Of the many active ingredients I’ve tried, vitamin C works best for me. It was first introduced to me by a dermatologist and ever since, I’ve always had good results using products formulated with the ingredient. I believe many of you are also fans of the ingredient and so I hope this list of 10 that I’ve compiled on what vitamin C can do for your skin will interest you.
1. A topical vitamin C product is helpful
Although vitamin C is found at high levels in both the dermis and epidermis, it is higher in the epidermis than the dermis (source). So using a topical vitamin C product is beneficial to replenish and plump up the epidermis.
2. Vitamin C limits the damage induced by UV exposure
While vitamin C is not a sunscreen, its antioxidant properties protects against UV induced damage caused by free radicals. In fact, the vitamin C levels of the skin can be severely depleted after UV exposure, and so it’s good to replenish the vitamin to our skin (source).
3. Vitamin C increases collagen production
Besides combating photodamage, using vitamin C in your skincare can increase collagen production and repair damaged skin (source).
4. Exfoliation enhances absorption of vitamin C
Because the stratum corneum (outermost layer of skin) is the primary obstacle to efficient vitamin C absorption from external sources, removal of the stratum corneum by laser, chemical, or mechanical methods such as exfoliation enhances absorption (source).
5. Effective topical vitamin C products can irritate sensitive skin
It appears that vitamin C absorption greatly depends on pH. Study shows that L-ascorbic acid must be formulated at pH levels less than 3.5 to enter the skin (source). This is why the ingredient can be greatly irritating to sensitive skin.
6. A high dose of vitamin C is not necessarily more effective
A high dose of vitamin C in a product may not be necessarily good. In fact, studies have shown that maximal absorption was achieved with a 20% vitamin C solution, with higher concentrations showing lower absorption (source).
7. A good vitamin C ingredient can oxidize quickly
The stability of vitamin C in topical solutions is a concern, as exposures to air, heat, and/or light may slowly degrade vitamin C. Although the natural form of vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is the most effective for topical administration, it is the least stable in solution. However, stable synthetic derivatives, such as ascorbate phosphate, are considered to have limited permeability and function in skin (source).
8. Topical combination of vitamin C + E are more protective
While topical application of vitamin C reduces the damage from UVA exposure, topically applied combinations of vitamin C and vitamin E are more effective in preventing photodamage (source).
9. Oral vitamin C + E protect against UV exposure
Oral supplementation with vitamin C does help our skin somewhat but it is the combinations of vitamin C and vitamin E that have documented UV protective effects (source).
10. Dietary vitamin C reduces dry skin
Studies suggest that vitamin C, especially L-ascorbic acid, increased trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) when applied and so it can be drying for the skin. However, this can be countered with oral consumption of the vitamin as higher intakes of dietary vitamin C have been correlated with a decreased risk of dry skin (source).
Vitamin C is definitely an essential for good skin health and like I’ve mentioned before, something to consider including in your skin care routine.