The Little-Known Vitamin Your Skin Needs to Really Glow

Updated 04/18/19

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.

Alpha H Essential Hydration Cream
Alpha H Essential Hydration Cream $35
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This day cream contains linoleic acid, and is ideal for replenishing the skin, fighting inflammation and keeping redness at bay.

Dr Denis Gross Clinical Concentrate Radiance Booster
Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Concentrate Radiance Booster $65
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The pyruvic and tartaric acids in this serum resurface the skin, whilst the linoleic acid helps deliver brightening vitamin C into the skin without irritation. This will ensure your complexion is left nourished and plump.

L'Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil
L'Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil $36
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Don't forget your body! With over 50% almond oil, this is packed with omega-6 to leave skin soft and smooth. 

Disciple Disciple Starter Kit
Disciple Disciple Starter Kit $33
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Never heard of Disciple before? This starter kit is for you. It's packed with essential fatty acids from oils like hemp and rose hip. It contains a cleanser, day oil, night oil and balancing mist.

Perricone MD Essential F Acyl-Gluthathione Intensive Overnight Moisturizer
Perricone MD Essential F Acyl-Gluthathione Intensive Overnight Moisturizer $144
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It was at the launch event for this new luxe Perricone MD range that I was alerted to the concept of vitamin F. A seriously rich night cream ideal for dry skin, this contains essential fatty acids from a blend of flax, chia and macadamia seed oils. The hardworking cream also helps tackle wrinkles and fine lines.

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil $9
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Rich in linoleic acid and provitamin A, this nourishes the skin and prevents the effects of photo ageing (including pigmentation and fine lines). The cold-pressed extraction process doesn't use heat, which means the oil is more potent.

Yes to Carrots Daily Moisture Body Lotion
Yes to Carrots Daily Moisture Body Lotion $10
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Don't forget about your body—especially if your skin gets noticeably dry. This lotion contains safflower oil, which is high in linoleic acid.

Ren Clean Skincare Clearcalm 3 Replenishing Gel Cream
Ren Clean Skincare Clearcalm 3 Replenishing Gel Cream $28
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In this gel-cream hybrid, the lingonberry seed oil provides those all-important essential fatty acids. Ideal for spot-prone skin, this wards off environmental aggressors, keeps sebum and bacteria at bay and helps with skin cell turnover to ensure dead skin cells (which can clog pores and make your complexion look dull) don't cling around for long.

Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm
Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm $41
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This balm isn't just for superficial illuminating. The flash balm contains an extract from noni fruit, which is rich in linoleic acid. The fruit is also an adaptogen, which means it helps your complexion adapt during times of stress.

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