We all know we should be eating our five a day and getting as many vitamins and minerals as we should into our diet, but what about when it comes to our skincare?

From the multi-tasking benefits of Vitamin C to the best vitamins for reducing hyperpigmentation, Dr Anita Sturnham, GP and Skincare Specialist on behalf of Skincere gives us the lowdown on the most essential vitamins to integrate into your skincare regime and what they can do for you.

Vitamin C 

Best for: Protecting and repairing the skin, boosting collagen and reducing pigmentation.

What to look for in a product: A serum, as these deliver the ingredients deeper into the skin layers, with 20% Vitamin C.

Should I layer it? Yes – combine with a Ferulic Acid to increase the stability of the Vitamin C.

What the expert says: “Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is great multi-tasking ingredients to look for in skincare and the best all-rounder vitamin for skin. It is a powerful antioxidant, with UV protective properties.”

[Click here to read more articles on skincare]

Vitamin A

Best for: Reducing inflammation, reducing pigmentation, boosting collagen and controlling oil production  (i.e. spots).

What to look for in a product: Also known as Retinol, it comes in a range of strengths from prescription (which will be too strong for the average person’s skin) to lower, high street brand strength.

Dr Sturnham recommends choosing a night cream with Vitamin A at 2-3 per cent, and look for one combined with Hyaluronic Acid. This hydrates and reduces the drying effect of retinol.

Should I layer it? Yes, with an SPF. Retinol is destabilised by UV rays and can increase photosensitivity.

What the expert says: “Vitamin A is a great multitasker in the skin. The best time to use Retinol is at night.” Try it in eye cream form for targetting dark circles and under-eye puffiness; we love Verso Super Eye Serum, £65.

Vitamin B

Best for: Reducing hyperpigmentation and could be a potential treatment for acne and rosacea.

What to look for in a product: Dr Sturnham recommends Niacian (Vitamin B3) and Panthothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) as they help to brighten the skin and aid skin rejuvenation.

What the expert says: “The B vitamins are great skin boosters.”

[Read more: Healthy smoothie recipe: The best blend for glowing skin]

Vitamin E

Best for: Vitamin E is an excellent moisturiser and contains powerful anti-inflammatory action while preventing signs of premature ageing.

What to look for in a product: Simply put, a lot of skincare on the high street has this as an ingredient; be sure to check for other ingredients though that might aggravate the skin.

Should I layer it? Yes – Vitamin E also enhances and helps with the penetration of other compounds into the skin and is itself well absorbed by human skin.

What the expert says: “It’s a powerful antioxidant and great for hydrating the skin.”

Vitamin K

Best for: Vitamin K works on capillaries in the skin under the eye area, and helps to reduce dark circles and puffiness.

What to look for in a product: Because of its ability to reduce puffiness, look for a Vitamin K eye treatment.

What the expert says: “Vitamin K, a vitamin that is essential to blood clotting will help to reinforce and thicken the thin skin around the eyes.”

[Read more: Is your diet affecting your skin? How what you eat can show on your face]


Best for: Zinc and sulfur act as anti-inflammatory and antibacterial; zinc promotes healthy skin while sulfur acts as a disinfectant and helps with oil control.

What to look for in a product: Zinc oxide is also one of the key ingredients in sunscreen formulations. It is known for its superior sun protection capabilities and preventing skin damage. In fact, it is the safest and most effective ingredient that protects the skin against long-wave UVA rays.

Can I layer them? Yes, zinc in particular works as a great carrier for Vitamin A.

What the expert says: “Both are great if you have oily skin, big pores or are prone to breakouts.”


Best for: Treating scars, fighting wrinkles and even combatting hair loss.

What to look for in a product: Copper peptides; you can also get copper in different strengths. One skincare product that's been hailed as a game changer is Niod's Copper Amino Isolate Serum, for it's effectiveness.

Can I layer it? Copper works well with Hyaluronic Acid, as copper helps to promote the effects of it.

What the expert says: “Copper is a clever mineral.”

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