Chances are that your beauty routine already contains several vitamins – A, B, C, D, and E are all popular skincare ingredients. However, there’s a lesser-known vitamin out there that isn’t spoken about quite so often – vitamin K.
Although this vitamin may not be as multi-tasking as the rest, it still offers some significant skin benefits, especially when it comes to treating dark circles under the eyes.
- What is Vitamin K?
- How Does Vitamin K Benefit the Skin?
- Vitamin K Side Effects
- Choosing a Vitamin K Eye Cream or Serum
- Adding Vitamin K to Your Diet
- Other Ways to Get Rid of Under-Eye Circles
What is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. It’s naturally produced in the intestines, and can also be found in several foods.
It’s a vital vitamin for a number of bodily functions. For starters, it’s a blood-clotting factor, making it vital in the coagulation process.
This is actually where it gets its name from, with the German word for coagulation being koagulation with a K.
Vitamin K also plays a crucial role in bone health, blood calcium regulation, wound healing, and the healing of bruises.
How Does Vitamin K Benefit the Skin?
The most important benefit of vitamin K for the skin is how it helps to clear dark circles.
There’s no denying that it has this effect, but scientists are still trying to figure out exactly how it works.
There are plenty of theories – dark circles are often caused by blood pooling in the blood vessels underneath the eyes. It could be vitamin K’s blood clotting effects that help to clear this, or it could be down to how it speeds up the wound healing process.
Either way, several studies over the years have found vitamin K to be effective at clearing under-eye circles, although they haven’t been focused on vitamin K alone.
For example, researchers back in 2004 had success in treating both wrinkles and dark circles in the under-eye area. They used vitamin K, but they also combined this with vitamins C and E, as well as retinol .
More recently, in 2015, researchers were able to improve dark circles in their patients with a combination of vitamin K, caffeine, and emu oil .
Again, all of these ingredients could have played a part in the results, but vitamin K seems to be the common factor in most of the successful studies.
In addition to treating dark circles, vitamin K also does double duty as an anti-aging ingredient capable of reducing wrinkles and improving skin elasticity. This is why it’s often used in creams designed to target the appearance of aging, stretch marks, and bruising.
Vitamin K Side Effects
Being an ingredient that the human body synthesizes itself means that there are very few side effects associated with vitamin K, which is yet another of its benefits.
The main issues would be an allergy to the vitamin itself, which is very rare, or an increased risk of blood clots if you have a blood clotting disorder.
It could potentially interfere with blood thinning medications or weight loss drugs – speak to a doctor or a board-certified dermatologist if you’re on any medications.
Other than that, the ingredient is safe to use on every skin type, even on sensitive skin.
Choosing a Vitamin K Eye Cream or Serum
If your aim is to treat dark circles, then look for eye creams or eye serums that have been designed specifically to treat the delicate skin in this area.
A contouring eye cream containing vitamin K along with other ingredients that can plump, repair, and brighten would be a good addition to your skincare routine. Look out for the following on ingredient lists:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Hyaluronic acid
For best results, use your vitamin K eye creams twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Consistency in your skincare routine is what you need for best results!
Adding Vitamin K to Your Diet
Topical vitamin K is great, but you can double up on its benefits by including more vitamin K-rich foods into your diet too. Some of the best food sources of the vitamin are:
- Brussels sprouts
You’ll also find a different, but equally beneficial, form of the vitamin in certain animal products, including meat, cow’s milk, cheese, and eggs.
If you’re struggling to eat enough vitamin K, then supplements are worth considering. Most people need about 90-120mg per day.
Other Ways to Get Rid of Under-Eye Circles
Vitamin K is becoming a popular ingredient in treatments that address dark shadows and circles, but there are other ways to hide these too:
- Try an under-eye facial massage. This can help to stimulate circulation (poor circulation can often cause dark circles) while reducing puffiness and swelling
- Try silicon eye patches to plump and hydrate your skin
- Make sure that you’re getting enough sleep each night
- For a temporary fix, use a color-correcting concealer to counter shadows and redness, which will even out your complexion
How long does it take for vitamin K to work on dark circles?
Research shows that it takes about three weeks for vitamin K to work on dark circles.
Does a vitamin K deficiency cause dark circles?
Yes, vitamin K deficiencies have been known to cause dark circles.
Which vitamin is good for dark circles?
Vitamins K, C, and A are all great for dark circles.
It’s always important to address the root cause when dealing with dark circles. However, if you know that you’re getting enough sleep and don’t have any nutritional deficiencies, then turning to vitamin K, both in your skincare routine and in your diet, would definitely be wise.
Not only will it help to brighten up your eye area, but it’ll also reduce the visible signs of aging and improve overall skin health.