Several vitamins lead the way in the challenge of keeping one’s skin looking young. Want to fight the natural effects of aging skin? Read on.
1. Vitamin A
The commercial vitamin-A products tretinoin and tazarotene are considered the gold standard for treating age-related wrinkles. They cause the skin to peel by removing the top skin layers and forming new collagen and blood vessels. This helps reduce wrinkles and pore size and improve skin tone and smoothness. They are FDA-approved. Tretinoin softens your skin and tazarotene can
also treat liver spots. Both require continuous use.
In 2001, a six-month study compared various strengths of tazarotene cream to a 0.05% tretinoin cream. It involved 349 people with sun-damaged facial skin. They found that both creams significantly improved skin color and wrinkles. They tested four different tazarotene creams, with success rates ranging from 36% to 67% (the latter using 0.1% tazarotene). Of those on tretinoin, 55% were
With that 0.1% tazarotene, the side effects included shedding skin (40% of people), redness in skin (34%), burning sensation (26%), dry skin (16%), itching (10% each), irritant dermatitis (8.0%), stinging, acne, and rash (3.0% each). The same, basically, goes for the tretinoin group.
2. Beta-carotene & Lycopene
This precursor of vitamin A is commonly used in skincare products. It’s the ultimate carotenoid. It’s an antioxidant and helps protect skin from ultraviolet (UV) light damage. One German study found that 24 milligrams (mg) of beta-carotene helped clear up reddened skin. (One kind included lutein and lycopene as well.)
Another German study tested to see if eating carotenoids (such as lycopene in tomato paste) could treat skin turned red by UV light. Researchers gave nine people tomato paste that included 16 mg of lycopene and 10 grams of olive oil. Another 10 people got olive oil only. After 10 weeks, those eating tomato paste had 40% less reddened skin. Eating a tomato helps protect you from the sun! Can you believe it?
3. Vitamin C
Free radicals can cause premature aging of the skin. They are triggered by UV light, tobacco smoke, and alcohol. You fight them with antioxidant nutrients. Vitamin C is perhaps the biggest one in skincare products, because it also helps your body build collagen and repair tissue. Some evidence says that a vitamin-C cream could help. One product (“Cellex-C High-Potency Serum”) could reduce wrinkles and improve skin tone, according to several studies.
4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another very popular antioxidant for your skin. It improves skin moisture, softness and smoothness and has UV protection. You should know, though, that no hard evidence yet exists that this nutrient can slow the aging skin process.
But vitamin E has proven useful in combination with others. For instance, one study found that taking E supplements of around 1,000 micrograms (µg) a day and two grams of vitamin C provided the best sun protection. You should speak to your doctor first, as some people can experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea with this supplement.
And, in another study, vitamin E was teamed up with carotenoids. In 20 people, one group got 25 mg total carotenoids a day and the other a combination of the carotenoid supplement and 500 µg vitamin E for three months. Sure enough, the combo had greater improvements in reddened skin.
Read the first part of this series: How to Fight the Look of Aging Skin Naturally