LET'S TALK ABOUT VITAMIN C
Did you know that the human body does not produce its own vitamins? That’s a shame because they are essential for our well-being and vitamin C, in particular, is vital to good health and proper functioning of the largest organ in our body, our skin. Many of our bodily processes are dependent on vitamin C and without this crucial nutrient we may not be able to function properly.
Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that fight against the harmful effects of common elements in our everyday environment such as, the sun’s harsh rays, second-hand smoke and pollution. In addition to its protective qualities it also helps to boost our immunity and it stimulates the production of collagen, which is critical in making healthy tissues.
Researchers have found that Vitamin C helps our skin repair systems to function more effectively. This means that when there is any kind of aversive action to the skin such as exposure to harmful chemicals or wounds to the skin, cell repair and healing will take place much more efficiently due to the benefits of vitamin C.
If you’re a skincare lover like I am, then you’d be happy to hear that vitamin C works in the same way on our skin as it does throughout the rest of our body and that is equally as beneficial to the skin as it is to the rest of the body. It makes our skin look radiant, plump and glowing. With continued use, it brightens the complexion and evens skin tone by blocking the enzymes responsible for pigmentation and it reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating cellular regeneration.
These fantastic properties make vitamin C a skincare superstar. While all vitamin C work toward the same goal – bright, youthful, protected skin – not all vitamin C is created equally. The most common types are L-ascorbic acid, sodum ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate and retinyl ascorbate. That’s a mouthful to say, so just know that L-ascorbic acid in its pure form, has the highest benefits. The only trouble is that pure L-ascorbic acid is extremely unstable so when exposed to air, it loses its power and all its benefits. In fact, when oxidized, L-ascorbic acid can become a pro-oxidant, meaning it produces free radicals, those pesky molecules that lead to premature skin aging; that means the same thing vitamin C is supposed to be protecting us from, it ends up creating when it becomes unstable. An easy tell tale sign that your formula has become unstable is its yellow colour. To alleviate these stability issues, most companies resort to airtight packaging and/or creating formulas that combine a blend of vitamin C derivatives and other antioxidants to find a trade off with performance and stability.
I’ve spoken at length about why vitamin C is great and made an argument for why you should include it in your beauty regime, but just how can you do this? It seems as though vitamin C derived products have exploded onto the market within recent months, with luxury brands down to drugstore brands, have released some kind of skincare product. From cleansers, powders, masks and eye creams, it can seem like a lot to navigate. These products come in many different strengths, high and low, but research shows concentrations as low as 0.6% can show benefits. Therefore, consider your skin’s health and sensitivity when choosing a vitamin C product. I personally prefer adding vitamin C to my regime in the form of a serum. I can get the most benefit out of the product in the treatment step and it really helps to transform my skin health and overall complexion. It is also worth mentioning that these products can be used day and night without any adverse effects.
When some people use vitamin C, they have the misconception that because it is natural, they do not have to take any precautions. This is erroneous thinking and can lead to skin damage. If you use either glycolic acid, salicylic acid or retinol as a part of your skin care regime, then you should use vitamin C products on alternate days. This will help to avoid irritating the skin and reduce the signs of sensitivity like redness and itching.
While our body does not produce vitamin C, thanks to fantastic scientific research, we are able to reap its benefits in our skincare. This superpower nutrient does wonders for the complexion, leaving it looking fresh, radiant and younger. From head to toe, vitamin C leaves us looking and feeling good, promoting good wellbeing from the inside and out.
Here are our favourite Vitamin C hero’s-