Why Vitamin C Is Good For Your Skin June 27, 2016 – Posted in: Home Right – Tags: immune system, skincare, vitamin c
Everyone knows about the health benefits of Vitamin C when it comes to our immune systems. However, many people are now talking about its role in maintaining skin health. Unlike most plants and animals, we aren’t able to synthesize our own Vitamin C. Thus, there are two main ways of increasing its beneficial effects on our skin: ingesting Vitamin C via supplements or Vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits or applying a topical treatment directly to the skin. The latter is what has the skincare industry ablaze with more and more Vitamin C containing creams and serums. Though scientists continue to research its effects on the skin, the general consensus is that a combination of oral intake and topical application provide the best environment for optimal Vitamin C absorption. Nevertheless, topical treatment packs the biggest antioxidant-boosting punch when it comes to skin aging, UV protection, and hyperpigmentation.
ENHANCES COLLAGEN PRODUCTION
Vitamin C is essential for our skin to synthesize collagen, the main structural component of our skin that provides firmness and shape. In addition, it helps to maintain collagen by preventing its breakdown. These effects are seen in both young and old, but it is far more crucial the older you get as collagen production naturally begins to slow down. Vitamin C skin treatment is a way to counteract this gradual lessening of collagen, which is the culprit behind wrinkles.
PROTECTS FROM AND TREATS UV-INDUCED PHOTODAMAGE AND SKIN CANCERS
UVA and UVB rays are known to cause premature skin aging, i.e. photodamage, and skin cancers due to the free radicals produced when skin is exposed to UV light. Vitamin C can help mitigate this by acting as an antioxidant to neutralize those free radicals. In addition Vitamin C increases the levels of Vitamin E and glutathione which are also antioxidants. Topical Vitamin C treatments are not sunscreens since they do not absorb UV rays. Nevertheless, in combination with sunscreens, they can act to prevent and even reverse the damaging effects of sun exposure.
REDUCES UNEVEN PIGMENTATION
Uneven pigmentation can be caused by increased melanin production or inflammation. Vitamin C counteracts darker pigmentation, like sun spots, by inhibiting the production of melanin. On the other hand, it counteracts inflammation and redness, like rosacea, by helping to repair broken capillaries and strengthening existing capillary walls to prevent future redness.
VITAMIN C IN SKINCARE
Though the age-defying benefits of applying Vitamin C to the skin has just gained mass popularity in recent years, it has been used for centuries from plant sources like sea buckhorn berries and rosehips. The biggest concern for today’s topical treatments is the stability of Vitamin C. Like other antioxidants, it is unstable and can easily be oxidized to an inactive form upon exposure to light. Thus, many of these creams and serums contain more stable Vitamin C derivatives. The most common and effective of these are:
• Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP)
• Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
• Ascorbyl 6 Palmitate
• Disodium Isostearyl 2-0 L-ascorbyl Phosphate
• Ascorbic Acid Sulfate
• Tetraisopalmitoyl Ascorbic Acid
We recommend checking the label of products that claim they contain Vitamin C before buying since there are many other Vitamin C derivatives out there that aren’t as effective. Below are some of our favorites.
Drunk Elephant’s Serum is a great option because it contains Vitamin C along with Vitamins D and E and natural antioxidants from Indian Gooseberry. This potent combination allows for ultimate protection from UV-caused free radicals. However at $80 for a 1 oz bottle, it is on the expensive side. If a more affordable, but still effective, option is what you are looking for, Boots No7’s Serum is a good choice. Only $25, it contains the Vitamin C derivative, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, as well as peptides to plump and rejuvenate aging skin. If you’re worried about the short shelf life of Vitamin C products or already have a favorite lotion, cream, or serum, Philosophy’s Turbo Booster C Powder is another great option. With Vitamin C as its main ingredient, this powder can be added to any of your favorite products, and even sunscreens, for an extra boost of anti-aging power and UV protection. Though it is $39 for a 0.25 oz bottle, a little bit of this powder goes a long way.