Vitamins A, C and E: The Holy Trinity of Skincare
by Lauren on Jul 21, 2023
In the quest for radiant, glowing and healthy skin, the power of vitamins can be shown in many skincare products. Among the many vitamins included in skincare formulations, vitamins A, C and E stand out as the holy trinity of skincare. Their benefits range from skin brightening, anti-aging, protection from free radicals, and even promoting skin repair, these three vitamins are definitely ones to keep an eye-out for.
How different these vitamins are and their individual properties is what makes each of them so beneficial to our skin. Let’s look at the differences of each vitamin.
A very well-known skincare ingredient, often in the form of retinoids, is very popular for its anti-aging properties, promoting skin cells turnover and collagen production. As well as its amazing anti-aging properties, It also helps improve acne by regulating oil production and preventing the formation of comedones and can help regulate melanin production, promoting an even skin tone.
Vitamin A exists in various forms including retinol, retinyl palmitate and retinoic acid. Both retinol and retinyl palmitate are usually converted into retinoic acid by the skin to produce their beneficial effects. This class of skincare agents work by binding to specific skin receptors, modulating gene expression and promoting skin cell turnover.
The second part of our golden trio is vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant which helps brighten the skin, even out skin tone and even helps reduce hyperpigmentation and dark spots. It also helps protect the skin from free radicals, which is very important when protecting the skin from UV rays. Exposure to the sun’s UV rays causes the skin to produce free radicals which could damage skin’s collagen, leading to photoaging.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid is a water-soluble compound which is susceptible to oxidation when exposed to air, moisture, light or high pH levels. Therefore, in skincare you may find it as a form of derivative of vitamin C such as ascorbyl palmitate or magnesium ascorbyl phosphate.
The last of our holy trio is vitamin E, another antioxidant which also protects the skin from UV radiation, environmental stressors, and free radicals. It improves skin hydration as well as promotes skin repair and healing. It also helps reduce the appearance of scars and inflammation.
Vitamin E refers to a fat-soluble group of compounds called tocopherols and tocotrienols. The most common forms in skincare products are the alpha, beta, gamma and delta- forms of tocopherol, all of which have unique properties and benefits for our skin. Alpha-tocopherol is a highly abundant form of vitamin E in the skin and absorbs into the skin well when applied onto the skin, usually found in skincare products such as serums, moisturizers and face oils.
These vitamins have a wide range of beneficial properties and help improve the skin, the following skin concerns can be addressed by implementing corresponding vitamins into your routine.
For hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone:
Vitamin C can work its antioxidant magic on hyperpigmentation as it helps to inhibit the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for hyperpigmentation, allowing it to brighten the skin and fade dark spots. Vitamin A may also be beneficial as it promotes skin cell turnover, as well as having the ability to regulate melanin production which can help to even out skin tone.
Vitamin C is a useful ingredient to help brighten the skin by reducing the appearance of dark spots, as well as vitamin E which can protect the skin from oxidative stress and environmental damage, promoting a healthy and radiant complexion.
Vitamin A is a must for its anti-aging properties thanks to retinol and retinoids abilities to promote collagen production and skin cell turnover. Vitamin C is also a must to protect the skin from photoaging and therefore preventing damage which may lead to wrinkle formation. Vitamin E also has benefits for reducing visibility of wrinkles thanks to its ability to strengthen and support the skin’s natural barrier whilst maintaining skin hydration levels.
For dehydrated skin:
Vitamin E is ideal to help moisturize dehydrated skin as it forms a protective barrier on the skin’s surface to help keep moisture in the skin as well as promoting skin healing which reduces dryness. Vitamin C is also great for helping the skin maintain high hydration levels as it can strengthen the skin barrier which prevents transepidermal water loss of the skin.
*Please note that using vitamin A and C in conjunction may cause irritation, so please use with caution (it is recommended to use vitamin A at night and vitamin C in the morning)*