Vitamin K and Vitamin B-3, also known as niacin, have long been known to have non-skin related health benefits, but recent studies have shown that both vitamins have dermatological applications.
“Vitamins continue to be reorganized as having an important role to play in the health of the body,” says Dr David Smith, chief researcher at SkinWhite Research Labs. ‘New studies have shown that Vitamin K and niacin are beneficial to the skin, particularly for the problems involving pigmentation and dry skin.”
Vitamin K plays an important role in blood clotting, and studies have shown it to maintain strong bones in the elderly. However, dermatologists have recently found Vitamin K to be successful on the treatment of dark circles under the eyes and bruising on the face.
A recent study included two groups, one that applied an under-eye cream containing sunscreen and another that applied an under-eye cream containing a combination of Vitamin K and retinol. An examination of the under-eye colour at the beginning of the study and at the end found a significant lightening in the group using the vitamin K and retinol combination.
Vitamin K has also recently been studied for its effects on reducing bruising following certain dermatological procedures. Those patients who applied the Vitamin K after the procedure noticed a significant reduction in the severity of bruising.
One derivative of niacin, nicotinamide, has been shown to improve the ability of the epidermis to retain moisture. In a recent study, topical nicotinamide was applied to the skin for six-days. Following the study, all patients reported softer, smoother skin, less dryness and flakiness, and a reduction in lines.
“The benefits to the skin after application of nicotinamide can be useful for patients with atopic dermatitis, who often experience dry, irritated skin when the disease flares,” suggests Dr Smith. “This could be another promising treatment for ageing skin, which often becomes dry and flaky as we age.”
Niacinamide, another derivative, has also been shown to be an effective skin lightening agent, especially for skin condition where hyperpigmentation may occur on the face or other visible part of the body. Patients with hyperpigmentation were analyzed by computer and most patients experienced decreased hyperpigmentation and increased skin lightness.
Topical niacinamide has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a potential treatment for acne, rosacea and any blistering-type disease. Recent studies also noted that niacin and its derivatives have chemopreventative effects. When applied to mouse skin, topical nicotinamide produced a 70 per cent decrease in ultra-violet-induced skin cancer.