We’re calling it, vitamin B for skin is the most underrated product in the world of skin care. We understand that it can be hard to compete with powerhouse choices like vitamin A (retinol) or vitamin C for skin, but we promise you won’t regret adding a vitamin B serum to your lineup.
The low down is that it helps a lot with hydration and dullness, but it’s also a gentle enough ingredient that anyone can add it to their routine to reap the benefits. In this blog, we’ll take a deep dive into vitamin B for skin and everything you need to know about it - all the benefits, products to try and where to fit it into your skincare routines.
- What are the benefits of vitamin B for skin
- The best vitamin B serums to try
What are the benefits of vitamin B for skin?
So, the first thing to understand about vitamin B is that there are 8 different types of B vitamins - that’s why you’ll often hear it referred to as a ‘vitamin B complex’. You’ll probably be familiar with many of the names - think riboflavin, biotin, folic acid. But when it comes to topical vitamin B for skin, the two you’ll really need to know about are niacinamide and panthenol.
Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide might just be one of the buzziest skincare terms of the year. And for good reason, it’s so beneficial for all skin types! From upping the natural moisturising factors of your skin to treating blemishes and helping reduce inflammation - what can’t it do? It’s also a great addition for those who have oily skin because it can help with controlling the production of sebum. And despite being a potent vitamin, it’s gentle enough for those with sensitive or rosacea-prone skin.
Benefits of niacinamide include:
- Helping to minimise enlarged pores - while there isn’t one defining factor in vitamin B3 that shrinks pores, it seems to have an overall normalising effect on the skin. This includes controlling sebum production and preventing debris from getting backed up, and as a result, it stops clogs from forming, which is often what enlarges pores.
- Stimulates production of ceramides - ceramides are a naturally occurring lipid that forms our skin barriers, it helps our skin retain moisture and fight environmental aggressors. Like the best things in our bodies though, they become depleted over time, which leaves the skin vulnerable to irritants and dries out the skin. Niacinamide will remind your body to keep producing them.
- Improves skin barrier - this ties into the above point. A healthy skin barrier means better moisture retention and smoother skin.
- Soothes acne, rosacea and other inflammatory skin conditions - research has found that niacinamide has an antibiotic-like effect on the skin and it can help soothe skin conditions that result in inflammation. So it’s a popular choice for those who suffer from acne, eczema and rosacea, as it eases the redness and regulates oil.
Another unsung hero of the skincare world, panthenol (or provitamin B5) is probably more common in your hydration skincare products than you realise. Once applied to your skin, it converts to vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid. It then works its magic by binding to water and holding it effectively in your skin - resulting in soft, moisturised skin.
This is why you’ll often find it alongside hyaluronic acid (HA) in hydration serums. But unlike HA, it can act as both a humectant and an emollient, so that means not only does it bind to and hold water in the skin, it can also seal the cracks and keep all the goodness in. The perfect ingredient for dehydrated skin!
Benefits of panthenol include:
- Improves moisture retention - as we mentioned above, panthenol is a humectant which means it will bind to water and hold it in your skin. It can also penetrate deep into the lower skin layer, bringing that water into the cells and retaining moisture deep in the tissue.
- Prevents water loss in skin - so that retention of moisture also helps with stimulating cells that boost the skin barrier function. And a healthy skin barrier means you’ll be able to lock in moisture a lot better.
- Helps with healing wounds - those same skin cells that boost the skin barrier function are also important in the wound healing process - so panthenol can help with that too.
- Soothes inflammatory skin conditions - while it doesn’t reverse the damage, panthenol has been found to soothe the redness associated with UV-induced burns and sun damaged skin. It can also help control the itchiness associated with dermatitis.
The 2 best vitamin B serums to try
Vitamin B skincare products can feel quite gentle, so we get a lot of questions like ‘what does vitamin B serum do for your skin’ or is it worth using vitamin b or c for skin?
But as we discussed, it can do A LOT for your skin. And you can definitely use both vitamin B and C. So we wanted to introduce you to our two favourite, tried and tested vitamin B serums.
So you might already be familiar with this serum because we mentioned it in one of our earlier blogs: What Is Cosmeceutical Skin Care. And as we said then, we think this Aspect serum ticks all the boxes when it comes to a really, really good vitamin B serum. It uses a vitamin B complex that includes both niacinamide and panthenol alongside vitamin E and Aspect’s signature superfood blends to create a soothing hydration boost.
Regular use should see a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles as well as less redness and general imperfections. Expect brighter, softer and firmer skin - what more could we ask for?
How to use: smooth a pea-sized amount over your face and neck after you cleanse. Follow with a good moisturiser and face oil to seal it all in.
Another popular hydration serum choice, this Medik8 offering is a mix of hyaluronic acid and panthenol. Like we mentioned earlier, these ingredients go hand-in-hand to ensure that the skin is hydrated from the deepest layers right up to the surface.
Hyaluronic acid is obviously well known for its ability to hold 1000x its weight in water so alongside the vitamin B5, this serum is like a super humectant - leaving the skin plump and visibly hydrated. So this means a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles plus some really supple skin.
How to use: Massage 6 drops of Hydr8 B5 across the face, neck and décolletage after cleansing. Let it absorb before applying any other serums and treatments.
Now you know all about vitamin B for skin…
It’s time to add it to your own skin care routine! Or maybe you already have it in there but you’re ready to try the two options we talked about in this blog. Whatever it is, you’ll be seeing smoother, hydrated and supple skin in no time. Did we mention that vitamin B for skin also complements vitamin C serums really well and can help with its efficacy? And it can also help your skin post-retinol use too. What can’t it do? We’re obsessed!
Shop Aspect, Medik8 and other skin care goodies with Afterpay and Zippay on Oz Hair & Beauty today.