With advancements in skin technology progressing every day, we admit, it can be hard to keep up with every new acid, antioxidant and peptide making its way onto the market. Trying to understand which products work for you, what they do and whether you actually need to include them in your skincare routine can be confusing – not to mention overwhelming.
So, when we introduce you to the latest ”it” ingredient, you can rest assured it’s something worth knowing about. Introducing vitamin F, a skincare product we’ve been noticing all over our Instagram feeds and in the formulas of your favourite skincare brand’s moisturisers, serums and face oils – and for good reason.
The ingredient has been long known as a nutrient which supports healthy bodily function, from assisting in lowering the risk of heart disease, to reducing blood pressure levels. But what can it do for the skin? We’re glad you asked, because we’re about to take you through it, step by step.
What is vitamin F?
The most surprising fact about vitamin F is that it’s actually not a vitamin at all, but rather a combination of two fatty acids; linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Unlike other non-essential fatty acids which are produced in the body, ALA and LA are substances the body isn’t capable of producing on its own and is normally obtained through dietary sources and topical applications.
“Vitamin F is not your typical Vitamin, in essence, it is an essential fatty acid, which is needed for regular body functions,” says Nicola Kilner, CEO and co-founder of DECIEM.
“When used in skincare it retains moisture, whilst also being hydrating and assists in protecting the skin’s barrier, combating dryness and dullness of the skin.”
What benefit does vitamin F provide to your skin?
When used topically, vitamin F has anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties which help maintain the skin's barrier, while relieving dryness and maintaining balance.
“Other benefits of Vitamin F are the anti-inflammatory properties, meaning they are great for all skin types, but in particular, those who suffer from blemishes, acne, dermatitis, and Psoriasis. Vitamin F is high in antioxidants which means it can protect the skin from environmental damage and external aggressors which can lead to aging of the skin.”
How can you incorporate vitamin F into your skincare routine?
“Vitamin F is typically gentle and therefore can be used on all skin types, it can also be combined with many other ingredients and has little, to no contradictions (in studies thus far),” clarifies Kilner.
“It can be used in both a morning and evening routine (twice a day) and is typically delivered in oil or cream formulations. You’ll find it mainly in serums, and as with a typical routine, you should start layering your serums thinnest to thickest.”
Below, some of the vitamin F filled products we're loving now.
The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F
Though the name might be a mouthful, that’s because this oil by cult skincare brand The Ordinary is jampacked with nourishing vitamin F and a potent percentage of vitamin C for brightening and antioxidant protection.
Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream
This rich, decadent cream is formulated with lipids that mimic and support the skin’s natural moisture barrier without leaving a greasy after-feel.
Aesop Sublime Replenishing Night Masque
This lightweight mask is the first Aesop skincare product to incorporate vitamin F, alongside a lengthy list of other skin-nurturing vitamins. Unlike other overnight masks, this formulation by Aesop has a comfortable, non-greasy texture that still leaves the skin feeling renewed every morning.
Pai Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil
This certified organic, palm-free cleanser is filled with vitamin F rich components like sunflower seed oil and rosehip oil, to gently remove make-up and daily debris while repairing and restoring the skin with moisture.