Vitamin C and Your Skin

Vitamin C and Your Skin

9 April 2024

Vitamin C – aka the most Googled skincare ingredient ever – is like the white shirt of the skincare world. You can simply “throw it on” and allow this potent antioxidant to do its thing.

Apparently, there’s a holy trinity when it comes to skincare. SPF, retinol and vitamin C. If you’re armed with all three, and you use them correctly, you’re pretty much guaranteed brighter, smoother, and healthier skin, that’s according to experts.

But what does vitamin C do?

Put simply, vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means that it’s a potent agent to fight oxidative damage.

It strengthens skin cells to fight against environmental aggressors such as UV rays, infrared radiation and pollution, which are the main culprits of oxidative stress in the skin. In practice, it helps to neutralize much of the damage our environment causes such as dull-looking complexions, dark spots and accelerated ageing.

Vitamin C is also responsible for creating and maintaining collagen – “the glue that holds the body together.” Specifically, this antioxidant strengthens blood vessels and gives the skin its bouncy and youthful appearance.

A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that middle-aged women who consumed more vitamin C from food sources appeared to have fewer wrinkles and less skin dryness. You can implement vitamin C in your daily diet by eating fruit and vegetables rich in this nutrient, but the skin is the last organ addressed within the digestive process, so there is a need for topical vitamin C formulations.

You can find vitamin C in a host of skincare products including face masks, moisturizers and anti-wrinkle creams, but serums are your best bet here. When choosing a vitamin C serum it’s important to know that they can be quite potent due to high concentration levels. Vitamin C serums can be irritating at concentrations at or above 20%, especially if you’re new to this secret weapon. It may be wise to choose a serum which includes a 10% concentration level. However, no matter what your tolerance, most dermatologists suggest looking out for L-ascorbic acid, the true form of vitamin C. L-ascorbic acid is the best option for most as it is the most bioactive vitamin compound.

Regardless of which serum you choose, it may be wise to patch test any new product on your inner arm to make sure it doesn’t cause irritation or an allergic reaction. Vitamin C serum plays nicely with hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E, ferulic acid, and niacinamide. However, it would be unwise to use benzoyl peroxide and retinol at the same time as vitamin C. Use benzoyl peroxide and retinol at night and vitamin C in the morning – or alternate them on different days.

Bottom line: Vitamin C’s skincare benefits are pretty undeniable – and backed up by research and dermatologists.

If you’re looking for a brighter, smoother complexion all while protecting your skin from environmental damage, it’s worth giving this powerhouse ingredient a shot.


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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