Vitamin C is taking over the skincare world because it is one of the most effective skincare products available on the market. Whatever skincare challenge you may have with your complexion, vitamin C is likely to help improve it. If you are on the fence about adding yet another product to your skincare routine, you may want to reconsider, as vitamin C can likely replace several of the products that already line your vanity. So, for those asking what does vitamin C do for your skin, we have you covered below.
Vitamin C Combats Free Radicals in Your Skin
The first thing you will want to know about vitamin C is that it is a potent antioxidant. It is highly effective in rounding up free radicals that mean to cause damage to your tissues. Free radicals come from the environment, such as the sun, pollutants, and toxins. They are unstable molecules because they are missing one electron, so they seek out another electron for your skin cells. This process, in turn, damages your skin cells, causing:
- Collagen breakdown
- Dark spots
- Dull skin
The benefit of antioxidants is that they contain an extra electron, so they essentially “give” it to a free radical without destabilizing themselves. Vitamin C is known for doing this on the skin and also in our bodies when we ingest it from the food we eat.
Vitamin C Improves Wrinkling and Fine Lines
Aside from its ability to round up free radicals, vitamin C also helps stimulate collagen and elastin production. These two proteins are what give your skin its structure, making it firm and supple. As we get older and with exposure to environmental toxins, we do not produce as much collagen and elastin. Thus, our skin becomes thinner and more prone to wrinkling.
Vitamin C can boost your collagen and elastin production because it is highly acidic when applied to the skin. By using this acid regularly, it forces the skin to heal itself. In that process, the vitamin C decreases the amount of time it takes to regenerate new skin cells, leaving your skin looking fresher and firmer. Thus, people who use vitamin C on their skin see noticeable changes in the number and severity of wrinkling on their faces.
Vitamin C Prevents the Formation of Dark Spots
Another sign of aging and sun damage is the presence of dark spots. One of the many properties vitamin C contains is the ability to suppress your skin’s affinity for producing melanin, which is what gives our skin pigmentation. When we are exposed to excessive sun (and also with age), certain areas of our skin are more prone to making melanin, leaving us with hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C not only prevents future spots from showing up, but it can also correct existing dark spots, leaving the skin brighter.
Vitamin C Can Help Clear the Skin of Blemishes
Acne is one of those skin conditions that can show up really at any point in our lives. Aside from being frustrating and sometimes painful, it can also cause permanent scarring. The antioxidant properties in vitamin C not only help curb breakouts but can also reduce inflammation. Curbing inflammation not only decreases the visible signs of a breakout (like redness and swelling around the lesion) but can also prevent future breakouts from occurring.
And, with its ability to build collagen proteins, vitamin C can help heal lesions more quickly and help reduce the visibility of acne scars in more severe cases.
Choosing the Best Vitamin C Product for Your Skin
You will likely find vitamin C in many skincare products. However, there are a few tips you will want to consider when you are shopping for the best vitamin C product.
Know Your Ingredients
Firstly, you will want to make sure you use ascorbic acid, which is the most stable and effective form of vitamin C for topical use. You can find it in various percentages, but the most effective combination of vitamin C comes in the following percentages:
- 25% Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid
- 10% Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate
The latter ingredient is not as commonly found in vitamin C products but is key for making the vitamin C more effective. Tetrahexyldecyl is a highly stable form of vitamin C that can penetrate deeper into the skin because it is lipid-soluble (meaning it has an easier time getting through cell membranes, which are made of lipids or fats).
Choose a Serum Over Other Product Types
The best way to get vitamin C for skincare is through a serum. Most skincare experts agree that serums are more effective at delivering ingredients than moisturizers or toners. When shopping for a vitamin C serum, make sure it is in a bottle that does not allow light or air to enter. Vitamin C oxidizes (or breaks down) quickly when it is exposed to either, so it must be packaged and stored just right.
For the most potent vitamin C serum on the market, you will want to try the Pure Vitamin C 35% Perfecting + Brightening Serum from DS Laboratories. Combined with olive-derived Squalane and vitamin E, this formulation is packed with everything your skin needs for brightening and rejuvenation.