Vitamin C is one of the most well-known essential vitamins. This water-soluble vitamin is important for the growth and development of our bodies, is a household cure for the common cold, and it’s also amazing for your skin.
The basics of vitamin C
According to health professionals, while vitamin C (also known as L-ascorbic acid) is an essential nutrient for humans, our bodies aren’t able to synthesize it for ourselves. This means that all the vitamin C in our bodies needs to come from outside sources.
For more people, we get vitamin C through our diet. A lack of vitamin C causes scurvy, the favorite disease of sea-faring sailors and pirates. The reason for this is because vitamin C is found in fruits and vegetables, which as we all know are perishable and not great supplies for a months-long journey across the sea.
Some of the best dietary sources of vitamin C are red peppers, organes, grapefruit, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and even potatoes. Vitamin C can also be absorbed through dietary supplements, though if you eat a balanced-diet with fruits and vegetables, for the majority of people this isn’t necessary.
In your diet, vitamin C is a proven natural immune-booster, and may even help in the prevent of chronic diseases (but are not necessarily treatments for diseases).
Vitamin C can also be absorbed completely through the skin (as the form L-ascorbic acid). Vitamin C absorbs very easily through the skin, almost immediately, and can be detected in the skin for up to 72-hours.
The benefits of vitamin C
Vitamin C in our skin works at a cellular level. Essentially, the vitamin helps to build and bind skin cells together. This helps result in smoother, brighter, and therefore more youthful-looking skin.
Vitamin C is very important in the development (called biosynthesis by scientists) of collagen and protein. As we’ve talked about here before, collagen is extremely important for the youthful appearance of skin.
Collagen plays an important role in the skin and body’s connective tissue. Collagen is what gives the skin its elastic and bouncy quality. As we age, it’s natural for collagen development to slow and for collagen to become less durable, which is why fine lines and sagging are some of the main signs of aging. As vitamin C helps encourage more collagen development, vitamin C is great for its anti-aging qualities.
Vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant that helps fight the damage free radicals cause in the skin. What are free radicals?
Free radicals are one of the biggest causes of distress in the skin besides bacteria. If you recall back to your high school science days, you may recall that atoms are made up of neutrons, protons, and electrons. Free radicals are molecules that have unpaired electrons, making them unstable.
What free radicals do is travel around, trying to steal electrons from other molecules and damaging them. This accelerates signs of aging and makes your skin even more vulnerable to sun damage and UV light damage.
Yikes. Fortunately, vitamin C scavenges free radicals, preventing them from being formed or removing them from the body, saving your skin molecules from their reign of terror. Thus, vitamin C is also one of the best elements to have in a summer serum, though sun protection is important all-year-round.
Another property of antioxidants is that they help speed up your body’s natural repairing process in regenerating damaged cells, whether they were caused by free radicals, or acne. Vitamin C also impairs melanin production, meaning that it prevents dark spots from appearing on your skin.
Vitamin C is the ultimate skin brightening agent—fitting that you can get it from oranges and other citrus!
Working vitamin C into your routine
So how do you get more vitamin C, besides through your diet. Many topical forms of vitamin C products come in the forms of different serums. Sometimes as pure vitamin C Serum all on its own, other times as just one ingredient in a more action-packed formulation.
Our Radiance Boosting Face Serum contains high amounts of vitamin C thanks to the key ingredients of caviar limes and wild plum extract. Not only do both of these contain today’s topic of vitamin C, but they also have other additional antioxidants to help protect your skin.
We recommend using a serum second in your skin care routine, after you’ve washed your face with a gentle cleanser like our Deeply Cleansing Milk. This provides a good, slightly moist base to apply vitamin C onto. Follow up with additional skincare elements like an oil, or just put your moisturizer on top and be good to go.
There is also evidence that vitamin C can also help regenerate other antioxidants in the body, including vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), which is also great in combination with vitamin C, so you should look out for it when reading ingredient labels as a bonus for your skin.