Are dark circles and aging becoming your unavoidable skin issues? You can heal them with a few drops of Vitamin K.
Known to address a variety of skin problems, this micronutrient is the new buzz in town. Vitamin K’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and dark circle reducing properties help transform your skin in a matter of weeks.
Read on to know the various benefits and food sources of Vitamin K and how to best incorporate it into your daily skin routine.
Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks
“Vitamin K stimulates wound healing, prevents collagen degradation and stimulates the formation of blood vessels. For skin this means, being smooth, tight, plump and glowing.”
Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor Of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix
What Is Vitamin K And What Does Vitamin K Do For The Face?
The term Vitamin K refers to a class of compounds that have the same chemical structure. This fat-soluble vitamin acts as a primary regulatory factor in the process of coagulation (blood clotting and bone health).
It is mainly classified into two types - vitamin K1 (phylloquinone)  and K2 (menaquinone). Vitamin K1 is derived from dietary sources and supplements while K2 can also be produced by your gut bacteria.
While vitamin C and E are more popular in skincare, it was not long ago that medical research acknowledged the amazing benefits of vitamin K for skin. It effectively reduces bruises, improves your skin’s ability to heal wounds, fights free radical damage and helps reverse premature skin aging.
As per Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, “Vitamin K stimulates wound healing, prevents collagen degradation and stimulates the formation of blood vessels. For skin this means, being smooth, tight, plump and glowing.”
The Natto, a traditional Japanese dish made with fermented whole soybeans is known to be one of the highest dietary sources of vitamin K. It has a whopping DV (daily value) of 708 percent with per serving of 3 ounces containing 850 mcg.
Benefits Of Vitamin K For Skin
1. Reduces Dark Circles
Dark circles can be an aesthetic nuisance making you look dull and tired. The skin around your eyes is thinner than the rest of your face, making it more susceptible to wrinkles and pigmentation.
Excess sun exposure, genetic factors,  lack of sleep, superficial vasculature and collagen depletion are the most common causes that lead to skin thinning and improper blood circulation in the eye areas, leading to visible blood vessels. Applying eye creams containing Vitamin K improves blood circulation under the eyes.
According to a study, a formulation containing one percent vitamin K and retinol effectively improved hypervascularity and reduced periorbital hyperpigmentation.
2. Reduces Signs Of Aging
Wrinkles and fine lines begin to appear when structural proteins such as elastin and collagen in your skin begin to deplete with age. Vitamin K plays an important role in reducing the risk of various age-related conditions. It aids factors that promote collagen synthesis in the body and activates the matrix Gla protein  which prevents elastin calcification.
Various vitamin K formulations effectively reduced the depth of wrinkles and fine lines and improved skin elasticity  in simply a matter of weeks. Vitamin K also improves cardio-vascular health which ensures smooth supply of oxygenated blood to your skin keeping you young and healthy.
3. Promotes Wound Healing
Vitamin K is pivotal in the process of wound healing. A deficiency in the vitamin can delay blood clotting and lead to excess bleeding. Vitamin K is responsible for the production of 4 of the vital proteins necessary for coagulation.
According to a research on the effect of topical vitamin K in wound healing, it was observed that upon the application of a vitamin K cream, skin wounds exhibited rapid healing.
4. Prevents Free Radical Skin Damage
A rise in free radicals and other reactive oxygen species can greatly affect your skin’s texture and appearance. This occurs when your skin is exposed to harmful factors such as UV rays of the sun, tobacco smoke and pollution.
Vitamin K acts as an antioxidant agent which protects against oxidative cellular damage  and prevents cell death by blocking the production of reactive oxygen species in the body.
Further, vitamins K1 and K2 inhibit oxidative injury to cells caused by glutathione  (naturally occurring antioxidant in human cells) depletion. This helps prevent early signs of aging and dullness on your skin.
Vitamin K has an anti-inflammatory  effect when consumed or topically applied. It helps to suppress signal transmission of nuclear factor kappa B, which can stimulate various proinflammatory genes. This anti-inflammatory action of vitamin K helps to prevent eczema, psoriasis-like conditions and allergic reactions of the skin.
6. Fights Acne
Fluctuating hormones during puberty or adulthood can lead to excess sebum secretions and an onset of acne issues. Vitamin K’s collective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect helps treat acne lesions. It also expedites healing of acne scars and marks on the skin.
7. Improves Skin Barrier
A weakened skin barrier can lead to various skin conditions such as dryness, infections, unregulated eczema flare-ups and others. Vitamin K is said to improve the skin barrier function, repair and aid skin healing making it a suitable ingredient for all skin types including sensitive skin.
Natural Foods That Are Good In Vitamin K
While topical application of Vitamin K products are a great way to heal your skin, including it in your diet is equally important. The daily requirement for an adult of 19 years and above is 120 mcg for men and 90 mcg for women . Here’s a list of dietary sources of Vitamin K along with micrograms (MCG) available of the nutrient per serving and the daily value (DV) requirement it meets.
