What is Vitamin C?
To combat the anti-aging process, many people start by looking into Vitamin C benefits for skin. But it’s helpful to first learn more about Vitamin C and the overall benefits before applying it to your skin.
The Office of Dietary Supplements agrees that Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is found naturally in foods and that’s available as a dietary supplement. It’s also known as L-ascorbic acid.
Vitamin C is essential to the biosynthesis of collagen, neurotransmitters and L-carnitine. It’s also required for protein metabolism, which means it’s incredibly important to your overall health.
Vitamin C also helps boost your immune system by encouraging the production of new white blood cells. It can also shorten wound healing time. It’s even been shown to reduce recovery times in ill patients.
The defensive properties of Vitamin C carry over to your skin as well. In fact, studies show that Vitamin C is vital to the skin’s defense system. This vitamin is transported to the skin and acts as a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the barriers preventing germs and pathogens from entering the body.
With all of this in mind, you are probably wondering, why is vitamin c good for your skin?
What does Vitamin C do for your skin?
One of the main benefits of Vitamin C in skin care is the neutralization of free radicals. Studies show that Vitamin C helps the skin’s natural regeneration process because of the exceptional antioxidant properties. This process allows your body to repair damaged skin cells. In fact, using Vitamin C as part of your skin care routine may help offset some of the damage done by air pollution and UV rays.
There are also plenty of beauty-related benefits you can obtain from Vitamin C. Does Vitamin C help skin tone? Absolutely. In fact, studies show that this could be one of the best anti-aging vitamins around. It may even support a smooth, glowing and even complexion.
Vitamin C is also shown in studies to have a hydrating benefit to the skin, which helps it look brighter and younger. Research also indicates that Vitamin C reduces inflammation, which could reduce redness.
Some people claim it even helps reduce under-eye circles.
So, the question isn’t, how does vitamin c help your skin? but what can’t it do? Vitamin C’s benefits for skin are overwhelming, proving that it might be time to incorporate this into your daily skin care routine.
What is the best form of Vitamin C for skin care?
We’ve already answered the question of how important is Vitamin C for skin. But, what form is ideal if you want to improve your skin health? While you may getting enough Vitamin C through a healthy diet, there’s no way to ensure that this nutrient is making its way to your skin.
So, what is the best form of Vitamin C for skin care? This nutrient comes in a variety of forms. You may have heard of pure ascorbic acid (L-ascorbic acid) and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP). While pure ascorbic acid has been more researched and shows optimal benefits, there may be other forms that work well too. However, the pure ascorbic acid form has been proven in studies time and again to penetrate the skin barrier, thereby increasing the levels within the skin.
If you’re looking to maximize the Vitamin C benefits for skin, you may also consider using topical products. Not only are topicals easy to use, but they provide direct access to your skin.
You can get even better results by using Vitamin C with other vitamins. Used together, Vitamin C and Vitamin E may double protection against free radical and UV damage, according to some research.
Still, there’s nothing wrong with taking only Vitamin C tablets for skin health. Vitamin C supplements can also provide other health benefits that improve your overall well-being.
Incorporating Vitamin C into Your Skin Care Routine
We’ve explained how Vitamin C helps the skin. Now, you just have to decide the best way to incorporate it into your skin care routine. Of course, you want to ensure you do everything you can to boost your skin health internally and externally, so it’s important to evaluate all the application options.
Using a topical — or serum — that includes Vitamin C is often more effective than standard toners or creams. Just make sure the serum contains pure ascorbic acid to effectively penetrate your skin’s barrier. If you can, choose a product that also includes Vitamin E for a double blast of antioxidants.
In addition to topical Vitamin C skin care products, there are several other ways to take advantage of Vitamin C benefits for skin, such as eating a healthy diet that’s rich in Vitamin C and taking supplements.
In fact, let's take a look at all of these methods in more detail.
Eating Foods That Are High in Vitamin C for Skin
While Vitamin C can be quite potent from a topical standpoint, you can’t argue with the benefits of adding it to your diet. In fact, if you’re using a topical and taking supplements that include the active form of Vitamin C, you’re getting the same form of Vitamin C that is found in healthy foods.
The other benefit of getting Vitamin C in your food is that you boost your overall health. Plus, you may be able to avoid spending on additional products, which frees you up to spend more on healthy foods.
Thankfully, Vitamin C is found in a wide variety of foods. If you want a Vitamin-C rich beverage, consider orange juice, grapefruit juice, tomato-vegetable juice or a smoothie made with those same foods.
Vitamin C-rich foods include:
- Bell Peppers
- Brussels Sprouts
To get a daily supply of Vitamin C, you would only need to eat ½ cup of red sweet bell peppers or drink ¾ cup of orange juice. It’s really that simple to receive all the Vitamin C benefits for skin.
Taking Vitamin C Supplements for Your Skin
You can also take Vitamin C pills for skin health if you feel you don’t get enough through your diet alone. Let’s evaluate how to use Vitamin C capsules for skin health.
Capsules tend to be the most popular option, but they aren’t the only type of supplements. You can also purchase chewable Vitamin C if you have trouble swallowing capsules. Additionally, some gummy options are available, but you may want to consider the sugar content in these options. That being said, liquid supplements are often better absorbed and can easily be mixed with a variety of beverages.
Powdered supplements aren’t the most popular options, but do offer a lot of benefits. First, the option is flexible. You can drink it with any liquid or add it to your favorite smoothie. Plus, they’re simple to take on the go. Powders can also be used to make your own capsules if you want a customized dose.
You can choose your Vitamin C supplement as a stand-alone product or a multivitamin. If you are looking to promote your overall health, a multi-vitamin may be the way to go. Just make sure you calculate what you’re getting from your diet to ensure you’re not taking more than the recommended dose.
Using Topical Skin-care Products
Some people prefer the ease of applying Vitamin C directly to the skin. You can purchase a Vitamin C serum or choose skin care products with Vitamin C added.
If you decide to purchase a Vitamin C serum, make sure it comes in a dark bottle, as Vitamin C breaks down easily once it’s exposed to air or light. However, dark glass helps the vitamin remain stable and increases its efficacy. If you plan to use a serum daily, apply it before using any other moisturizer.
In addition, don’t go overboard with applying it. Vitamin C serums are quite potent, so you should only use a few drops at a time. Start with a lower concentration and work your way up if you require more. And always be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle to ensure you’re using it properly.
Vitamin C Recommended Daily Intake Guidelines
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, the recommended daily dose of Vitamin is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. Women that are breastfeeding or pregnant may require more, up to 120 mg.
Children require a much lower dose of Vitamin C, ranging between 25 and 75 mg per day. However, you should only give children supplemental Vitamin C if a pediatrician recommends it.
The Tolerable Upper Intake Level of Vitamin C in adults is 2,000 mg. This is the number that should not be exceeded, ever. Otherwise, you may suffer from adverse health effects.
Vitamin C is considered a natural compound and is generally regarded as safe. However, consuming too much could lead to some side effects, such as headaches, nausea, flushed skin and vomiting. It can also increase your chance of getting kidney stones. And although you may want to receive all of the Vitamin C benefits for skin, it’s important that you discuss all new supplements with your healthcare provider.
Additionally, if you choose to use a skin-based formula, you want to be on the lookout for allergies. If you have sensitive skin, you may need to try a few products before you find the right one for your skin. And before you use a serum on a large area, spot test it on a small area first to make sure you’re not allergic.