The truth is that vitamins and fruit acids top the list of active cosmetic ingredients. You can find them in anti-wrinkle creams, moisturisers, or even whitening creams. Let's take a closer look at vitamins.





What are vitamins?


Vitamins are exogenous compounds (i.e., substances taken from the outside) necessary for the correct course of biochemical processes occurring in the body. They must be supplied from the outside, either with food or through the skin.


The main functions that vitamins play in cosmetics include:

· Antioxidant

· Moisturizing

· Radioprotective

· regulating epidermal keratinisation (i.e., regulation of the epidermal renewal cycle)

· reducing hyperpigmentation

· anti-inflammatory


Crucial is the stability of chemical compounds used in cosmetics and the possibility of their penetration into the deeper layers of the skin (appropriate for the action of a given vitamin). Also significant are the concentrations of substances in cosmetic preparations that can ensure the skin's correct, intended action.


Vitamins A, B, C, E, P, K, and F (EFAs) correspond to each skin type. If you take a look at cosmetic ingredients, you should find at least two of these vitamins. They do a perfect job as biocatalysts, which are needed for skin cells to work flawlessly.



Vitamin A – to make your skin younger


Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is one of the most active ''rejuvenators'' in creams. Why? Because it works where the wrinkle problem begins. In the dermis - which is responsible for the skin's elasticity and strength - vitamin A increases collagen and elastin synthesis. The result is improved elasticity and resilience.


It also regulates the epidermal renewal cycle so that all functions occur correctly. As well as being found in creams, it can also be found in body firming lotions and in more powerful preparations such as facial serums - precisely because of its properties.


You have to be very careful with retinol when exposing yourself to the sun because it is photosensitizing. Therefore, it's a bad idea to use retinol in summer because it increases skin cells' sensitivity to light radiation.


Vitamin A has a normalising effect on exfoliation in the ducts of sebaceous glands and reduces the amount of sebum produced by the skin - which is very important in treating acne vulgaris and rosacea.


Supplemented vitamin A occurs in the form of a provitamin, i.e., beta-carotene. It is only absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract in a fatty medium (e.g., by adding olive oil to meals). It plays a vital role in visual processes. It is essential for normal physiological processes not only of the skin but also of hair and nails.


Vitamin A deficiency accompanies psoriasis, acne, alopecia areata, disorders of the skin's keratinization, and mucosal disorders.



Vitamin E – to beat those free radicals


There is no better weapon against free radicals! Vitamin E is commonly called the "champion" because of how well it fights radicals. Another name for it is the "vitamin of youth." And there is a lot of truth in that. It penetrates the skin quickly and protects it from these damaging particles.


It acts as a natural filter and protects the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation, water loss, and loss of elasticity. It also soothes post-sun irritation.


Very often, in creams, vitamin E is combined with vitamin C. This combination is a double weapon and protection against free radicals. This enhanced effect is essential in the deeper layers of the skin.


These vitamins protect the cells of the dermis from damage and prevent inflammation. Vitamin E also has an anti-edematous effect and helps to rebuild damaged tissue.



Vitamin C – to make your skin firm and elastic


Vitamin C - or L-ascorbic acid - is a unique vitamin. Firstly, it has excellent anti-free radical properties. Secondly, ascorbic acid stimulates collagen synthesis (i.e., it works on skin firmness and elasticity).


When it comes to more mature people, vitamin C accelerates collagen formation and delays skin ageing processes. It leads to a reduction in the depth of wrinkles and improves the condition of the skin.


Vitamin C has excellent brightening and depigmentation properties. It reduces the synthesis of melanin (it inhibits tyrosinase synthesis, which is responsible for discolouration).


Besides, it moisturises by stimulating the synthesis of ceramides in the skin, which influences the protective epidermal barrier's renewal.



Vitamin B3 – to help fight acne


Vitamin B3 also stimulates collagen synthesis and increases ceramides' synthesis (molecules that maintain the epidermis's integrity). It is significant, for example, in atopic and mature skin when the number of ceramides decreases.


