It seems like every movie lately features a superhero.
So, indeed, a skincare blockbuster hero can’t be far off?
The star of the show would, of course, be Vitamin C.
This glow-worthy Vitamin has steadily climbed the beauty trend ladder.
It’s the Master saviour for skin issues and is lauded as a potent antioxidant.
Dark spots, dullness, uneven skin tone, fine lines, wrinkles, and environmental stressors are all “POW!”, “ZAP!” and “KAZAMMED!” in actual superhero manner.
Additionally, Mintel claims that 85% of consumers are either using or are interested in using Vitamin C products.
With demand for this potent ingredient showing no sign of waning, let’s dive right in and look at the vitamin C benefits for your skin.
Undersrtanding Vitamin C?
We wanted to talk about vitamin C (yes, again). In this article, we discussed L-Ascorbic vitamin A and its derivatives!
But for the purpose of this article, we will take a closer look at the healing vitamin C benefits for your skin.
As we all know, Vitamin C is an incredibly popular ingredient for a good reason. Despite the ever-growing concern about pollution and its damaging effects on your skin, the demand for skincare ingredients that protect, fight dark spots, and boost radiance is soaring.
More and more people are seeking ingredients that prevent ageing and brighten their complexion. And among these, vitamin C stands tall as the undisputed star, especially in the world of antioxidants.
In fact, the global market for vitamin C skincare is expected to reach a whopping $15.7 billion by 2030!
So guys and gals, it looks like the vitamin C skincare trend is here to stay.
The Guardians of Youthful Skin: Antioxidants
If you’ve come across terms like oxidative stress, free radicals, or the ageing effects of sun exposure, you’re likely aware that these factors aren’t friendly to preserving youthful skin.
However, there exists a remarkable category of potent ingredients with the ability to shield your skin against these undesirable adversaries. These formidable warriors against skin ageing are known as antioxidants; they really are the stars of the anti-ageing world because they wield tremendous power in the fight against the factors that can rob your skin of its radiance and that will accelerate ageing.
Antioxidants are unique molecules that can remarkably halt the skin’s oxidation process. This oxidative phenomenon is chiefly responsible for generating free radicals—unstable troublemakers that trigger chain reactions, ultimately causing harm to the skin and accelerating its ageing. Skin oxidation can be set in motion by various factors: stress, pollution, smoking, infections, inflammations, and even the sun’s rays – essentially, the hustle and bustle of everyday life!
Among these antioxidants, vitamin C emerges as a standout player, possibly the most effective of them all. It serves as a formidable guardian and imparts an instant glow to the skin, making it a stellar brightening ingredient.
However, it’s essential to note that merely indulging in kiwis and oranges at every meal won’t suffice to deliver these benefits to your skin. It’s not that simple. Vitamin C must be applied directly to the skin, topically, for your skin to reap the full spectrum of its remarkable properties.
Keen to learn more about antioxidants? We are so pleased, so much so infact that we created an entire article about them, which you can read here.
Does it Live up to the Hype?
The benefits of Vitamin C have been known for some time but are coming more to the industry’s forefront lately.
This has a lot to do with how much more aware we are of the effects of environmental pollutants such as radiation, smog, smoke, UV, and damaging free radicals on our skin, which break down your internal scaffolding – collagen and elastin – stressing and accelerating skin ageing.
Vitamin C has also gained popularity as an ingredient that helps create a more even skin tone with a low-risk profile as a lightening, brightening ingredient. Applying a lotion with a concentration of just 5% over six months has been shown to improve skin appearance with photodamage – an actual study (1).
It has also been shown to reduce sunburn cell formation and skin reddening, and ascorbic acid can even influence the synthesis of specific ceramides, improving the water-retaining properties – at least in vitro (2); it has yet to be confirmed in human skin.
Our complete guide on Vitamin C for skin health is worth reading if you are keen to learn more about this skin-loving Vitamin.
The Key Benefits of Vitamin C
So, let’s dig a little deeper and look at some of the Vitamin C benefits that your skin will thank you for:
- Enhanced Collagen Production: Vitamin C is a powerful catalyst for collagen and elastin production, the essential fibres supporting your skin. This indirect anti-wrinkle effect helps maintain skin density and plumpness. It also neutralises enzymes that degrade collagen over time, preserving your skin’s youthful appearance.
- Radiant Glow: L-ascorbic acid is a potent glow-enhancer that improves skin structure and microcirculation. Optimal circulation ensures vital skin nutrients reach the upper epidermal layers, resulting in a healthy and radiant complexion. This is especially beneficial for individuals exposed to pollutants or smokers.
