Of Skin and Wellnes: Vitamin C

Carmen Chatten | May 13th, 2016
Carmen Chatten – Of Skin and Wellness (Photo by Howard Gaither)

Carmen Chatten – Of Skin and Wellness (Photo by Howard Gaither)

The effects of Vitamin C has been long noted to be beneficial to skin health. Proven ideology of these benefits can be traced back to practices of the Tang Dynasty of Tibet in 618AD and also to the “rose water” cold cream used by Native Americans. Most individuals are sure to have heard of Vitamin C as it pertains to consumption for its immunity effects but consider this ― topical application.

Vitamin C. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is normally found in the layers of healthy skin. Aging and other environmental stresses such as smoking and UV exposure can dramatically decrease the amount of Vitamin C in the skin. While ingestion of Vitamin C as previously stated is ideal, after the bloodstream is saturated with this antioxidant it is not always reliable in transporting it to the where it can continue to be beneficial. This is why topical application is important. Topical application of Vitamin C is considered to be skin-rejuvenating and noted to be approximately 20 times more effective than oral ingestion.

The Benefits. Vitamin C’s skin benefits are mostly attributed to its effect on collagen synthesis. Collagen is the framework for firm, supple, elastic youthful looking skin. While Vitamin C plays a critical role in the formation of collagen, there is further evidence that shows that it also stimulates collagen production.

Besides being an important factor in collagen synthesis, other skin benefits of vitamin C include:

  • protection of free radicals that can cause premature aging
  • reduction of hyperpigmentaion and other types of sun damage
  • healing of inflammatory lesions related to acne
  • hydration of skin cells-supple radiant ski

Which one? There are many Vitamin C preparations marketed that can be applied topically but products containing ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid is considered the most beneficial. For that reason, it is the form of Vitamin C that is found in well formulated dermatologist-tested skincare products. Other effective forms however include retinyl ascorbate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate and ascorbyl palmitate to name a few.

In addition to choosing a form that is stable for application, one need to consider the packaging. Vitamin C is an unstable antioxidant and will break down when exposed to light and air. Consumers should look for products that are packages in opaque tubes or pump bottles. The more air and light restricted the container the better.

Lastly it is improving to mention that more is not always better. Studies have proven that preparations that contain 20% of Vitamin C is better abscorbed by the skin. This does not mean that lower percentages does not have some effect; higher than 20% could be a waste of efforts and money.

Final thoughts. Vitamin C is the simple antioxidant because it is widely available and an easy powerful anti-aging corrective agent. With all skin care regimens it is important to consult with a skin care specialist for the most effective results. One preparation of Vitamin C may be beneficial for one with acne but not for someone with rosacea or other skin disorders. At Of Skin and Wellness we are committed to assisting with the development of a skin care regimen that is tailored for you.

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