We’re all familiar with vitamin C, but did you know vitamin C for skin also has big and lasting benefits?
In this article:
- Boosts Collagen Production
- Protects Against UV Damage
- Fights Formation
- Moisturizes Dry Skin
- Helps Heal Wounds
- Soothes Inflammation
- Lightens Skin
Vitamin C for Skin: 7 Lasting Benefits
The Importance of Vitamin C
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a great role in synthesizing collagen. Oral consumption, as well as topical application of vitamin C, provides a host of benefits for the body’s cells.
Vitamin C is naturally present in many foods. It is also present in the skin: it is in the dermis and the epidermis, but humans are unable to synthesize it naturally.
The vitamin C content in the skin naturally declines over the years due to aging. Other factors that hasten the reduction of vitamin C in the skin are excessive exposure to UV light and pollutants in the atmosphere.
As a powerful antioxidant, there are many benefits of vitamin C for skin:
1. Boosts Collagen Production
Collagen is the foundation of skin and helps it stay firm and taut. Over time, as we age, collagen production slows down, eventually stopping once we hit our 40’s.
A lack of collagen often leads the skin to sag, form wrinkles, and age spots. These signs are the global indications of aging and are constantly the center of many formulas skincare industries design.
Vitamin C helps support collagen by boosting its production capabilities. It is a vital component in the production of two chemicals: hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline.
These are two chemicals necessary to bind molecules to produce collagen.
2. Protects Against UV Damage
While vitamin C isn’t sunscreen or sunblock, its antioxidant abilities help protect skin against UV damage. Signs of UV damage on the skin include skin discolorations such as freckles, red patches, age spots, and even skin lesions and tumors.
Vitamin C, being an antioxidant, helps reverse free radical damage wrought upon the skin by UV exposure. It also helps inhibit pyrimidine dimer production in humans, which leads to melanomas.
Applying vitamin C directly to the skin may be a more effective route to its benefits than oral administration. This is because it is more directly applied, and therefore more easily absorbed.
What Is Pyrimidine Dimer? These are molecular lesions produced after DNA becomes exposed to UVB light. Left un-repaired, they can obstruct DNA replication and disrupt cellular functions.
3. Fights Formation
As vitamin C helps boost collagen production, its benefits produce a domino effect of other benefits for the skin. Collagen, which is also responsible for the structure of blood vessels, improves structure and integrity, promoting proper nutrient transportation.
With enough nutrients circulating through the skin, skin texture will improve. The formation of elastin improves, healing, thickening, and protecting skin cells from damage.
The thickening of skin cells also helps them retain more moisture, which helps plump up the skin. This also helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles by lifting up the creases and filling them in again.
4. Moisturizes Dry Skin
Increased use of vitamin C for skin is shown to have correlations with a decrease in dryness. Apparently, vitamin C helps promote barrier lipid synthesis, which helps prevent water loss through the skin.
This is particularly useful for those with dry skin, or for those with skin conditions where dry skin is a pervasive symptom. Patients with eczema, which is characterized by inflamed patches of red and dry skin, often use creams with vitamin C, along with vitamin C supplements.
5. Helps Heal Wounds
Citrus fruits have played an important role in seafaring throughout history. This is because they are crucial in preventing scurvy, a disease characterized by vitamin C deficiency and poor wound healing.
Studies show that vitamin C can hasten the healing of wounds, and even reduce the ventilation time required for burn patients. High amounts of vitamin C also helps in the reduction of capillary leaks after a burn injury.
Vitamin C is known to support the growth of new tissue and skin. Because wounds and burns often involve extensive damage to the skin, vitamin C works best in its repair.
What Is Capillary Leakage? A condition in which proteins, fluids, and plasma leak from blood vessels and into surrounding tissues
6. Soothes Inflammation
The skin is the body’s first line of defense against many pollutants, which is why it can be vulnerable to irritation and inflammation. Acne breakouts, itchiness, and discoloration are among the many inflammatory conditions the skin can experience.
Vitamin C triggers an anti-inflammatory response in the skin, helping soothe it and bring down the redness. This also makes it useful against sunburns, which cause redness and inflammation.
7. Lightens Skin
Vitamin C is acidic and therefore has astringent qualities that many ancient cultures have used for years to brighten and lighten their skin. This is part of their antioxidant capabilities, which boosts collagen, leading to healthier skin, and fighting off the oxidation effects that lead to hyperpigmentation.
Used as a toner or a scrub, vitamin C sources such as lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits are an effective skin lightening home remedy. Its presence in creams and soaps also lends this feature well.
What Is Hyperpigmentation? This is when melanin stores present in the skin produce an excess of pigment cells, resulting in darker patches or areas of skin. This usually occurs at sites of injury, or after excessive sun exposure.
Vitamin C is among the most important vitamins for the human body, and thankfully there is an abundance of it in many foods and skincare products. Taking supplements, as well as eating a diet rich in foods with vitamin C ensures you are reaping its benefits full-time.
Investing in skincare products that contain vitamin C is also good to get skin the benefits it provides. This nourishing face mask from Purple Tea contains vitamin C for skin, as well as antioxidant-rich polyphenols that pack a serious anti-aging punch.
How has vitamin C helped your skin look and feel its best? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!