Vitamins A, C, E, and B3 may help prevent UV-induced premature aging (photoaging), according to "Vitamins and photoaging: Do scientific data support their use?" a report recently published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Researchers aren't sure how effective these options are in topical products, but here's how four vitamins may protect your skin.
Vitamin A: Carotenoids, a form of vitamin A, may prevent UV-induced collagen breakdown (Why is this good? Collagen keeps skin firm and prevents wrinkles, which is why we want it intact!). Retinoids, another form of vitamin A, may help treat photoaged skin; however, it's the more potent prescription forms, rather than in over-the-counter cosmeceuticals, that have the research to support their use for skin care.
Vitamin C: Because it collagen and elastin and antioxidant value that may fight UV damage, vitamin C is touted for its topical benefits.
Vitamin E: Another antioxidant, this vitamin may protect skin when applied topically. But more research supports supplementing, along with vitamin C, to protect skin from UV rays.
Vitamin B3: Recent research supports topical vitamin B3 for fighting acne and photoaging, along with decreasing skin discoloration and wrinkles.