Benefits Of Vitamin C For Skin
Vitamin C is an impressive skincare ingredient that is shown to be effective in the following areas:
- Protects against environmental stressors: As an antioxidant, one of vitamin Cs main functions is protecting the skin. “Normal cellular processes, as well as environmental insults like ultraviolet light and pollution, create free radicals in the skin,” Herrmann explains. “Free radicals are inherently unstable molecules that damage cells, promoting skin dullness, wrinkles, and even cancers.” Guanche adds, “Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means that it can protect to skin from damaging free radicals caused by UV exposure.” By scavenging these free radicals, vitamin C protects the skin, keeping it healthy and improving visible signs of aging.
- Promotes collagen production: Vitamin C also plays an important role in collagen synthesis. “Collagen gives our skin support and structure, and as it degrades with age, we begin to notice wrinkles and lines,” Herrmann explains. “Vitamin C is a necessary cofactor for building collagen bundles, without which this process halts.”
- Lightens brown spots: Vitamin C is also helpful in lightening unwanted brown spots and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or decreasing brown discoloration by blocking the pathway of pigment synthesis, according to both Herrmann and Guanche.
Its Safe For Most Skin Types
Vitamin C has an excellent . 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.
Vitamin C is also safe to use with other skin care actives, including alpha hydroxy acids, retinols, and SPF.
Benefit #: Promote Radiance & Even Out Skin Tone
Vitamin C is a popular treatment for evening out skin tone, texture, and even helps with hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C is one of the best antioxidants that can be used topically on your face to lighten dark spots and fade acne marks.
You can expect results quick with Vitamin C, but the longer you use it over time, the better your skin will look!
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How Does Vitamin C Fight Free Radical Damage
Free radicals are produced in skin from environmental factors such as UV rays, infrared, pollution, and cigarette smoke causing atmospheric skin aging by generating free radicals — unstable molecules with unpaired electrons. Free radicals try to steal electrons from healthy molecules, causing oxidative stress. Over time, free radical damage leads to visible signs of accelerated skin aging including fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, and laxity. This science is known as the free radical theory of aging .Vitamin C, in its pure form , helps protect against this damage by donating electrons to neutralize damaging free radicals, in turn helping prevent the appearance of premature aging.
How Else Does Vitamin C Benefit The Skin
Amazingly, vitamin C’s skin-saving benefits aren’t limited to its antioxidant status. It has plenty of other skin-healing properties that make it worthy of a permanent place in your medicine cabinet. For one, when vitamin C is used topically, because it’s highly acidic, “the skin is triggered to heal itself by accelerating the production of collagen and elastin,” explains New York City-based dermatologist Howard Sobel, M.D. Remember: Collagen and elastin are both naturally occurring protein fibers that help keep skin plump and firm. So, in helping to promote collagen production, topical vitamin C can help prevent premature aging of the skin.
Another cool thing about the ingredient: It contains a property that inhibits your skin’s melanin production, which is what causes skin discoloration like dark spots and hyperpigmentation, Wexler explains. With continued topical use, vitamin C can help prevent dark spots from forming in the first place.
“It’s a superior brightening agent that works to fade brown spots without altering normal skin pigmentation,” Sobel adds.
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Promoting Differentiation Of Keratinocytes
The integrity of the skin barrier may be related to the differentiation of keratinocytes, which affects the function of the skin barrier and causes skin diseases. Vitamin C enhances the late differentiation of keratinocytes, overcomes the differentiation-dependent oxidative stress, and maintains the integrity of the entire cuticle , which is an important prerequisite for the integrity of the skin barrier, ensuring the function of the skin barrier and preventing skin water loss, which in turn can lead to skin disorders.
Helps Reduce Signs Of Aging
Vitamin C also plays an essential role in the formation of collagen, which is a fibrous protein that helps form connective tissue in the skin.
As the skin ages, collagen production decreases. This is what causes the skin to lose elasticity, and sag. While skin aging is inevitable, daily use of vitamin C can help boost collagen production and slow down the aging process. This boost in collagen helps firm up the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
To reduce signs of aging, it is particularly important to use a topical serum so that the vitamin C can reach the skin cells directly.
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Functions In Healthy Skin
Vitamin C limits the damage induced by ultraviolet light exposure. Vitamin C is not a âsunscreenâ because it does not absorb light in the UVA or UVB spectrum. Rather, the antioxidant activity of vitamin C protects against UV-induced damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C transport proteins are increased in keratinocytes in response to UV light, suggesting an increased need for vitamin C uptake for adequate protection .
UV light decreases vitamin C content of skin, an effect that is dependent on the intensity and duration of UV exposure . In cultured keratinocytes, the addition of vitamin C reduces UV-related DNA damage and lipid peroxidation, limits the release of pro-inflammatorycytokines, and protects against apoptosis. Vitamin C also modulates redox-sensitivecell signaling in cultured skin cells and consequently increases cell survival following UV exposure .
