Vitamin F

What are the benefits will regular use of Vitamin F bring to our skin?

Vitamin F, more commonly known as linoleic acid, is an essential fatty acid from the omega-6 family – Vitamin F’s main job is healing the skin’s barrier. So you’re going to love this ingredients if your skin is problematic, dry or acne-prone.

Vitamin F plays a huge role in maintaining the water permeability barrier of the skin, helping to make the skin plumper, firmer and hydrated. It also provides powerful anti-inflammatory properties, helping to fight acne and blemishes. Essential fatty acids can also help facilitate the penetration of other active ingredients such as antioxidants, because of their ability to permeate the skin barrier.

Who should be using it? (ageing skin? Dry? Sensitive?)

It’s a great ingredient for most skin types but particularly good for unbalanced and blemished skin. Most acne prone skin is deficient in Vitamin F and tend to have a higher percentage of oleic acid in their sebum (natural skin oil). A low level of Vitamin F is one of the things that can cause blockages and breakouts in acne-prone skin so by adding it to your regime you can help treat and target these concerns. This powerhouse ingredient also has benefits to dry and dehydrated skin due to its potent hydrating properties.

Is it more powerful than other ‘hero’ vitamins like C and E?

We all know that Vitamin C is excellent for brightening the skin, Vitamin   shield’s against environmental damage and Vitamin A (retinol) works its magic on lines, wrinkles and exfoliating the skin. Vitamin F just plays a different role – it’s the wonder ingredient for restoring the barrier function of the skin.

Should we be using with another key ingredient/particular type of product too to get more out of it?

Vitamin F is often added to other ingredients meaning you can reap the benefits of antioxidants that it works well with such as Rosehip oil.  By combining these you’ll get a super dose of vitamin A and other powerful antioxidants – by doing this the skin generally resounds extremely well.

Any downsides to vitamin F?

Oils with a high linoleic acid content tend to go off slightly faster than other skin oils which is why it’s often added to other ingredients which help prolong its shelf life.

Is it worth investing it? What products would you recommend?

This ingredient shows up in many products on its own, it is more frequently hidden in a few precious botanical oils such as Rosehip Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Hemp Seed Oil and Evening Primrose Oil. One product that contains a multitude of these nutrients and antioxidants is the SKN Therapy Moisturiser by SKN REHAB – it combines Vitamin F (linoleic acid) with an array of other oils including Prickly Pear oil, Rosehip, Soy Bean Oil, Grapeseed Oil, and more, so you can also reap the antiaging properties of this powerhouse ingredient.

SKN Therapy – By SKN REHAB £65 – 50ml www.sknrehab.com

Dr Imogen Bexfield – Founder and Medical Director of White Swan Aesthetics