Vitamin B3 also has anti-acne properties. It moisturises, soothes, regenerates, accelerates the healing of wounds and inflammations, and lightens discolourations.



Vitamin P – to deal with redness, allergies, and inflammations


Vitamin P has an anti-free radical effect and is an excellent ingredient in creams for sensitive skin, as bioflavonoids (natural extracts from plants). It also has an anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory effect, i.e., it reduces inflammation and stimulates estrogen receptors in the skin.


As we age, the level of estrogens in the skin naturally decreases due to time passing. It is accompanied by such signs of ageing as flabbiness, loss of elasticity, and the formation of wrinkles. Vitamin P compensates for this by stimulating estrogen receptors in the skin. It protects the skin proteins collagen and elastin.


The cosmetic activity of vitamin P also has a beneficial effect on the condition of capillary walls of blood vessels, which effectively reduces skin redness and strengthens blood vessels.



Vitamin K - prevents the formation of bruises


Vitamin K has a very similar effect to vitamin P - it also seals blood vessels, has an antiedematous impact, and prevents the formation of bruises. It brightens redness and soothes irritation caused by too intensive sunbathing.


It is an essential ingredient in cosmetics for vascular and sensitive skin. It also has excellent antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.


Vitamin F – to regenerate and moisturise your skin


Vitamin F (EFA - essential unsaturated fatty acids) - is a mixture of acids from the ranks of omega-3 and omega-6 (mainly linoleic, linolenic, arachidic). This vitamin is a structural element of cell lipids. EFAs ensure the proper structure of the intercellular cement (i.e., they seal the epidermal cells' spaces).


They accelerate skin regeneration, moisturize (prevent evaporation of water from the epidermis), act anti-aging, and regulate skin glands' activity.


Their deficiency can be very troublesome. It may cause:

· excessive exfoliation

· eczema

· acne

· seborrhoeic dermatitis

· rough skin

· brittle hair and nails

· epidermal dysfunction.



Where can you find those vitamins?


You need to be aware that the human body doesn’t produce vitamins. That’s why you need to supply them regularly. When it comes to your skin, you can apply creams and lotions, but what about your diet? What should you eat to get enough vitamins?

Here’s where you can find all the necessary vitamins:


· Vitamin A - you can find it in carrots, cabbage, pumpkin, spinach, squash, broccoli, mangoes, apricots, peaches, sweet potatoes, and kale. Retinol and its derivatives are found in animal origin food, for example, in eggs, beef, pork, poultry liver, cheese, and butter.

· Vitamin E - you can find it in soya, corn and sunflower oils, almonds, walnuts and peanuts, wheat germ, whole-wheat flour, milk, eggs, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, lettuce, and spinach.

· Vitamin C - you need to look for citrus fruits, apples, black and red currants, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, tomatoes, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, green peas, asparagus, artichokes, soybeans, peppers, parsley, kohlrabi, radishes, beets, young potatoes, kiwi.

· Vitamin B3 - you should be on the lookout for lean meat, liver, hearts, poultry, fish, beans, peas, peanut butter, cheese, soya, nuts, almonds, sorrel, parsley, spinach, or potatoes.

· Vitamin P is in green tea, red wine, citrus fruits, berries, parsley, dark chocolate, onions, rosehips, spinach, and broccoli.

· Vitamin K - green-coloured vegetables (containing high levels of chlorophyll) are particularly rich in vitamin K. Here's your list: spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, asparagus, savoy cabbage, parsley, rocket, romaine and iceberg lettuce, avocado, sorrel, cucumbers.

· Vitamin F (EFA) - its primary sources are vegetable oils (for example, sunflower oil, coconut oil, rapeseed oil, flaxseed oil, corn oil). They are also present in cod liver oil, seafood, linseed, caviar, tuna, or mackerel.


Please remember that some vitamins are water-soluble (e.g., B vitamins, vitamin C), and some are fat-soluble (vitamins A, D, E, and K).


