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How does vitamin C benefit our skin?

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

Vitamin C is one of skincare's most powerful antioxidants, but what is it really doing for our skin and how does it work?

Vitamin C is one of the most common antioxidants that's currently found in skincare products, this is because of its amazing benefits including: fighting free radicals, brightening skins complexion, enhancing collagen and elastin production, correcting sun damage and pigmentation, preventing the skin from further damage and smoothing uneven skin tones.

How can one ingredient have so many benefits? Vitamin C is highly acidic ... this means that once applied topically the skins natural healing mechanism kicks in, which is to produce more collagen and elastin. This results in a more youthful appearance by plumping and firming, also helps to prevent premature ageing (who doesn't want that!).

Another reason you should be using this ingredient in your skincare is its amazing ability to inhibit the skins melanin production. It contains a property that causes discolouration and pigmentation to lighten without stopping the skins natural melanin production, which is needed to protect the skin. Also free radicals can be neutralised by vitamin C, this prevents the skin from further damage. Free radicals can cause the cells to act abnormally which can lead to many problems including skin cancers.

Different types of vitamin C found in skincare...

With so many different types of vitamin C products on the market how do we know which ones are benefiting us and which ones don't really do anything? Unless I had a lab with many scientists to sit and test each beauty product on the market (i wish i could) then i cant' really say however, I can tell you a bit about some of the formulation requirements that must be met for vitamin C to work in the skin...

L-ascorbic acid is a type of vitamin C that is the most common found in skincare products however, it is a very unstable molecule which means getting it to the deeper layers on the skin where it can work its magic can be tricky. It's a pH dependant molecule meaning that the formulation (serum or cream) has to be of a pH level of less than 3.5 for the vitamin C to be able to travel into the lower layers of the skin. As well as having a low pH level, vitamin C oxidises extremely quickly, this means that you could open a product and get maybe one use before it looses its effectiveness and can even become irritating to the skin. There are many factors that need to be correct for this molecule to have a positive effect on the skin, there are some advanced skincare brands that have created a stable and effective formula to make sure you get the best results from using vitamin C and most of the time this formula will be patented for obvious reasons!

To conclude all i will say is to be wary of the effectiveness of your vitamin C skincare products without doing a little bit of research first however, it is definitely an ingredient that everyone can hugely benefit from having in their skincare regime!

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