The everlasting debate on whether vitamins are worth it or simply just make your urine more expensive is one that has been going on for some time! Understanding just what vitamins and minerals are important as well as taking them appropriately has also been a topic of discussion lately. We are always learning what practices and products are here to help us feel our best and vitamins my friends, are a very important one.
Simply getting all that is "suggested" of our daily vitamins and minerals is too difficult from food alone, that we need something else. It all started as a product meant to supplement our daily lifestyles so that we were ensuring the correct amount was consumed. But the underlying concern was always, "how much of this am I actually absorbing for benefit?"
How it Started
As every hot new market often does, the demand for products grew which ultimately leads to some faults in the production step, thus providing us with less-than-the-best quality we need and deserve. With certain ingredients that may be difficult to get in large enough quantities, these vitamins will become become less and less healthy. Outsourcing the main components of these products is the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way these brands make a big profit, and we stay fooled.
That's right, you heard me, and you may not be that surprised. Big brand companies will certainly take advantage of the demand, as well as our lack of reading the labels, and sell us vitamins containing fillers in them. Now this may not come to a HUGE surprise to most of you but to some, this could be news. This is also where our previously mentioned debate comes into play.
As this information is settling in, let me also tell you that there is a solution here. One that will actually provide you with a better way for reaping the benefits that vitamins have to offer.
What The Change?
You may still be in a little shock after what you just read. But rest assured, there is a better way! Studies actually show that our skin absorbs 60-70% of everything we put on it and it only takes 26 seconds for your skin to absorb a chemical into it's bloodstream. That being said, when taken orally, sometimes those vitamins won't reach your bloodstream for 3-6 hours and even then you are only getting a small percentage of true absorption.
So the solution may seem clear right? Just apply all the vitamins topically and we will be right back to where we need to be on the health chart. Well, it isn't quite THAT easy. First you have to know what each vitamin is supposed to be used for on our skin before we lather up in them. For all we know, topical application could alter the benefits of each one.
Which One Does What?
Before you rush to the store and pick up every letter of the alphabet in skin care products, let's discuss which ones should be in your routine and exactly which ones are best to stick to orally.
When used as a topical, it is also called retinoid. Retinoids - or retinol - is the active form of vitamin A. When applying regularly, vitamin A is known to stimulate the production of collagen reducing fine lines and wrinkles, stimulate cell turnover, decrease oil production, AND has an anti-inflammatory effect. Since retinoids can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, they should be applied at night, and you must be diligent with your sunscreen application during the day.
Also known as pantothenic acid, this helps to smooth congested skin with its anti-inflammatory properties. Due to its natural moisturizing benefits, this vitamin is found in a lot of hyaluronic acid serums, making it a great candidate to increase the amount of water in your skin. If you suffer from chronic inflammation of the skin, B5 can help with scarring and reduce cystic acne blemishes. Vitamin B5 should be applied at night.
These serums have slowly crept their way into virtually everybody's skin-care cabinet, and for good reason. This component will help to brighten the complexion as well as diminish dark spots. Even though it can be applied both morning and night, it is best to apply in the morning for extra protection from pollution throughout the day.
I hate to be a bearer of bad news but the tall-tell myth that vitamin E helps scars fade is just that, a myth. But fear not, there are still GREAT benefits to using this supplement on top of our skin! Vitamin E is quite hydrating when applied topically and is MOST effective when used in conjunction with vitamin C.
You may not be familiar with this ingredient for ingested use because it is actually composed with B5. But for topical use, the benefits are incredible! Niacinamide can actually improve hydration by preventing evaporation of moisture from the skin. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties, great for calming irritated skin.
Zinc is a mineral that is best when used topically AND orally as it is known to help heal wounds, lessen inflammation and improve acne-prone skin. There is even proof that zinc acts as an enzyme cofactor and will assist in collagen synthesis and repair, keeping our skin looking young and healthy!
How Much is Enough?
Just as with anything, there are limits and suggestions for how much should be used of all vitamins and minerals. The breakdown of the ingredient in the product as well as how sensitive your skin is will also influence the dosage. So you may be wondering, how do I know what is enough?
There is no magical formula for knowing just the right amount is best for you. But fortunately, that is why there are tricks to learning how to introduce these products and earn all the benefits with little to no side-effects. (By the way, don't let that word, side effects, scare you; we all react to anything NEW in or on our bodies and just simply need to take it slow)
When beginning a new product, it is best to talk to a dermatologist or doctor if you have any major concerns. Find products containing between 2-10% for your vitamins and minerals will ensure a good concentration of each ingredient. And lastly, take it one day at a time. If you notice slight irritation from a new product, skip the next day's application and resume the following day, unless irritation becomes extreme.
This is just a small glimpse into the benefits of what vitamins and minerals can do for our skin! I highly encourage you to learn more about their internal effects and look to incorporate more good into your routine!