Vitamin C isn’t just good for fighting off winter colds – it’s also a superhero skincare ingredient that can help with a whole range of skin conditions, from fighting the redness of acne blemishes to boosting collagen in ageing skin.
Read on to find out more.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient. Humans can’t make their own and so need a regular supply from their diet – just one more reason why you should be eating plenty of fruit and veggies!
Vitamin C is normally present in the skin, but as with most things, it lessens as we get older. However, studies have shown that applying it to the skin can actually be even more effective when it comes to skincare benefits. Luckily there are lots of great skincare products based on it, so you don’t have to smear orange juice on your face – unless you really want to, of course.
How does Vitamin C work?
Vitamin C as antioxidant
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and helps to protect skin from free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules and they can have a premature aging effect in the human body, but antioxidants stabilise free radicals, neutralising their negative effects.
Free radicals and the damage they cause most often results from environmental factors like sun exposure, pollution, and even oxygen! (Who knew?!) As none of us plan on giving up oxygen any time soon, using products containing Vitamin C to the skin as part of your skincare routine will help to counteract the effects of unavoidable exposure.
Vitamin C and collagen
Collagen is a vital substance in the human body, found in joints, bones, teeth, and skin. Vitamin C is necessary to the manufacture of collagen, and it gets used up as the body makes and repairs collagen, so a continual supply is needed.
As we age, our collagen production slows, so skin loses elasticity and firmness. Vitamin C helps to boost collagen production, so making sure skin has an adequate supply can help combat this apparent sign of ageing.
Use Vitamin C for:
To combat sun damage:
Vitamin C combats sun damage in a number of ways. It stabilizes collagen, which helps to repair damaged skin. It helps to neutralise those free radicals and can even enhance skin’s own defences against UV damage.
It can also increase the effectiveness of your sunscreen and boost your skin’s natural defence against UV exposure. If you’re going in the sun, always make sure you have adequate SPF – don’t rely on vitamins to save you!
To decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles:
Studies have found that increased Vitamin C in the diet resulted in better skin appearance, with notable decreases in skin wrinkling (we’ve just placed a bulk order for oranges).
It has a similar effect when applied to the skin. One study showed that after 12 weeks of use, wrinkles were decreased, skin appeared smoother, and collagen production had increased. Sounds good to us!
To reduce redness and inflammation of acne:
If you have breakouts or acne, your immune system can sometimes go into overdrive and over stimulate the skin, resulting in redness and inflammation. Vitamin C helps to balance this response. It also strengthens capillaries, the tiny blood vessels which deliver nutrients to the skin.
The effectiveness of this powerful antioxidant can be reduced by exposure to heat, air and light, so for maximum benefits, look for skincare packaged in opaque containers and keep in a cool place.
Vitamin C is often more effective in lower concentrations – this is definitely one case where less is more. Maximum absorption was found at concentrations of 20%, while concentrations above this were less effective. However, even concentrations as low as 0.6% have anti-ageing and antioxidant benefits for skin.
Avoid Vitamin C if:
Whether taken by mouth or applied to the skin, this vitamin is usually safe in normal amounts. As with most things, if taken in excessive amounts, it can be harmful. If you notice any irritation when using particular skincare products, discontinue use.
Note: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your doctor before taking any dietary supplement.
Find Vitamin C in:
Murad Youth Builder Anti Aging Dietary Supplement – if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, please check with your doctor before taking any supplement.