Vitamin C

It's no secret that vitamin C is a skincare superstar. This powerful ingredient is famous for its ability to brighten skin tone, even out skin tone, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Here's everything you need to know about vitamin C and how to add it to your skincare routine.

What is Vitamin C?

First of all, what exactly is vitamin C? Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant necessary for the growth, development and repair of all tissues in the body, including the skin. Vitamin C is an incredibly effective nutrient for your body and a complete skin care savior. It has been found to help prevent UV damage, reduce pigmentation, reduce inflammation, and stimulate collagen production in the skin. We cannot produce vitamin C and our body does not store it; therefore, we can only experience its benefits by ingesting it (think vitamins and freshly squeezed orange juice) or even applying it topically (list vitamin C in your favorite serums and moisturizer). Popular sources of vitamin C include:

- Citrus fruits like lemon, orange and grapefruit

- Leafy greens like kale, broccoli, and spinach

- Tomatoes

- Strawberries

- Rosehip oil

- Sea buckthorn oil

Benefits of vitamin C for the skin

The benefits of vitamin C for the skin are seemingly endless. One of its most important characteristics is that it is able to alleviate skin problems before (and even after) they arise. During the day, vitamin C can provide additional protection against the aging effects of environmental stressors such as pollution, blue light, and UV rays; at night, its rejuvenating properties can minimize the appearance of damage caused by exposure to free radicals. Here is an overview of the many benefits of vitamin C for skin care.

Fights free radicals

Heidi Waldorf, MD describes free radicals as "anti-oxygen bombs that set off inflammation and cascades of damage." These highly unstable molecules lack an electron and, in an attempt to stabilize, steal electrons from otherwise healthy cells. This type of attack alters cellular composition and triggers oxidative damage that manifests as dryness, irritation, and premature aging.

Supports the barrier function of the skin

Vitamin C improves overall skin health by supporting the skin barrier. The lipid barrier is an essential part of the outer layer of the skin and is often compared to mortar, holding together the bricks of your skin cells. Studies show that vitamin C improves lipid production and therefore the skin's ability to protect against transepidermal water loss, keeping it healthy and hydrated.

Minimizes fine lines and wrinkles

Collagen and elastin are frequently victims of damage caused by free radicals. When weakened, they are unable to provide structural support and as a result, the visible signs of aging begin to develop. A 2007 study found that women between the ages of 40 and 74 who consumed high levels of vitamin C seemed to have fewer fine lines and wrinkles.

Illuminates the skin

The antioxidant quality of vitamin C can also minimize the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Faced with stress, the skin defends itself by triggering cells called melanocytes to produce the pigment melanin. Vitamin C inhibits the function of tyrosinase, the enzyme that activates melanocytes in the skin, thereby preventing melanin production and minimizing the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. This contributes to a brighter and more even complexion

Stimulates regeneration of skin cells

Skin cell turnover is the process by which dead cells are shed from the top layer of the skin and new cells rise to the surface. One of the hallmarks of healthy skin is its ability to turn over efficiently – a process that slows down with age. Thanks to its acidic nature, vitamin C is useful in removing dead cells, thus accelerating the natural renewal process of the skin.

Increases collagen production

In addition to extrinsic factors (like environmental stress), intrinsic – or biological – aging contributes to collagen decline. As you age, your skin's collagen stores are depleted and naturally degraded, leading to the visible signs of aging. Vitamin C not only activates fibroblasts in the skin to produce new collagen, but it also stabilizes the collagen you already have, helping skin stay firm, plump and youthful-looking.

Adding a vitamin C serum to your routine is simple! Vitamin C is generally formulated in a fast absorption, suitable for all skin types and can be used morning and evening. Apply 1 to 2 drops of the serum to cleansed and toned skin

What to Look for in a Vitamin C Serum?

- Ascorbic acid

- A concentration of 10 to 20%. Below 10% it may not be strong enough and above 20% it may be too strong for most skin types.

- Complementary ingredients like Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid boost the antioxidant properties of Vitamin C and keep the formula stabilized like in the Active C+E Serum available at the salon

Recommended products:

- EMINENCE organics Citrus & Kale C+E Active Serum citrus-and-chou-frise

- The vital-C IMAGE skincare super moisturizing water pearl

- IMAGE skincare vital-C anti-aging moisturizing serum