Anti-Aging Skincare: Load on Vitamins!
Anti-aging skin care products - such as cosmetics, moisturizers and
hair care products - are using vitamins to help us achieve healthier
In fact, the number of skin care products containing vitamins
has more than tripled since 1991. To choose skin care products sensibly
we have to understand which vitamins have anti-aging properties.
Vitamin A, and its precursor beta-carotene, are found in yellow,
orange, and green vegetables, egg yolks, liver, butter, and fish oils.
It is one of a family of natural and synthetic related derivatives
collectively known as retinoids - the primary prescription agent used
for anti-aging purposes.
"The wide use of retinoids today in the reversal and prevention
of photoaging was due to the research of a dermatologist who discovered
that topical tretinoin improved wrinkling, brown spots, roughness and
precancerous actinic keratoses," said Dr. Draelos.
Another vitamin that has become increasingly popular as an added
ingredient in anti-aging skin care products is vitamin C, also known as
ascorbic acid. Found in vegetables and citrus fruits, vitamin C acts as
an antioxidant and is considered vital in wound healing because it aids
in stabilizing collagen. When applied topically, vitamin C can reduce
fine lines and wrinkles and may lessen the severity of sunburns.
A great anti-aging vitamin, Vitamin E, is found naturally in
vegetables, oils, nuts, seeds, whole wheat flour, and some meats and
dairy products. Vitamin E is another antioxidant that may have
anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. When applied topically, vitamin
E has been thought to improve moisturization, softness and smoothness
and also provide modest photoprotection.
"A great deal of research is being conducted to substantiate the
claims of vitamin E," said Dr. Draelos. "In the future, we're likely to
see vitamin E preparations redesigned to enhance penetration into the
skin. Certainly, it is an important vitamin for the skin and is
included as an ingredient in many skin care products for its healing
One newer topical vitamin that shows promise as an
over-the-counter ingredient to be explored in anti-aging products is
niacinamide, a derivative of niacin - one component of the B vitamin
"Niacinamide is one of the vitamins that I think we'll hear more
and more about in the coming years. Already, topical 4% niacinamide has
been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of papular and pustular
acne in a 4% gel, as well as the improvement of skin cancer and its
anti-tumor characteristics," added Dr. Draelos.
Future research in the anti-aging effects of vitamins on the
skin will emphasize the importance of careful formulation and clinical
testing as the key to developing useful topical vitamin preparations
for the skin.