If you’ve been following the trends in skin care in recent years you can’t have avoided hearing the hype about the benefits of vitamin C for skin.
It’s hailed for its anti-aging powers. With an ability to remove fine lines and wrinkles, repair photo-damage, and protect the skin from the sun.
If you’re anything like me, then you’re sometimes skeptical of the sensational marketing claims that always accompany the latest fad product that hits the market.
So what’s the real story with vitamin C?
A lot of scientific research has been done into how vitamin C interacts with your skin.
Today I’m going to show you why you should strongly consider using it as a regular part of your skincare routine.
And we’ll take a look at its remarkable skin restorative and healing powers.
Vitamin C Benefits For Your Skin
One of the drawbacks of many natural skincare treatments and remedies is how little we really understand about how they work.
Unfortunately, this can lead to a lot of misleading claims about the latest popular ingredient.
But, the great thing about vitamin C is the amount we know about it.
In particular, its anti-aging and skin protective properties have been widely studied.
It means we don’t have to rely on anecdotal evidence that can sometimes mislead us into wasting our time and money.
These are the seven benefits for your skin:
Removes Fine Lines, Wrinkles, And Photo-damage
The biggest beauty benefit that has undoubtedly made vitamin C into a star is its proven ability to turn back the hands of time.
The appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and photoaged skin can all be improved with regular use.
And the best part?
Its effects can be quickly seen when you look in the mirror.
One scientific study found that people who applied topical vitamin C daily to their face showed a reduction in wrinkles and lines on their skin after only 12 weeks! (1)
And other studies show similar findings:
A three-month study on 19 volunteers with photo-damaged skin showed significant improvement in skin texture, wrinkling, skin tone, and sallowness. (2)
This happens because when you increase the concentration of vitamin C in your skin you stimulate collagen production. It repairs the damage and makes the skin look more youthful.
I’m sure we agree:
When you put something on your face you want to know that it works.
Vitamin C does that, no question. And that’s why it’s become one of my go-to products for my anti-aging skincare routine.
Some experts say that you can see results in as little as 4 weeks:
Protects Your Skin From The Sun
Exposure to the sun over the course of a lifetime takes its toll.
It’s one of the biggest reasons why we all see an increasing amount of lines and wrinkles on our skin as we age.
There’s no avoiding the sun. But we can try to protect our skin from the damage it causes.
And vitamin C can help you do that.
It doesn’t protect the skin in the way that a sunscreen does, as it doesn’t absorb UV light.
Instead, it’s vitamin C’s ability to act as an antioxidant that enables it to neutralize the harmful free radicals that are caused by UV rays.
In doing so it helps to protect against damage to DNA and structural proteins. Damage that eventually shows itself on your skin.
It’s worth knowing that studies have also shown that topical vitamin C and vitamin E used together have an increased ability to deal with oxidative stress and prevent photo-damage. (3)
So vitamin C not only makes your skin look younger, it can also stop you from looking your age in the first place.
Lightens The Skin
If you’re looking for a skin lightening ingredient then vitamin C might be able to help.
It can limit the formation of melanin, the stuff in your skin that gives it its color.
And it also reduces patches of oxidized melanin that are particularly visible.
This makes it useful for treating skin discoloration on the face. The sort that you often see with conditions like melasma, hyperpigmentation, and age spots.
Scientific studies into its effects on melasma have shown positive results.
In one study 16 women suffering from melasma were treated with a 5% vitamin C cream for 16 weeks. This produced a 62.5% improvement in appearance by the end of the experiment. (4)
Whether you want to reduce the appearance of patches of melanin, or if you’re more interested in the beauty potential of its skin whitening effects, vitamin C could give you a helping hand.
Helps To Treat Acne
Most of us have some experience with the discomfort that an acne outbreak brings.
What makes it even more difficult is that its causes are not entirely clear. And treatments that work for one person might not be effective for another.
Vitamin C has been scientifically proven to be effective in treating acne.
Studies have shown that it’s a strong antimicrobial that can kill the harmful acne causing bacteria Propionibacterium acnes.
And that’s not all:
Its antioxidant properties can also help to limit the oxidation of sebum. Which is considered to be an important comedogenic factor in the formation of acne.
Even if you’re not someone who usually struggles with this problem, it’s good to know that regular vitamin C use will help to keep acne and pimples away.
Helps To Heal Cuts And Scratches
Vitamin C also plays an important role in the healing of wounds.
