Vitamin C is a vitamin not new to anyone. Most of us take it internally when flu season hits, to boost our immunity and some of us are aware of its antioxidant benefits. Vitamins make excellent ingredient choices that assist in the treatment of various stubborn skin conditions. They are not only phenomenal to use as preventative care but also in the treatment of existing skin concerns. Vitamin C is not new to the skincare industry, we have used it for decades to achieve great results with several concerns.
As Many of you, I find myself in my thirties and I wish I knew 10 years ago what I know now. Prevention in skincare is always better than cure and if you are between the ages of 14 and 25, antioxidants and sunscreen are the two products that will delay and prevent most of the chronic skin conditions we see in skin’s aged 25 and up. In this age category, its worth it to look for a sunscreen that already contains antioxidants but adding a moisturiser that contains antioxidants like Vitamin C will prevent pre-mature ageing, reduce the likelihood of developing hyperpigmentation and sun spots and protect against free radical damage.
Let’s look at 3 major benefits of including Vitamin C into your routine:
- It is necessary for collagen production.
We are all in search of miracle procedures and products that will preserve existing collagen in our skin or produce new collagen. Collagen is responsible for keeping the skin wrinkle free and firm and many products claim to have ingredients that assist in building new collagen. Unfortunately, since collagen is produced in the deeper layers of the skin, its very tricky to get those ingredients to penetrate deep enough to have an effect. Vitamin C, like L ascorbic acid, will penetrate deep enough to assist in restoring collagen production. Vitamin C is a crucial ingredient needed to make new collagen and should be included in every skincare routine that aims to treat wrinkles, lines or a loss of elasticity. L ascorbic acid is a very finicky ingredient that oxidises in the presence of light, oxygen and water. Look for stable formulations that is free of water, packaged in pump dispensers and that state the percentage used as these are your most reputable products. Keep in mind that L ascorbic acid can cause a little bit of sensitivity initially that will go away with time. If your skin is very sensitive there are other, gentler forms of vitamin C available. The following products contain L ascorbic acid:
- Skin Ceuticals CE Ferulic is excellent for collagen induction and along with L ascorbic acid contains Ferulic acid which will improve your protection against free radicals created by the sun.
- Exuviance AF Vitamin C20 serum capsules contain a high percentage L ascorbic acid with other ingredients that assist in the treatment of ageing
- Lamelle Vita C 30 cream contains a high percentage of L ascorbic acid, in a water free base which improves stability.
- It prevents and assists in treatment of hyperpigmentation
The treatment of hyperpigmentation can often be a tricky and frustrating task. In order to treat all forms of hyperpigmentation successfully we must target all the triggers of hyperpigmentation. Although Vitamin C will not treat stubborn pigmentation by itself, when combined with other de pigmenting ingredients is very beneficial. It acts as a powerful tyrosinase inhibitor, which means that it supresses the enzymes responsible for activating the production of melanin. It also reduces inflammation that contributes to the stimulation of the melanocyte, which is the cell responsible for pigment production. Anyone with a history of hyperpigmentation or who want to prevent the formation of dark spots, would benefit from including Vitamin C in their routine. Due to its Lipid solubility, tetrahexydecyl ascorbate is an excellent oil soluble form of vitamin C to utilize not only for its anti-ageing properties, but also for it’s benefits when used in the treatment of Hyperpigmentation disorders. It reduces pigment production, lightens existing hyperpigmentation and protects against free radical damage. The following products contain Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate:
- Zo Skin health C bright serum not only contains this ingredient to fight the formation of dark spots, but contains 10% ascorbic acid as well and is in a highly stable formulation
- Neo strata skin active antioxidant defence serum, contains a host of other beneficial antioxidants alongside tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate
- Free radical scavenger
Free radicals wreak havoc with our skins. It causes and contributes to everything from pre-mature ageing to sun spots, the formation of cancerous skin lesions and damage to the DNA of our cells. Free radicals are caused by many external factors, but mostly by unprotected sun exposure. Although sunscreen is very important to protect against UV induced damage, combining it with a good antioxidant daily is key as the antioxidant will treat the effects of exposure to the sun. Vitamin C when taken internally and used topically act as a free radical scavenger and neutralizes free radicals to protect our skin from the damage it might cause. When looking for a daily antioxidant it’s important to remember that we should cover all our basis by choosing serums, moisturizers and sunscreens that contain antioxidants as well. Some examples of great all rounder products that contain multiple antioxidants, have other benefits for the skin as well and are suspended in highly stable formulations include:
- Optoderm Vitamin C serum: contains sodium ascorbyl phosphate which is a highly stable water-soluble derivative of Vitamin C which is also excellent for acne prone skin. It also contains Amino acids beneficial for ageing skin.
- Zo Skin Health C Bright serum: Contains both ascorbic acid and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate which fights the signs of ageing and hyperpigmentation. It also has Squalene which mimics our own natural moisturizing factors.
- Neo strata Skin active antioxidant defence serum is packed with many beneficial antioxidants and is great for the treatment and prevention of all signs of photo ageing.
Vitamin C is especially beneficial during the summer months when we have increased exposure to UV radiation, pre and post procedure to improve wound healing and reduce the risk of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.