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Vitamins in Your Cosmetics

What do carrots, rose hips and corn oil have in common? Aside from being edible, they are also rich sources of vitamins that can be included in natural hair and skin care products.  Scientists have known for a long time that vitamins are an essential part of a healthy diet.  In addition, many scientific studies have demonstrated that the topical application of vitamins can positively affect the skin and hair.  Even if you get enough vitamins in your diet, it is a good idea to add vitamins to your skin care routine. This can be done simply and naturally, with the aid of herbs and plants.

Important Vitamins For Hair And Skin Care : 
Certain vitamins are included in cosmetics because of their benefits to the skin and hair.  These vitamins are:

Vitamin A:  This vitamin is an added anti-aging products because it helps to soften and hydrate the skin.  It has also been demonstrated to reverse the symptoms of sun damaged skin. Vitamin A exists in many different forms, including beta-carotene, which occurs naturally in plants.

Vitamin B Complex: The B-complex vitamin is actually composed of several vitamins, all which are necessary for healthy skin and hair. These include the following:  Vitamin B1 (thiamin), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin), Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid),  Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), Biotin, Choline, Folic acid, Inositol and PABA (Para-Aminobenzoic Acid).  Vitamin B5 is often found in cosmetic products in the form of panthenol.  Panthenol is a common ingredient in many hair care products because it moisturizes and strengthens the hair shaft.  It has also been shown to help wounds and burns heal.  The B vitamins work together as a team to help the body maintain healthy hair and skin.

Vitamin C: This vitamin is also known as ascorbic acid.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant and it helps to keep the skin looking younger by offering some protection against sun damage and also by stimulating the production of collagen in the skin.

Vitamin E: This vitamin helps to keep skin moisturized.  It is also a natural antioxidant.

Vitamin F:  This is the code name for unsaturated fatty acids (linoleic acid and linolenic acid).  These fatty acids are found in blackcurrant seed oil, sunflower seed oil and several other vegetable oils. Unsaturated fatty acids cannot be produced by human skin.  They must be obtained through diet or topical  application. They help to soften skin, hydrate skin  and soothe minor irritations. 

Adding Vitamins To Handcrafted Cosmetic Products
One method of adding vitamins to your cosmetic products is to add liquid or powdered vitamins to them.  Liquid vitamins (such as vitamin E or A) come as oils that blend readily with oil-based products such as soaps, lotions, and bath and body oils.  Vitamin C, as ascorbic acid, should only be added to dry products because scientists have discovered that vitamin C loses its potency almost immediately when added to cosmetics containing water (lotions and creams).  

An easier way to add vitamins to your products is to use plant sources that are already rich in vitamins.  Many plants are rich, untapped sources of vitamins that can be added to your skin care products.  Herbs and plants that are rich in vitamins usually contain more than one vitamin, so by using them in your cosmetics your skin and hair will get an infusion of several vitamins at once.   For example, dandelion greens and roots, part of a seemingly obnoxious weed, are one of the richest natural sources of vitamin A.  According to The Complete Book Of Vitamins (©1965, Rodale Books), one cup of cooked dandelion greens contains over 13,000 international units of vitamin A, which is over twice the recommended daily allowance.  In addition to vitamin A, dandelion greens and roots contain several of the B vitamins, as well as vitamin E.  Dried dandelion roots and leaves are readily available at most health food stores.  Wheatgerm oil is another natural vitamin source that should not be overlooked.  Wheatgerm oil is one of the richest natural sources of vitamin E.  It contains from 150 milligrams to 420 milligrams in 6 tablespoons.