The technology applied to cosmetics has achieved that micronutrients such as vitamins act on the skin and reach layers that were previously inaccessible topically. Currently its actions are used in different products for both facial and body care.
Vitamin A . It is known as the anti-aging vitamin, for its antioxidant properties that protect us against free radicals . Its use allows to normalize dry and dehydrated skin by regulating the production of fat. Another of its properties focuses on tanning, since by activating melanocytes it allows to accelerate and prolong the tan. In the cosmetic formulation, it is mainly included in facial creams either in the form of palmitate or also as retinol or provitamin A, due to its moisturizing and anti-aging properties. In these products may appear alone or coupled with vitamin C . In body treatments it is being incorporated into anti-cellulite products and body moisturizers.
Within the group called B , some vitamins stand out for their important cosmetic actions. Vitamin B1 facilitates the assimilation of nutrients, B2 will stimulate the growth and renewal of connective tissue and B3 improves the circulatory system ; B6 acts on the nervous systemand B12 in cell growth. Vitamin B5 or panthenol is widely used in different preparations since it allows to maintain an optimal degree of moisture in the skin, hair and nails, giving them flexibility. Due to these properties, its application is wide in hair products. Regarding their presence in cosmetic formulations, they are included in products that stop hair loss, in hair treatment products and in facial creams. Currently they have been incorporated into the formulations of mascara.
But they are not only effective when they are incorporated into cosmetic products, the main way for them to act on our skin, nails or hair is to ingest them with food.
The state of the skin, the luminosity of the face and the firmness of our body depend on the nutrients that we take daily and of these vitamins are particularly important.
Minerals for skin care
Like vitamins, minerals are important for the body, participating in essential functions:
- They act as cofactors in different enzyme systems, regulating metabolic processes.
- They regulate the water and electrolyte balance, maintaining the constancy of body fluids and are involved in the acid-base balance.
- They act on nerve transmission by regulating muscular and nervous functioning.
- They facilitate the transport of essential nutrients into the cell.
- They make up organic structures.
During the 20th century, with the development of nutrition as a science, the essentiality of these elements was discovered. Currently we know the important role that they play in our well-being and the danger that their lack represents for our organism. A balanced and varied diet covers a possible deficit, although its need will depend on many factors such as age, the stage of life in which we find ourselves and lifestyle.
The use in cosmetic products for external use will depend on the properties they provide, strengthening nails, hair, regulators of fatty secretions, etc.
Some of the properties of the most important mineral elements and their location in food are described below:
They are the ones that are present in the highest proportion in our tissues, they have to be provided with food in larger quantities, above 100 mg. Sulfur, calcium, chlorine, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and sodium, make up this group also called macrominerals.
Sulfur , is a purifier and regenerator of the body. It is involved in the synthesis of collagen, and in blood clotting. It is part of the B vitamins and sulfur amino acids that constitute proteins with different functions. Its actions on the skin focus on oily secretions, keeping the skin fresh and acne-free; strengthens nails and adds shine to hair. Its food source is protein foods, beef, chicken, salmon, cheese, eggs …
Calcium is the constituent par excellence of bones and teeth; it intervenes in the excitability and contractility of striated muscle, both skeletal and cardiac; it also intervenes in blood clotting. Its presence is necessary for the transmission of the nerve impulse and in intracellular communication mechanisms. It maintains the permeability of cell membranes and is an activator of different enzyme systems. Its intake is essential in different stages of life, growth, old age and reproductive stages. We find it mainly in dairy foods and derivatives, meats, green leafy vegetables and nuts.
Phosphorus , constitutes bones and teeth; It is part of nucleic acids, some lipids, proteins and hydrocarbon compounds. It is necessary for muscular and nervous system activity. It contributes to the maintenance of the acid-base balance and is essential in the storage and use of metabolic energy.
Magnesium , is a powerful tonic generally regulates mood and calm the anxiety caused by situations of stress . Within the body it is part of the bone and dental structure; it intervenes in the maintenance of different balances such as saline, water and acid-base. It is necessary for the transmission of the nerve impulse and for the maintenance of cardiac function. It is involved in muscle relaxation and is an activator of energy-releasing enzymatic systems. The foods richest in this element are nuts, legumes, cocoa, coffee and wheat germ.
Chlorine and potassium , contribute to the maintenance of the acid-base, water and salt balance. They are necessary for the transmission and generation of the nerve impulse and for the normal activity of the muscles. Its presence is important in all foods, both in proteins of animal origin and in vegetables since they are part of the intracellular and extracellular fluids of the organic structures. Bananas, tomatoes, nuts and meats are especially rich in potassium.
They are also necessary for the proper functioning of our body, but in much smaller quantities; the daily requirements are below 100 mg. This group includes: zinc, cobalt, copper, chromium, fluorine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and iodine . Of all of them we highlight the following:
Zinc , its presence is related to the activity of numerous enzymes that intervene in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. It is involved in the development and differentiation of sexual organs, in the normal functioning of taste and smell and is essential in the functioning of the immune system . Its presence is important in many foods of both animal and vegetable origin, but especially in meat and seafood.
Copper has an important role in the formation of hemoglobin, red blood cells, and various enzymes.
Its presence favors the use of iron, and it is a cofactor of various enzymes that are going to intervene in the respiratory chain. It is necessary in the production of melanin and in the formation of hair. It is eaten with shellfish, and when eating liver; plant foods are also rich in copper, both green leafy foods and whole grains.
Chromium , favors the action of insulin and intervenes in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, therefore it is a controller of fats and insulin production. Foods that contain chromium are very broad, beets, mushrooms, beer, egg yolks and organ meats are some of them.
Iron is involved in the formation of hemoglobin, which contributes to the transport of oxygen to the tissues, and in cellular respiration as part of the structure of various enzymes. It is ingested through food in two forms: “heme” and “non-heme” iron. Heme iron, or organic form, is found in hemoglobin, myoglobin and cytochromes, so its contribution is produced through foods of animal origin. Non-hemopherric iron and whose contribution is produced mainly through plant foods, legumes, cereals and leafy vegetables. The presence of vitamin C favors the absorption of iron at the intestinal level, and the passage of oxidized iron of difficult absorption, to reduced iron of good absorption.
Selenium , its main functions in the body focus on acting as a powerful cellular antioxidant, and on immune mechanisms. It also intervenes in the metabolism of fatty compounds. Due to these actions, selenium has a priority role in anti-aging cosmetics, since it keeps the skin smooth and has a tightening effect on the tissues. It is also important on the hair, allowing them to maintain their elasticity.
Iodine is involved in the formation of thyroid hormones, increasing the body’s metabolism, thus helping to “burn” excess fat. Its natural contribution is produced through sea fish and iodized salt. Some plant foods can contain somewhat significant amounts, depending on the composition of the soil.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.