Did you know vitamin K has a ton of health benefits for your body, inside and out, and can even help you live longer?
When it comes to the vitamin supplements we should be taking, the list can sometimes seem endless. Vitamins A, C, and E are the usual go-to’s for keeping our skin, hair and nails in the healthiest condition. But, the latest edition causing a stir in the wellness world, and one that is definitely worth adding to your supplement shelf, is vitamin K.
This hero vitamin has been found to help reduce dark shadows, ease the appearance of wrinkles, and improve skin elasticity as our skin ages.
What is vitamin K?
Without getting carried away with the science, there are two types of vitamin K – Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2.
- Vitamin K1 is found in dark, leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
- Vitamin K2 is found in animal products such as eggs, butter, hard cheeses, whole milk and cream.
What are the health benefits of vitamin K?
Skincare specialist and cosmetics doctor, Dr David Jack says, “In the diet, vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is involved in the clotting pathway so is a very important vitamin for general health. It is also important for heart, bone and brain health, with some studies showing improvements in memory with higher blood levels of vitamin K.”
Vitamin K is often taken to treat osteoporosis and bone loss, to prevent the risk of bone fractures and to maintain healthy, strong bones. The vitamin does this by synthesising osteocalcin in the body, which is a protein in bone tissue on which calcium then crystallises.
Vitamin K also dissolves fatty oils which in turn combats high cholesterol. Its magic properties also include reducing calcium deposits in your arteries, which can cause heart disease.
Other health benefits vitamin K has shown include preventing premature ageing, reducing heavy menstrual flow and promoting healthy liver function.
Why is vitamin K good for your skin?
As well as an oral supplement, vitamin K can be applied to your skin in the form of lotions, creams and serums. Dr Ross Perry, Medical Director of CosmedicsUK, says, “Despite being one of the lesser known vitamins, vitamin K can be seen as having positive benefits when used correctly on the skin.”
Most products containing vitamin K are used both in the morning and at night – and you’ll be pleased to know unlike vitamin A, it does not affect your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. From dark circles to wrinkles and healing damaged skin, once this magic potion finds a place in your beauty routine, you wouldn’t want to let it go.
One of the most important reasons vitamin K has caused such uproar in the beauty world is for its ability to aid the skin’s healing process. Dr Perry says, “Firstly it can be used as a topical lotion to help with bruising, swelling, cuts and grazes. It can also help fade dark circles which are often caused by the same weakened capillaries responsible for bruising. Vitamin K not only strengthens those capillaries, but also increases circulation and reduces fluid retention in the under eye area.”
This could explain why the ingredient is commonly found in creams used post-aesthetic procedures such as Botox, laser treatments and fillers. Dr Perry added: “Alongside this it has also shown to benefit those suffering from eczema, rosacea and psoriasis as it can reduce inflammation, redness and swelling often accompanied with these skin conditions.”
This handy vitamin is also essential for combating any dry patches of skin and ensuring your skin is protected against environmental aggressors.
The best Vitamin K products to add to your skincare routine
For under your eyes: Exuviance Brightening Bionic Eye Crème Plus, R675 for 15ml
For your body: Huxley Moroccan Gardener Body Oil, R480 for 100ml
Words: Sibelle Mehmet. Additional words: Martinique Stevens