Unless you live under a rock, you’ve certainly heard of vitamin C before. We all know that vitamin C is essential to our well-being as human beings and that we’re supposed to consume a certain amount each day to stay healthy. But what is vitamin C, really?
Well, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that also goes by the name L-ascorbic acid. It is found in certain foods, and it’s also available in the form of a supplement. As humans, we’re unable to produce vitamin C in our bodies, so we have to achieve our daily intake through dietary or supplementary means.
Vitamin C plays a multifaceted role in the human body. Mainly, it’s needed for the production of collagen, L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters. It’s also needed for protein metabolism.
Of course, we’re not here to give you a lecture on human biology. Rather, we’ll be focusing on the role of topical vitamin C in skincare. Like in biology, this essential vitamin has an assortment of functions in skincare, and it appears in many forms, from cream formulas and lotions to serums and masks. Now, read on as we explore these functions and lay out all the most impressive skin benefits of vitamin C.
Benefit One: Protection From the Sun
If you’re interested in skincare at all, you should be well aware of just how harmful the sun’s UV rays can be for our skin. That is why taking preventative action, like wearing sunscreen each and every day and avoiding tanning booths, is just so important. Well, vitamin C offers another chance to protect your skin from the sun and the free radical damage that may be caused by ultraviolet light.
By adding vitamin C to your skincare routine, you can help your body reduce the damage inflicted on your skin if you ever experience UV exposure. Indeed, vitamin C isn’t quite the same as sunscreen—it won’t actually absorb the sun’s rays. However, it may help reduce the degree of harm done when those rays do enter the skin.
This is an excellent way to stay proactive about protecting yourself and your skin cells from the sun and free radicals. Although we all try our best to avoid being in the sun without sunscreen, we’re not perfect—it does happen sometimes. Vitamin C skincare products help you build up your defenses just in case they’re ever needed.
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Benefit Two: Skin Hydration
Hydration is one of the most important elements of any solid skincare routine—for any and all skin types. Keeping your skin moisturized and hydrated will help it stay clear, smooth, and healthy for years and years. It also prevents early signs of aging, like wrinkles and fine lines. So yes, hydration is very important.
Vitamin C will give your hydration game a boost. This vitamin has been clinically proven to help the skin retain water, which will keep it looking plump and feeling soft and smooth. Both the consumption of vitamin C and the topical use of vitamin C in skincare will achieve this end result.
Benefit Three: Boosting Collagen Production
Collagen is a vital building block that helps our skin stay smooth and youthful-looking. It’s a very plentiful protein in the human body that has multiple functions. When it comes to skincare, collagen helps provide structure and keep our skin feeling firm, elastic, and smooth.
Unfortunately for us, collagen production slows down as we get older. As such, our natural supply of collagen tends to deplete over time. However, certain skincare ingredients actually promote collagen production and boost those collagen levels. Vitamin C is one of those ingredients.
By using vitamin C for anti-aging in your daily routine, you can help your skin stay youthful for as long as possible. That boost in collagen production should help prevent premature aging, which includes things like the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Benefit Four: Fading Dark Spots
Hyperpigmentation is an extremely common skin issue. It includes problems like sun spots, age spots, melasma, or just general dark spots. Basically, this extra pigmentation occurs when the body overproduces melanin in a certain area. It occurs for a variety of reasons, and it may affect people of all skin tones. You also may notice dark patches in places where you formerly had acne or in places where you had sun damage or dealt with other environmental stressors.
This is an issue that is very frustrating to deal with, and it often feels impossible to find ways to decrease the appearance of those troublesome dark spots and discoloration. However, topical application of vitamin C has been proven to be an effective treatment for hyperpigmentation. This powerful vitamin slows down or impedes melanin production, which in turn helps to fade and prevent dark spots, giving you the smooth, even skin tone that you’ve always dreamed of.
This is why vitamin C is an ideal ingredient for anyone battling hyperpigmentation.
Benefit Five: Brightening the Skin
There are countless makeup products on the market intended to imitate the look of a natural, bare-faced glow. It seems like we all strive to achieve this look in one way or another. For some of us, that may mean using highlighter or other makeup products or finally perfecting your skin care routine. For others, however, that might simply entail using vitamin C.
Indeed, vitamin C may help brighten your complexion, bringing about that gorgeous glow that we all desire. So, if you’re hoping to go makeup-free this summer, we recommend trying out vitamin C-based products.
Benefit Six: Decreasing Redness
Redness of the skin can be very irritating if you’re trying to achieve a smooth, even-toned complexion. Fortunately, vitamin C is perfect for reducing redness of the skin, whether that redness comes from eczema, rosacea, sun exposure, hormones, or any other factor.
Vitamin C is clearly a very powerful nutrient. In addition to all of the qualities we’ve already mentioned, vitamin C has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Naturally, this means that the vitamin is great for reducing inflammation in the skin and, ultimately, reducing redness and supporting improved skin texture.
Along similar lines, vitamin C may be able to repair damaged capillaries (one of the main causes of redness). In doing so, vitamin C will help your skin look smooth, even, and bright.
Adding Vitamin C to Your Routine
So, by this point, we should have convinced you that vitamin C lives up to the hype. It’s an absolutely essential vitamin for our overall health, not to mention our skin. With so many amazing benefits to offer, we think everyone should be using some form of vitamin C on a regular basis.
There are numerous ways to add vitamin C to your everyday routine, and they don’t involve rubbing citrus fruits on your face (we promise). It’s a hugely popular ingredient in skincare today, which means you can find it in all sorts of products: cleansers, moisturizers, toners, face masks, and much more, all in varying levels of potency. Look out for words like ascorbyl palmitate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, and sodium ascorbyl phosphate, all of which are popular vitamin C derivatives.
The type of vitamin C product you choose to add as a layer of your skincare routine is really up to you, as long as you choose one that’s shelf-stable. Just make sure to do a patch test somewhere like the inside of your forearm before you start applying a product to your face to make sure that you won’t have any adverse reactions. To even further enhance the benefits of vitamin C, consider adding other ingredients like vitamin E and ferulic acid to your routine.
If you’re looking to give your skin an instant boost and start feeling those vitamin C benefits right away, we have to recommend a face mask. In particular, our Vitamin C Clay Mask is perfect for anyone who wants to hop on the vitamin C bandwagon. Plus, it’s packed with several other superfoods, like Kakadu plum, desert lime, and turmeric to help amplify and reinforce all of the amazing benefits we mentioned above.
No matter what type of product you end up using, just know that your skin will start to look and feel fantastic when you add that vitamin C!
The Verdict on Vitamin C
Clearly, vitamin C is a powerful and essential vitamin that brings some great benefits to the table, and it’s worth giving it a try or speaking to your dermatologist about using it. If you’ve been sleeping on vitamin C, it’s about time to take advantage of this game-changing ingredient right away.
Vitamin C - Health Professional Fact Sheet | National Institutes of Health
What Does Vitamin C Do for Your Skin? | WebMD
11 Vitamin C Serum Benefits: How to Use, Side Effects, Products | Healthline
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