7 Skin Benefits of Vitamin C You Must Know!
You’ve probably heard Vitamin C be praised for helping to fight off colds and giving you a boost in healing from illness or injury. We take it in multivitamins and chug Emergen-C and orange juice when we start to feel a tickle in our throats. Sailors who went months at sea without fresh fruits and vegetables contracted scurvy from a deficiency of Vitamin C. Their teeth fell out, gums grew sores, and their eyesight worsened (talk about Vitamin “See”!) from a lack of this one important and healing vitamin!
But Vitamin C isn’t just good for your insides. It can do wonders for your skin as well. Vitamin C is another name for ascorbic acid, and right now it’s one of the most popular ingredients in skincare. Most skincare brands have released their own Vitamin C product looking to get in on the growing demand for the product. It’s not just anecdotal evidence and flashy marketing either. There’s tons of scientific research on why Vitamin C is so good for you and your skin!
Vitamin C isn’t just a fad. It’s a great tool for your skincare routine recommended by dermatologists and skincare gurus alike because they’ve seen the positive results it can have on struggling skin. If you’re fighting dull skin, battling aging and fine lines, or looking to harness your inner glow, Vitamin C can take your skin to a new level of health and radiance.
What is Vitamin C ?
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, just like the ones you hear about in green smoothies and superfoods. Those are promoted as absolute necessities to keep your body healthy and thriving, and it’s no different when it comes to your skin.
An antioxidant is exactly what the word sounds like. Through a series of chemical reactions, antioxidants prevent oxygen from affecting an area, like a treatment you would put on metal to prevent it from rusting.
When it comes to skincare, antioxidants help protect your skin and your body from outside influences that can cause fading, unevenness, and long-term skin damage, like particles in polluted air or direct sunlight. It’s a natural detox of the dirt and grime your skin picks up on an average day while commuting, working out, or eating.
You’d think that protecting you against damaging light and airborne particles would be enough, but Vitamin C is one of the most versatile skincare products. Vitamin C also helps your body produce collagen, the substance that keeps your face looking plumped out and tight and prevents fine lines and sagging.
Collagen production also helps grow new skin to fade scar tissue and discoloration. It literally helps your skin grow back and heal old marks and lines! Before paying for expensive injectables like Botox or fillers like Juvaderm, try letting your skin produce collagen on its own by investing in a Vitamin C cream or serum. You may be shocked at how your skin perks up all on its own.
7 Skin Benefits of Vitamin C
This is the big one! So many of us are fighting the battle against aging when we design our skincare routines. Because Vitamin C helps your skin heal and produce collagen, it keeps you looking plump and fresh and slows the production of fine lines and wrinkles. It also protects against sun damage, which is one of the number one factors that can cause your skin to age more quickly.
Diet, aging, a late night out on the town, or just genetics- all of these things can cause your skin to become irritated and inflamed. Puffy skin looks and feels uncomfortable. Vitamin C helps those irritated areas heal and calm down, resulting in decreased puffiness and redness even when you’re running on just a few hours of sleep.
3. Even out dark spots.
Vitamin C helps stop melanin from forming, which means it can prevent those dark sunspots and discolorations from popping up. And if you already have some problem areas you want to fade or minimize, that’s ok too. Increased Vitamin C levels have actually been scientifically shown to even skin tone over time!
4. Brighten Complexion.
There’s nothing worse than waking up and just feeling like your skin is dull and muted. No matter how perky and awake you might actually feel, you look tired and worn out. Vitamin C can help bring that inner radiance to the surface by evening out rough patches and healing old scars or blemishes.
5. Protect your skin.
One of the outside factors antioxidants to protect against are UV rays. Vitamin C helps build an extra layer of protection against the sun even when you’re wearing sunscreen or covering up with hats. Less sun damage means less painful sunburn, fewer dark spots, and a reduced chance of wrinkles and lines developing!
However, any acid can make you more vulnerable to the sun, and Vitamin C is no exception. Although it can protect your skin from collecting damage, it can make you more sensitive to UV rays in general. Always wear good sunscreen when you’re out and about as your first line of defense against sun damage.
6. Perk up dark circles.
Dark under-eye circles can drag your whole face down, even when your skin is clear. For me, this was the first immediate benefit I saw after introducing Vitamin C to my routine. My chronic under-eye circles lightened and I found myself looking more awake and alert. Just like a fresh glass of orange juice in the morning, Vitamin C can perk you up and get you ready for the day.
7. It’s for everyone!
Unlike some other skincare products that favor those with dry or oily skin, every skin type can see benefits from using Vitamin C because it has so many functions. Most people find they can use Vitamin C daily unlike some other stronger products. And Vitamin C serums come in a variety of price points, so it’s easy for beginner skincare addicts to try one out and see if they like it.
How To Use A Vitamin C Serum
Add A Vitamin C Serum To Your Skin Care Routine
Vitamin C Serums can be used daily, but you should always patch test a new product before incorporating it into your routine. Patch testing involves putting a small amount of product somewhere unobtrusive on your face and keeping an eye on it for the next few days to see if it causes a breakout or reaction.
If you use a retinol product in your skincare routine, apply your Vitamin C serum at a different time of day- retinol can reduce those good, protective antioxidant benefits and stop the Vitamin C from fully absorbing.
I hate that skincare products can cancel each other out (don’t we just deserve full credit for trying?), but it’s more common than you’d think! Always check to see if your products are “counter-indicative” and contain opposite ingredients. Having a morning and a nighttime skincare routine can help spread products out so you can try more without having to sacrifice results.
Whatever Vitamin C serum you choose, it should go on clean skin free of makeup or sweat. Since Vitamin C is an acid, be careful using it with other acid-based skincare products like salicylic acid or BHA, because too many acids can be harsh on your skin and cause dryness and irritation. And of course, if you see any issues or have irritation, take a step back and give your skin a break before trying something new.
What To Look For In A Vitamin C Serum
Skincare can be a great tool for self-care and a way to make yourself feel confident in your, well, skin! Always read the ingredient list before trying a new product to make sure there’s nothing you’re sensitive or allergic to. Vitamin C serums and other products come in all sizes and at all price points and are formulated to fit any skin type or specific issue.
How To Store Vitamin C & Keep It Stable
Because Vitamin C protects you from the sun, it also means it needs to stay in the dark! The anti-oxygenating effects you want to harness will start to decay if UV rays are hitting the bottle. That’s why you often see Vitamin C products sold in tinted or dark bottles. Always keep an eye on your expiration date as well to make sure that you aren’t using a Vitamin C serum that’s lost its juice.
Make sure those good antioxidant properties aren’t wasted and keep your Vitamin C serum stored out of direct sunlight in a cool place. I actually invested in a skincare fridge to keep my products cold and protected (and because cool creams on a tired face can feel soooo good). Putting a jade roller or face tool in the fridge can pack a double punch with your Vitamin C serum to help de-puff and brighten your face!
A bit of the History Of Vitamin C
Nowadays, we don’t have sailors coming down with scurvy because of Vitamin C deficiency. In fact, even long ago sailors and pirates figured out that packing a box of limes for their crew could help fight off the painful disease. However, we still know how crucial Vitamin C is to a balanced diet and to balanced skin. A Vitamin C serum is an easy beginner skincare product that gives immediate results for a whole range of skin complaints.