In two rodent studies, addition of ascorbic acid to the diet reduced the size and number of dermal neoplasms and skin tumors induced by chronic UV exposure . To date, no other studies with UV exposure and oral ascorbic acid supplementation in animal models have been published.
Vitamin C is included in oral therapies for pressure ulcers and burns, along with vitamin E, zinc, and other nutritive factors .
How To Use It
Apply vitamin C as a serum in the mornings that is, after cleansing and before applying moisturizer and sunscreen. I think the best vitamin C skin care products are serums because they are more effective at penetrating the skin barrier than, say, a cream or toner, says Chapas.
Then, be patient. Most skin care products take time to start working, and vitamin C takes a little longer, even with daily use. According to Wexler, you wont notice any significant changes in your skin for six to eight weeks. If you have sensitive skin, do a skin test first, as the high acidity can be irritating.
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Uv Radiation And Photoaging
There is mounting evidence to suggest that the most significant environmental challenge to the skin is chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or from tanning beds . UV radiation damages skin through the production of reactive oxygen species, which can damage the extracellular matrix components and affect both the structure and function of cells. While the skin contains endogenous antioxidant defences, vitamins E and C and antioxidant enzymes to quench these oxidants and repair the resultant damage, these antioxidants will be consumed by repeated exposure and the skins defences can thereby be overwhelmed .
Acute exposure of skin to UV radiation can cause sunburn, resulting in a large inflammatory response causing characteristic redness, swelling and heat. In addition, altered pigmentation, immune suppression and damage to the dermal extracellular matrix can occur . By comparison, chronic long-term exposure to UV radiation causes premature aging of the skin, with dramatic and significant disruption to skin structure, and leads to the development of skin cancer . Termed photoaging, the most obvious features are wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and marked changes in skin elasticity that cause skin sagging, with the skin also becoming sallow and rougher with age . Photoaged skin is most likely to be found on the face, chest and upper surface of the arms.
Vitamin-C-Mediated Protection against Photoaging and UV Damage
Is Vitamin C Serum Good For Wrinkles
Wrinkles are one of the most common signs of skin aging, which is caused by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic aging is driven by the bodys natural aging process and is largely influenced by genetics, while extrinsic aging is caused by external factors including diet and atmospheric aggressors such as UV, infrared, and pollution. Atmospheric aggressors in particular produce free radicals that create oxidative stress and damage skins collagen and elastin. The result is an increase in visible signs of aging including fine lines, wrinkles, laxity, and loss of firmness. Using a daily vitamin C serum helps protect skin against environmental aggressors by neutralizing damaging free radicals. Recent studies have reported the detrimental clinical effects of ozone exposure on skin. Due to a progressive increase in ozone pollution over the past 30 years, it is especially important to apply a daily vitamin C serum¹ . For the most complete protection against these visible signs of aging, always pair with a broad spectrum sunscreen. ¹Valacchi, G. Pecorelli, A. Belmonte, G. Pambianchi, E. Cervellati, F. Lynch, S. Krol, Y. Oresajo, C. 2017. Protective Effects of Topical Vitamin C Compound Mixtures against Ozone-Induced Damage in Human Skin. J. Investig. Dermatol. 137, 13731375.
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How Can You Add Vitamin C Into Your Daily Skin
“The key is not the vehicle that vitamin C comes in, but the form of vitamin C that is being applied,” explains Kristina Goldenberg, M.D., of Goldenberg Dermatology in New York City. The term to look for is ascorbic acid , which is the most stable and effective form of vitamin C in skin care.
That said, all three dermatologists agree that the best type of vitamin C skin-care product to use is serum, because “serums are more effective than creams or toners,” says Dr. Wexler. Moreover, adding vitamin E into the mix is like a one-two punch of skin-saving goodness.
“Pure ascorbic acid has consistently been proven to be the most effective at penetrating the skin barrier,” Dr. Wexler says. “Vitamin C effectiveness increases when combined with other antioxidants, such as vitamin E. Together, they can double protection against free-radical damage.”
This is why you’ll very often find the two antioxidants formulated together in serums, such as SkinCeuticals’ legendary and Best of Beauty Award-winning C E Ferulic and La Roche-Posay 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum.
What’s The Best Way To Use Vitamin C On Skin
The ideal time to use a skincare product containing vitamin C, such as a serum or moisturizer, is in the morning. Application is best during the day coupled with sunscreen, Dr. Mack says. This way, it will optimize the benefits of your sunscreen but also help prevent damage from free radicals,” adds Roberta Del Campo, M.D. a dermatologist in North Miami, Florida.
Although best used in the A.M., vitamin C can also be applied at night if you are looking to decrease the appearance of discoloration, Dr. Del Campo says. Since every vitamin C product is uniquely formulated, always use your product as directed on packaging for optimal results.