When you have a wound, the body has to increase the formation of new tissue to cover the affected area. This requires an increased production of collagen, which vitamin C is needed for.
In the process of healing a wound, vitamin C levels decline quickly. So people who are deficient in vitamin C are slow to heal.
Studies have shown that even in people who are not deficient in vitamin C wound healing can be accelerated by supplementing.
So if you’re like me and sometimes end up with nicks or scratches after shaving, then a small amount of vitamin C applied topically could help it to heal quickly.
Helps With Rosacea
Rosacea is a skin condition that’s characterized by small dilated blood vessels, redness, swelling, and inflammation of the face.
Unfortunately, its exact cause is still unknown and people of all ages are affected by it.
Studies have shown that using topical vitamin C can reduce the reddening of the face.
In one small study, daily use of a 5% vitamin C cream resulted in definitive improvement in 9 out of 12 volunteers. (5)
It’s thought that the production of free radicals may play an important part in the inflammatory reaction that’s seen in rosacea.
The ability of vitamin C to neutralize these free radicals might explain its ability to help the condition.
Improves The Appearance Of Scars And Fades Blemishes
If you’ve ever suffered from acne then you’ll know that even after you get rid of the problem the ordeal isn’t over.
The leftover blemishes on your face tell their own tale to everyone you meet.
So it’s useful to know that topical vitamin C can play a role in getting rid of blemishes. Its ability to lessen the hyperpigmentation can fade the angry appearance of the skin.
And while the role it plays in the treatment of old scars is uncertain at present, it can help to reduce the appearance of new ones due to its ability to improve wound healing.
A study on reducing the appearance of surgical scars on Asian skin found that both the elevation and the redness of the scars was reduced by applying vitamin C to the skin from the point in time that the stitches were removed until a 6 month period had elapsed. (6)
Using Vitamin C For Skincare
It’s important for general health to get plenty of vitamin C in your diet. But that isn’t enough to get its full benefits for the skin.
The truth is, most of the vitamin C that you consume when you eat fresh fruit and vegetables is lost from your body before it can be delivered to your skin.
It’s water soluble and quickly excreted. The same applies to vitamin C tablets.
This means that it’s necessary to apply it directly to the skin’s surface.
By using a vitamin C serum you raise the concentration in the skin to a much higher level than through ingestion.
Only then can it work its magic.
The Different Types
Vitamin C that’s used for skin care is most effective in the form of a serum.
When you look at the different products available you’ll notice different types of vitamin C being used, including:
- L-ascorbic acid
- Ascorbyl palmitate
- Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate
- Dehydroascorbic acid
Of these, ascorbic acid is the most powerful and most heavily researched. It’s the one most often used in well-formulated skin care products.
But, there’s a catch:
It’s also the one that’s the least stable.
Ascorbyl palmitate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, and dehydroascorbic acid are all quite stable. But they’re also less effective.
One study showed that these vitamin c derivatives do help to improve the moisture content of the stratum corneum. But they were not as successful in having an antioxidant effect as L-ascorbic acid. (7)
Despite its problems with stability, many people prefer L-ascorbic acid. And studies have shown that the stability can be increased by the use of other antioxidant compounds like ferulic acid.
Do you want a stronger product or longer shelf-life?
It’s a bit of a trade-off.
Fortunately, it’s not a critical decision. All these types of vitamin C have helped people achieve results that they’re happy with.
Keeping Your Vitamin C
All forms of vitamin C can be destabilized when exposed to air and light.
So it’s important to keep any vitamin C formulations in air-tight containers. Preferably in a dark glass bottle and in a cool, dark place.
How To Use It
Vitamin C is great for protecting your skin from UV light and other harmful pollutants in the environment. So it’s usually recommended to use it in the morning.
Gently rub a couple of drops of vitamin C serum into your skin. This is best done after you cleanse, but before you put on your makeup.
However, you can also use it at night if you prefer.
With all the supporting scientific evidence, it’s clear that vitamin C has a range of benefits for the skin.
This is of particular interest to people who are concerned about anti-aging. It has the ability to protect the skin from age-related and UV damage. But can also rejuvenate old and damaged skin to a more youthful appearance
The best way to experience the benefits that vitamin C has for the skin is by using a topical product.
This can significantly raise the concentration found in the skin. Increasing its ability to have an effect.
Vitamin C serums for the face are widely available on the market. They’re the number one choice if you’re looking for a proven and safe method of skin rejuvenation.
Have you tried vitamin C on your skin? Let us know what you think about it in the comments section.