Water-soluble vitamins do not accumulate in the human body, and their excess is excreted in the urine. That is why an overdose is rarely a case. However, you need to supply them with food in sufficient quantity and successively.


Fat-soluble vitamins are a group of vitamins, excess of which may accumulate in some tissues (and therefore may be harmful). The bioavailability of these vitamins depends on the presence of fat in the food (i.e., they need fat carriers for absorption from the gastrointestinal tract).



Final words


It would be best if you take good care of your home skincare. Having cosmetics containing necessary vitamins is a step in the right direction.

At the same time, it’s crucial to scrutinize your diet and make sure that you provide the body with a sufficient amount of vitamins through food.

I strongly encourage you to do it because it’s a proven way to refine your skin’s appearance and overall health, maintain balance in the body (homeostasis), and enjoy a long time of health and beautiful skin.

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It looks like something out of a painting. Soft, smooth, with invisible pores, it seems to be every woman's dream – a kind of "luxury" skin. In this article, you will learn everything about dry skin. What are the mechanisms involved? And - what can irritate or soothe it? Let's dive in!


Dry skin can pay you back for proper care and protection. However, it can also suffer if you don’t provide it with everything it needs. That’s why it’s essential to after it.





Four pillars of dry skin protection


Dry skin is sometimes inherited, but more often, it results from a disruption of the skin's sensitive balancing mechanism. Its protective barrier seems to be very simple. Everything depends on the stratum corneum's excellent condition and its correct hydro-lipidic film on its surface, protecting the skin against external aggressors.

It is essential to have a well-functioning system of four mechanisms to maintain the balance of the skin. What does it mean?

It’s a perfect time to distinguish four pillars of dry skin protection:

1) The first one is a system responsible for maintaining a proper lipid mantle, and this depends on the appropriate functioning of the sebaceous glands.

2) The second protective pillar is a sufficiently acidic reaction of the skin.

3) The third element is proteins and lipids, which form the cell cement, or intercellular binder.

4) The fourth one, on the other hand, depends on the others - namely the protective mantle and intercellular cement (which prevent water evaporation from the skin) and the presence of natural moisturising factors (NMFs).

It’s also worth noting how crucial is the mechanism of water supply to the epidermis from the underlying dermis. Elastin and collagen fibres also play an essential role in maintaining adequate water levels in the skin - especially their good condition.

If anything wrong happens in just one of these four pillars, it quickly starts to disrupt the skin barrier. And this usually leads to water loss. When the amount of water is at the lower limit of the acceptable standard, the skin becomes dry, less elastic. The epidermis peels off excessively; it becomes ''hollow'' like cracked house walls or a roof hole.

In such a state, the skin opens its "gates" to attack by aggressive external factors. It also looks older, is less resilient, and wrinkles become very visible.

Why skin becomes dry?

Seasons


Sometimes it’s the case of the season of the year, especially when it comes to Winter and Autumn.

It is because warm, dry air indoors (often stale) and cold, windy air outdoors are deadly to the skin.


The protective barrier is very quickly disrupted in such conditions, and even regular and healthy skin becomes dry and dehydrated.

Unfortunately, if you tend not to protect your skin from the sun in the summer, you will likely experience those effects intensely.

Free radicals, which form on the skin under the influence of UV radiation, become the aggressor and destroy elastin fibres and intercellular cement, without which the skin cannot defend itself against water evaporation. And it leads directly to skin dryness. The autumn and winter season exacerbates this problem.


It is also worth pointing out that you are doing yourself additional harm if you use a solarium.


Ageing

Another factor hiding behind skin dryness comes down to ageing.


As the years go by, the skin becomes thinner, the natural moisturising factors and the fibroblasts that produce collagen and elastin decrease. The protective mantle no longer functions effectively and sebaceous glands, a natural lubricant, produce less sebum.


The effect of these changes in the skin can quickly be seen and felt in the form of a lack of elasticity, increasing dryness, and the appearance of more and more wrinkles.


