Vitamin C and YOUR Skin: The 5 Reasons it’s Lost Without It
5 Reasons Serums Won’t Perform without Vitamin C
There are some skincare ingredients that specialize in just one skin benefit, while others provide multiple benefits. Even better, there are some that seem to tackle everything.
Vitamin C is a rare find, fitting into camp number 3.
Do you have acne? Are you concerned about fine lines and wrinkles? Are you suffering from an un-even skin tone?
If your answer was yes to any of those questions vitamin C is a skincare ingredient your routine should not be without.
There are many, many benefits to find in vitamin C based skincare and today we’re going to share with you the 5 you’ll be most interested to discover.
Including 2 that will help you stop and reverse your skins age clock.
Benefit 1 - Vitamin C will brighten and lighten your skin tone
If you have areas of un-even skin tone and coloration, you have a condition called hyperpigmentation. It’s very common and in most cases completely treatable.
Hyperpigmentation can be experienced in youth due to acne, daily due to sun exposure and as we age in the form of liver spots.
The uneven skin tone you’re experiencing is a consequence of your skins sole pigment – melanin.
The triggers of uneven melanin production are varied, which means whatever stage of life your skin finds itself in, hyperpigmentation has the potential to occur.
Vitamin C can counteract this change in skin tone and clarity via 2 actions.
Action 1 - Vitamin C speeds up your skins natural rate of exfoliation.
If your pigmentation is superficial it will naturally resolve itself because your skin is in a constant state of exfoliation.
Around 80% of your skin cells will turnover monthly, however this can be a slow and un-even process. One that can make you feel like your pigmentation is here to stay for good.
The darker your pigmentation, the longer this process will take.
Vitamin C is able to stimulate your skin cells to turnover more quickly, or simply put, to exfoliate more rapidly.
This increase in exfoliation rate, sheds the brown collections of melanin pigment smoothly resulting in an even and brightened skin tone.
Action 2 - Vitamin C inhibits melanin formation via tyrosinase inhibition.
Although an uber scientific sounding concept, this is simple to understand.
The brown discoloration that causes pigmentation to occur is caused by an un-even collection of brown melanin pigment.
Melanin is the natural pigment responsible for all skin colorations. Sometimes it can be created un-evenly and this is the cause of hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin C has the ability to stop your skin from creating an excessive amount of melanin, which in turn stops new areas of hyperpigmentation from being created.
It does this by interfering with the process your skin uses to manufacture melanin. A process that your skin requires help with, help in the form of an enzyme called tyrosinase.
When this enzyme is present your skin can create melanin. When it’s not, it can’t.
Vitamin C prevents the production of the tyrosinase enzyme. With tyrosinase becoming unavailable, areas of hyperpigmentation are no longer able to be created.
Skin types and conditions vitamin C serums will benefit: Melasma, freckles, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne or healed wounds, age spots and dull, lack-luster complexions.
Benefit 2 - Vitamin C will improve your skin's healing rate
A potent dose of vitamin C is a well-known cure for scurvy – a condition that was historically and frequently suffered by many sailors.
The symptoms included fatigue, joint pain, swollen gums, redness and swelling of scars, black welts occupying the skin and a slowness of any flesh wounds to heal.
It was not a pretty condition.
Luckily in the 1900’s the cause was discovered – vitamin C deficiency.
So far away from land, fresh fruit and vegetables became a scarcity and vitamin C deficiency took hold.
It had a dramatic effect on the appearance and health of skin, physically causing it to breakdown. Gums were first, scars were second and after that it took free range to the entirety of a sailor’s skin.
This is why, today we know of the vital role vitamin C plays in the condition and healing rate of skin.
Vitamin C is essential to your skins collagen production. It turns out when skin is devoid of healthy collagen it’s unable to sustain itself.
Collagen is a supportive protein found in the deepest layers of your skin, within your joints and the walls of your blood vessels.
Without the nutrients to produce collagen your skin cannot sustain or heal and eventually it will break down.
While this is an extreme example of vitamin C deficiency, it goes to show exactly why this nutrient is essential to skin and exactly how a slight deficiency may be affecting you.
Skin types and conditions vitamin C serums will benefit: Acne and spot prone skin, skin that’s slow to heal and mature skin types.
Benefit 3 - Vitamin C will prevent aging with potent antioxidant action
Imagine a brightly colored painting left out in direct sunshine for a year and another kept safely away from UV light. Now imagine what they’d look like at the end of that year in comparison.
One would be bright and youthful, the other would be dull and aged.
This process is called oxidation.
Naturally our body’s age, but this process is sent into over drive by experiences that trigger increased rates of oxidation.
This is an aging factor well under your control.
The main culprit – UV light.
Every day, whether summer or winter your skin is exposed to UVA and UVB light. Both are aging, but the most aging of the 2 is UVA which remains consistent all–year round.
In fact, it’s suggested over 80% of facial aging is a consequence of your exposure to UV light.
Luckily there’s a solution – sunscreen and antioxidants.
