Skincare Superhero Ingredient: Vitamin C
Your parents probably told you to ‘bottoms up’ your lemon or orange juice. They knew as you know now, that Vitamin C is essential for good health. But did you know that applying Vitamin C instead of drinking it can be just as good and perhaps even better for your skin?
As we all acknowledge the benefits the immune-boosting Vitamin C is for our health, Vitamin C has cemented its claim as a powerhouse ingredient in skincare. The main reason? Antioxidant. Although there are different sources for antioxidants, out of all of them, Vitamin C has proven most effective and safe, thus making it a deserving mainstay in skincare regimens.
Here are the reasons why Vitamin C is a superhero ingredient for your skin:
Protects Against Environmental Stress
Environmental pollution and stressors cause harm to your health and are equally devastating to the skin. When ultraviolet light and pollution touch the skin, they create free radicals, unstable molecules that damage cells. When free radicals overwhelm the body’s response to them, it causes a condition called oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is linked to many illnesses and is a significant cause for signs of skin aging. Smoking, another skin stressor, hinders collagen production, which creates a dull complexion and increases sagging and wrinkling. Vitamin C, being one of the best sources of antioxidants, helps minimise and even reverses the effects of oxidative stress in the skin.
Heals and Repairs Scars and Wounds
Aside from the cell protection Vitamin C offers against environmental stressors such as pollution and unprotected ultraviolet exposure, aside from Vitamin C's anti-inflammatory properties that help calm down redness and swelling, Vitamin C helps promote skin repair and wound healing.
Vitamin C promotes healthy cell renewal and turnover by increasing the production of collagen and elastin. This cell turnover facilitates healing of bruises and minimising the appearance of scars. Vitamin C also enhances iron absorption, an important factor in wound healing.
Encourages Collagen Production
Collagen gives structure and support to the skin. As we age, this support and structure deteriorate, lines and wrinkles begin to appear, sometimes prematurely. Vitamin C plays a vital role in collagen production. Along with Elastin, Collagen helps keep the skin plump and firm.
The topical application of Vitamin C boosts Collagen production; premature signs of aging, such as lines, wrinkling, and sagging skin, can be prevented or alleviated.
Brightens and Lightens the Skin
People who take Vitamin C either orally or topically have noticed a much brighter complexion and a more even skin tone. Those who take Glutathione pills for general skin beautifying and skin whitening effects take them together.
Those who want lighter skin should consider using Vitamin C. One of the safest natural skin lighteners around, Vitamin C limits melanin production. Melanin is a natural skin pigment responsible for skin, hair, and eye color.
Excessive exposure to harmful UV rays often causes discoloration and dark spots. For those who only desire to lighten melasma and other dark spots, Vitamin C is effective. Targeted topical treatment is the key.
Regular topical application on the most susceptible areas, the delicate skin around the eyes, cheeks, and mouth, will prevent the formation of dense melanin, thereby evening out the skin tone and color.
Heals Sun Damage
Unprotected, over-exposure to the sun’s UV rays causes damage to the skin, such as premature aging, burns, hyperpigmentation, and even cancer. One aspect of skin damage from the sun is through free radical activity. Antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, can help protect against sun damage and encourage skin healing by neutralising free radicals, so they stop doing harm to the skin.
Using sun protection products helps keep Vitamin C working even better towards sun damage protection. It also helps your Vitamin C product stay on the skin longer. Use an SPF product after Vitamin C serums or other forms of Vitamin C infused skincare before going under the sun’s rays.
Tanning beds also create similar UV damage but perhaps at lesser risk due to the limited time and the moderated or regulated UVA and UVB exposure. It is worth noting that wearing SPF lotions during tanning bed sessions will hinder the tanning goals due to the SPF lotions blocking the rays.
Combats Premature Aging
Having premature aging manifest on the skin, wrinkles around the eye and mouth area, lines across the forehead, and creasing on the neck can be infuriating, mainly because these lines and wrinkles make you look years older than your biological age. Losing elasticity allows sleep and laugh lines to be easily etched on your skin.
Vitamin C, especially when taken both orally and topically, helps rev up the production of collagen, which then improves the skin’s elasticity. Besides encouraging fresh collagen introduction to the skin, Vitamin C helps prevent the breakdown of existing collagen. Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties also allow the repair of damaged cells.
Minimises Redness and Inflammation
The skin turns red and bumpy for many reasons; sun damage, dermatitis, and allergic reaction, among other things, can cause the skin to inflame. Vitamin C can help soothe sore, irritated skin. Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce redness and swelling.
Consult your dermatologists if you want to use concentrated Vitamin C for severe and chronic inflammation such as rosacea and eczema. The wrong concentration of Vitamin C (percentage-wise) may cause the skin to be even more irritated.