As we age, our beautiful, youthful skin begins to show signs of aging. Wrinkles and fine lines become more prevalent. Our skin becomes less smooth and hydrated. But luckily, there are different ways to prevent this.
One of them is vitamin C. Vitamin C is an all-around superstar for your skin. It has many benefits, including boosting collagen production, reducing hyperpigmentation, and preventing sun damage.
In this article, we’ll explore what vitamin C is, how it helps your skin and how you can use it to make your skin look youthful and healthy.
What is vitamin C?
“Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in the formation and maintenance of tissue in the body such as skin, bones, and soft tissues,” Dr. Samer Jaber, M.D., a New York-based dermatologist, says.
According to him, it helps increase collagen production, which is a protein that supports skin health and elasticity. This means that vitamin C can help maintain a healthy, youthful skin appearance.
But it’s not just about collagen. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent sun damage, reduce redness and inflammation, brighten skin tone, and more.
To reap these benefits from vitamin C, ensure to eat plenty of foods high in this nutrient. If you don’t enjoy such foods, take a supplement or use a topical product to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin C each day.
How does vitamin C help your skin?
1. It fights free radicals
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means it helps protect cells from free radical damage. Free radicals can cause damage to your cells, such as skin cancer and heart disease.
Free radical damage is also one of the main causes of aging, and once they begin to build up in your body, they cannot be reversed. Vitamin C fights against these free radicals, thereby decreasing your risk of developing various skin conditions.
2. Reduces wrinkles
As we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen, so wrinkles and other signs of aging start to form. The good news is that adding vitamin C to your routine can actually increase collagen production.
According to studies conducted by The Linus Pauling Institute, vitamin C can increase your skin’s ability to produce collagen by up to 2 times the regular rate. This helps improve skin texture and decreases signs of aging like wrinkles.
3. Hydrates skin
Vitamin C has humectant properties that help to maintain water in the skin by binding to moisture and preventing water loss from the outermost layer of the skin.
These vitamin C properties help combat dryness, which various conditions such as cold weather, air-conditioning, central heating, etc., can cause.
4. Brightens skin tone
Vitamin C is a natural ingredient proven to help lighten the skin by decreasing melanin production on the skin’s surface.
Melanin is responsible for the pigmentation of the skin and hair, which means if you have high levels of melanin in your body, you will have dark hair and tan skin.
The less melanin your skin produces, the brighter it looks. The antioxidants in this vitamin also help to prevent dark spots caused by free radical damage, so it’s good for improving your overall skin tone.
5. Protects against UV rays
When you’re out in the sun, UV rays can damage your skin. This type of rays can be dangerous for your skin and cause problems like premature aging and even skin cancer.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from all these dangers is to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C. Being an antioxidant, vitamin C can help protect your skin from sun damage by fighting the free radicals present in sun rays.
When used with sunscreen, vitamin C helps strengthen the skin and protect it from harsh sun damage.
6. Tightens pores
“Vitamin C is an antioxidant which helps in increasing collagen production and helps to build new skin faster with less scarring,” Tina Alster, MD, FAAD, the founding director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery says.
According to her, this property helps to reduce the appearance of pore size and improve the look of oily or enlarged pores.
7. Boosts wound healing
Research has shown that vitamin C may play a role in wound healing. This is because of its ability to promote collagen formation.
As an antioxidant, it also promotes wound healing by reducing tissue damage caused by free radicals. Wounds are especially vulnerable when they’re exposed to free radicals because they contain protein fibers that are easily destroyed by these molecules.
Vitamin C can also help reduce scarring. For optimal wound healing, it’s important to have enough vitamin C in your diet or take a vitamin C supplement.
How to get vitamin C for your skin
Vitamin C is water-soluble, so your body doesn’t store it. Because of this, you have to eat a diet rich in vitamin C every day, take supplements, or apply it topically.
The best food sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. Therefore, it’s vital to include plenty of them in your daily diet.
Other great sources include strawberries, kiwi fruit, papaya, red peppers, and mandarin oranges. However, it is important to be mindful of how much you’re consuming. Too much of these foods can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea.
Another way to get vitamin C for your skin is through supplements. Vitamin C supplements come in different forms: L-ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, Ester-C, and calcium ascorbate.
The form you use depends on your purpose and how you plan to take it. L-ascorbic acid is the most effective form, but it is not water-soluble and must be taken with food.
