A, B, C, D, E, K…
Yes, vitamin K. You’ve never heard of it? It’s the underdog of the vitamin world. While everyone’s busy fawning over retinol or vitamin C, no one gives a crap about Vitamin K.
Maybe it’s because no one knows what it does. I’m not sure myself and I blog about this stuff! You see, the problem with Vitamin K is the lack of studies. Without them, no one can be really sure just how powerful it is.
Here’s what we know so far about Vitamin K:
What Is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K sometimes hides under the name phytonadione. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin you liver makes naturally. You’ll also find it in chicken, cottage cheese and some fermented cheeses (vitamin K is a waste product of the bacteria used to ferment milk into cheese).
Vitamin K helps blood to clot. It plays a big part in the coagulation process. That’s why it takes its name from there (the German word for coagulation starts with “K” 😉 ).
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Can Vitamin K Treat Dark Circles?
If Vitamin K is involved in the coagulation process, it follows it can treat dark circles caused by blood pooling under the skin. That’s what it fans says.
Science seems to agree. A 2004 study found that an undereye gel with 2% vitamin K, 0.1% retinol, and 0.1% vitamins C and E reduced both dark circles and wrinkles in 47% of the testers!
The catch? Vitamin K wasn’t the only goodie in that gel. How do we know for sure it was responsible for this feat? Maybe some of the other stuff did the heavy work. Maybe a combo of vitamins did.
Until someone does a study on dark circles using vitamin K alone, there’s no way to tell how powerful it really is.
Related: What’s The Best Treatment For Dark Circles?
Can Vitamin K Treat Purple Discolouration?
A 1999 study found that vitamin K may help treat the purple discolourations pulse-dyed laser treatment can leave behind. (FYI, this laser is usually used to get rid of spider veins, warts, and other vascular lesions).
In this study, the researchers asked different groups of patients to try several types of treatments to reduce the purplish hue.
A cream containing 1% vitamin K and 0.3% retinol turned out to be the most effective treatment of all, speeding up healing time to 5-8 days (it usually takes about 11-13 days to disappear).
Related: The Complete Guide To Retinol: What It Is, What It Does, And How To Use It
What Are The Best Products With Vitamin K?
Here comes the tricky part. If you’re willing to give Vitamin K a go, you’ll have a hard time finding a product that contains more than a drop of it. These are your best bets:
- Goldfaden MD Bright Eyes ($55.00): available at Credo Beauty, Cult Beauty, Dermstore, Feel Unique, and SpaceNK
- Peter Thomas Roth Power K Eye Rescue Dark Circle Eye Treatment ($100.00): available at Peter Thomas Roth
- Replenix Age Restore Retinol Eye Repair ($98.00): available at Dermstore and Skin Store
The Bottom Line
Research on Vitamin K is scant. But that little says it can help treat dark circles and purple discolourations, especially when used with its vitamin siblings.