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Helps With Sun Damage
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds is one of the leading causes of skin cell aging and damage over time. When the sun strikes your skin, it forms what are called free radicals, which lead to skin damage. But vitamin C can help limit this damage due to its antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants, like vitamin C, prevent cell damage by neutralizing free radicals from harmful effects like smoking and the sun.
“Vitamin C works to bind these free radicals, and acts like little Pac-Men taking them out of circulation so that they can’t do damage to the skin,” says Suzanne Friedler, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and Clinical Instructor at Mount. Sinai Medical Center.
It’s important to know that vitamin C serums can’t act as a replacement for sunscreen because it does not block and absorb the ultraviolet radiation from the sun. However, using a combination of both will provide your skin with ample protection against sun damage.
How To Choose Your Vitamin C Product
Vitamin C is surprisingly complicated to formulate in a way that guarantees its effectiveness. The active ingredients needed to make a potent serum are extremely sensitive to oxidation and light exposure, so the packaging of Vitamin C products is just as important as the formula itself.
A few of the most popular forms of Vitamin C in skincare are Ascorbic Acid , Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, and Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate. If you are looking at the ingredients list of a supposed Vitamin C product and none of the aforementioned are listed in the first couple ingredients, the product is not potent enough to show results.
L-Ascorbic Acid is the most commonly used Vitamin C derivative used in skincare, but with a pH of 3.5, it is also the most acidic varietal. Most skin types can tolerate L-Ascorbic Acid, but if you are particularly sensitive, then consider formulas with any of the other commonly used derivatives just know it will take longer to see the desired results.
Ideally, your Vitamin C serum will be packaged in an air-tight container with a pump that is either an opaque or amber-hued bottle to avoid oxidation and light exposure. A lot of Vitamin C serums come with pipet applicators which unfortunately allow for daily air exposure. While this is not ideal, it does not necessarily mean that it will be a bad product.
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Fact: Not All Vitamin Cs Are Created Equal
While different forms of Vitamin C have overlapping benefits, Kiehls often uses Pure Vitamin C to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, Vitamin Cg to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles over time and Activated C for lightening and skin discolorations. Each Kiehls Vitamin C serum effectively incorporates a form of topical Vitamin C that is carefully selected to maximize its targeted efficacy.
Discovering What Vitamin C Benefits Are Uniquely Important To Skin Care
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin to your health and well-being. It helps strengthen your immune system and is an antioxidant that kills bacteria. Vitamin C is the most plentiful vitamin in fruits and vegetables. However, because vitamin C is water-soluble, it can get washed away in the water and quickly loses its nutritional value. That is why vitamin C is best consumed as a supplement, either in tablet, liquid, or soft gels.
There are many benefits of vitamin C, but one of the most important is its ability to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are harmful to the human body because they damage cellular DNA and cause cell death. Vitamin C strengthens our cells by neutralizing free radicals, which prevent degeneration and cancer. As such, vitamin C is often recommended as a brightening factor for a youthful appearance.
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How Can I Tell If My Vitamin C Serum Is Still Active Ive Heard It Can Oxidise And Lose Effectiveness Is There A Way I Can Stop It From Doing This
Antioxidants are the bomb-dot-com, but their best property is also their worstthey oxidize.Antioxidants like vitamin C work by binding to free radicalsan oxygenic formso that your skincells dont. So, the problem here is that vitamin C will immediately bind to any oxygen or light that entersits tube or bottle, causing it to diminish in effectiveness pretty quickly.
Our best tip to gage the lifespan and efficacy of your vitamin C serum is to check the PAO symbol on the packaging , and keep an eye out for any darkening or discolouration, a tell-tale sign ofoxidisation. Serums or creams in opaque, dark, amber, and/or airtight bottles, tubes or pumps are yourbest friend, their packaging ensuring the best possible chance of stability, longevity andeffectiveness for this delicate ingredient. Like a good Netflix binge, once the oxidation process hasstarted, there is no way to stop it.
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Can You Take Collagen And Vitamin C Together
Yes, you can take collagen and vitamin C together. In fact, doing so will likely boost your skin health even more than if you just took one of the supplements on its own.
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a vitamin C supplement and a collagen supplement. The benefits of collagen help to beautify you from the inside out. For collagen supplements, you want to make sure it’s as clean as possible. This means no additives or flavorings. You also want to make sure the product is non-gmo or organic to ensure the highest quality. Otherwise, it may contain additives that could hinder the benefits of collagen. There are no known side effects of collagen supplements, making it a safe supplement to try. Vitamin C supplements are similar, as they are generally very safe. You should look for ones that don’t have any excess ingredients. There are a lot of powder supplements that have added coloring and flavoring.
One thing to note in regards to skincare is that vitamin C does work on the skin topically, whereas collagen does not. Serums and creams that contain vitamin C are great for renewing skin cells, repairing damage, and making skin glow. Topical vitamin C can be strong, so it’s important to wear sunscreen as well. Collagen, on the other hand, cannot be absorbed through the skin.
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