Antioxidants such as vitamin C, are ingredients that stop your skin from becoming aged by stressors like UV light.
Your skin naturally contains an amount of vitamin C that actively defends from UV damage. The more exposure your skin experiences, the more depleted these supplies become.
This is why vitamin C based serums become more important as your skin ages.
So how does Vitamin C work?
In short, vitamin C works by neutralizing highly reactive particles called free radicals.
In long, UV light has the ability to cause significant damage to your skin.
UV light is able to supercharge everyday molecules such as oxygen into very reactive, skin damaging compounds called free radicals.
Suddenly a molecule your skin interacts with every day, becomes a free-radical. Defined as a compound that has a very large amount of energy it wants to get rid of quickly.
If these free-radicals bump into your skin, they discharge this energy, zapping your skin of its defenses, energy and youth.
Luckily, this is easily avoided by using a serum high in vitamin C.
Skin types and conditions vitamin C serums will benefit: All skin types, especially those exposed daily to direct sunlight – even when it’s winter. Skin types prone to signs of ageing – look at your family line, what did their skin look like at 30, 40, 50?
Benefit 4 - Vitamin C will help prevent fine lines and wrinkles
Your skin is like a building site in constant repair and replenishment.
There are 2 ingredients which are crucial to the activity of this building site.
Both collagen and elastin are very important proteins naturally found within your skin.
As we age collagen production decreases and elastin production becomes disordered.
But what do they do?
You can think of your skin like a trampoline. Collagen is the strong, firm metal support and elastin is the flexible, springy, water proof fabric in the middle.
Collagen provides structural support and elastin fibers cover the parts in-between to create skin that is plump, flexible and strong.
So, what would your skin look like if it didn’t have healthy collagen and elastin?
The area of skin most quick to show the effects of un-healthy collagen and elastin is your neck. Have you seen the area of red skin under a turkey’s neck? That pouch looks beautiful, but at the same time saggy, wrinkly and with no volume.
This is what your skin will look like with degraded collagen and disordered elastin.
Perhaps you have a family relative who worshiped the sun every summer for 50+ years without protection?
Take a look at their skin and you’ll get an insight into what your skin might look like without care and attention.
Even if you’ve been a diligent user of sun protection, your collagen levels will naturally decline over time.
Some types of collagen show up to 68% degradation in aged skin.
Luckily there are ingredients which can re-stimulate this lost production.
Vitamin C is highly effective at increasing your skins collagen synthesis.
Vitamin C treatments work to protect your skins collagen in 3 ways:
- Improves and stabilizes the quality of existing collagen.
- Stimulates collagen gene expression.
- Activates collagen creation.
Regular use of skincare containing vitamin C will protect existing collagen and stimulate a healthy increase in ongoing production.
Skin types and conditions vitamin C serums will benefit: Maturing skin types and skin types visualizing fine lines and wrinkles.
Benefit 5 - Vitamin C relieves stress within your skin
Stress doesn’t just effect the way you feel, it also effects your body.
These alarm bells of stress can be obvious – there’s no way that back pain was caused by anything other than a long day in heels… or they can be quiet, un-noticed and cumulative.
Skin experiences stress as inflammation.
Inflammation is one of the 9 known direct aging factors, amongst hormone decline, oxidative damage and insulin resistance.
When your skin senses something is wrong, it’s healing response triggers inflammation.
Sometimes this is obvious – a bruise the size of a ping-pong ball, a sunburn so red it looks like a sunset, an acne spot so large you’re sure it’s the only thing people can see.
Sometimes it isn’t – a sensitive skin type that’s constantly reactive, sleep deprivation that causes a puffy faced morning look, excessive consumption of sugar or alcohol that causes low grade and ongoing inflammation.
Inflammation is good when it protects your body from invading bacteria and viruses, but it’s bad when it’s only attacking itself.
Small quantities of inflammation in defined periods of time are healthy. Ongoing inflammation, usually described as chronic, is not. In this situation skin is stressed and aged faster.
Do you suffer from ongoing inflammation?
The types are vast.
You may suffer from an inflammatory skin condition like rosacea, dermatitis or eczema. You might have skipped sun protection during winter months and been unaware UVA was still damaging your skin. You might just be stressed in general, a symptom which your whole body will experience as low grade inflammation.
Vitamin C helps to tackle this inflammation because it’s active as an anti-inflammatory.
Vitamin C interrupts the biological signals that trigger inflammation, pacifying an inflammatory reaction before it can occur.
Skin types and conditions vitamin C serums will benefit: Rosacea, acne vulgaris, skin types prone to post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, skin types stressed by UV exposure.
Vitamin C: The bottom line
Skin identical ingredients, described as Ingredients your skin already possess are the most helpful in the ongoing care of your skin.
Your body has evolved to use them, it knows exactly what to do with them and it views them as a friend here to help.
Vitamin C can check all 3 of these boxes.
Whether you’re concerned about fine lines and wrinkles, have acne vulgaris or suffer terribly from hyperpigmentation, your skincare routine is not maximized without an all-star dose of vitamin C.
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