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Understanding Skin Care Ingredients: Vitamins C, A, K and E

Source: user selva

Source: user selva

The ingredient lists of skin care products are usually long and filled with words that feature the letter Y more than necessary. If you’re like me, knowing what’s in your skin care treatments and what those ingredients actually do is very important to you. Unfortunately, most ingredients are never explained very well, leaving you to simply rely on the information given to you by the manufacturer or distributor. Here, I will reveal to you the amazing benefits vitamins C, A, K and E have to offer your skin.

Vitamins C, A, K and E (or CAKE) are featured in most of the best beauty products. They are high in antioxidants, which are essential in anti aging skin care due to their ability to neutralize the free radicals that damage skin cells and lead to wrinkles, sagging skin and discoloration. In addition to these shared qualities, each vitamin features many unique abilities that makes it suited for different skin conditions.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for many of the body’s functions. Foods high in vitamin C are known to boost iron absorption, regenerate the body’s vitamin E and even reduce the risk of cancer. When used topically on the skin, vitamin C offers incredible antioxidant and UV protection, repairs sun damage, encourages collagen production, and reduces skin discoloration. There is also scientific evidence that shows vitamin C to be an effective treatment for fine lines and wrinkles, making it a great ingredient to see in your anti aging skin care products. It is important that you confirm your vitamin C product uses a stabilized form of vitamin C. Although these products are pricier, it is well worth it. If the vitamin C being used has not been stabilized, the product actually has the potential to cause free radicals and other forms of damage and irritation.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is used in anti aging products and acne products to refine the look of the complexion, leading to a clearer and more youthful appearance. Vitamin A can improve the density of dermal collagen and the thickness of the skin, thereby smoothing away the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and boosting elasticity. It also helps heal and prevent sun damage, cigarette-related damage, keratosis pilaris, stretch marks, eczema and more.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is the best friend of those with rosacea, dark under eye circles, broken capillaries (also known as spider veins), bruising, and other forms of skin discoloration. These types of discoloration are caused by blood leakage from damaged capillaries or arteries. Vitamin K works by entering the pores and clotting the blood of the damaged capillary or artery, thereby stopping the seepage. The tissue is then able to heal itself, leading to a brighter and more even skin tone. Vitamin K is found in many eye creams for dark circles, as well as rosacea care products.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is used in anti aging moisturizers and other skin care products to condition and smooth the skin while protecting with antioxidants. Although each of the vitamins offers multiple benefits, vitamin E surpasses them all with its wide range of abilities. It moisturizes and softens the skin, making it an essential ingredient for dry skin care. It supplies incredible protection against free radical and UV damage, which in turn prevents sun burn, age spots and even skin cancer. It reduces transepidermal water loss, strengthens the skin’s barrier function, smoothes away fine lines and wrinkles, increases circulation, balances oil, and boosts the growth of new skin cells. It’s also an effective treatment for cigarette-related damage, keratosis pilaris, acne, stretch marks, eczema and more.

Now that you know just how important CAKE can be, make sure to review your skin care products for these amazing ingredients before you buy. Your skin will thank you!

For skin care regimen ideas check out what our esthetician online recomended for this customer in this skin care Q&A.



  1. Pam
    Posted June 22, 2009 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    I do agree with the basics of the vitamsins above. If you do nothing else or can’t afford to in these times, just use some products where those vitamins are in the ingredient list in the front of others or at least close to the front because that means there is more of that than the things below it.

  2. Leanna Kelly
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Great addition, Pam. Because vitamins are so multi-functional, purchasing skin care products with vitamins C, A, K and E is a wonderful way to stretch your dollar without sacrificing great skin. Thank you for your comment!

  3. pamela
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    I really believe that skin care, at all ages, is imperative to “how we age”, look, and continue to look, while ensuring to use the right products.

    I read each day about skincare and have found that hylauronic acid is crictical. No matter the age, moisture is important. In addition, remember the alphabet (i.e. A, C, E, etc.) for the necessary ingredients depending on your age. I am complimented frequently which certainly makes you feel good); at least most of feel good about receiving compliments about something we’ve done right.

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