children and osteoporosis in adults.
The Australian Cancer Council guidelines on Vitamin D suggest that only 4 minutes (everyday, before 9am or after 4pm) of unprotected sun exposure is required to sufficiently trigger the response. Enough Vitamin D is produced during summer to generate enough stores for the coming winter months. Interestingly, in a report by the Annals of Internal Medicine that criticised supplement use as useless, Vitamin D was one of the few useful supplements for persons with a diagnosed deficiency.
Vitamins and Skin Care
Vitamins are popping up in the latest skin care. They can have amazing results on the skin when delivered correctly. Vitamins that are commonly used in skincare are Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Vitamin C.
Vitamin A a buzzword in cosmeceutical skin care. When applied topically, vitamin A can be used to treat both acne and premature ageing. Vitamin A comes in many forms: retinol, adapalene, retinova and beta-carotene. Each form of vitamin A can provoke different skin reactions. Pure vitamin A can provoke severe skin reactions in some clients. However, some types of less pure vitamin A are transformed by the skin, and are far better tolerated by many clients.
Vitamin E (tocopherol) is probably the most well known vitamin in skincare, and it is great at keeping the skin supple and moisturised. However, many products claim they are a vitamin E moisturiser but the percentage of the vitamin is actually very low. In low doses Vitamin E is used as a preservative, providing no benefit to the skin.
In today’s cosmeceuticals, Vitamin C is the known to be a hero for dull, aging, hyperpigmented skin! Vitamin C is easily soluble and broken down, so it is important to look for the right kinds of it in topical skin preparations. Stabilised vitamin C, known as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, is utilised in brightening and anti-ageing skin products to improve skin firmness, texture and tone.
To find out more about your skin, call us today and come in for a free Dermalogica face mapping skin analysis with our skincare nurse. ENT Wellbeing Sydney on 1300 123 368.