Vitamin C is used in the beauty industry as a powerful antioxidant – it brightens the skin, neutralizes free radicals and reduces pigmentation. Therefore, experts advise including a serum, cream or procedure with vitamin C in your daily life, especially since many new products with this vitamin are appearing on the shelves of stores and pharmacies.
However, reaping the benefits of vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is not as easy as it seems. It is not enough to just apply the product and wait for smooth skin and natural radiance to return.
What is vitamin C
Vitamin C is the primary antioxidant in the skin and one of the essential nutrients for overall health. “It is involved in many body functions, including the production of collagen, a vital component in many of our tissues, from skin to ligaments and tendons, cartilage and bones, and even the corneas of the eyes,” explains esthetician and cosmetic dermatology educator Dr. Amy Vyas. Since vitamin C dissolves in water and is not stored in the body, it must be regularly obtained from external sources, such as food and specialized products.
“It is the most abundant antioxidant found naturally in the skin, but is depleted as we get older, as well as due to sun damage and age,” says Paula Begun, founder of Paula’s Choice. One of the biggest benefits of vitamin C products is that “it can stimulate collagen and elastin production, as well as reduce collagen damage in the dermis of the skin,” adds Amy Vyas. Therefore, topical application can help replenish deficiencies, protect the skin from further damage, and also repair past damage. As a result, the skin becomes firmer, smoother, more radiant and elastic.
Vitamin C also serves as a powerful anti-pollution agent. “It can neutralize free radicals from UV radiation, blue light pollution, and other aspects of our daily lives,” says Vyas. Additionally, vitamin C will help reduce pigmentation and prevent the appearance of dark spots or hyperpigmentation. “It reduces melanin production through its action as a tyrosinase inhibitor, brightening the skin and preventing existing pigmentation from oxidizing so it does not become darker,” adds Vyas.
What skin types is vitamin C suitable for?
When searching for vitamin C, the most common question asked is whether it causes acne or flaking of the skin. “Some may experience irritation when first using a product with a high concentration of ascorbic acid, but this should subside over time as the skin fully adapts,” says Paula Begun.
“Be careful with sensitive skin,” notes Dr. Vyas. The specialist emphasizes that eczema, dermatitis, rosacea and dry skin can be a reason to refuse…