It’s common knowledge that vitamin C is a must-have in any balanced diet and many foods are enriched with additional vitamin C to increase the nutritional benefits. However, this all important vitamin isn’t just great for keeping your insides in good shape but can also have remarkable protective and anti-ageing effects on the skin. Discover the many benefits of vitamin C and how you should be incorporating it into your everyday skincare routine.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an important nutrient which cannot be made by the body alone so is a vital part of a balanced diet. Vitamin C features in many plant-based foods such as peppers, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits and tomatoes, and additional daily supplements can be taken. It’s vital to the body as it is an essential part of collagen production, a protein used for maintaining and repairing body tissue. A severe deficiency in vitamin C can cause tiredness, muscle and joint pains, bruising and dry hair and skin.
What are the benefits of vitamin C to the skin?
Whilst making sure you have the recommended daily amount of vitamin C is important to your overall health, there are many additional benefits to topically applying vitamin C and incorporating it into your skincare routine.These include:
UV rays, pollution and cigarette smoke all damage the skin as they cause free radical production, rogue cells which damage existing and healthy cells, causing signs of premature ageing. Antioxidants help to neutralise these free radicals, minimising their damage and keeping skin cells healthy and complexions looking young.
Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant and as you age you produce less and less vitamin C, making your skin more vulnerable to free radical damage. Applying high concentrations of vitamin C to your skin is a great way to naturally protect your skin from causes of premature ageing.
One of the main functions of vitamin C is to regulate the production of the protein collagen, the most youthful ingredient in anti-ageing. Collagen helps to keep skin firm and repair damaged skin tissue and as you age your body produces less collagen which causes fine lines, wrinkles and loss of elasticity. Vitamin C stimulates collagen production, whilst also protecting it, so if you want more youthful and smoother looking skin, adding it into your skincare routine is a great way to achieve this.
One of the most notorious benefits of vitamin C is its skin brightening properties. When applied topically, vitamin C can help to reduce uneven skin tones, targeting age spots, sun spots and hyperpigmentation for a brighter and more even complexion. It also has anti-inflammatory properties so it’s perfect for those who suffer from age-related inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea.
How to add vitamin C into your skincare routine
Whilst ensuring your diet is balanced with vitamin C will help your skin stay healthy, if you want to feel the full benefits, you will want to apply it topically in high-potency formulations. However, air, heat and light exposure can easily degrade vitamin C as in its natural form it can be unstable so it’s important you pick a formula which is stable whilst also delivering the maximum benefits.
Synthetic formulations of vitamin C have been developed such as ascorbate phosphate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate which are much more stable and can still be easily absorbed into your skin for a pleasant skincare experience.