- Amplified Sun Protection: Vitamin C is often recommended for daily use due to its ability to shield your skin from the hazards associated with UV exposure. It accomplishes this by reducing lipid peroxidation, limiting the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, safeguarding against apoptosis (cell death), and mitigating sensitive cell signalling. These mechanisms help diminish many harmful consequences of excessive sun exposure. While it’s important to note that vitamin C should not replace sunscreen, it plays a pivotal role in enhancing sunscreen effectiveness. Working in tandem with sunscreens elevates their capacity to ward off the detrimental effects of UV radiation. This synergistic combination establishes a robust defence mechanism for your skin, offering a comprehensive shield against the sun’s harmful rays.
- Diminished Pigmentation Spots: L-ascorbic acid also reduces melanin oxidation, the molecule responsible for skin pigmentation. This reduction leads to fading of spots and areas with uneven pigmentation, which can make your skin appear dull (a condition known as hyperpigmentation). Additionally, it curtails the production of tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for activating melanin production.
- Anti-inflammatory: When applied topically, Vitamin C reduces the activation of a cellular molecule referred to as “transcription nuclear factor kappa B”. Whilst this may sound like a mouthful, it is an essential molecule that reduces the release of pro-inflammatory co-factors in your skin, helping to reduce sensitivity, inflammation, and redness.
- It’s a Powerful Skin Protector: Vitamin C is a superhero for your skin by shielding it from harmful environmental threats. These threats come in the form of troublemakers called free radicals. Imagine free radicals as tiny villains that damage your skin cells and mess with your DNA. This damage can make your skin age faster and, in some cases, even lead to cancer. But here’s where Vitamin C comes to the rescue. It’s packed with antioxidants that act like superhero capes. These antioxidants swoop in and capture those free radicals, keeping your skin cells healthy and visibly reducing signs of early ageing.
- Fights Off Free Radicals: To understand how Vitamin C works on your skin, consider it a shield against free radicals, also known as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). These pesky villains come from various sources like sunlight, the air around us, stress, and pollution. Once they invade your skin, they mess with its DNA, disrupt cell functions, and damage its protective armour. But when you apply Vitamin C, it’s like arming your skin with a protective shield that keeps these free radicals at bay, ensuring your skin stays healthy and radiant.
In essence, vitamin C is a versatile powerhouse, contributing to collagen formation, skin radiance, sun protection, and the fading of pigmentation spots. Its multifaceted benefits make it a valuable addition to your skincare routine.
Timing Matters: When to Apply it
There’s an ongoing debate about the best time to use Vitamin C in your skincare routine. We recommend applying it in the morning because it acts like a shield, protecting your skin from UV rays and environmental pollutants. Some suggest using it at night when your skin’s Vitamin C levels are at their lowest.
Why is that? Well, it comes down to the pH levels of these ingredients. Vitamin C doesn’t play well with others when their pH levels clash, causing them to cancel each other out and lose effectiveness.
For instance, mixing Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) with Niacinamide creates a yellowish product that makes both compounds inactive. This holds true for other acids and Vitamin A as well. Even more concerning, this mixture might generate a compound called hydrogen peroxide, which isn’t great for your skin.
So, the bottom line is that it’s best not to combine these ingredients or use products that contain a mix of them. Keep them separate to make the most of their benefits.
To conclude. The naked truth
Vitamin C is a formidable ally in your skincare routine, offering a multifaceted approach to enhancing skin health.
From promoting collagen production for a plump and youthful complexion to providing a radiant glow and fortifying the skin against the harmful effects of UV exposure and free radicals, it’s evident that Vitamin C is a powerhouse ingredient. Its ability to diminish dark spots and reduce inflammation further solidifies its skin protector and rejuvenator positioning.
Now, we appreciate with so many benefits that’s a lot to take in, so let’s recap on precisely what makes Vitamin C so impressive:
- It boasts potent anti-inflammatory properties
- It serves as a catalyst for collagen formation, enhancing your skin’s elasticity
- It accelerates your skin’s cellular turnover, fighting off premature ageing signs
- It’s essential for the formation of barrier lipids for maintaining skin health
- It restores your skin to a state of calm after enduring oxidative stress
- It’s a vital nutrient for tissue growth and repair throughout your body and skin
- It helps lighten your skin and fade dark spots
- It even aids in wound healing, especially when combined with Vitamin E, to combat damaging free radicals
With such an impressive array of benefits, it’s no wonder Vitamin C enjoys its superhero status in the skincare world.
Whether you’re seeking age-defying effects or simply looking to maintain a healthy, vibrant complexion, you’d agree that Vitamin C is an indispensable asset in your skincare arsenal.
- Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications
- The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health