Vitamins in skincare may well be more important than taking them internally when your diet is lacking. The Carousel speaks to Dr Ginni Mansberg, GP and creator of Evidence Skincare E.S.K skincare, a vegan, cruelty-free cosmeceutical anti-ageing and trouble shooting skincare collection.
“The evidence for vitamins in skincare is compelling,” States Dr. Ginni. “Vitamin A helps build collagen, reduces pigmentation, combats acne and acne scars as well as fine lines, wrinkles and skin blotchiness.
“Vitamin B3 decreases trans epidermal water loss, so improves hydration and reduces redness, blotchiness and pigmentation. It’s useful in acne, rosacea, eczema and ageing skin.
“Vitamin C acts as an anti-oxidant and reduces pigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines, and crow’s feet. It also brightens and evens out skin tone while protecting and repairing your skin from UV ray damage. C also helps promote and produce collagen and elastin.”
“Vitamin A helps build collagen, reduces pigmentation, combats acne and acne scars as well as fine lines, wrinkles and skin blotchiness,” says Dr Ginni. “Anybody who wants to combat acne or skin ageing won’t want to miss out on this blockbuster ingredient.
“There are two effective forms of Vitamin A. One is Retinoic acid, which you can get on prescription from your doctor. It is a highly effective form of A but can cause redness and irritation.
“Retinal (no, that’s NOT Retinol) has been shown to be equally effective as Retinoic acid minus the irritation. And the good news is it is available without prescription in some skincare products. Look for a 0.05 to 0.1% concentration for both of these forms of vitamin A. All other forms of A can’t be relied upon for efficacy or not to lead to irritation.”
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Luxe: ES.K Ultimate A+
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“Vitamin A should only be used at night because being exposed to sunlight breaks the vitamin A down, and may also produce free radicals – not good,” adds Dr Ginni.
“Not all forms of B are helpful in skincare,” reveals Dr Ginni. “It is B3 or Niacinamide that does the heavy lifting when applied to the skin at between 2 and 5% concentration. B3 improves the skin barrier function and decreases trans epidermal water loss, so improves hydration and reduces redness, blotchiness and pigmentation. It’s useful in acne, rosacea, eczema and ageing skin.”
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Luxe: E.S.K Skincare B Calm
“Vitamin C acts as an anti-oxidant and helps to reduce pigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines, and crow’s feet,” explains Dr Ginni. “It also helps to brighten and even out skin tone while protecting and repairing your skin from UV ray damage.
“Vitamin C also helps to promote and produce collagen and elastin. So if ageing or sun damaged skin are concerns for you, C should definitely be part of your daily skincare routine.
“It is best when used in the morning for prevention of UV damage. Look for L-Ascorbic Acid in a 5-10% concentration. It is also very unstable and is sensitive to light, water, air and heat, so should be in a formulation where: water is not the first ingredient, there aren’t many ingredients on the list and it should be in a low pH formulation (less than 3.5). Also, formulas should be in airless opaque bottles to minimise exposure to light and oxygen.”
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“Vitamin E when added to C for the management of wrinkles and for the reduction of sunburn [works well]. Look for a combination product if nixing wrinkles is your thing,” says Dr Ginni.
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The do’s and don’ts
“There is no problem mixing vitamins per se,” explains Dr Ginni. “But dermatologists don’t recommend using vitamins A and C together. That’s because Vitamin A should ONLY be used in the night. And Vitamin C is best used in the morning. Also being unstable, Vitamin C is best formulated with fewer ingredients and only those that don’t risk its stability so as a general rule, it doesn’t mix well with other Vitamins (except E).”
Lifestyle factors you can adopt to improve skin health
“The best advice is to get plenty of sleep, eat well, don’t smoke or drink excessive alcohol. There is also some emerging evidence for Collagen supplements and also for copper infused materials (like bedding) for reduction of wrinkles.”
About Dr Ginni Mansberg
Dr Ginni Mansberg is a TV doctor, GP, speaker, consultant, non executive director, podcast host, entrepreneur and cosmeceutical skincare manufacturer.