In this 5 part series, I’ll be sharing what the common beauty product ingredients are and what effect they have on our bodies. Vitamin A: Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that is stored
Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that is stored in our liver. It contributes to normal growth and development while keeping our eyes, skin and immune system healthy. Vitamin A plays a key role in maintaining health.
Retinyl palmitate (vitamin A) is the normal form used for application on the skin and has great anti-ageing, superb anti-oxidant and moisturizing capabilities.
It accelerates cell renewal and stimulates the fibroblast and collagen in the skin, thereby reducing wrinkles and fine lines. Due to its anti-oxidant properties, it is also a great anti-aging ingredient, and helps promote a softer smoother skin.
The topical application of vitamin A on the skin, when formulated into creams and lotions has a host of positive effects on the skin, which includes:
* Increases the activity of enzymes found in the skin.
* Stimulates the mitotic activity in the epidermis and thereby helps with the process of cell division.
* Stimulates cell proliferation in the epidermis and thereby stimulates growth.
* Helps to thicken the epidermis, which becomes thinner in aging.
* Improves the elasticity of the skin.
* Helps to normalize photo (sun) damaged skin.
* Helps in wound healing.
* Stimulates collagen formation in the skin.
* Reduces UV-induced wrinkle formation.
* Regulates keratin formation.
* It is an anti oxidant.
The inclusion of vitamin A in cosmetics have been proven and internationally accepted as being safe – but it must be noted that this refers to Retinol and Retinyl palmitate.
The skin also readily absorbs topically applied vitamin A and this has been proven in various experiments.
Exposure to sunlight – which includes both UVA and UVB radiation, reduce the amount of vitamin A not only in the skin, but also the blood.
Vitamin C for Anti-Aging & Brighter, Healthier Skin
In any form (and we’ll get to which types work best), vitamin C provides potent antioxidant protection, shielding skin from damaging free radicals—those pesky rogue molecules that promote premature aging. The most abundant forms of free-radical damage are environmental factors we can’t escape—think sun damage, pollution and oxygen—that assault skin on a daily basis, but that’s where topical vitamin C can help (Dermatological Surgery, 2008 & Dermatology Research and Practice, 2012)!
When incorporated into your daily skincare lineup, well-formulated products containing vitamin C can provide a range of benefits that keep your skin younger-looking, longer! See what C can do:
* Reduce the appearance of brown spots and other types of sun damage
* Helps boost healthy collagen production (hello, firmer skin!)
* Reduce inflammation and irritation, both of which cause a cascade of damage
* Fade post-breakout red marks by improving skin’s natural healing response
* Increase the effectiveness of your sunscreens and boosts your skins defense against UV exposure.
Vitamin E (d-α-tocopherol) is equipped with a terpene side chain that is bound to a chromane ring and belongs to the group of fat-soluble vitamins just as the vitamins A, D and K. As a natural antioxidant, vitamin E occurs in all unsaturated vegetable oils. Wheat germ oil is on top position in this regard. Outstanding physiological function of this vitamin is the protection of oxygen sensitive cellular components such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. In the cosmetic field, the free vitamin and its derivatives are used. The derivatives are the esters of organic acids. As the esterification occurs on the phenolic hydroxyl group, they lack the antioxidative effects. Hence they do not have antioxidative functions in the products but are stable active agents that are hydrolyzed by esterases after having passed the skin barrier. The ester hydrolysis activates the antioxidative features. The following vitamin E derivatives are of significance:
* Tocopheryl Acetate is the ester of acetic acid.
* Tocopheryl Palmitate is the ester of palmitic acid.
* Tocopheryl Linoleate (ester of linoleic acid) shows a combination of antioxidative effects with the effects of an essential omega-6 acid.
* Tocopheryl Nicotinate (ester with nicotinic acid) is a combination of vitamin E with vitamin B3. The ester supports the microcirculation in the skin without the features that are typical for short-chained nicotinic acid esters such as generating heat or erythema.
A whole series of vitamin E features are used in the cosmetic field:
* Antioxidative effects and radical scavenger features – in this context it is important to select the appropriate concentration as high concentrations will trigger the pro-oxidative features of vitamin E.
* Protection of vitamin A and derivatives in combination with vitamin C.
* The radical scavenger features also naturally involve a reduction of the stress caused by UV radiation. The same applies to inflammatory processes.
* Stimulation of cell formation (epithelisation)
* The moisture retention capacity of the skin is improved.
Panthenol is a common ingredient used in skin care products, including cosmetics, hair sprays, shampoos and conditioners. This natural ingredient can be found in plants and is a form of vitamin B5, also referred to as pantothenic acid.
Panthenol is derived from vitamin B-5 and is what’s called a chiral molecule. This means that the molecular structure contains two different sides that are mirror images of each other instead of exact duplicates (kind of like your left and right hands). Panthenol’s two sides have different chemical and biological properties that are either magnified or minimized depending on the type of panthenol-containing product chemists plan to make.
Panthenol’s Properties: Panthenol is mostly used as a humectant, a substance that helps retain moisture, and is primarily used in skin and hair products. Panthenol’s molecular structure allows it to attract moisture from the atmosphere and bind to water molecules. The result? Panthenol helps moisturize hair and skin and stops both from getting dehydrated. In addition, because panthenol also spreads evenly on the surface of the hair strand, it forms a smooth film over hair cuticles that enhances light reflection and makes tresses look shinier and glossier. What’s more, the smooth film also gives hair strands “slip” to discourage nasty knots or tangles. (One big drawback, though, is ingredients that penetrate the hair shaft can sometimes make strands swell and frizz.)
Panthenol Rumors: You may have heard that panthenol creates a waxy buildup on hair that requires multiple washes to dislodge. But no evidence supports this hearsay. Panthenol doesn’t have the same structure as waxy materials and doesn’t have a structure that would make it bind to hair strands. Also, it’s extremely water and alcohol soluble, which makes it super easy to wash out.
Beauty Stat.com – The Most Common Ingredients Found In Makeup, Cosmetics, Skincare, Shampoos, Hair Conditioners And Other Beauty Products: Dictionary
Seacret – Vitamin A – Retinyl Palmitate/ Retinol
Paula’s Choice – How Does Vitamin C Help Skin?
Pubmed – Topical vitamin C: a useful agent for treating photoaging and other dermatologic conditions.
Pubmed – The role of antioxidants in photoprotection: a critical review.
PMC -Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation
Real Health – Panthenol: The Truth About This Common Hair and Skin Care Ingredient