Vitamin C has made a buzz in the skincare world. It is one of the most important antioxidants and protects the skin from reactive oxygen species aka oxidative stress. Through a complex cascade oxidative stress results in inflammation and skin aging. Vitamin C also plays a crucial role in collagen synthesis, which is important for skin health. It is a normal component in the dermis and epidermis of the skin, but as we age Vitamin C diminishes. Exposure to UV light and environmental pollutants also causes these levels to decline.
Humans are not able to synthesize their own Vitamin C so we must obtain from outside sources. Oral Vitamin C supplementation is a great way to benefit the skin, but there is a point of saturation where it will no longer be beneficial. Some great natural sources of Vitamin C are citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, strawberries, papaya and broccoli.
Vitamin C can also be easily absorbed through the skin, but certain preparations may have a harder time penetrating the skin’s surface. A lot depends on pH of the Vitamin C. Quality matters! It also helps if it is combined with other ingredients that have antioxidant properties. Also, this is a case where more is not better. At concentrations over 30% absorption actually decreased.
Vitamin C can also help protect against UV light damage due to its antioxidant properties. Combining oral administration with topical may yield the best results, but there have been limited human studies to fully understand the benefits.
Both oral and topical Vitamin C use has shown to help with photo damage and wrinkling. Topical use has shown a benefit in reducing wrinkles, protein fiber damage, skin roughness, and collagen production. It has also been shown to help with a process that decreases melanin production, which means it can help diminish dark spots. It is important when using Vitamin C topically to stay consistent with usage to obtain the most benefits.
It is also believed that Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties, which could play an important role in treating acne and rosacea. It can help with wound healing and decrease hyperpigmentation from scaring.
After reading through all the potential benefits of Vitamin C it is clear why it has creating a buzz in the skin care industry. It makes me want to lather my whole body in it! If any of these benefits interest you, stay tuned to “C” what is coming tomorrow!