There is good reason that Vitamin C holds a place in many skincare brand line-ups. Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, improving skin tone, skin texture, hydration and condition. Reducing blemishes, reducing hyperpigmentation, preventing UV light damage and delivering all round GLOW.
Think Vitamin C, think Collagen, think Connective tissue, think Corrective action, think skin reCovery.
So lets break it down and check through exactly what Vitamin C can do for your skin, what the SUMMER (and Winter) C BUZZ is all about and why, if you haven’t already, you should be adding into your weekly routines with the utmost, skinloving urgency.
ANTIOXIDANT A word used to describe so many ingredients but hardly ever defined. If we need the ANTI oxidants in Vitamin C – what exactly are oxidants?
Oxidising is the process of damage and deterioration – basically ‘going off’ - which is never a skincare goal. The easiest way to describe this is when you slice an apple and leave it for a short while, the Vitamin C content oxidises, goes brown and over time will lose all the flavour, crunch and crisp. Same with metal left in a damp environment – goes rusty – the rust eventually eating away at the metal and lead to total loss of strength of the structure.
Oxidation causes DNA damage in skin cells, leading to inflammation and deterioration – essentially ‘rusting’ them. Another more obvious oxidisation is when sebum (oil) in the skin clogs pores and the surface of these pores is open to the air and goes black – blackheads. Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidisers.
ANTI INFLAMMATORY Another claim attributed to beneficial effect of Vitamin C as a skincare ingredient. Inflammation is a natural response in the body when it is under threat from any foreign (unrecognised) matter. This response sets about isolating and fighting this invasion and in doing so, stops all normal cycles of repair and restoration. The skin goes into battle and cannot get on with its day to day to do list. Vitamin C is a key anti inflammatory, allowing the skin to repair and refresh on a regular basis.
TONE & TEXTURE Vitamin C is regularly credited with creating healthy skin with bounce back texture and strength. ‘Bounce back’ comes from elastin and collagen and ‘strength’ from healthy connective tissue – Vitamin C supports collagen production which works to thicken the dermis of our skin (the layers just under the surface) which in turn reduces fine lines (think plumping up a pillow) and helps maintain youthful, smooth skin.
HYPERPIGMENTATION reduction or elimination is a key claim for Vitamin C products. It is common in ‘experienced’ skin and greatly exacerbated in ‘sun worshipped’ skin. It is simply a visible patch of darker skin due to excess production of melanin (the natural pigment we all have that gives our skin, hair and eyes its colour) This melanin naturally fades as we age, meaning when we develop patches of concentrated colour as we get older/paler, they also become much more obvious. Hyperpigmentation can also be caused by hormones, injury, and inflammation. Vitamin C can help soften the blemishes, reduce the hyperpigmentation and even out the patches – giving the more even tone and glow our skin finds so much more flattering.
SUN WORSHIPPING has never, NEVER been encouraged for skincare. It’s a mega whammy on damage, OXIDATION, INFLAMMATION, HYPERPIGMENTATION loss of TONE and deterioration of TEXTURE – need I go on?
VITAMIN E can insure your Vitamin C. There is research from the LINUS PAULING Institute in Oregon that states the combination of Vitamin C & E is ‘more effective in preventing photodamage than either vitamin working alone’ Pair your Vitamin C with Vitamin E and you can add photodamage repair to the list of skinfabulous qualities.
SUPPLEMENT you TOPICAL (APPLIED) VITAMIN C It should be no surprise that, taken internally Vitamin C products can deliver the same results as applied topically – add it to your daily food lists or supplements and you are tackling all the issues both from inside and out. It may take a few weeks but the softening of wrinkles and the fading pigmentation patches are definitely worth adding this layered approach for.
So how do we get the best out of our Vitamin C application (and supplementation) ?
Vitamin C is a tricky ingredient, it in itself will try and oxidise at the drop of a hat so your Vitamin C really needs to be encapsulated, protected, optimised and/or time released to get the best ‘fresh’ and efficient delivery.
ENCAPSULATED wrapped in individual sacks, ampules, pouches or any device where it is individually sealed and this seal is broken to deliver ‘fresh’ vitamin c previously not exposed to air.
PROTECTED formulated with ingredients that keep the Vitamin C suspended so that, again, each application is a ‘fresh’ application.
OPTIMISED in small enough micron size to be absorbed by the epidermis or dermis and not simply sit on the surface.
TIME RELEASE Skin and body cannot handle a ‘high dose hit’ of Vitamin C, it can only absorb a regulated amount at any one time. A time release formula for either skincare or supplements means that the application or the dose is released over a period of time that allows the optimum absorption with no waste.
CLEAN SKIN and SIMPLY APPLIED I always say that Vitamin C ‘travels alone’ and by this, I mean that nothing should get in its way, either before or after application. Always read the manufacturers instructions but keep it simple and only apply as often as directed. Cleanse, exfoliate and apply, leaving the Vitamin C to work its magic on clean skin. Adding to a leave on mask is perfect, but only onto cleansed, exfoliated skin – give it a clear route in and watch the glow appear.
Don’t be tempted to over apply, Vitamin C comes with its own acidity and overuse can lead to a compromised acid mantle and inability for the surface biome to host the good bacteria and defend against the bad. Vitamin C has earned its place as a legendary ingredient, treat it kindly, deliver advisedly and literally, visually and texturally, C the difference it can do for your skin.