What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a vital water-soluble mineral, which cannot be produced by our body naturally.
Thus, our body requires a constant supply of Vitamin C for performing various life processes to survive.
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, which is essential for the growth of new cells and skin tissue repair.
Vitamin C also has many other vital body functions including,
- healing wounds,
- absorption of iron,
- hormone synthesis,
- reducing skin inflammation,
- neurotransmitter (nerve function),
- strengthening the immunity system,
- maintaining teeth, gums, cartilage, bone health.
- And most important, the formation of collagen in the skin.
Role of Vitamin C in Collagen Synthesis
Collagen is a strong, insoluble, and fibrous protein. Its found in the extracellular matrix or dermis layer of skin.
Collagen is found throughout the body in many different forms. Collagen is present in your skin, bones, and cartilage because it helps to hold the body together.
There are more than 16 different types of collagen found in the human body. The most widely used collagen in our body is categorized into types 1, 2, 3, and 4.
As you age, the production of collagen in your body starts to deplete. Making you prone to aging problems like wrinkles and arthritis.
Collagen can also get damaged before you start to age due to excessive sunlight exposure, smoking, drinking, autoimmune disorders, and high junk food or sugar consumption.
Here comes vitamin c in the picture. Vitamin C is a vital antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from oxidative stress and free radical damage while aging.
An adult must consume 75 mg (for females) to 90 mg (for males) of Vitamin C regularly to maintain daily collagen synthesis.
If a vitamin c rich diet is not followed, then progressive vitamin c deficiency can lead to impaired collagen synthesis related problems including,
- Joint Pain,
- Poor wound healing,
- Week connective tissues,
- Purpura (purple spots on the skin),
- Ecchymoses (discoloration of the skin),
- Hyperkeratosis (thickening of the outer layer of skin)
- Petechiae (bleeding of blood capillaries or leaking of blood into the skin)
- Scurvy (which triggers bleeding around hair follicles making, your body hairs grow like corkscrew hairs).
6 Reasons to Add Vitamin C Supplement or Serums to Your Skin Care Routine.
- Vitamin C is used in dermatology to treat and prevent changes associated with photoageing.
- It has skin brightening properties. Thus, it’s a treatment for hyperpigmentation.
- Vitamin C benefits also include promoting collagen synthesis.
- It can improve a variety of inflammatory dermatoses.
- It also provides photoprotection from ultraviolet A and B.
- Higher vitamin c levels will boost levels of collagen. It will make your skin more firm, tight and elastic. Preventing, skin from wrinkles and sagging.
Types of Vitamin C for the Skin
These three different Vitamin C types are readily available in the market these days. Using any of these three will help you in collagen building, and being used for other skin restoration benefits.
1. Ascorbic Acid
Its label name is ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is the purest and potent form of Vitamin C available in the market.
It is used in form of serums to treat, dark spots, dullness, and pigmentation on the skin. And, if you start eating ascorbic acid-rich fruits and vegetables (orange, kiwi, grapefruit, spinach, and kale) then you can raise your collagen synthesis levels naturally.
Ascorbic acid is water-soluble. It can oxidize very easily when exposed to UV rays and air. Therefore, a persistent reservoir of ascorbic acid is very important on the skin which you can maintain by re-applying L-ascorbic acid serums every 8 hours.
L-ascorbic acid is the best choice for normal to oily skin. Whereas, on dry and sensitive skin, it might show some side effects.
2. Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
Also, known as MAP on the serum label. It is another water-soluble form of vitamin C. This is very suitable for acne-prone sensitive skin.
MAP has been proven as an effective alternative agent to improve inflammatory reactions in acne.
MAP when combined with “Niacinamide serum” forms a topical form of an antioxidant duo. This duo has anti-aging properties and, it helps to fight skin inflammation, reduce sebum production, corrects acne scarring while balancing acne-caused discoloration.
3. Ascorbyl palmitate
It is an ester formed from ascorbic acid and palmitic acid. These two combines to create a fat-soluble form of vitamin C.
It is not very potent rather its, effects are very mild on the skin. But this makes it more stable to handle even when exposed to air or sunlight.
Ascorbyl palmitate does have milder effects on your collagen production and skin brightening. Although, it is non-irritating for sensitive skin types.
Research has found that ascorbic acid-6-palmitate can protect skin from sunburn, delay the onset of skin tumors, and reduce ultraviolet-B-radiation-induced skin wrinkling
The Concentration of Vitamin C
Apart from using which type of vitamin c, choosing the right concentration level of vitamin c in a product is also very important.
For example: if you want to treat light uneven dullness then, 10% concentrated vitamin c serum is the right choice.
But, if you are willing to treat stubborn hyper-pigmentation and dark spots, then an increased concentration of 15% to 20% will be beneficial for your skin.
More than 20% vitamin c concentration is not advisable to be applied on the skin.
3 Ways to Add Vitamin C into Skin Care Routine
1. Add Vitamin C to Your Natural Diet
Raw citrus fruits and berries like Orange, Kiwi, Tomato, Guava, Grape Fruit, Mango, Lemon, Cantaloupe, Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Cherry, Pineapple, and Papaya contains the purest form of water-soluble vitamin c.
Plus, vegetables like Spinach, Kale, Bell Pepper, Broccoli, and Cauliflower also have higher ascorbic acid.
2. Add Vitamin C Supplements to Your Diet
Sometimes we are unable to eat vitamin c rich foods due to reasons like changes in seasonal fruits and vegetables or traveling and not taking care of our diet.
Well, for these circumstances, you can always take help from oral supplements. Vitamin C supplements can be easily found in your local pharmacy in many forms including,
- Chewable gummies,
- Gelatin Capsules, and
- Effervescent Tablets
All forms of vitamin c supplements are equally effective. But, make sure you have a prescription from your doctor to buy the supplement, buy your supplements only from authentic sellers, and read the labels before buying any supplement.
3. Using Vitamin C Serums for Skin Care
If you want to beat the skin sagging problem, then start taking care of your skin today.
Adding a high-quality vitamin c serum to your day and night time skincare routine will help you fight wrinkles, dark circles, hyperpigmentation and will make your skin glowing from deep within.
While investing in a vitamin c serum, make sure to consult with your dermatologist first and then lookout for the following characteristics in your serum.
- Serum must be Silicon-Free
- Serum should suit your skin type
- Serum must be Paraben and Sulphate Free.
- The serum does not contain any No Fragrances or color.
- Serum must not exceed medically approved ascorbic acid concentration.
The Key Takeaway – Risk Associated with Vitamin C
Although, vitamin c products are very soothing on the skin because they follow the right concentration.
In case you have sensitive skin then vitamin c products can have side effects for you. Therefore, just to be safe, make sure you always perform a patch test before applying any vitamin c serums, creams, or lotions on your face.
Using L-ascorbic acid on sensitive skin have higher chances of skin inflammation. Whereas, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate or ascorbyl palmitate will not irritate.