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Topical vitamins

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These days, new vitamin-rich creams and serums seem to pop up on the market all the time. In some cases, they are supported by science, in others only be the desire of the manufacturer to tap into the public's enthusiasm about vitamins.

Let us make a few things clear. Vitamins are not created equal, especially as far as topical application is concerned. While all vitamins are essential for our survival as a part of food intake, only a few have been shown to reduce or retard the signs of skin aging when applied to the skin. This includes vitamin C, vitamin A and, possibly, vitamins E and niacinamide (a form of B3). We should also mention coenzyme Q10 and lipoic acid, which are vitamin-like conditionally-essentially nutrients showing promise in anti-aging skin care. Even these vitamins have to be formulated and applied properly to deliver benefits (see our Treatments section).

Other vitamins and conditionally-essentially nutrients have not been shown to have any significant value in topical skin care formulations. This may change as new research rolls in. But be prudent: high quality research studies are a far more reliable consumer guide than flashy promos of new vitamin-based products.

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