The Little-Known Vitamin Your Skin Needs to Really Glow

Fact: Vitamin F should be your skin’s new BFF. But what is it? Well, vitamin F is fat. In skincare, vitamin F is used to represent linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that is rich in omega-6. Fats are also known as lipids, and they’re incredibly important when it comes to maintaining a strong, healthy stratum corneum (the protective outer layer of the skin). If your skin barrier function is working optimally, it’ll prevent aggressors from getting in and causing water loss.

While it’s important to slather vitamin F onto your face and body, eating good fats can also help to nourish your skin, hair and nails from the inside out. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect, and as we all know by now, inflammation is one of the key causes of ageing. A little science for you: Inside the body, omega-6 is used to make ceramide I, which is a key part of a healthy skin barrier. Skin that lacks vitamin F can look dry, dull, scaly and be acne-prone. Studies have found that people with atopic dermatitis generally lack ceramide I.

However, those who did experience acne were able to reduce the pustule size by 25% in as little as a month by applying linoleic acid topically. Linoleic acid can be found in lots of foods and skincare ingredients—including flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin oil, tofu, walnuts, hemp seed oil and rose hip oil. Convinced enough to add some vitamin F to your skincare routine? Well, look no further. I’ve pulled together an edit of the best skincare products containing that all-important linoleic acid. Enjoy.