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Vitamin K: Where to find it in cosmetics?

It is well-known that skincare with vitamins A, C, or E provides numerous benefits for the skin. Vitamin K is not far behind and is beginning to be used in many formulations. Discover the different types of skincare products in which you will find Vitamin K.

Summary
Published April 15, 2024, updated on April 16, 2024, by Kahina, Scientific Editor — 5 min read

Cosmetic products with Vitamin K.

The vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role in blood clotting and bone metabolism. It is often prescribed as an anticoagulant treatment. Vitamin K1 is the main form used in cosmetics. However, its use is regulated.

pure Vitamin K1 in cosmetic care is prohibited. This follows a rise in cases of contact dermatitis due to allergic reactions associated with its use.

Today, vitamin K1 is found in its oxidized form (vitamin K oxide) in many cosmetic products, which is much less concerning to use because it is more stable, and also effective. The concentrations of vitamin K in skincare products range from 0.1% to 1% approximately.

  • Healing Creams. The Vitamin K is often included in creams that aim to improve healing. Here, Vitamin K is utilized for its high healing power. By stimulating the production of collagen and fibroblasts, Vitamin K could speed up skin repair after trauma. Furthermore, it could limit the slowing down of healing caused by oxidative stress, due to its supposed antioxidant properties.

    It is generally combined withhyaluronic acid to provide a moisturizing effect to the product and allow for optimal skin regeneration.

  • Topical treatments for reducing redness and bruising. Anti-redness serums and creams containing Vitamin K are available on the market. When combined with soothing ingredients such as chamomile extract, it targets issues with micro-circulation of blood, like bruises after laser treatment and redness associated with rosacea, for instance. Vitamin K potentially works through its effect on blood coagulation by strengthening vascular walls. Moreover, redness most often appears due to inflammatory issues. Vitamin K also inhibits the NF-kB inflammation pathway, which enhances its action against the development of redness.

  • Eye contour care. Two studies have shown an effect of the vitamin K against bluish dark circles. As previously mentioned, vitamin K could improve blood circulation by strengthening the vascular walls it induces. Thus, vascular dark circles, which are associated with an accumulation of blood pigments under the skin due to poor circulation and impacted lymphatic drainage (waste removal), the application of vitamin K could restore good micro-circulation and reduce the appearance of purple dark circles.

    Its combination with caffeine and retinal allows the formula to provide a reduction in eye puffiness and an improved skin texture, in addition to diminishing the appearance of bluish dark circles.

Sources

  • THIJSSEN H. H. W. & al. The potent antioxidant activity of the vitamin K cycle in microsomal lipid peroxidation. Biochemical Pharmacology (1997).

  • BAUMANN L. & al. The effects of topical vitamin K on bruising after laser treatment. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (2002).

  • KOMAI M. & al. Vitamin K suppresses lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in the rat. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry (2006).

  • DIRECTIVE 2009/6/CE DE LA COMMISSION du 4 février 2009. Journal officiel de l’Union européenne (2009).

  • AHMADRAJI F. & al. Evaluation of the clinical efficacy and safety of an eye counter pad containing caffeine and vitamin K in emulsified Emu oil base. Advanced Biomedical Research (2015).

  • GHORBANZADEH B. & al. Wound healing effects of topical vitamin K: A randomized controlled trial. Indian Journal of Pharmacology (2019).

  • KOU J. & al. Effect of vitamin K on wound healing: A systematic review and meta-analysis based on preclinical studies. Frontiers in Pharmacology (2022).

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