Vitamins were originally known as Vitamines “vital amines”

Vita = life + Amine an organic compound containing Nitrogen. When discovered by Casimir Funk in 1912 he conceived the concept of diet essential nutrients with a specific action against a specific disease. We now know that not all vitamins are amines, can be effective against several disorders and Vitamin D does not come primarily from food. However, they are all essential and are required by the body for metabolic function. Basically, they keep us healthy.

The definition of an essential nutrient is fundamental, indispensable and necessary. Humans are able to made some of our vitamin needs from precursors. Vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, “niacin can be synthesised from the amino acid tryptophan; and vitamin K and biotin are synthesised by bacteria living in our digestive tract. However, in general, humans depend on their diet to supply vitamins. When a vitamin is in deficit or is not able to be metabolised properly, a specific deficiency syndrome result. When the deficient vitamin is resupplied before irreversible damage occurs, the signs and symptoms are reversed. The amounts of vitamins in foods and the amounts required on a daily basis are measured in milligrams and micrograms."

The 13 vitamins essential to humans are categorised into two groups according to their solubility. The four fat soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E and K. The nine water soluble vitamins are vitamin C and the eight B-complex vitamins: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and biotin.

  • Vitamin A (Retinol and provitamin A, Beta-carotene)

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

  • Vitamin B5 (Panthothenic acid)

  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

  • Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

  • Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)

  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalamins)

  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)

  • Vitamin D (Calciferols)

  • Vitamin E (Tocopherols and Tocotreniols)

  • Vitamin K (Phylloquinones, Menaquinones and Menadiones)

The fat-soluble vitamins are able to be stored within our body. Water soluble vitamins need to be constantly replaced hence the need for a diet high in whole unprocessed fruits and vegetables.

The structure of our skin barrier is designed to repel water due to our sebum that lubricates our skin protecting it from friction, keeping it supple and more impervious to moisture entry and the intercellular lipids consisting of approximately 50% ceramides, 25% cholesterol and 15% free fatty acids. Fats are lipids and water and fats do not mix. Ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids are lipids and lipids are hydrophobic (water hating). Think of the physical aspect of the stratum corneum (skin barrier) as a brick wall. The corneocytes (flattened, harden keratinocytes, skin cells without a nucleus) are “held” together by the intercellular lipid matrix. Just like the mortar in a brick wall creates a barrier for moisture entry into a house so does the intercellular lipid matrix of our skin.


Essential barrier structures of the skin. (A) The skin consists of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis and subcutaneous adipose tissue. (B) The structure of the epidermis. The red line represents tight junctions in the stratum granulosum. (C) The 'bricks and mortar' structure of the stratum corneum.

Given the lipid structure of the skin barrier combined with our skin sebum that consists of approximately 26% wax esters, water soluble vitamins Vitamin C and B will not naturally penetrate or subsequently be absorbed. The tightly packed corneocytes and hydrophobic lipid matrix only allows lipid based or fat-soluble molecules smaller than 500 Daltons to penetrate the skin barrier and epidermis and then be absorbed by the blood vessels in the dermis.

  • Vitamin F (Linoleic fatty acid and alpha-Linolenic acid).

When discovered Linoleic and alpha-Linolenic fatty acids were mistakenly named as a Vitamin specifically Vitamin F (for fat). George & Mildred Burr established in 1929 that Linoleic fatty acid and alpha-Linoleic acid where essential (our bodies cannot produce Linoleic or alpha-Linolenic fatty acids) and required by the body to prevent disease. Linoleic fatty acid has a critical role in the structural integrity and barrier function of the skin. It is the most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acid of human skin and selectively inserted into two ceramides and is directly correlated with the permeability function of the skin barrier. Lack of Linoleic fatty acid will result in greater loss of water from the skin and result in dry, itchy, red, dehydrated, uncomfortable and compromised skin, what we would categorise and call unhealthy.

Linoleic fatty acid is a structural component of our skin cell membranes and as well as pro hydration it has photoprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. It is involved in complex cell signalling and central to sebum production and composition.

A foundational ingredient in Vitis V Face TonIQ is cold pressed, whole, raw unrefined, unfiltered, unfermented sparkling and white grapeseed oil Because the grapeseed oil in Vitis V Face TonIQ is cold pressed and unprocessed it retains the essential, naturally occurring, skin loving, fat loving vitamins not found in solvent extracted and refined oil.

Vitamin F

Linoleic fatty acid 66-75% is the predominate fatty acid in grapeseed oil. Without essential Linoleic fatty acid our skin ceases to have a healthy permeability skin barrier function, allowing loss of moisture, entry of allergens resulting in infections and poor wound healing. Linoleic fatty acid is also central to our sebum production that delivers antioxidants to the skin surface, keeps our skin supple and protects against friction injury.

Vitamin E

All 8 Vitamin E analogues are present in grapeseed oil and is particularly rich in y-tocotrienol which is rarely found in other plant oil. Tocotrienols are unsaturated form of Vitamin E and highly antioxidant reactive. Vitamin E has a photo protective, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory role and is the first line of defence protecting the cell membranes from free radical attack and oxidative stress.

Pro Vitamin A

Beta-carotene precursor of Vitamin A also known as provitamin A. It is a powerful antioxidant at neutralising ROS (reactive oxygen species) and provides photo-protection, preventing and treating photoaging. Increased concentrations of carotenoids in the stratum corneum lead to slower degradation of collagen Type I. High skin carotenoid concentrations have been linked to more youthful appearance and is a measure of the antioxidant capacity of skin. It has the benefits of retinol without the damaging side effects. Skin cells have the capacity to converts beta - Carotene into Vitamin A.

One of the critical reasons not to use cleansers or soap on your face is that they are basically detergents that remove sebum and the intercellular lipids. Sebum brings cholesterol to the skin surface and in combination of the cholesterol in the intercellular matrix on exposure to sunlight absorbs UVB radiation and is converted to Vitamin D.

Vitis V Face TonIQ contains naturally occurring, skin loving, fat-soluble vitamins F, E and provitamin A so that you can achieve your most nourished and radiant skin.


Sebaceous gland lipids

Sunlight and Vitamin D

Grape Seed Oil Compounds: Biological and Chemical Actions for Health