By Carla Oates
When it comes to a healthy, glowing complexion, we all know how important it is to feed our skin from within with all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs to thrive. Prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics are also essential—beauty begins in the belly, after all.
But at the end of the day, it’s also important to consider what products you use topically. As your body’s largest organ, our skin plays a number of important roles: helping the body to expel toxins and wastes, as our first line of defence against harmful bacteria and pathogens, and helping to regulate and balance our body temperature. Our skin is also porous, meaning that whatever we use topically, is able to be absorbed deep beneath the skin’s surface and into our bloodstream. This is why it’s even more essential to take note of the ingredients and source of your skincare—and work hard to maintain your skin’s structural integrity so as to help support its natural barrier system, not only for the sake of your skin’s health, but your overall wellbeing as well.
While there are countless creams, toners, serums, oils and treatments available these days touting all sorts of skincare benefits—as with our inner health and nutrition, when pared back to basics, there are a few key ingredients that stand out. From our skin’s perspective specifically, the vitamins that all experts agree are your skincare heroes include vitamins A, C and E.
What is it?
Often argued to be one of the most effective skincare ingredients, vitamin A is a potent antioxidant and comes in two types: preformed and performed and is one of the best vitamins for glowing skin. While the former are more commonly known as retinoids (found in skincare), the latter are classified as carotenoids (found in plant-based foods)—and both are important for the health of our skin.
While many swear by the topical skincare benefits of vitamin A—helping to reduce the signs and symptoms of ageing including fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, as well as easing skin conditions such as breakouts or acne and psoriasis—retinol (the most common form of vitamin A), can also be irritating for some skin types and cause excess dryness, flaking or sensitivity.
But the good news is that there are now gentler, plant-derived ingredients like Bakuchiol, which are considered a safer alternative to retinol and clinically proven to reduce multiple signs of ageing. Widely used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, this potent antioxidant helps to improve skin tone, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve cell turnover and regeneration, stimulate collagen production and protect against UV-induced skin damage. Given it’s also super gentle and suitable for all skin types—it’s also incredibly versatile.
What is it?
Perhaps the most well-known—and most widely praised—antioxidant, vitamin C plays an essential role in our immune health and overall wellbeing. But it also boasts a multitude of benefits for our skin and unlike many fad skincare ingredients, vitamin C truly lives up to its hype!
From boosting collagen synthesis to supporting skin structure, protecting our skin from sun damage and other environmental aggressors—to hydrating, brightening and soothing skin—we’ve got to ask if there’s anything this skincare hero can’t do? For many, one of the key benefits of using vitamin C topically is its ability to stimulate collagen production. While this plumping protein naturally declines with age, by supporting our body’s ability to synthesise collagen within the skin, we can assist with its structural integrity and help prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Its protective effect also deserves a spin in the spotlight—as this potent antioxidant protects the skin from cell damage caused by free radicals. While we are unable to avoid the oxidative stress caused by free radicals entirely—as they are naturally produced due to normal metabolic processes as well as when we’re exposed to external stressors like UV rays, pollution, cigarette smoke and other chemicals—vitamin C helps to mitigate the damage caused by these unstable compounds, brightening and improving skin tone and reducing the visible signs of ageing.
While adding a vitamin C serum to your skincare routine will undoubtedly provide benefits, for the best results, you want to do your research as vitamin C comes in a number of different forms. Ascobyl Tetraisopalmitate, for example, is oil-soluble and therefore able to penetrate the skin more quickly than other forms of vitamin C making it ideal for facial oils. The result? Bright, firm, dewy skin!
What is it?
Another intensive antioxidant, vitamin E is likely most famous for its moisturising benefits and although it’s often spoken about as a singular entity—it’s actually comprised of eight fat-soluble compounds. In terms of our health, vitamin E is important for maintaining immunity and our overall health—but it’s also a wonderful antioxidant for our skin.
In skincare, vitamin E comes in the form of Alpha tocopherol and is widely used for its skin moisturising benefits and ability to increase skin hydration—helping to protect and preserve the skin’s natural barrier system. And it’s this protective effect that is clinically proven to reduce the effects of oxidative stress and damage—which can lead to premature ageing, dullness, dryness and loss of tone.
A number of studies have also investigated its benefits in supporting with wound healing and ameliorating inflammatory skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis—which make sense considering these types of skin issues can often manifest as dry, flaky or itchy skin.
Other Honourable Mentions...
When it comes to healthy skin, your inner beauty supplements are just as important as your outer beauty skincare products which is why our Beauty Chef formulas incorporate an abundance of skin-loving anti-inflammatory antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and nutrients as well as prebiotic, probiotics and postbiotic to both promote more radiant skin and improve your gut health, immunity and wellbeing. Look for formulas that contain B complex vitamins, vitamin D, niacin (vitamin B3), biotin (vitamin B7), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and omega-3, 6, 7 and 9 oils.