Why You Should Use Vitamin F, the Skincare Superstar You've Never Heard Of

If you're into skincare, you're likely well versed in most of the vitamins that dermatologists and industry experts recommend you slather on your face. Chances are you've seen products laced with vitamins A, B, C, E, and even D—but have you heard of vitamin F?

First things first, it's important to note that vitamin F is actually not a vitamin at all. "The name Vitamin F is somewhat misleading," says Lian Mack, MD, board-certified dermatologist. "Vitamin F is a fat, not a vitamin, and was improperly named by scientists in the 1920s. It consists of two kinds of polyunsaturated fats: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA). ALA is an omega 3 fatty acid."

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Though vitamin F is a misnomer, it still has tons of skin-friendly benefits. The skin barrier is a hot topic right now, and fats like vitamin F are critical to supporting it. "[Vitamin F] helps to improve the structure and function of the epidermal barrier, helping to reduce dryness by aiding in the retention of water," says Mack. In other words, anyone with dry or damaged skin will see tons of improvement from mixing in vitamin F, but it's a universal ingredient that anyone can use regardless of their skin type.

In addition to the effects that vitamin F can have on skin health, Mack explains that some studies show it may also have a hand in improving cardiovascular health, assisting infant brain development, and reducing inflammation. It may even help mitigate the risk of developing cognitive diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia.

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@emmahoareau

In skincare, you'll typically find vitamin F in barrier-supporting or moisturizing products. "Vitamin F is routinely found in skincare because it contributes to the development of ceramides, an important molecule found in the skin barrier," says Mack. "By improving the functionality of the skin barrier, it's helpful for conditions like eczema and psoriasis." Keep reading to find some of our favorite skincare products that contain vitamin F.

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@ivycoco23

The best skincare products with vitamin F to try:

Two bottles of this multitasking oil sell every minute, and for good reason. It's one of Mack's favorite products containing vitamin F. "I love the versatility that this product has to offer," she says. "Rejuvenique can be applied to areas of dry skin and to dry hair. [It's] an invigorating blend of more than 13 natural plant and essential oils rich in omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and nutrients highly compatible with the skin and hair."

Consider this overnight mask the equivalent of Gatorade for your face. Packed with vitamin F and electrolytes, it adds intense moisture while supporting the skin's barrier. 

Not only does this face oil contain 27 plant actives, but it's made with oils rich in vitamin F like rose hip, chia, and hemp. This oil works wonders for redness, sensitivities, and dry patches. 

This is a particularly unique vitamin C serum. High-strength, oil-soluble vitamin C is blended with vitamin F for a formula that brightens and protects. 

What can't this iconic serum do? It's jam-packed with 22 nutrient-rich active botanicals (including vitamin F–rich rose hip and sunflower-seed oil) and helps support the skin's barrier while imparting radiance and evening texture.

Pai's cleansing oil works as a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and makeup from the skin. It's also packed with rose-hip oil, helping nourish skin.

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@peonylim

Fast-absorbing and deeply nourishing, this rich moisturizer helps strengthen and replenish the skin's barrier thanks to ingredients like vitamin F–rich sunflower-seed oil.

With chia-seed oil as a source of vitamin F, this serum helps plump skin and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. It also has omegas 3, 6, and 9. 

It's no secret that this SkinCeuticals moisturizer works wonders for dry skin. With ceramides, natural cholesterol, and fatty acid, it's a skin-plumping miracle worker. 

This face oil is like a daily multivitamin for your skin. Filled with vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and F, it evens tone, brightens, moisturizes, and supports the skin barrier. 

In this cushiony face cream, vitamin F helps restore the skin's barrier while ceramides hydrate and nourish. It's also infused with coconut to lock in moisture and pomegranate to protect skin from environmental aggressors.

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@livpurvis

There's nothing better than an overnight mask that ensures you wake up with glowy, even skin. This sleeping mask formulated with rose-hip oil helps mitigate and clear breakouts while you snooze. 

Ceramides and fatty acids work together to repair the skin's barrier while squalane helps moisturize parched skin. Hyaluronic acid plumps up skin, so this is the ideal choice for anyone with super-dry skin.

In my opinion, cleansing balms are the ideal way to remove makeup—they're mess-free and easily lift even waterproof makeup right off. This one has vitamin F for extra oomph. 

This lightweight serum has a myriad of benefits for the skin. It exfoliates, protects skin from aggressors, moisturizes, and supports the skin's barrier. 

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