Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is required for the normal functioning of the human body. It helps in the growth and repair of the cells in our body, strengthens our immune system and helps wounds heal.
But did you know that Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant for maintaining healthy and glowing skin?
When included in your daily skincare routine, vitamin C works like magic, protecting your skin from UV rays, shielding it from the visible effects of pollution, reducing pigmentation, and evening out your skin tone. The best part: it will help keep your skin looking and feeling younger, for a long time!
The purest form of Vitamin C is Ascorbic Acid. It has been dubbed as the King of Vitamin C and most scientific studies have focused on this form of Vitamin C. It boosts the production of collagen and helps tighten the skin. It fends off photo-ageing, and when used as a serum, offers numerous skin benefits.
However, there are many problems with using pure Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid such as:
Vitamin C is unstable and as much as half of it gets degraded within 30 minutes
When taken orally or applied on the skin, it does not reach the dermis (where we need Vitamin C to see its skin benefits) in optimum dosage. Ascorbic acid can cause peeling, irritation, redness etc
To ensure that your Vitamin C infused skincare products actually give the promised benefits lookout for products that contain more stable forms of Vitamin C such as Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Ascorbyl phosphate, Magnesium Ascorbyl phosphate etc.
Exposure to light can break down Vitamin C and reduce its potency, so make sure to keep your Vitamin C product away from sunlight and that your product container is not transparent.
UV rays and environmental pollutants bombard your skin every day and it is imperative that you give your skin the protection and nourishment it needs to keep it healthy and glowing.
Including Vitamin C in your morning skincare with ensuring that you protect your skin from these damaging elements.
Your skin repairs and regenerates during the night, so using Vitamin C at night will help in these processes and help protect from free radical damage.
While most beauty ingredients need to be used in high concentration to slow down the process of skin ageing and damage from free radicals, vitamin C can do both with just as little as 0.6 per cent concentration. Isn’t that remarkable!?
Vitamin C is a potent anti-oxidant, and hence, slows down the ageing process of the skin, mitigating signs like fine lines and wrinkles, before and after they appear. Vitamin C is particularly effective at reducing oxidative damage to the skin when it is used in conjunction with vitamin E.
Products containing vitamin C improve hydration, thus preventing dryness, which is known to be one of the factors that accelerate the process of ageing.
Tip – Use skincare products that contain both Vitamin C and E as they give maximum benefit when used together.
Vitamin C has been seen to be effective against both UVA and UVB rays. While UVA is known to penetrate into the epidermis 30 to 40 times deeper than UVB, the latter mostly causes harm to the epidermis.
UVA rays damage collagen, proteoglycans, and elastin by mutating rapidly. The rays also destroy dermal cellular structures, thus causing skin ageing and the synthesis of melanin.
UVB rays, on the other hand, burn the skin, and through epidermal mutations, cause skin cancer. Vitamin C protects the skin against both types of UV rays.
Maintaining a healthy skin barrier is essential for healthy and smooth-looking skin.
The primary function of the skin is to protect the body from harmful external influences in the environment and to prevent the loss of water. The main barrier of the skin is the outermost layer, the stratum corneum, which is made up of flat cells called corneocytes, surrounded by a lipid (fat) matrix.
The lipid matrix is composed mainly of ceramides, cholesterol and free fatty acid. Vitamin C increases the production of ceramides and thus enhances the barrier function.
Vitamin C is essential for the formation and maintenance of collagen, the protein that gives structure and strength to your skin.
Collagen formation in the skin is carried out mostly by fibroblasts in the dermis and the enzyme (hydroxylase) responsible for collagen synthesis is dependent on Vitamin C.
In addition, Vitamin C also affects various cellular functions (like the stimulation of lipid peroxidation, transcription of collagen synthesis through its effect on RNA) which helps in collagen synthesis.
Collagen is necessary for firming and toning the skin. If there is a deficiency of collagen, then your skin is likely to look dull and lifeless. Collagen restores the skin, reducing all symptoms of ageing.
Vitamin C acts as a depigmenting agent due to its action on tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for melanin synthesis. This action of Vitamin C is especially helpful in reducing hyperpigmentation seen in mature skin.
By lightening skin freckles, acne marks, and age spots, vitamin C renders your skin smoother than ever.
Vitamin C is known to protect our DNA against tumours and skin discolourations by defending it from various photochemical reactions. The production of pyrimidine dimers, which are known to be one of the primary causes of melanomas, is slowed down by vitamin C.
Vitamin C stimulates collagen synthesis as we just mentioned, which in turn, gives the structure to your blood vessels. These blood vessels carry oxygen and necessary nutrients, which ensure the health of the skin. Healthy circulation ensures that your skin receives all the nutrients it needs to function at an optimal level.
If the blood vessels do not carry enough nutrients due to lack of vitamin C in the body, then the skin is sure to become rough and dry.
Applying creams that contain vitamin C will help enhance the texture of the skin by increasing the formation of elastin that coagulates, protects, and repairs our skin cells. This coagulation is vital for plumping up the skin, absorbing and retaining moisture, and improve skin circulation.
Vitamin C, when used in high enough concentrations, can help reduce skin irritation, swelling, and redness, which are common symptoms associated with sensitive and acne-prone skin.
Using beauty products with vitamin C will also reduce the occurrences of redness or puffiness around the eyes.
That is all we have on today’s post on skin benefits of vitamin C. If you are a beginner when it comes to using vitamin C as a beauty ingredient, we suggest that you take baby steps and avoid using serums that are very strong. Since vitamin C is formulated at low pH, it might irritate and inflame your skin, causing flaking. By going for mild formulas, you can avoid this. :)
Did we miss out on some benefits of vitamin C? Let us know in the comment section below.
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