Our skin has a crucial job to do: protect us from the elements. Like any good armor, it must endure a lot of abuse. Over time, this repeated exposure to environmental stressors can take its toll, leaving our outermost layer looking aged, dry, and depleted. Luckily, there is a way to defend our skin from this inevitable damage.
Antioxidants are potent vitamins and minerals that can rescue damaged skin. We primarily get antioxidants from nutrients in our food. The most powerful one is vitamin C, and it’s the most abundant antioxidant in our skin. Unfortunately, our vitamin C stores can become depleted for a variety of reasons, like aging and poor diet. So, replenishing them will go a long way to reducing the damage done.
There are two ways of boosting our vitamin C: eating better and applying it to our skin. Eating more foods with vitamin C increases our levels internally so everything in our bodies can function better. But there is a limit to how much of it our bodies can absorb through our gut. So if we want all the benefits, using products with vitamin C is a must.
Here are five benefits of adding products that contain vitamin C to your skincare routine.
What are the benefits of vitamin C?
- Protects skin from free radicals
Exposure to elements like the sun’s UV rays and air pollutants is unavoidable. As a result, our skin becomes overrun with unstable molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can interfere with other molecules in the body and prevent them from doing their job. These altered molecules can significantly damage proteins, fats, and DNA. Vitamin C’s antioxidant powers allow it to attach to free radicals and remove its ability to do damage.
- Helps build collagen
Collagen makes up the basic structure of our skin cells. It’s what keeps our skin cells looking young, firm, and smooth. We start to lose collagen as we age, and that’s when we see our skin start to sag and develop wrinkles. Vitamin C is responsible for making sure the enzymes that synthesize collagen are working properly. So the more vitamin C, the more youthful your skin appears. Better collagen production will also help heal wounds on the skin.
- Increases cell turnover
Vitamin C is an acid that helps slough off dead skin cells and paves the way for new healthy cells to arise. With regular use, you’ll see fewer fine lines and a softer, smoother complexion.
- Reduces dark spots
Dark areas or spots on your skin, called hyperpigmentation, can happen due to many things related to hormones, genetics, injury, or the sun. Melanin is what gives your skin its color. Dark spots are the result of melanocytes overproducing melanin. Vitamin C can help reduce hyperpigmentation by inhibiting an enzyme that makes melanin. It can also help even out an overall uneven skin tone and make your skin appear brighter.
- Strengthens the skin barrier
The protective layer of our epidermis consists of cells held together by a matrix of fats. This structure is what keeps moisture from escaping. Vitamin C helps maintain this barrier's integrity by encouraging the production of fats called ceramides. A more substantial barrier means your skin will stay hydrated for longer and look more supple.
Skincare Ingredients High in Vitamin C
Rosehips are the accessory fruit of the Rosa canina plant. In addition to skincare, they’re often used in teas or to make pies or jellies. Loaded with vitamin C, one ounce provides 100% of your daily recommended value. They’re also used medicinally for immune function, heart health, and osteoarthritis. One of the most abundant sources of vitamin C in skincare.
The leaves of strawberries traditionally have been used for digestive issues and are mostly taken as a tea. In addition to vitamin C benefits in skincare, they’re also touted for reducing inflammation which helps with acne, dermatitis, and eczema. High in ellagic acid, which can lighten skin by blocking the activity of an enzyme involved in producing melanin.
An active form of vitamin C in skincare, but milder, more stable, and less irritating than L-ascorbic acid. It’s fat-soluble instead of water-soluble, so it absorbs better into the skin. This is the form we use at Nurture My Body because it’s gentler and much better for people with sensitive skin.
Chickweed has high levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and bioflavonoids (more anti-oxidants). It’s an edible herb used as medicine for general health and anti-inflammatory properties. True to its name, it’s also a weed, and chickens love it. Chickweed has been used for rashes or itchy skin and to help heal cuts and wounds, acne, eczema, psoriasis, minor burns, and insect bites.
Elder flowers are rich in vitamin C and other vitamins, flavonoids, and bioflavonoids. They’re great for firming, evening out skin tone, and promoting good blood circulation. With their astringent qualities, elder flowers also help tighten and reduce pores.
With all the challenges the environment throws our way, keeping our skin in tip-top shape isn’t easy. Thank goodness we have vitamin C on our side. Eating well helps maintain high levels of vitamin C in our bodies. But to keep our skin replenished and ready for battle, we must apply it topically. Our Vita C cream is an excellent source of this essential ingredient for your face. Try some today and get a healthy, fresh, glow.