Why is Vitamin C Good For Your Skin? – What Are It’s Benefits
Vitamin C is often called the holy grail of the skincare world, we all know it’s great for our bodies and to get plenty of vitamin C into our diets in the form of fruit and veggies to keep us nice and healthy but why is vitamin C good for our skin?
Well this super ingredient may just be the thing your dull tired skin has been craving and here’s why!
Free Radical Damage
So this is a bit sciencey so bear with me but first it’s important to understand what free radicals are and how they affect the skin to appreciate where Vitamin C comes in.
So free radicals are molecules that have unpaired electrons (stay with me) this makes them highly unstable so in order for these molecules to find stability they go in search of electrons to steal from components within our cells, this then unstabilises our cells causing a chain reaction leading to what’s called free radical damage.
These free radicals are produced by the sun, stress, alcohol and smoking but the good news is we can protect ourselves from damage from these harmful free radicals by neutralising them with antioxidants.
One of the main sources of free radical damage to skin is from the sun so it is so important to protect your skin with a broad spectrum sunscreen to filter out the harmful rays which will damage cells and their DNA, leading to visible signs of aging, lack of firmness, lines and wrinkles and discoloration of the skin, and skin cancer.
Sunscreen is a must for protecting the skin from free radicals, but it is important to know that sunscreen only protects up to 55% of free radicals. (Haywood, R., et al., J Invest Dermatol 2006;121:862-868) therefore it’s important to combine with daily anti oxidant protection.
One of the most powerful antioxidants is Vitamin C! It is naturally found in abundance in the skin and freely gives up one of its electrons to neutralises free radicals.
Aging does cause a decline in Vitamin C levels in skin, in one study intrinsically aged skin was shown to have 70% less Vitamin C compared to young skin. It can also further be reduced by oxidative stress from UV, smoking, alcohol and pollution.
In a study from Yale University published in the Journal Science (2015) it showed UV-induced free radical damage to DNA continued for hours following sun exposure.
This finding indicates that damage continues to occur when you are indoors, “in the dark”, after spending time in the sun.
The UV energy absorbed in melanin sets up a series of chemical reactions. When UV rays hit our skin, they can cause DNA mutations. Melanin has been known to protect the skin by absorbing the radiation. But what happens to the energy that gets absorbed by melanin?
The study from Yale University showed the high-energy melanin sets up a series of chemical reactions, creating a very high-energy molecule that breaks apart and releases the energy holding it together.
They propose that reactive oxygen and nitrogen species induced by UV rays excite an electron in melanin. This energy is then transferred back to DNA, causing the same damage as UV rays but in the dark.
Further research is needed in this field. However, we can best protect ourselves by using an antioxidant-rich broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Applying an antioxidant serum following sun exposure could potentially stop some continued free radical damage.
Vitamin C and Collagen
So not only is Vitamin C an amazing anti oxidant but it also boosts our collagen production. In fact when applied topically to our skin in the form of L-Ascorbic Acid it is 20 times more effective at increasing collagen levels than taking it orally.
This means you are far better investing in a really good Vitamin C serum than eating your way to better skin.
L-ascorbic acid in a concentration of between 5-15% has an anti aging ability by increasing collagen type 1 and 3 and decreasing the enzyme collagenase which is responsible for destroying collagen.
And it doesn’t stop there
Vitamin C is also an amazing skin brightener, this is why it is known as the ultimate glow giver!! It also inhibits melanin production helping pigmentation issues such as malasma, age spots or acne marks.
Reduce the redness
Vitamin C is a great choice for anyone with redness prone or sensitive skin such as rosacea skin types, this is due to it anti inflammatory properties. It also helps aid skin healing after sun burn.
Vitamin C combined with Vitamin E
Together these make an absolute dream team, Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant and when combined with L-ascorbic acid it increases its effectiveness four fold!
Vitamin C also helps regenerate vitamin E so use them together and our on to a winner.
On the downside
The downside to L-Ascorbic acid is it is highly unstable, and only affective when fresh. If the L-ascorbic acid is exposed to light or air it will oxidise turning from a clear yellow colour to a brownish orange colour stripping it of its anti oxidant and anti aging properties.
To prevent this occurring many products are in dark amber bottles. Many Vitamin C products oxidise in their bottles whilst they are on the shelf or at home.
AlumierMD’s everactive C&E is a potent anti oxidant at 15% L-ascorbic acid plus vitamin E, it has a unique delivery system where the vitamin C crystals are not released into the serum until you are ready to use it therefore it remains 100% fresh and stable.
If you would like to know more about AlumierMD products I can help you with that as a licensed professional, leave a comment below and I promise to get back to you.