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24 Nov

What are the Best Vitamins for Anti-Ageing?

Do you want to look younger and have more energy? We know that ageing cannot be stopped, but it can be delayed with a holistic and informed approach, starting with nutrition and lifestyle.

The web is awash with anti-ageing claims about super-foods and vitamins. I will clear up some of the myths with the latest information on anti-ageing vitamins. The first and possibly most significant step to looking and feeling young is to take these vitamins daily.

Meet the key players
Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B3 and vitamin E function as anti-oxidants to protect the skin from the harmful effects of free radicals. These can be caused by sunlight, smoking and daily pollution. For creams containing vitamins to be effective, the vitamins need to be delivered in a particular formulation and in the right concentration. Be wary of skin-care products that claim to contain active vitamins for your skin. They do have some, but in low concentration, making them less effective.

Vitamin E (can be combined with vitamin C for added effects)
The active ingredient of vitamin E  (alpha-tocopherol) deposits on the outermost layer of the skin and reduces UV ray-induced skin damage as well as decreasing the risk of skin cancer and ageing of the skin. This beneficial effect is seen in the reduction of wrinkles and pigmentation of skin as well as the normalisation of damaged collagen.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is important for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body. Small amounts of sun exposure can decrease vitamin C levels by a third. For topical vitamin C to be effectively absorbed by the skin it has to be in the form of vitamin C ester with a pH of 3.5. Topical application is more effective than oral. Vitamin C cream has a very strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effect. The combination of vitamin C and vitamin E increases anti oxidant effects and protects against alteration of the DNA.

Vitamin A – Retinol/retinoic acid
Retinol is a naturally occurring form of vitamin A and a precursor to retinoic acid (the biologically active form). Prior to 1984 all formulations of topical retinol were unstable and therefore proven ineffective. After the formulation was modified in 1984, topical retinol became popular. Topical retinol reduces fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and increases collagen in the skin.

Vitamin B3 – NIACINAMIDE/nicotinic acid/niacin
Vitamin B3 has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lighten the skin and decrease the production of sebum. Niacin improves skin protection by increasing the thickness of the epidermis and outermost layer of the skin therefore improving the barrier function of the skin.

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Dr Naveen Somia MBBS, PhD, FRACS

Dr. Naveen Somia is a Sydney Plastic Surgeon who listens to his patients, understands their problems and works alongside them to help achieve their aesthetic goals by applying his skills and years of experience in Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery. A published author on Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery, Naveen’s blog is aimed at helping you make the right choices and stay safe in your quest to look your personal best.