1. Collard Greens
- DV: 442
- mcg/ serving: 530/ ½ cup
2. Turnip Greens
- DV: 355
- mcg/ serving: 426/ ½ cup
- DV: 121
- mcg/ serving: 145/ 1 cup
- DV: 94
- mcg/ serving: 113/ 1 cup
- DV: 92
- mcg/ serving: 110/ ½ cup
- DV: 36
- mcg/ serving: 43/ ½ cup
7. Carrot Juice
- DV: 23
- mcg/ serving: 28/ ¾ cup
- DV: 18
- mcg/ serving: 21/ ½ cup
- DV: 17
- mcg/ serving: 20/ ½ cup
10. Pomegranate Juice
- DV: 16
- mcg/ serving: 19/ ¾ cup
11. Chicken (Breast)
- DV: 11
- mcg/ serving: 13/ 3 ounces
12. Canola Oil
- DV: 8
- mcg/ serving: 10/ 1 tablespoon
- DV: 9
- mcg/ serving: 11/ ½ cup
- DV: 8
- mcg/ serving: 10/ 1 ounce
15. Ground Beef
- DV: 5
- mcg/ serving: 6/ 3 ounces
- DV: 3
- mcg/ serving: 4/ 1 large boiled egg
How To Use Vitamin K?
A. Herbal And Homemade Vitamin K Face Packs
- Mix 1 tablespoon of pomegranate juice with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin paste and ½ tablespoon of canola oil. Apply this pack on your face and neck. Leave it on for 30 minutes to 1 hour and wash off for bright, even-toned skin.
- Mix 1 tablespoon each of kiwi and avocado paste with ½ tablespoon of soybean oil and apply on your face. Leave it on for 30 to 40 minutes and wash off for blemish-free, young-looking skin.
- Prepare your vitamin K face mask by mixing 1 tablespoon of blueberry paste, ½ tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of mashed, de-seeded grapes together. Apply on your face and leave it on for 30 minutes and wash off.
- Prepare a vitamin K eye pack by blending 1 raw cucumber and a handful of coriander and basil leaves together. Spread the pack evenly over a cotton pad and apply it over your eyes. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes before washing off to reduce dark circles and eye bags.
- To quickly get rid of your dark circles, soak a cotton pad in carrot juice and apply 2-3 times a day for 15 minutes and wash off. Thai will improve blood circulation and reduce pigmentation around your eye areas.
B. Vitamin K Creams And Serums
1. Vitamin K Serums
Vitamin K serums are widely available and act as powerful antioxidant and anti-aging skin care products. Applying a vitamin K serum after cleansing and toning your face can reduce wrinkles, pigmentation and repair your skin from deep within.
2. Vitamin K Oils
A variety of fruit and vegetable oils are rich in vitamin K. Massaging your face with pure, cold-pressed soybean oil, canola oil, olive oil, avocado oil, pumpkin seed oil and pomegranate seed oil can give your skin all the benefits of this micronutrient.
3. Vitamin K Creams
Incorporating eye and face creams containing vitamin K into your daily skin routine can help reduce inflammatory conditions, puffy eyes, dark circles and effectively reverse your skin age. Understand your skin type and select the right combination of ingredients to get the best out of your vitamin K creams.
Vitamin K is photosensitive, hence keep all your vitamin K skincare products away from the sun and avoid stepping into direct sunlight after applying a vitamin K serum, cream or oil.
Side Effects Of Vitamin K
Side effects from topical vitamin K are lesser known. However, overdosing on vitamin K supplements may cause decreased appetite, dizziness, swelling, weakness, allergic reaction and others.
Frequently Asked Questions On Vitamin K For Skin
1. Who Should Avoid Using Vitamin K?
People diagnosed with coagulation disorders or those who are on the medicine Coumadin must avoid excess consumption of vitamin K.
2. Is Vitamin K Safe For Sensitive Skin?
When topically applied Vitamin K can greatly improve sensitive skin. Its anti-inflammatory, skin repairing properties calms skin irritations and prevents allergic reactions.
3. Can We Take Vitamin K Supplements?
Supplements are a good way to meet your body’s daily requirement of vitamin K. However, it is always advisable to consult your doctor to know the correct dosage to avoid unwanted side effects.
The Last Word
The use of vitamin K for the treatment of stubborn dark circles has gradually gained popularity. Skincare products containing the micronutrient can be safely applied on all types of skin to treat inflammation, oxidative skin damage and premature aging. However, care must be taken if you opt for oral vitamin K tablets for your skin. Consuming vitamin K rich foods is always a better alternative for healthy skin.Know Your Dosha Now
1. Vitamin K
2. How To Get Rid Of Dark Circles Under Your Eyes, 2020 April
3. The Role Of Vitamin K In Humans: Implication In Aging And Age-Associated Diseases, 2021 April
4. Evaluation Of The Clinical Efficacy And Safety Of An Eye Counter Pad Containing Caffeine And Vitamin K In Emulsified Emu Oil Base, 2015 January
5. Novel Role Of Vitamin K In Preventing Oxidative Injury To Developing Oligodendrocytes And Neurons, 2003 July
6. Free Radicals, Antioxidants And Functional Foods: Impact On Human Health, 2010 July- December
7. Vitamin K As A Powerful Micronutrient In Aging And Age-Related Diseases: Pros And Cons From Clinical Studies, 2019 August
8. Vitamin K, 2021 March
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