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What The F is Vitamin F?


vitamin f in skin care ceramides

Photo: @rafaelladiniz

Vitamin F lives as a little sister to the most well-known vitamins of this world - A, C, D or K. It has superpowers for skincare but barely anyone knows of it yet. We think it's just a matter of time before that happens, but in the mean time, what exactly is it? To explain, let's take a step back and examine what exactly our skin is made of.
Our skin is made up of skin cells and fats. Those fats are the things that help to keep our skin soft and to maintain the skin barrier, keeping water inside and bacteria out. And the majority of those fats come in the form of ceramides. You may have heard of ceramides already, as they are a big hit in skincare at the moment. But what are ceramides made of? Ah. We come full circle.
They are made up largely of vitamin F. So by using vitamin F-rich skincare you are going straight to the beginning, supporting the very building blocks of healthy skin.

But again, what IS vitamin F?

Vitamin F isn't really a vitamin in the traditional sense, but rather a compound of fatty acids, namely alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). Both of these are considered essential fatty acids, as in we need them to survive and be healthy, but we can't produce them on our own. So we either eat them, or we slather them on our skin. We like to slather.
vitamin f cermaides oily skin

Particularly important for oily, problematic skin

Because our skin barrier is chock-full of vitamin F, it makes sense that if vitamin F levels decrease, we start to have trouble with our skin barrier (suffering from acne, oily skin, rosacea, eczema...). This is because now moisture is leaking out and bacteria is getting in. So your skin becomes dehydrated, full of bacteria and it is doing everything it can to fight this onslaught through producing oil and rashes. So you end up with what is called "problem skin".
Generally speaking, this decrease in lipids starts in your late 20s, and by your 30s, around 40% of the skin lipids are already gone if not replaced. Umm... who else is dunking their face in oil right now?
To add insult to injury, research has shown that if you have oily or acneic skin, you are most likely already suffering from low levels of the healthy fats (linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids) with an overabundance of the unhealthier fats (oleic acid) which tend to get trapped in pores, making your skin already susceptible for problems as it is.

Why will vitamin F help?

Put simply, those low lipid levels in your skin need help. Every day that goes by, you are allowing your skin to get more and more dehydrated which makes you look older, but is also allowing bacteria to set up shop for the long-term making any issues you have with the condition of your skin tougher to resolve.

Vitamin F will allow you to get your skin barrier back in shape by making it strong again, but there are other benefits. Some of the more potent vitamin F-rich oils like seabuckthorn oil are proven to actually decrease oiliness in addition to repairing your skin. How great is that for a deal?

As an added bonus, vitamin F can help add shine and health to your air, so if you are already applying it to your face, you can spread any leftovers into your hair and get ready for blindingly shiny hair.
Some of the best sources of linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids in skincare come from sunflower, rosehip, borage, cranberry seed, seabuckthorn and evening primrose oils, which have very good ratios of vitamin F to other fatty acids. Our oil is formulated with all of these oils, making it a vitamin F powerhouse, but you could also use the oils individually, one by one to see which one you like best.
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