Topical vitamins

J Drugs Dermatol. 2008 Jul;7(7 Suppl):s2-6.


Vitamins are a natural constituent of human skin and are part of a system of antioxidants that protect the skin from oxidative stress. There has been an increased interest in the use of natural antioxidants such as vitamins to help restore dermal antioxidant activity. Vitamins A, C, E, and B3 have been shown to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but to achieve optimal effectiveness, products must be delivered in appropriate formulations. Products containing alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), retinol (vitamin A), and niacinamide (vitamin B3), are effective for the treatment of photoaging. These compounds have also shown effectiveness in the treatment of inflammatory dermatoses, acne, and pigmentation disorders and wound healing. There is emerging evidence that combinations of vitamins have additive effects that provide enhanced efficacy compared with individual compounds.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Skin Aging / drug effects
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamins / pharmacology


  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamins