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How is Vitamin C Helpful for Your Skin?

Written by

Santanu Majumdar

Vitamin C is considered to be extremely helpful for skin by several skincare experts around the world. Time and again, you will hear experts praising Vitamin C. It is actually true; Vitamin C does offer a lot of benefits for the skin. Primarily, it serves a great purpose for anti-aging skin care. It is known to control certain common element that harms the skin. Apart from skin, Vitamin C is great for hair and nails as well.

Anti-Oxidant

Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant, which means it is easily inactivated. Majority of the Vitamin in C in the body is in the form of Ascorbic Acid. Being an anti-oxidant, if it accepts an electron, it becomes Ascorbate ion. This ion is transient, although it is more stable, as compared to other transient ions. The ion can either donate an electron or accept an extra electron and become an anti-oxidant again. It doesn’t stay as Ascorbate ion for long, it either becomes DHAA (Dehydroascorbic Acid) or Ascorbic Acid.
The problem with DHAA is that while it can donate two or one of its electrons to become Ascorbic Acid or Ascorbic ion again, that doesn’t happen sometimes. Sometimes, its pentagon ring structure breaks open instead and when this happens, Vitamin C becomes inactivated. Unfortunately, this can happen quite rapidly. Exposing Vitamin C to air or direct sunlight might result in it being inactivated.

Problems with storing Vitamin C products

With the benefits of Vitamin C for the skin, most manufacturers incorporate it in their skin care products. When exposed to oxidizing elements like air, Vitamin C quickly oxidizes. When the skin care products get oxidizes, it turns yellowish brown. Therefore, if you use a skin care product containing Vitamin C, you need to take special care with its storage. Try to avoid it being exposed to oxidizing elements. Also, there is a particular range of temperature in which you have to store the product. If the product starts getting discolored, it is probably the time to discard it. If all these are too much hassle for you, it would be better to look for an alternative product.

Vitamin C is helpful with Elastin and Collagen Creation

For creation of collagen, Ascorbate is very vital. Collagen is not produced without it and if any is produced, it is not structurally sound as it can’t form properly. Deficiency of Vitamin C can result in Scurvy. Vitamin C also helps in production of elastin, although its mechanism is not that clear.
So, you might wonder why collagen and elastin are important. As a matter of fact, they are very important for the elastic capabilities and structural integrity of the skin. These are crucial of anti-aging. Therefore, by helping with creation of collagen and elastin, Vitamin C helps with anti-aging skin care.

Effects of Applying Vitamin C to the skin

  • Aging:
It has been seen that applying Vitamin C on the skin over several months results in improvement with wrinkles. It shows positive results with aging for most people. It is not completely clear how Vitamin C has its effects on wrinkles. The improvement in wrinkles might be because of the increased collagen.
  • Hyperpigmentation:
Quite often, the importance of Vitamin C in fighting hyperpigmentation is overlooked. It inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase, thus helping in the prevention of melanin production. Studies have shown that Vitamin C helps in lightening hyperpigmentation significantly. The best aspect about it is that as a pigmentation fighter, Vitamin C does not affect the skin of normal people. This means that it works only on the areas where pigmentation has occurred. So, you can use it to target the areas of hyperpigmentation without worrying whether it will lighten other areas of your skin or not.
  • Anti-inflammatory
Interestingly, Vitamin C even works great as an anti-inflammatory. It helps in getting rid of the free radicals that can damage cells and tissue. This results in reduced triggers for inflammation.

How to use Vitamin C?

Taking Vitamin C orally actually doesn’t show a lot of affects in the skin. So, you may drink a lot of orange juice but not get much benefit out of it for your skin. The presence of Vitamin C in your system doesn’t necessarily mean that it will have its effect on your skin. So, oral supplementation is not an option, you have to supplement topically for skin benefits.
There are different ways of formulating Vitamin C for skin application. However, these forms are unable to penetrate the superficial skin layer, which makes them pretty useless. Although oral supplementation doesn’t help the skin, it does benefit other body organs. So, you should include it in your diet. This way, you experience further benefits of the anti-oxidant.

What should you look for in a Vitamin C product?

When you choose a skin care product, you have to consider several factors. The ingredients of the product are probably the most important of them all. You shouldn’t be surprised if most of the skin care products you come across contain Vitamin C. While it does help in preventing skin damage and removing signs of aging, there are certain things you need to be aware of with Vitamin C skin care products.
Being an anti-oxidant, a Vitamin C product needs special care. When you are buying such product, you should make sure that it comes it UV protected and airtight packages. Some manufacturers have implemented other strategies to prevent their products from being oxidized. Excluding oxygen during the formation, encapsulating Vitamin C and using low pH are examples of such strategies.

Side Effects

Although not that common, it has been seen that people using Vitamin C experience irritation. So, if you are using Vitamin C on your skin, you are likely to have some irritation. Usually, the irritation is mild and a bit stinging. Maybe, this inflammation and irritation has something to do with the effects of Vitamin C on wrinkles and aging skin. Other than that, there are hardly any side effects of using Vitamin C on your skin.
Bio: Santanu Majumdar is a part-time blogger and currently blogs at healthresource4u.com . He is also a health and fitness lover who loves to share her ideas on health, fitness and beauty. You can check him out on Twitter and Facebook.
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