In the realm of skincare vitamins, you're likely familiar with—and may have used or currently be using—vitamins A, C, and E. However, if you delve deeper into the alphabet, you'll discover another vitamin that could offer some topical benefits. We're referring to vitamin K, a vital nutrient with diverse roles in various bodily functions. While commonly recognized for its systemic effects, there are numerous topical products in the market that highlight its potential. The question remains: does it deliver comparable results on the skin as it does internally? Here's a spoiler alert—there's a specific reason why it doesn't enjoy the same popularity as its fellow vitamin counterparts.
TYPE OF INGREDIENT: Identified as a potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, vitamin K is acknowledged for its role in aiding blood clotting.
MAIN BENEFITS: Vitamin K fosters cellular metabolism, exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, and supports wound healing by enhancing wound contraction and re-epithelialization. Additionally, it may possess antioxidant properties. Its involvement in blood clotting suggests potential benefits in reducing dark under-eye circles.
WHO SHOULD USE IT: Particularly found in creams targeting dark circles in topical formulations, vitamin K is most recommended for individuals seeking to brighten the under-eye area.
HOW OFTEN CAN YOU USE IT: Topical vitamin K can be applied once or twice daily.
WORKS WELL WITH: When applied topically, vitamin K complements other ingredients such as arnica, vitamin C, vitamin E, caffeine, and retinol. The latter aids in the enhanced absorption of vitamin K into the skin.
DON'T USE WITH: There are currently no known ingredients that negatively interact with topical vitamin K.
What is Vitamin K? True to its name, vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin present in food and synthesized in the large intestine. It plays a vital role in various bodily functions, including blood clotting, blood calcium regulation, and bone health. (Interestingly, the term "vitamin K" is derived from the German word "koagulation," referring to coagulation.) Also known as phytonadione, it remains an essential component for overall health.
Benefits of Vitamin K for Skin
While vitamin K is renowned for its systemic advantages, the exact mechanism of how it functions in the skin remains unclear. The efficacy of vitamin K as a skincare ingredient is a subject of debate, with various studies exploring its topical benefits. However, the need for further research before reaching conclusive conclusions. In essence, it's essential to approach these claimed benefits with caution, acknowledging that the scientific support for vitamin K lags behind that of other vitamins. Nevertheless, here's what it potentially offers:
Promotes wound healing: Vitamin K may enhance wound healing by facilitating wound contraction and aiding in collagen and blood vessel formation.
May have antioxidant properties: Vitamin K possesses "redox properties," contributing to the skin's ability to detoxify reactive oxygen species generated by exposure to factors like UV rays and pollution.
Helps fade under-eye circles: Vitamin K is often featured in eye creams claiming to brighten the under-eye area. The theory is based on its impact on the blood clotting process and its influence on blood pooling in the vessels beneath the eye. However, opinions on this benefit vary among experts.
Helps lessen the appearance of dark spots: Vitamin K creams are recommended by doctors to reduce swelling or bruising, suggesting efficacy in diminishing the appearance of dark spots.
Improves the look of stretch marks: Due to its elasticity-boosting properties, vitamin K can lighten and brighten areas prone to stretch marks.
Non-irritating: Vitamin K is gentle and safe for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
Available over-the-counter: Unlike some potent skincare ingredients, vitamin K products are accessible in most beauty and drugstores.
Helps combat wrinkles: An older study from 2004 found vitamin K beneficial in minimizing dark circles and wrinkles when paired with retinol, as well as vitamins C and E.
Side Effects of Vitamin K
Despite ongoing discussions, vitamin K is generally considered safe with no known side effects. However, individuals with a predisposition to blood clots should consult their physician due to its potential impact on blood clotting. In summary, trying vitamin K to address dark circles carries minimal risk and can be explored for potential benefits.
Guidelines for Using and Applying Vitamin K
Typically found in eye creams, vitamin K is generally safe to use once or even twice daily. For optimal results, consider choosing formulas that combine vitamin K with other brightening ingredients like caffeine or arnica. Additionally, pairing it with retinol may enhance the penetration of vitamin K.
The best products with Vitamin K
This option, which touts one percent vitamin K oxide and phospholipids meant to help stimulate circulation in the micro-capillaries under the eyes. It is also very good since it has, "high-reflecting minerals to brighten the skin. Click here to buy.
One of the brand's best-sellers, this super lightweight serum has a slightly yellowish tint and plenty of light-reflecting minerals that instantly minimize the look of raccoon eyes. At the same time, vitamin K promises to help address discoloration, horse chestnut is meant to improve circulation, and chamomile-derived bisabolol soothes the delicate skin around your peepers. Click here to buy.
This product also has arnica montana extract to decrease redness and inflammation, and squalene to moisturize the delicate skin around the eyes.. Dab it around your eyes, for sure, but this also pulls double duty if you want to use it on the rest of your complexion—a win if you have easily irritated skin. Click here to buy.
This eye cream is great because it also contains vitamins C and E, which are not only powerful antioxidants, but also work synergistically with vitamin K. Not to mention that it also touts line-smoothing peptides, and who doesn't want fewer dark circles and lines?
Click here to buy.
Yes, you get the dark circle-fighting benefits of vitamin K in this formula, but we also appreciate that it delivers other ingredients that are especially choice for the fragile skin around your eyes. Namely, soothing aloe, protective, antioxidant-rich green tea, and hyaluronic acid for plenty of non-greasy hydration. Click here to buy.
Kaye's Beauty Book is here to help you choose better products that suit your skin, hair and lifestyle. All of the products mentioned are carefully researched and selected to ensure that the most credible information comes to you. If you do buy a product from one of our links, Kaye's Beauty Book may earn a commission.
II DISCLAIMER: Every skin is different, not everything works for everybody. I recommend you test the product before completely using any new product. II