Most people are aware that vitamin C is important for the body, but not as many are aware that it also provides significant benefits for the skin. Because the body does not create vitamin C, and it does not store it, it is essential to provide vitamin C daily. It can be provided by ingesting foods that contain it, supplements, or topically, since the skin – the largest organ of the body — will absorb much of what is put on it.
A study recently found that about 15% of adults in the United States of America are deficient in vitamin C. This means that there are a lot of people who need to supplement their vitamin C intake in some way. These people will see the biggest difference once they begin to provide the needed vitamin to their body.
What Vitamin C Does
Vitamin C has a variety of benefits for your skin. Daily use has proven to result in boosts to appearance and health.
- Daily use of vitamin C can even out your skin tone. If you have skin that is mottled or rough, this vitamin can be instrumental in clearing up that issue. This is because vitamin C helps encourage blood flow to the surface of the skin.
- With so much pollution in the air and water, the shielding benefit of vitamin C for your skin is a much-needed aspect. Because it is an antioxidant, this shielding also assists in protecting from harmful rays of the sun. While the sun can still cause burns, sufficient vitamin C in your system can prevent permanent damage to your skin.
- Vitamin C helps the skin to produce collagen more efficiently, and increase blood flow, providing for better hydrated skin rather than dry, flaky skin.
- Vitamin C will help your complexion be brighter and look younger, due to its reduction of wrinkles and fine lines. This is because vitamin C is what the body needs to produce collagen, which is the protein in your skin that keeps it elastic and fresh.
- Vitamin C is important for healing, as well. When your body has sufficient vitamin C, cuts and scrapes on your skin will heal more quickly.
- Vitamin C helps your scalp, as well. Dandruff is often caused by germs, which can be more easily fought off with a boost of vitamin C. It has also been shown to keep hair healthy, including its natural color, and its support of the adrenal gland can result in less hair loss and thicker hair, as well.
Because vitamin C is a naturally occurring vitamin of which excess is eliminated, ingestion is very safe. In topical use, barring the off-chance of irritation, it is difficult to use “too much.”
Types of Vitamin C
There are a variety of types of vitamin C. Each is processed a bit differently from the others, and each has its strengths and weaknesses as it relates to use in or on the body.
L-Ascorbic Acid is the most potent form of vitamin C, and also has been researched the most thoroughly. Unfortunately, it is not as stable as some other forms, so it could cause irritation of your skin in higher doses. However, while some people experience irritation, others do not, so it is worth testing because it is stronger and more effective for most people.
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a derivative that is water-soluble and is more stable. It is less likely to cause irritation and works well for most people with dry skin or sensitive skin.
Ascorbyl Palmitate is often used in oil-based beauty products. Though it is not as strong as many other forms, it is known to repair free radical damage and lessen or prevent signs of aging.
Ascorbic Glucosamine is another water-soluble derivative. It is often used for treating hyperpigmentation and is thought to brighten skin.
Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is a more recent discovery. It is fat soluble and more stable than many others. It penetrates the skin to reach deeper layers, making it an excellent option for treating your skin.
Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a gentle water-soluble form that converts to ascorbic acid after being absorbed. It both brightens and fights free radical damage, making it a good all-around option.
How To Use Vitamin C For Skin
Start by checking your chosen product on a small patch of skin, to make sure your skin can handle it. This is especially important if you tend to have sensitive skin, as some forms or stronger concentrations can cause irritation for some people.
Once you have determined that the chosen product will not irritate your skin, make it a regular part of your skin care routine. Using a cream or serum before bed can give it more time to absorb and work on your skin, while starting your day with it can help you to feel better first thing in the morning. Using vitamin C on your skin both times will benefit you twice as much!
To aid in healing of cuts, scrapes, or burns, apply vitamin C, preferably in a moisturizing cream, directly to the affected skin for best results. Because vitamin C aids in collagen production, scabs will form more quickly and it is likely that there will be less scarring.
Where To Get Vitamin C
Naturally, the best option for increasing vitamin C in the body is through a healthy diet. Some foods that include high quantities of vitamin C include fruits such as apples, berries, lemons, limes, melons, oranges, papayas, and kiwi, and vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, spinach, tomatoes, and bell peppers (especially the red ones). Some grains are also high in vitamin C, as well as potatoes.
There are also a variety of beauty aids, such as creams and serums, that provide vitamin C directly to the skin.
This serum includes vitamins C and E and is made with the Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate version of the vitamin. It also includes aloe, witch hazel, and a few other ingredients to benefit your skin. It takes only a drop or two to treat your entire face.
This serum starts with 20% vitamin C, then adds salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, retinol, and MSM, as well as soothing aloe, and essential oils, to result in a gentle exfoliating and moisturizing formula that is safe for daily use.
Made with the camu camu berry from the Amazonian region, which is very high in vitamin C, this smoother serum also includes Brazil nut oil to moisturize and soften.
This multivitamin supplement contains vitamins C, A, and E, as well as lutein and MSM. This combination is known to be beneficial to skin, hair, and nails.
Pure L-Ascorbic Acid powder dissolves immediately in water, allowing you to make your own serums or boost your current products with vitamin C. A half tablespoon added to four tablespoons of water results in about a 5% solution.
15% vitamin C and organic rose hip oil combined with some other ingredients make this foaming face wash a gentle but effective skin rejuvenator that can be added to your daily routine easily.