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Vitamins in Cosmetics

SpecialChem / Nick Morante – Jun 1, 2007

The word vitamin is derived from vit- (life) and -amin (amine) so the word means amine of life. Vitamins are nutrients required in small amounts for the essential metabolic reactions in the body to take place. To clarify some misconceptions, the term vitamin does not include the other essential nutrients such as dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, or essential amino acids. It also does not encompass the large number of other nutrients that promote health but that are not essential for life, even though all the ingredients mentioned above are currently being used in cosmetics and personal care products because of their unique functionality. Vitamins are molecules with biological activity that can function both as catalysts and substrates in chemical reactions. When acting as catalysts, vitamins are bound to enzymes and are called cofactors in the reaction.It is these functions that allow vitamins to have activity in cosmetic products when placed on the skin, even when used in a product at very low concentrations.

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