Soap and water

Another reason for dry skin can be soap and water. Hot and chlorinated water very quickly destroys the protective mantle. If you additionally use alkaline soaps or detergents - you make the situation even worse. Aggressive washing impairs the skin's protective and repair functions. The skin is more susceptible to infections, irritation and is exceptionally fickle.


Diseases


Another cause can be a disease, such as atopic dermatitis, which is extremely dry and prone to irritation and eczema. Thyroid problems also make the skin increasingly dry and thin, and it quickly becomes sensitive (this dryness can be really annoying).


How to look after your dry skin in a wise way


If you have dry skin, you need to be very conscious about looking after it. Why? Because improper care can do a lot of harm.

Luckily, because more and more people experience skin dryness, cosmetic companies are creating better and more modern cosmetics that are perfectly adapted to dry skin problems and respond quickly to them. My favorite company is Nanili Professional, which uses the latest knowledge and ingredients sensational for this skin problem.


The most crucial thing in dry skincare is to avoid intensive washing, which deprives the skin of lipids and natural moisturising factors. Long baths in hot water are also risky.


It would be best if you avoided alkaline, coloured, and scented soaps. Washing liquids, gels, which contain strong surfactants (not everything that foams a lot is good for the skin), have a considerable contribution in irritating and disrupting the skin's protective functions.


Use gels or other emulsions to wash the skin, which contains moisturising and lubricating substances. If you take a bath, only use an oil bath and not very hot water.


Be sure to use an alcohol-free toner to keep your skin's pH at the right level. Take care to choose creams and masks correctly for your skin's needs and condition. Don't be 100% swayed by the beautiful marketing language of products that cure every skin problem, products that work miracles.


Learn to listen to what your skin is telling you. Its needs can change several times in a month, so react appropriately and mindful of what is happening to it.


Don't change cosmetics now and then because another one ''helped your friend'' or ''the internet tells me I have to have it''. It doesn't work like that. Every skin is different and has different needs. You need to focus on your skin and look for positive solutions for it.


Look for ingredients in cosmetics that have a filmogenic effect. That is, they contain hydrophilic substances that bind water to the skin's surface. These include hyaluronic acid and chitin, and chitosan or protein hydrolysers (collagen, elastin, silk).

Or they have hydrophobic film-forming substances that create a layer that prevents excessive water escape. These include silicone oils, petroleum jelly, lecithin.

Other ingredients are hygroscopic substances that bind water in the deeper layers of the skin, e.g., glycerine and glycol (propylene glycol), urea, amino acids.

Another group of substances worth looking at when buying a cream is substances that penetrate deeper into the skin, contributing to reconstruction and strengthening of the lipid part of the epidermal (protective) barrier.


These are:

  • Lanolin

  • Cholesterol

  • fatty acid esters

  • ceramides.


Thanks to these ingredients, the stratum corneum adheres closely to the epidermis and exfoliates appropriately.


So, thanks to them, you are fixing that ''leaky roof''.


Final words


To sum up, dry skin needs special attention every day. It requires a real treat, wise choices when buying cosmetics, and learning to 'listen' and read the signals it sends you, and it will return the favor with a beautiful and healthy appearance.

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Have you ever wondered how blue light affects your skin? What impact does it have on your body? In this article, I will take this harmful type of radiation under the microscope and advise you on handling this problem.


Scientists are crystal clear that blue light emitted by our smartphones, laptops, tablets, TV sets, or even lightbulbs, harms people’s skin, sleep quality, and sense of well-being.


Nowadays, there is no doubt that people spend at least a couple of hours a day in front of various screen types and electronic devices.


All the more so due to the pandemic times, which forced millions of people to work remotely, and kids continue learning in virtual classrooms.


Even though modern electronic devices come with special protective filters on their screens, the light that’s coming from them – known as the blue light or HEVL has an enormous influence on your body.


What is HEVL?