“Sodium ascorbate is water-soluble and can be taken on an empty stomach or with food. Ester-C is the most common form of vitamin C supplement, but it’s slightly less effective than L-ascorbic acid and more expensive than sodium ascorbate,” Jaber explains.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin C per day is 75-90 mg for adults, while smokers may need up to 200 mg per day, depending on how much they smoke.
You can find vitamin C in a variety of skincare products. Some of the most popular are serums, sprays, oils, creams, and masks. You can use these products on your skin for an extra boost of vitamin C.
During the day, they also function as sunscreen by protecting your skin against UV rays and pollution. This way, your skin will be better protected from environmental stressors that can cause wrinkles, dark spots, or acne.
For best results, try using vitamin C serum at night and during the day. You’ll be able to gain all of its benefits while guaranteeing that your skin is protected at all times.
Is it okay to take vitamin C tablets every day?
In general, you should take vitamin C supplements only when you do not get enough of it from your diet.
If you eat a lot of citrus fruits and veggies, you may not need a supplement.
“There’s no consensus about how often people should take vitamin C, so it’s best to talk to your doctor about what’s right for you,” Dr. Michelle Park, a board dermatologist, says.
It’s also important to know that high doses of vitamin C can interact with medications such as blood thinners and diabetes drugs. You should always talk to your healthcare provider before taking vitamin supplements.
Vitamin C side effects
Although the idea of vitamin C sounds like a miracle cure for skin, there are some things you should know before using vitamin C.
For example, using too much vitamin C can cause side effects. “The most common side effects are redness, dryness, inflammation, and rash. These side effects should be temporary, but you should talk to your doctor if they persist,” Park says.
If you have a recent history of stomach ulcers or have kidney disease, these conditions may prevent you from safely using vitamin C. Also, if you’re on blood thinners like warfarin or have a bleeding disorder, talk to your doctor before using this vitamin.
In addition, topically applying vitamin C can be irritating for some individuals, so you want to find a formula that will provide the results you want without causing unwanted side effects like dryness or flaking.
What happens when you don’t get vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a vital nutrient for many skin functions, so if you’re not getting enough, there are consequences. A deficiency in vitamin C can result in dry skin, loss of elasticity, dull skin appearance, and increased sunburns.
“It can also lead to a condition known as scurvy, which causes damage to skin tissues, loss of appetite, rashes, and muscle weakness,” Dr. Alster says. In her words, there are cases where chronic scurvy has been diagnosed in adults who are deficient in vitamin C.
What kinds of foods contain vitamin C?
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes. You can also find vitamin C in foods and vegetables like broccoli, kale, red peppers, cabbage, and tomatoes.
These are great sources of vitamin C, so ensure to include them in your everyday diet to help restore your skin to its healthy and youthful state.
Is vitamin C good for oily skin?
Yes, it is.
Vitamin C is one of the best natural ingredients for oily skin as it helps control oil production. This means that it can help to prevent breakouts, as well as reduce the appearance of existing blemishes.
Vitamin C can also help to lighten hyperpigmentation by removing dead cells from the surface of your skin. This is vital for healthy-looking skin because it makes your complexion look fresh and even-toned.
How long does it take vitamin C to work on the skin?
1 – 3 months.
It may take a few months to see significant results from using vitamin C, but this doesn’t mean it isn’t working.
The period it takes vitamin C to work on the skin depends on your skin type. Most people with oily skin will benefit from long-term use, like two months or more, but those with dry skin may see results within a month of using vitamin C.
Can vitamin C make you glow?
Yes, it can.
Consistent use of vitamin C can help improve your overall complexion, even out your skin tone, and give your skin a healthier-looking glow.
So if you’re looking to get that “glass skin” effect that some women seem to have naturally, then vitamin C is one of the best options for you.
There’s no denying the benefits of vitamin C. Vitamin C can help improve the appearance of dark spots, wrinkles, and fine lines. It can help protect your skin from sun damage and make it more radiant.
It also helps with hydration, which ensures that your skin remains strong and youthful. So if you’re considering adding vitamin C to your skincare routine, you’re wise to include it.
You can get it from food, a supplement, or a skincare product. Many great products combine vitamin C with other beneficial ingredients, such as peptides and vitamin E.
Thanks for reading.
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