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You’ve probably noticed the increasingly buzzy ingredient vitamin K popping up in all sorts of skin care products. To understand its main benefits and how to incorporate it into your routine, Elite Daily spoke with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Sheila Farhang. Dr. Farhang says that, similar to vitamin C, vitamin K is also an antioxidant that helps promote smooth, firm skin, and the best vitamin K creams are ones that are paired with ingredients like arnica, which can help reduce swelling and bruising; caffeine to tackle unwanted puffiness around the eyes; or retinol, which increases vitamin K’s absorption.
Vitamin K is most commonly seen in eye creams, the reason being that it’s amazing for brightening unwanted under-eye circles and reducing mild swelling, says the expert. It’s also effective for keeping skin looking smooth and even, thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The doctor even says she uses vitamin K on patients if there is some “post-procedure bruising from cosmetic injections, as the blood clotting properties [of vitamin K] can help fade away bruising quicker.”
Vitamin K is typically well-tolerated and non-irritating, so other than watching for reactions like you would with any new product, there’s no reason not to add this versatile ingredient to your skin care routine. (Except if you are pregnant, in which case Dr. Farhang says to avoid it, unless your healthcare provider says otherwise.)
To shop the best vitamin K products, from eye creams to body moisturizers, keep scrolling.
1. The Best Vitamin K Eye Cream
It’s nice to find an eye cream, like the award-winning ISDIN K-Ox, that offers multiple benefits — both immediate and long-term — for this delicate, dryness-prone area. With a gentle and nourishing blend of vitamin K, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid, ISDIN’s eye cream plumps, hydrates, brightens, and smooths all at once. Dab a tiny bit under your eyes, then blend it in via the ceramic applicator tip to give your skin a soothing mini-massage. As for the hero ingredient, vitamin K oxide, Dr. Farhang explains that “Vitamin K oxide is typically more light and heat stable than vitamin K,” which is why you’ll often see it turn up in vitamin K creams.
In Naturopathica’s Vitamin K Brightening Eye Complex, vitamin K works alongside the multi-tasking antioxidant niacinamide (aka vitamin B3) and horse chestnut flower extract to give your under-eye area a smoother, more even appearance. This cream has the added bonus of containing light-refracting minerals to instantly brighten eyes that are looking (or feeling) a little tired. Just use a tiny bit — it’s a super-concentrated product, so you really don’t need much at all to make an impact (which is why, though expensive, it’s worth the splurge — one little jar will last you ages).
3. A Vitamin K Eye + Lip Cream
For a more affordable option, apply this Care Skincare Eye+Lip Nourishing Cream around your eyes and lip area (thought not on your lips, the brand says). It’s full of moisturizing and firming ingredients like Dr. Farhang-recommended caffeine to give skin a boost, peptides, which encourage your skin to produce collagen and elastin, and hydrating heroes like safflower seed oil, hyaluronic acid, and aloe. Nutrient wise, it contains both vitamins C and K, and the rich formula is fragrance-free.
4. A Splurge-Worthy Vitamin K Eye Cream
Omorovicza’s splurge-worthy eye cream is from a luxury Hungarian brand that infuses their skin care products with mineral-rich Hungarian thermal waters to support your healthiest, most luminous skin. Their silky eye cream is also made with vitamin K, arnica (one of those ingredients Dr. Farhang recommends), and refreshing cucumber to hydrate your skin and give your under-eye area a nice glow. A nice, practical highlight is that it’s packaged in an airtight, pump-top bottle to keep the formula fresh.
5. Best Vitamin K Cream Under $10
Take vitamin K out for a spin for just $10 with Hellocell’s Vitamin K Dr. Doctor Petit Cream, which is also made with soothing allantoin, nourishing panthenol, and trehalose, another, more under-the-radar moisturizing ingredient. Apply the lightweight, fragrance-free lotion to tackle unwanted under-eye circles, or onto any part of your body where you want to reduce a bruise. It’s the perfect budget-friendly way to try this trendy ingredient out.
6. Best Vitamin K Face & Body Cream
This Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream is from Youth to the People, a brand known for their veggie-laden, vegan skin care products. This lovely face and body cream is so light, fast-absorbing, and cooling that it’s almost like a gel-cream. Note that this gets its vitamin K from kale, and it also contains other antioxidant-rich ingredients like green tea, as well as hyaluronic acid for all-day hydration.
7. Best Budget Vitamin K Body Cream
Aroma Naturals Vitamin K Crème is designed to help with things like scars and bruises — and to provide a rich dose of moisture to dry skin. In addition to vitamin K, it contains the antioxidants vitamins C and E, as well as skin-soothers and hydrators like coconut water, chamomile, cocoa butter, aloe, and green tea. Shoppers on Amazon say it also helps decrease redness, and that it’s helpful to put anywhere on your skin where you’ve accidentally gotten too much sun.
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Dr. Farhang says she uses Revision Skincare’s Vitamin K Serum at her clinic, where she applies it to patients after cosmetic injections to “help decrease the risk of bruising and swelling.” She also recommends it to her “more mature” patients who easily bruise on their arms. “This contains arnica, which helps with bruising and swelling, barley extract which is hydrating and [an] antioxidant, coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E, which are calming and also antioxidants, as well as squalene, which helps moisturize the skin,” she explains. This soothing serum is made without oil, and layers beautifully under richer lotions and creams.
Dr. Sheila Farhang, board-certified dermatologist and founder, Avant Dermatology & Aesthetics