Vitamin C is a science-backed, dermatologist-favorite ingredient that may help slow early skin aging, prevent sun damage, and improve the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots, and acne. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it fights harmful free radicals (toxins) that come into contact with your skin from external sources like air pollution or from inside the body due to normal processes like your metabolism. Free radicals can damage the skin, and topical vitamin C can combat free radicals and improve the skin’s overall appearance.
Benefits of Vitamin C for Skin
Vitamin C is an impressive skincare ingredient that is shown to be effective in the following areas.
Protects against environmental stressors
As an antioxidant, one of vitamin C’s main functions is protecting the skin. Normal cellular processes and environmental insults like ultraviolet light and pollution create free radicals in the skin. Free radicals are inherently unstable molecules that damage cells, promoting skin dullness, wrinkles, and even cancers. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means protecting the skin from damaging free radicals caused by UV exposure. By scavenging these free radicals, vitamin C protects the skin, keeping it healthy and improving visible signs of aging.
Lightens dark spots
Vitamin C is also helpful in lightening unwanted dark spots and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or decreasing brown discoloration by blocking the pathway of pigment synthesis.
Brightens skin and minimizes age spots and hyperpigmentation of the skin
Vitamin C helps to stop the reactions that occur on the skin to produce these, which over time brightens the skin. This is due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties. It also helps to inhibit the enzyme responsible for producing melanin which plays a key role in combating dark spots. It will lighten pigmentation in the skin but won’t lighten your normal skin tone.
Vitamin C plays a key role in collagen production of the skin, which is responsible for keeping skin firm and maintaining skin elasticity for a youthful complexion. Collagen production in the skin naturally reduces as we age, which is why wrinkles and skin sagging occurs. Vitamin C is a necessary component of this collagen production, so by increasing the amount of vitamin C you have, the more collagen your skin will naturally produce.
Reduces skin redness
If your skin is often inflamed or red, try applying Vitamin C serums, lotion, or creams – the anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C mean skin redness is minimized, and skin is soothed.
Vitamin C attributes includes hydration. This is because it prevents water loss from the skin, allowing your skin to retain more moisture and stay hydrated for longer. This helps to calm the skin and keep it looking and feeling good.
Enhances your skin’s natural defense mechanism
Vitamin C defends against sun damage and environmental stressors on the skin, such as pollution, because the antioxidants in Vitamin C restrict the free radicals that cause damage.
Reduce Under Eye Circles
When you notice dark circles under your eyes after a night or two of bad sleep, you’re seeing a network of blood vessels just under the skin.
Vitamin C helps reduce and prevent dark circles under the eyes by strengthening the otherwise thin, delicate skin under the eyes. Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties make skin more elastic and resilient, helping conceal the blood vessels underneath.
Vitamin C is essential for producing collagen in the body. Collagen is the building block of skin, hair, muscles, and tendons, and it is what keeps our skin looking youthful and smooth. As we age, collagen production slows down, leading to sagging skin. Vitamin C accelerates collagen and elastin production, which help keep the skin plump and firm. Vitamin C can help prevent premature aging of the skin, restoring a youthful, smooth appearance to the skin.
How to use Vitamin C?
During your morning skincare routine
- Before using vitamin C lotion or oil, do a patch test. Apply a small dab of the lotion to an area that is not highly visible, such as the back of the knee or behind the ear. Wait 24 to 48 hours. If no reaction develops, it is probably safe to use.
- You can apply a few drops of vitamin C lotion and apply it to your body before going to bed.
- Apply a few drops of a vitamin C serum and lotion to the face and neck.
Vitamin C is generally safe when consumed in foods or applied topically. However, those with sensitive skin or allergies may experience a yellowish discoloration of the skin.