Ascorbic acid, or more commonly referred to as Vitamin C, is an essential nutrient that is responsible for the repair of tissue and the healthy functioning of certain neurotransmitters. In addition, it is a powerful agent that helps to fight bacterial infection and for the formation of collagen in fibrous tissue, teeth, bones, connective tissue and skin.
Other than providing a host of health benefits, Vitamin C is also an extremely sought-after skin care ingredient. Vitamin C serums are all the rage right now because they are so powerful that there is a chance most of us will stand to benefit from using it.
From uneven skin tone, rough skin texture, acne scars, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, fine lines and dull skin, Vitamin C is able to address these skin concerns effectively.
In this article, we discuss more about Vitamin C and what it is and how you can reap its many benefits for your skin.
What exactly is Vitamin C?
Our body doesn’t produce vitamin C, so we need to get it from our diet. It is usually found in citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, spinach and peppers. When used in skin care products, vitamin C is usually produced synthetically.
The original form of vitamin C is its purest form, L-ascorbic acid. There are also several vitamin C derivatives such as sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, retinyl ascorbate etc. These are combined with other compounds to make vitamin C more stable when used in skin care products. When these derivatives are applied on the skin, they release pure vitamin C onto the skin.
In other words, when a product states that it contains 10 percent of the vitamin C derivatives, it probably means that less than 5 percent of the pure vitamin C gets released on your skin.
What benefits does vitamin C have?
Vitamin C is one of the most popular antioxidants in skincare products due to its several powerful benefits it has for the skin.
SHIELD THE SKIN FROM EXTERNAL STRESSORS One of the main functions of vitamin C is to protect the skin from environmental stressors. When applied topically, it can protect the skin from creating free radicals in the skin caused by UV rays, pollution and even normal cellular ageing.
LIGHTENS HYPERPIGMENTATION It is also known for its powerful effects for lightening unsightly dark patches of the skin caused by overproduction of melanin in the skin. It decreases discoloration of the skin by blocking the pathway of pigment synthesis.
PROMOTES COLLAGEN PRODUCTION It also plays a critical role in synthesizing and producing collagen. Collagen is the main building block of youthful skin. Over time, collagen production reduces and our skin starts to age by forming fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C slows down this process by promoting collagen production in the skin.
How do I add vitamin C into my skincare routine?
One of the most common questions asked is what time of the day is best for applying vitamin C. The truth is that being consistent is the most important and it makes little difference whether you apply it in the morning or at night before you go to bed.
Even though vitamin C is a great antioxidant, it is highly unstable and it reacts easily with the environment, causing it lose its antioxidant properties when it is exposed to heat, light and air.
In order for vitamin C to be effective in skin care products, it needs to be in a concentration of at least 10 percent and the pH of the serum needs to be below 6 to allow for optimal absorption into the skin.
Effectiveness of vitamin C also increases many folds when combined with other antioxidants such as vitamin E. Together, vitamin C and E can offer increased skin protection against free radical damage than if they were applied separately on their own.
This is the reason why you may see both vitamins formulated together in serums, creating a powerful cocktail of C E Ferulic Acid serum. Radium’s C E Ferulic Acid serum is one of the best-selling anti-ageing, skin brightening serum in its Self Defence range.