The world of skincare ingredients can be a bit confusing at times. It feels like every week there’s a new ingredient we *have* to include in our routine and it can definitely become overwhelming. Vitamin C in skincare however, is nothing new and is familiar to most of us – but what exactly are the benefits of Vitamin C in your skincare, how does it work and what should you be looking for in a Vitamin C product? Read on and we’ll talk you through why we recommend you include a Vitamin C based product in your skincare routine.
What is Vitamin C?
When we think of Vitamin C, oranges usually come to mind. We know it’s important for our overall health, but let’s take a deeper look at what it is exactly and why it is a key ingredient in skincare. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient, that our body is not able to produce on its own, so we need to obtain it from our diet. Essential for the growth and repair of tissue in our body, Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that can help fight off damage from free radicals, while also being a vital component in the formation of collagen, a protein that helps wound healing and is also key when it comes to keeping our skin plump and youthful. In our diet this important antioxidant can be found naturally in citrus vegetables including oranges and grapefruits and other fruits and veggies including red peppers, kiwis, strawberries, tomatoes and broccoli to name a few.
Understanding Vitamin C in Skincare
When it comes to skincare formulation, Vitamin C is tricky to work with as it can be very unstable and when not formulated correctly with other ingredients, it can quickly become in-active and is therefore usually produced synthetically for skincare products, to ensure better product stability and a longer shelf life. Skincare formulas can include Vitamin C in it’s most familiar and bio-available from namely L-Ascorbic Acid or it may contain derivatives of Vitamin C that are combined with or encapsulated in other ingredients for stability and when they come into contact with the skin the Vitamin C is released – these forms of Vitamin C can appear on your products ingredient deck under names such as ascorbyl palmitate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate and retinyl ascorbate to name a few! So you can see there’s a lot that goes into creating a great Vitamin C skincare product.
Skin Benefits of Vitamin C
As we age, adding a dedicated Vitamin C based product to our routine is a key step to brighter, happy skin, it works to repair and protect while also future-proofing your skin. 3 key benefits of Vitamin C for your skin are:
- Promotes Collagen Production: Vitamin C plays a huge role in the production of collagen. Collagen provides the supporting structure for our skin, it is a protein that is naturally present in our skin and help stop it from sagging. As we age collagen production slows down. Topically applied vitamin C can encourage new collagen to grow, while also helping to maintain and protect the collagen already present in the skin, preventing it from depletion.
- Lightens Dark Spots: Vitamin C is a powerful tool when it comes to lightening hyper-pigmentation including sun damage, age spots and melasma. It does this so by blocking melanin (the pigment responsible for skin colour) production.
- Prevents Free Radical Damage: Free radical damage from by environmental factors such exposure to UV light, pollution and smoking are the cause of the destruction of healthy cells and tissue. Free radical damage is attributed to signs premature skin ageing.
Where Does Vitamin C Fit into My Routine
Vitamin C is present in many skincare products, but we’d recommend concentrating on a leave on formulation such as a serum or moisturiser that is rich in Vitamin C such as the Balance Me Vitamin C Repair Serum or REN Glow Daily Vitamin C Gel Cream. In saying that there is one wash off Vitamin C product that we highly recommend from our skincare selection on MyBeautyEdit, which is the Vitamin C Paste from Lixirskin, this potent and concentrated Vitamin C mask contains 10% L-Ascorbic Acid that is activated with water on the skin and does an amazing job at brightening and evening skin tone, while also helping reduce the appearance of pores – it’s a hero product from the range, that is probably one of our bestsellers on MBE! Vitamin C products can be used morning or evening, however we like to use ours in the morning under our SPF to ensure maximum skin protection throughout the day.