The skincare industry has been buzzing with antioxidants such as Vitamin A, B, C, E with the promise to bring youthfulness, radiance and restore the glow to your skin. From Retinol, the one man band of skincare to Vitamin C, the powerhouse of antioxidants. What about Vitamin K, which has been behind the scene all these while overshadowed by its antioxidant counterparts? While Vitamin K does not provide the “instant glowing skin” that Vitamin C and E can, it does have many benefits for the skin that is worth exploring.
What is Vitamin K
Vitamin K, is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that is found in highest amounts in green leafy vegetables. There are two main components in Vitamin K. Vitamin K1, also known as Phytonadione, is found in abundance in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, brussels sprouts and broccoli. Vitamin K2, on the other hand, is mainly found in fermented foods and in animal by-products such as egg yolk and butter. From a general health perspective, Vitamin K is needed to form blood clots which helps prevent wounds from continuously bleeding. In the skincare industry, Vitamin K is often used to help the skin recover from surgery or cosmetic procedures such as laser treatments.
Benefits of Vitamin K
Promotes wound healing
Vitamin K plays an important role in promoting wound healing by significantly increasing the rate of wound contraction, enhancing the growth of new cells, stimulating the formation of collagen fibers and strengthening the blood vessels. A randomized controlled trial conducted on 63 patients with wounds showed that topical application of Vitamin K to wounds significantly reduced the healing time.
Fades under-eye circles
There can be many causes for dark under-eye circles. Some of the causes include, allergy reactions, inflammatory skin conditions and excessive eye-rubbing, all which can lead to broken blood capillaries. When capillaries are broken, pigmentations are left behind, causing the presence of dark circles. Vitamin K is an antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation, help heal broken capillaries and strengthen the walls of blood vessels. In a study done in 2004, 47% patients were found to have improvements in dark under-eye circles and wrinkles when given 2% of Vitamin K, 0.1% of retinol, 0.1% of Vitamin C and 0.1% of Vitamin E. However, the result of this study could not clearly demonstrate that the results were solely contributed by Vitamin K as other ingredients were used as well. It would probably be a good idea to pair Vitamin K with Retinol, Vitamin C or Vitamin E for a synergistic overall treatment for under eye circles.
Helps reduce the appearance of bruising and/or dark spots
Vitamin K is important to maintain blood circulation. It is believed that Vitamin K functions to connect the receptors on the blood vessel and signals them to constrict and stop blood leakage, minimize the appearance of redness and purplish blue discoloration. It also binds to pigments in the skin and carries them out of the cell, thus minimizing the appearance of dark discoloration on the skin. In a study done to evaluate the effects of topical Vitamin K and retinol on laser-induced bruising, the result showed a significant improvement in the purple-like discoloration in participants that used a combination of 1% of Vitamin K and 0.3% of Retinol.
Reduce appearance of wrinkles
As we age, the amount of collagen and elastin fibers produced by our bodies reduces. This leads to the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin around the areas of our eyes, which is one of the most delicate areas to show premature signs of aging. In a study done in 2015, a group of participants showed reduction in depth of wrinkles and dark circles after using eye pads consisting of 3% caffeine and 1% Vitamin K emulsified in emu oil for four weeks. The emu oil also acted as an emollient to lock in moisture under the skin. While this may not seem like the positive result is solely contributed to Vitamin K, it is important to note that a synergistic combination with Vitamin K may be a viable option for those looking to resolve fine lines and wrinkles.
Improves appearance of stretch marks
Vitamin K has the ability to improve the elasticity of blood vessels and improve the production of collagen. The formation of new elastin and boost in collagen production, together with new layers of skin cells help to gradually replace areas with stretch marks, making the marks lighter and less visible.
How to use Vitamin K
Vitamin K is usually found in creams and can be used once to twice a day. For the best result, Vitamin K can be combined with brightening ingredients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Arnica and Retinol.
Side effects of Vitamin K
Vitamin K is generally well-tolerated by all skin types. Unless someone has an allergy towards Vitamin K or on medication such as warfarin (an anti-coagulant), there are no known side effects from the use of Vitamin K. In most cases, the dosages found in skincare formulations are not concentrated enough to pose a significant threat to the overall vascular health of a person. However, if you are at risk of blood clots, it is best to consult a physician before the use of Vitamin K.
Dr.Ceuracle PLC Vita K Liposome Oil Ampoule, which is an oil ampoule formulated to draw in on the benefits that Vitamin K can offer for the skin. This ampoule is a bi-phasic ampoule that contains a layer of Vitamin K oil and a 6-Phyto K-liquid layer formulated with plant based extracts to allow a more effective delivery method into the deeper layers of the skin. This product is perfect for those who are seeking an in-home post laser treatment to help speed up the skin’s recovery and to help reduce the redness and irritation caused by the treatment itself.
At the same time, to enhance the benefits of Vitamin K for your skin, we recommend pairing with the Dr.Ceuracle Pure VC Mellight Cream that is formulated with 100,000ppm pure Vitamin C powder and 10,000ppm Vitamin C derivative, along with glutathione and tranexamic acid.
You might also like to consider the SCINIC Cicanoid Retinal Cream that has a combination of retinal, retinol, and bakuchiol to help with dark spots and wrinkles.
While evidence is scant on the results of using Vitamin K alone for the skin, it may be worth a try to combine Vitamin K with its other counterparts such as Vitamin C and Retinol in your arsenal to achieve the maximum benefits on your skin.
Pazyar, N., Houshmand, G., Yaghoobi, R., Hemmati, A., Zeineli, Z., Ghorbanzadeh, B. Wound healing effects of topical Vitamin K: A randomized controlled trial. Indian J Pharmacol. 2019 Mar-Apr; 51(2): 88–92. doi:10.4103/ijp.IJP_183_18.
Mitsuishi, T., Shimoda, T., Mitsui, Y., Kuriyama, Y., Kawana, S. The effects of topical application of phytonadione, retinol and vitamins C and E on infraorbital dark circles and wrinkles of the lower eyelids. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2004. Apr;3(2):73-5.doi:10.1111/j.1473-2130.2004.00070.x
Lou, W., Quintana, AT., Geronemus, RG., Grossman, MC. Effects of topical vitamin K and retinol on laser-induced purpura on nonlesional skin. Dermatol Surg 1999 Dec;25(12):942-4. doi:10.1046/j.1524-4725.1999.99145.x.
Ahmadraji, F., Shatalebi, MA. Evaluation of the clinical efficacy and safety of an eye counter pad containing caffeine and vitamin K in emulsified Emu oil base. Adv Biomed Res.2005 Jan6;4;10. doi:10.4103/2277-9175.148292.
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