Is Vitamin K the Secret to Anti-Aging? Here's What You Need to Know

We asked dermatologists if the underrated vitamin is the key to younger-looking skin.

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Experts have long-hailed the benefits of certain vitamins and antioxidants for their nutrient-boosting, free radical-fighting capabilities. When it comes to skincare and anti-aging, in particular, you've probably sought out some of the heavy-hitters (most notably, vitamin C serums) to pack a powerful skin-boosting punch into your routine. But did you know that vitamin K is also used in skincare? Yes, we're talking about the powerhouse vitamin found in leafy greens like spinach, kale, collards, and swiss chard.

Vitamin K is a relatively uncommon skincare ingredient mainly hailed for improved wound healing. However, this vitamin could be another important link in building an iron-clad defense against skin aging. Moreover, the vitamin is a rather intriguing one—some experts suggest that an adequate intake of vitamin K could help you live longer. So how good is vitamin K for our skin, really? We asked dermatologists to break down the vitamin and explain its various skin-related benefits when ingested and applied topically.

What Is Vitamin K?

According to Yunyoung Claire Chang, MD, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City, vitamin K is best described as an essential fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in blood coagulation (inhibiting excessive bleeding), blood calcium regulation, and overall bone health.

"Additionally, lab and animal studies have found that vitamin K can reduce the production of pro-inflammatory proteins (called cytokines), therefore working as an anti-inflammatory," says Dr. Chang. "Both animal and human studies have shown topical vitamin K to help with wound healing, potentially due to its antioxidant or blood-clotting properties."

Vitamin K Anti-Aging Benefits

"By improving the elasticity of blood vessels and overall vascular health, vitamin K can help with a handful of leading aging factors, including the appearance of stretch marks, varicose veins, bruising, undereye puffiness, dark circles, and other conditions that have a vascular component," says Sejal Shah, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.

And thanks to its collagen-promoting and wound-healing capabilities, vitamin K could promote a smoother, more youthful glow, says Dr. Shah. "Applied topically, it also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, counteracting both inflammation and free radicals (both of which promote aging)," she says. Studies have shown it to protect skin against environmental aggressors and help with inflammaging, specifically.

Dr. Shah also points out that oral vitamin K has been proven to improve insulin sensitivity and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. "As we now know, high blood sugar levels can also contribute to premature aging," she says.

Vitamin K Healing Properties

Are you struggling with an inflammatory skin condition? Dr. Shah says vitamin K could potentially improve inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. But don't get too excited—while promising (and worth a shot), both Dr. Chang and Dr. Shah note that studies surrounding vitamin K and problem skin have been limited, with much more research to be done.

"Although vitamin K has been proposed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and collagen-producing properties, its direct benefits for skin conditions are still unclear," says Dr. Chang. More companies are beginning to test and market topical products with vitamin K, but the most important thing is to ensure you are eating enough vitamin K-rich fruits and vegetables.

Top Vitamin K Skincare Products

Curious to test vitamin K for yourself, while also reaping benefits from a range of other power ingredients? Here are our favorite antioxidant-rich product picks to put the potent ingredient into practice.

Omorovicza Reviving Eye Cream

Omorovicza Reviving Eye Cream

The vitamin K (derived from lucern oil) in this cream works to eliminate dark circles, while arnica and cucumber extracts serve to de-puff and de-stress swollen and tired undereye skin.

To buy: $149,

Youth to the People Superfood Air-Whip Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid

Youth to the People Superfood Air-Whip Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid

Like a smoothie for the skin, this lightweight moisturizer is powered by a fusion of phytonutrients and vitamins (C, E, and K) found in kale. Green tea and hyaluronic acid offer an additional boost of nutrients and hydration.

To buy: $48,

Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser

Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser

This cleanser, makeup remover, and mask is made with strawberry seed oil (vitamins A, B, C, E, and Omega 3), tomato extracts (vitamins A, C, and K), and moisture-balancing wheat proteins for a potent yet gentle antioxidant cocktail.

To buy: $36,

Prima Night Magic Intensive Face Oil

Prima Night Magic Intensive Face Oil

Restore as you snooze with this overnight face oil from Prima. Its star ingredient is prickly pear oil, which is chock-full of vitamin K, antioxidants, amino acids, phytosterols, and omega fatty acids to help nourish and brighten skin. Broad-spectrum hemp CBD lends an additional calming effect.

To buy: $82,

Eminence Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzofoliant

Eminence Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzofoliant

Buff your way to skin bliss with this 'fizzofoliant' from Eminence, which relies on stone crop, rice, adzuki powder, and microgreens to help (gently) rid skin of dead cells and impurities for a smoother, more radiant complexion.

To buy: $58,

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