WHAT IS VITAMIN C?
Vitamin C is one of the naturally occurring antioxidants in nature. Most plants and animals are able to synthesize Vitamin C in vivo from glucose. Humans and certain other vertebrates lack the enzyme L-glucono-gamma lactone oxidase required for in vivo synthesis of it. We need to acquire it from natural sources such as citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, strawberries, papaya and broccoli.
Vitamin C is one of the truly amazing skin care ingredients available to us. Everyone who has ever researched skin care is aware that Vitamin C is considered one of the top ingredients for healthier skin.
There are some baseline ingredients that are very well regarded and those that you should be incorporating into your skin care routine. Vitamin C is definitely one of those ingredients that will deliver fast, natural results.
We have done all the extensive research so you don’t have to, so sit back and find out everything you need to know about how vitamin C can benefit your skin.
Below, we’ve covered a brief history of vitamin c, some fast facts, 11 ways it can help your skin, and 3 tips on how to properly use it.
Also below, we’ve featured a product that showcases vitamin c along with hyaluronic acid, peptides, and other fantastic plant based botanicals.
THE HISTORY OF VITAMIN C
The word “Ascorbus” means no Scurvy. Traditionally, Vitamin C rich foods like lemons were carried by sailors on long journeys to avoid Scurvy, a disease of bleeding gums. In 1937, Dr. Albert Szent Goyrgi was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in isolating the Vitamin C molecule from red peppers and identifying its role in Scurvy.
SOME FAST FACTS ABOUT VITAMIN C
ONE. The most recommended vitamin c variation is ascorbic acid, and it’s also known as l-ascorbic acid. It is the most common and researched form of vitamin C for your skin.
TWO. There are actually two primary forms of Vitamin C used in skin care: ascorbic acid and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate – which turns into vitamin C when it hits your skin. Vitamin C is highly vulnerable to oxidation and can quickly lose its effectiveness if exposed to air and light, so many times, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is your best choice. In the skin care industry, it’s referred to as MAP.
THREE. Studies show that even low amounts of vitamin c for the skin do offer significant antioxidant benefits.
FOUR. All the various forms of vitamin C can bring multiple benefits to your skin, preventing future damage but also working to repair the effects of aging and sun on your skin, promote wound healing, and control inflammation.
In one highly reputed medical study, individuals with photo-aged skin were treated with topical ascorbic acid serum once a day for 2 weeks on one side of their face. 80% experienced a significantly improved score according to dermatologists. Dyspigmentation, surface roughness, and fine lines on the treated side improved significantly. The conclusion of this particular studies shows that vitamin C is an effective for the treatment of photo-aged skin and does not cause any obvious side effects.
11 WAYS VITAMIN SKIN CAN BENEFIT YOUR SKIN
- SAFE FOR (ALMOST) ALL SKIN TYPES. Vitamin C has an excellent safety rating, and most people can use topical vitamin C for an extended period of time without experiencing any adverse reactions. In rare cases, people who have hypersensitive skin may experience minor irritation, but it will not harm their skin. Vitamin C is also safe to use in conjunction with other skin care actives, including alpha hydroxy acids, retinols, and SPF.
- IT ACTUALLY PROMOTES BETTER HYDRATION FOR SKIN. Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, one of the main vitamin C derivatives used in skin care, has been shown have a hydrating effect on skin. It decreases transepidermal water loss, allowing your skin to better retain moisture.
- IT CAN BRIGHTEN SKIN. Vitamin C can help fade pigmentation and smooth the skin’s surface to reduce dullness. This gives skin a youthful glow.
- IT HELPS REDUCE REDNESS. Vitamin C has also been shown to treat a huge variety of inflammatory skin conditions. Vitamin C has an anti-inflammatory activity and can be used in conditions like acne vulgaris and rosacea. It can promote wound healing and prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
- IT HELPS FADE HYPERPIGMENTATION. Sun spots, age spots, and melasma, can occur when melanin is overproduced in certain areas of the skin. It can also happen in areas where acne has healed. Vitamin C has been shown to impede melanin production. This can help fade dark spots and lead to a more even-toned complexion.
- IT CAN REDUCE DARK UNDER EYE CIRCLES. Although vitamin C is more effective at reducing overall redness, experts say that it can help alleviate discoloration associated with under-eye circles.
- IT CAN INCUR COLLAGEN PRODUCTION. Vitamin C is well known for boosting collagen production. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that depletes over time. Lower levels of collagen can lead to fine lines and wrinkles.
- IT CAN HELP WITH LOOSE AND SAGGING SKIN. Collagen production is directly tied to skin elasticity and firmness. When your collagen levels begin to drop, your skin may begin to sag. Applying vitamin C may boost collagen production, resulting in an overall tightening effect.
- IT CAN HELP PREVENT SUN DAMAGE. Sun damage is caused by molecules called free radicals. These are atoms with a missing electron. Free radicals search for other atoms from which they can “steal” an electron —and this can lead to significant damage to the skin. Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants protect healthy skin cells by “giving” these free radicals an electron, rendering them harmless.
- IT CAN HELP SOOTHE A SUNBURN. In addition to minimizing redness, vitamin C accelerates cell turnover. This replaces the damaged cells with healthy new ones.
- IT HELPS WITH WOUND HEALING. Given its effects on sunburn, it should be no surprise that vitamin C application can speed up overall wound healing. Healthy wound healing reduces your risk for inflammation, infection, and scarring.
3 TIPS ON HOW TO USE IT CORRECTLY
Notice if the product has changed color. If your vitamin c product has oxidized, it will become a yellow color, and it’s going to become less effective. You can still use it if you want, but it won’t do as much for your skin.
Use a vitamin C product at the right step in the process. The right moment to use your product depends on what kind of product it is. For serums, you want to use them before you moisturize, applied to freshly cleaned dry skin. If it’s a cream or lotion based vitamin c product, you’re good to go.
Make sure to store your vitamin C products correctly. In topical skin-care products, vitamin C is sensitive to light and air. When exposed to these factors, it can become oxidized, making it less stable and less efficacious. Store these products in cabinets and compartments that tend to be protected from light and air.
Jeanette | Owner & Formulator for Claribelskincare.com