The prevailing consensus within the skincare community emphasizes that vitamin F should become your skin's newfound ally. But what exactly is it? In brief, vitamin F is synonymous with fat. In skincare, vitamin F denotes linoleic acid—an indispensable fatty acid abundant in omega-6. These fats, also known as lipids, play a crucial role in upholding a robust, protective outer layer of the skin known as the stratum corneum. When your skin barrier operates optimally, it acts as a defense, thwarting external aggressors and preventing water loss.
Vitamin F comprises two essential fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid, and linoleic acid (LA), an omega-6 fatty acid. Together, they contribute to regulating and promoting the healthy functioning of our body, playing a significant role in the well-being of our skin.
Type of ingredient: Vitamin, fatty acid
Main benefits: Hydrates, replenishes, is high in antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory, restores the skin's barrier.
Who should use it: In general, all skin types would benefit from vitamin F usage, but especially those with acneic skin.
How often can you use it?: Vitamin F is safe to use twice a day, morning and night.
Works well with: Hydrators, linoleic acid, anti-aging products, and SPF products.
Don't use with: In general, vitamin F can be used with all ingredients safely.
What Exactly Constitutes Vitamin F?
Vitamin F may initially sound like a typical vitamin, but in reality, it doesn't fit the standard definition. It is more accurately described as a type of fat, specifically an essential fatty acid or lipid. Vitamin F is a term that refers to the combination of two essential fatty acids: linoleic acid (LA) and linolenic acid (ALA), offering a multitude of health benefits such as reduced inflammation, improved cardiac health, mental health support, and controlled blood sugar.
Sources and Application of Vitamin F
Vitamin F can be obtained from various food sources, including almonds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and egg yolks, as well as certain essential oils like rosehip, chia, and argan. In recent times, it has also become a popular ingredient in skincare products such as creams, oils, and potions. Until now, the usual source of Vitamin F was our diet, until skincare came to the rescue—and topical Vitamin F has become a novel and exciting source of it.
Skin Benefits of Vitamin F
Moisture Retention: As an omega-6 essential fatty acid, vitamin F serves as a hydrating ingredient that safeguards the skin's barrier and preserves moisture.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Vitamin F proves beneficial for individuals with inflammatory skin conditions such as dermatitis and psoriasis, helping to reduce inflammation and regulate healthy cell function.
Acne Control: Topical application of linoleic acid, a component of Vitamin F, has shown a 25% reduction in pustule size within a month, as observed in a 1998 study.
UV Protection: Vitamin F can convert into compounds with anti-inflammatory and immune properties, providing a layer of systemic photo-protection against UV damage.
Psoriasis Relief: Particularly recommended for individuals with sensitive skin and conditions like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, and acne-prone skin.
Irritant Blockade: Also known as linoleic acid, Vitamin F helps produce ceramides that build the skin's outermost layer, acting as a barrier against irritants, UV light, pollutants, and displaying anti-inflammatory properties.
Youthful Complexion: Regular use of fatty acids like Vitamin F is suggested for anyone seeking a healthier and more youthful complexion, avoiding dryness, rough texture, irritation, allergies, inflammation, and signs of aging.
Skin Calming: Vitamin F is deemed "phenomenal" for those with chronic skin conditions marked by compromised skin barrier function, as it effectively soothes inflammation and addresses troubled skin.
Adverse Effects of Vitamin F
When used as directed, Vitamin F is generally considered safe without known side effects. It can be applied in the morning or evening, but if the product contains retinol or vitamin A, it is advisable to use it at bedtime. This caution is due to the potential for redness or dryness associated with retinol and vitamin A products.
Usage Guidelines Vitamin F
It is present in various formulations and is a featured ingredient in a wide range of skincare products, including serums, oils, and creams. The appropriate application method varies depending on the specific product, but in its pure oil form, it can be incorporated into your daily skincare routine both in the morning and at night. Starting slowly is recommended as a general practice. As a topical, it can be used one to two times per day. However, it is advisable to begin with once per day to assess your skin's reaction before increasing the frequency.
Alternatively, you have the option to create a customized mask by blending vitamin F into a mild face cream or serum. Add the oil directly to the portion you will be applying to your skin—avoid adding it to the entire jar or bottle, as this may disrupt ingredient concentrations and potentially reduce the product's shelf life. Ensure that the mask stays on long enough to allow the ingredients to effectively penetrate the skin.
The Best Products with Vitamin F
Featuring oils packed with vitamin F such as chia, hemp, and rosehip, this Radiance Oil by True Botanicals. Click here to buy.
This Pai cleansing oil includes potent vitamin F components, such as sunflower seed oil and rosehip oil. Safe for all skin types, Light Work gently and effectively removes all makeup and debris from the day. Click here to buy.
Vitamin F is best introduced into the skin with oil based serums or products rather than water based topicals so it’s important to chose high grade products such as The Ordinary's Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F is a go-to. Click here to buy.
Perricone MD's Deep Crease Serum—a potent product that targets deep-set wrinkles such as marionette lines and nasolabial folds—for use morning or night. Click here to buy.
Fortified with omega fatty acids, this serum works to reduce environmental damage. I recommend daily-use omega-rich serums once to twice daily. You can layer them with other serums both morning or evenings. Click here to buy.
This anti-aging cream promises to nourish dry skin and fill in fine lines with a patented ratio of 2% pure ceramides 1 and 3, 4% natural cholesterol, and 2% fatty acids. In other words? It's perfectly designed to provide an all over glow. Click here to buy.
This overnight mask cools and hydrates the skin with fatty acids from Vitamin F, a blend of electrolytes, and niacinamide meant to improve signs of aging like fine lines and discoloration. Click here to buy.
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II DISCLAIMER: Every skin is different, not everything works for everybody. I recommend you test the product before completely using any new product. II