Vitamins of youth: how to use cosmetics with retinol, niacin and vitamin C correctly

A cream with vitamins in the composition will help to cope with wrinkles, moisturize the skin, and improve its tone. The main thing is to observe several mandatory conditions.

Витамины молодости: как правильно использовать косметику с ретинолом, ниацином и витамином С

Decide on a vitamin

Not only are all vitamins divided into fat- and water-soluble (the texture of the product will depend on this), but also each of the vitamins has a whole range of valuable properties. Vitamins with antioxidant, vasoconstrictive, anti-inflammatory and regenerating effects have especially taken root in modern cosmetology. 

Vitamin A (retinol) and its derivatives (retinyl, retinal, retinol propinate, retinaldehyde) – first on the list when it comes to antiage therapy. They activate cellular metabolism, which leads to a pronounced rejuvenating effect. Cosmetics with vitamin A will help to increase the tone and even out the turgor of the skin, improve the complexion. The effect of retinol is enhanced by vitamin E (tocopherol). It helps to maintain the natural level of hydration of the skin, prevents the formation of free radicals, nourishes the skin and protects it from UV radiation.

Vitamin F is a complex of polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic, linolenic, arachidonic) that moisturize and nourish the skin (and this means not an absolute, but a very firm “no” to dry skin and early wrinkle formation). Vitamin F has a regenerating and antioxidant effect – eliminates peeling, helps to cope with inflammation, protects against aggressive environmental factors (therefore, it can often be found as part of a hand cream or protective lip balm).

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) – one of the most powerful antioxidants. It prevents aging, stimulates collagen synthesis, strengthens vascular walls and solves hyperpigmentation problems (it has a lightening effect). This “energy” vitamin is easily destroyed under the influence of light and heat, therefore, the most effective means are those containing stable forms of ascorbic acid. Ascorbyl glycoside, ethyl ascorbic acid — if these ingredients are indicated on the label of the product, cosmetics will definitely perform the declared action. 

B vitamins are most often included in the composition of products intended for the care of seborrheic skin and sensitive skin prone to inflammation — they regulate the activity of the sebaceous glands well. Vitamin B5, among other things, is better than others “friends” with hair – restores damaged areas, nourishes, smoothes — and is often used in cosmetics for hair care. 

Витамины молодости: как правильно использовать косметику с ретинолом, ниацином и витамином С

Vitamins K (phylloquinone) and PP (nicotinic acid) they are usually used to solve problems with vascular lesions of the skin, relieve swelling, eliminate dark circles under the eyes. Products with these vitamins are relevant in the summer and off-season (they restore the skin well after sunburn and salon manipulations).

Choose a tool

There is no definite answer to the question “What is better – “vitamin” injections or vitamins in care products?” because these are variants of different categories. Mesotherapeutic cocktails based on vitamin complexes – SOS-help for the skin, intensive therapy, which is carried out by the course and – importantly! – has a number of contraindications (a cosmetologist will warn you about them). Daily “vitamin” recharge is the “comme il faut” of proper skin care, which she will definitely appreciate. It is better to combine these methods: a couple of courses of mesotherapy per year and proper home care will give an excellent result. If you cannot inject for contraindications or do not want to (for example, you are “afraid of the needle”), it is better to choose a combined “vitamin” care and use it for at least three months or more.

Vitamins work when they stay on the skin. If you want to get the effect of using “vitamin” cosmetics – use tonics, serums, creams, masks. The vitamins contained in the means for surface cleansing of the skin (foams, gels, emulsions) do not have time to penetrate even into the stratum corneum and, of course, do not have any significant effect on the quality of the epidermis. The concentration of vitamins in care products should not be high: “vitamin” cosmetics is not a treatment, but a daily necessary minimum. In addition, some vitamins in high dosages can cause local irritation and even allergic reactions (for example, vitamin A or C). It is optimal if the preparations for care, taking into account the type of skin, its individual characteristics, condition and age, will be selected by a cosmetologist. 

1/10 Strengthening serum FORCE C3, HELENA RUBINSTEIN – vitamin C. Visible effect of transformation after a month of use: radiant uniform skin tone.

Use correctly

Vitamins, like other active ingredients, “play” by their own rules. For example, they work well in symbiosis, enhancing each other’s properties. Antioxidant complexes can be used both in the morning and in the evening. Preparations based on vitamin A and its derivatives should be used only at night — so their anti-aging effect will be more pronounced. In addition, when using cosmetics with vitamin A, it is necessary to remember about additional protection from ultraviolet radiation (especially in spring and summer).

Dermatologist, Head of the medical department of the Sesderma representative office in Russia.

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