6 Benefits of Vitamin C for Your Skin (and How to Harness Them)
Posted by Nikki Wisher on Dec 27th 2022
If your mother was like mine, every time she heard me make the slightest cough or blow my nose, boom, she was putting a glass of orange juice in my hand. It was all about getting as much vitamin C as possible before that cold or flu could sink in.
That age-old wisdom about vitamin C boosting your immune system is not some baseless old wives’ tale. It’s true (although it won’t always be able to stop the flu in its tracks), and that’s not all vitamin C can do. It’s an absolute hero for your skin too. Check out the top benefits of vitamin C for your skin and get some pro tips on how to start putting this vitamin to good use.
1. Brighter Complexion
Dull skin is a common problem. It can come from many sources – a layer of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, poor circulation, and so on. Vitamin C knows how to bring the brightness. It smooths your skin in a way that restores a brighter, healthier glow.
2. More Even Complexion
Colorful patterns are for clothes – most people want their complexion to be smooth, even, and consistent. Vitamin C fights color irregularities in several ways to give you that even complexion.
First, it fades dark spots like age spots on your skin. Vitamin C slows your body’s production of excess melanin, or skin pigment, by reducing the activity of a particular enzyme. This doesn’t just help existing dark spots to fade but it makes you less prone to developing new age spots too.
Besides dark spots, another common player in uneven complexion is a blotchy redness. That redness comes from inflammation, and vitamin C happens to have great anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Fewer Lines and Wrinkles
Want to look younger? Maybe that’s a rhetorical question. Regardless, vitamin C should be part of everyone’s skin care routine.
Vitamin C helps your skin withstand the effects of aging like lines, wrinkles, and sagging. It does this by helping your body to produce a natural protein called collagen, which is the ultimate ingredient in youthful skin. Collagen is the protein that makes skin firm, smooth, and lifted.
Your body needs vitamin C to produce collagen because vitamin C is an important cofactor for two enzymes in the creation of collagen. A cofactor is anything that an enzyme needs to do its job. Think of the adhesive on envelopes – it doesn’t become sticky until you put a liquid on it. In this metaphor, the enzymes would be the adhesives and they need vitamin C as the liquid to make them work.
4. Protection from Sun Damage
You’re probably very familiar with the damage that sun exposure can do to your skin, no matter how good it may feel to lay out by the pool on a sunny summer day. The sun exposure introduces a type of atoms called free radicals into your skin, and free radicals create skin damage that can lead to sunburn, skin cancer, and premature aging.
Vitamin C is packed with antioxidants that neutralize those free radicals so they can’t do as much damage to your skin. That doesn’t mean you can skip the sunscreen, but with sunscreen and a healthy supply of vitamin C within your skin, you’ll be well-protected.
Dry skin is a problem no one wants to deal with. Between the aesthetics of flaky skin and the discomfort of dry, itchy skin, hydration is important for everyone. Vitamin C can help.
Vitamin C and its derivatives can reduce your skin’s water loss. It allows your skin to retain more moisture so it doesn’t dry out so quickly.
6. Repairing Skin Damage
No matter what you do, your skin will sustain some amount of damage and injury from time to time. That’s just life. Vitamin C, however, can help your skin recover from that damage more quickly.
Vitamin C speeds up your skin’s cellular turnover. That means your skin will be able to replace damaged cells with new undamaged cells more quickly. As a result, your skin can heal more quickly from damage and injuries like sunburns and wounds, leading to less scarring.
How to Reap the Rewards of Vitamin C for Your Skin
Brighter skin, a more even complexion, hydrated skin, younger-looking skin, skin that heals more easily, more resilient skin…there’s something in there for everyone, no matter what your skin goals might be. But how, exactly, do you start enjoying those benefits? There are two ways to introduce more vitamin C into your skin, and the best path is to use both of them.
Use Topical Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a popular active ingredient in skin care products, purely because of the many benefits it offers. In fact, you can find products with vitamin C for just about any part of your skin care routine, from your cleanser to your night cream. Try these excellent vitamin C products:
- Replenix Glycolic Acid Resurfacing Cleanser
- Revision DEJ Daily Boosting Serum
- Dermalogica Barrier Repair
Take In Dietary Vitamin C
Many of the benefits of vitamin C come from your body’s internal use of vitamin C. That’s why, in addition to using topical vitamin C products, you can give yourself healthier, more beautiful skin by getting more vitamin C in your diet. You can find the foods with high vitamin C that you enjoy the most, but some of the best options include:
- Citrus fruits
- Bell peppers
- White potatoes
- Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables
Dining and Dabbing Your Way to Healthier Skin
Between getting vitamin C in your diet and using vitamin C skin care products, you can start your skin on the road toward better health and a better look right now. Use the tips above and shop our selection of vitamin C products on Skin Elite.