Hands up for brighter skin? We thought so…
Vitamin C is basking in the limelight of the beauty world right now. And it’s a good thing, as our environment gives us a bit of a battering.
Radiation, sunlight and pollution all stress our skin, damaging collagen and speeding up the aging process, but this skincare wonder product helps us fight back.
But how much do you actually know about Vitamin C in general? Perhaps you know it can be found in oranges.
Or that it’s one of the vitamins people tend to dose up on when they feel they’ve got a cold coming on.
There’s a lot to know about Vitamin C. For instance, did you know that it’s an ‘essential vitamin’, which means our bodies can’t actually produce it?1
However, that doesn’t minimise the many health benefits it can bring, more on these below…
As we’ve just mentioned, Vitamin C is recognised as being an essential vitamin, that happens to also go by another name, ascorbic acid.
As well as being a powerful natural antioxidant, vit C is one of the best vitamins for skin – it protects against free radicals to keep you looking youthful, brightens skin, fades dark spots and can even support your sunscreen's protection.2
It’s responsible for doing a lot of good in our bodies and helping keep us healthy in so many ways. For instance, Vitamin C alone is responsible for:
- Protecting cells from oxidative stress
- Maintaining healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage
- Contributing to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue3
Vitamin C has lots of clunky-sounding names; L-ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate and retinyl ascorbate are the most common in beauty products, so make sure you decipher the label.
Because our bodies don’t naturally produce Vitamin C, it’s important we try to get our Vitamin C goodness by eating food and veg that contains it. We’re talking Vitamin C foods, such as:
- Oranges and orange juice
- Red and green peppers
Vitamin C is available in supplement form too. By supplement form we mean Vitamin C tablets, powder or capsules, or Vitamin C that’s combined with something else, e.g. Vitamin C with Wild Rose Hips, Vitamin C and Zinc Blackcurrant or Quercetin + Vitamin C.
There are many more supplements available, we’ve only touched on a few to give you an idea of what’s out there.
Next time you get five, check out our full Vitamin C supplement range.
When it comes to taking Vitamin C supplements, some people may solely rely on them to get their daily Vitamin C intake (ideally 40mg a day for adults)5 while some may choose to stick to just getting it through their food.
While others, do a combination of both. For more insight on recommended Vitamin C daily intake levels for adults and children, check out the Government’s Dietary Requirements guidance.
As well as helping to keep our bodies healthy, Vitamin C can also do the same for our skin, thanks to its much-talked-about skin healing and overall glow-giving properties.
Vitamin C is good for collagen production
According to New York dermatologist, Howard Sobel, Vitamin C can help keep skin looking plump and firm.
This is because it’s highly acidic when applied topically and can help to promote collagen production and reduce the appearance of ageing skin.6
Vitamin C and hyperpigmentation
But that’s not all. Using vitamin C for skin glow is also making the rounds in the beauty industry because of its ability to help with brown spots and hyperpigmentation on the skin and, in some instances, stop them from forming.
This is because it also contains a property that inhibits the skin’s melanin production levels, two of the culprits that can lead to dark spots and hyperpigmentation.7
Vitamin C and under-eye circles
Another reason people use vitamin C for glowing skin is due to its effect on under-eye circles. This was explored in a small study in 2009, the scientists who conducted it found that a 10 percent formulation of sodium ascorbate improved the appearance of dark undereye circles after 6 months of use.
This is believed to be caused by the thickening of the skin under the eye which in turn concealed the dark colour.8
Vitamin C skin glow products
As with the supplements, there are lots of Vitamin C skincare products available out there too. There are Vitamin C creams that you can apply to your entire face or just elements of it, e.g., underneath your eyes.
Here’s a snapshot of just some of the Vitamin C skincare products that are available to buy. There are:
- Vitamin C exfoliators
- Vitamin C eye creams
- Vitamin C moisturisers
- Vitamin C serums
- Vitamin C skin boosters
The big deal about Vitamin C for skin is that it is a bit of a big deal – inside and out. Not only can this essential vitamin help support our immunity and contribute to our overall healthiness levels, it can also help support with skin renewal.
Time to concentrate
Concentrate, concentrate – it’s important! The more potent in vitamin C the product is, the quicker and more dramatic the results will be. Essentially, the higher up the ingredients list, the better.
It’s all in the delivery
Serums are the most effective way of getting vitamin C, as they are more concentrated, and can be used as a base under other products to supercharge your routine. Face masks, toners and oils are also fantastic ways of boosting your skin’s vitamin C.
Keep it in the dark
Sunlight is not vitamin C’s best friend – it can break it down and make the skincare products less effective, so pick opaque containers, and keep them in a dark environment in sealed packaging.
Check out that package
When antioxidants are exposed to air too often they can break down, so look for vitamin C skincare products in air-tight packaging, pumps, pipettes or individually wrapped products such as single-use facemasks.
How to get the most from vitamin C
You’d have to have been living under a rock to not know that vit C is great for helping keep the dreaded winter sniffles at bay.
How to get the most from vitamin C
The final say
Feeling a little more clued up on all things vitamin C? If you’re interested in increasing your intake or picking up some products with vitamin C for skin, we don’t blame you – the scientific research speaks for itself!
The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Last updated: 5 September 2022