High Energy Visible Light (HEVL) is short-wave and high-energy light radiation. It has the most significant ability to scatter in air and water. The higher its level, the bluer the sky. This radiation comes by another name - Blue Light.

Blue light has a wavelength in the range of 390-500nm and is emitted by the sun, smartphones, computers, tablets, and televisions. That is to say, everything that you surround yourself with every day.

Why do you need to protect your skin from Blue Light?


There is a new trend in cosmetology, and it refers to new cosmetics in the market that protect the skin from Blue Light radiation and help to cope with the so-called Digital ageing.


What hides behind this term? Digital ageing is accelerated ageing of the skin caused by an urban lifestyle, constant use of computers and mobile devices.


Those electronics are responsible for transmitting harmful radiation, which is highly aggressive because its penetration into the skin is more significant.


Recent scientific studies have confirmed that HEVL is exceptionally harmful to the skin.


First of all, it releases large amounts of free radicals, which are considered one of the main factors in accelerated skin ageing. It manifests itself through so-called oxidative stress, which negatively affects the skin's protective layer.


It turns out to be responsible for 50% of oxidative stress, which is the same as that generated by UVA - 46% and UVB - 4% together.


This stress manifests itself in roughness, dryness, increased tendency to irritation, inflammation, or erythema.


Besides, it causes indirect damage to DNA, destroys the support fibres responsible for the skin's elasticity and youthfulness, i.e., destroys collagen and elastin. It promotes the formation of discolouration and, by damaging the DNA of skin cells, can increase cancer risk.

How can you protect yourself from Blue Light?


Cosmetic treatment


The first wave of cosmetics with HEV filters is reaching the market. Some of them provide the skin with what is called broadband protection, meaning that they simultaneously protect against four types of radiation: UVA, UVB, HEV (VIS), and IR (which is the infrared radiation emitted by the sun that you feel on your skin as a pleasant warmth), so it would be best if you were on the lookout for those.


What’s more, it is also worth enriching your daily care with cosmetics containing antioxidant ingredients, especially with high vitamin C concentrations. Such a protective set effectively protects against photo-ageing but also smog and pollution.

Protect your eyes


What you also need to know about how harmful blue light radiation is that it destroys sight. Irreversibly. It turns out that under the influence of this radiation, the light-sensitive receptors on the retina begin to secrete toxic molecules. Their action can cause macular degeneration, an incurable disease of the central part of the retina, responsible for sharp vision and colour distinction. The receptors on the retina are unable to regenerate. You can find more details about this subject in this article published on Nature.


How can you help your eyes in the fight against this invisible enemy? You can download applications that filter blue light on your device or get your hands on the protective Blue Light Glasses.



Look after your rest


HEVL also disrupts our circadian rhythm and sleep. What does this mean? Why does this happen? The answer is hormones. Changes in the production of hormones, such as cortisol, are responsible for generating a circadian rhythm that makes us more energetic during the day and quieter at night. Blue light emitted by electrical appliances, on the other hand, disrupts natural fluctuations in cortisol levels. It causes a drop in energy during the day and arousal at night.


What’s the solution?


You should watch your circadian rhythm, go to bed regularly every day, and perform evening rituals like small children who quiet down before bed, take a bath, and read a book.


Cortisol levels should be at their lowest after 11 p.m when the pineal gland begins to secrete melatonin, a powerful antioxidant hormone that signals that it's time to sleep. Under the influence of melatonin, your body slows down, your blood pressure and body temperature drop, making you feel sleepy.


Unfortunately, Blue light disrupts this rhythm very easily, and you feel the effects the next day - you are unrested and irritated. You can also see it taking its toll on your skin. Please turn off your electronics before bedtime or switch them to night mode. Not everyone can afford an evening detox from the digital world, so really try to limit your time in front of electronics in the evenings.

Final words


As you can see, Blue light can significantly harm your skin, health, and well-being. Luckily, you can take actions to minimize the damages. Let’s start with a conscious and responsible use of electronic devices.

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