We’re unable to synthasise Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid (LAA) is the chemically active form), which is why we need to acquire it from our diet.
But what about our skin? Alongside eating foods containing high levels of Vitamin C, we can also take it in supplement form, but: ‘only a small fraction of it will eventually be biologically available and active in the skin.’ (Al-Niami, F (2016), para. 2) This isn’t to say that we mustn’t ensure a well-balanced diet, as it’s important on so many levels, but it leads us to seek out effective topical solutions too to boost it.
Vitamin C, the most abundant antioxidant in human skin, has been subject to a significant amount of research, which supports the use of cosmeceuticals containing it:
“Cutaneous benefits include promoting collagen synthesis, photoprotection from ultraviolet A and B, lightening hyperpigmentation, and improvement of a variety of inflammatory dermatoses.” (Farris, PK. (2005))
Its ability to promote new collagen helps to tighten the skin and reduce minor lines and wrinkles. Also, as we’ve discussed in previous articles, protection from UV rays, with their links to skin ageing, is of utmost importance.
The key when using Vitamin C topically is to use only highly stable products; often store brands can contain low quality vitamin C which quickly becomes pro-oxidant and damaging to the skin.
Al-Niami, F. (2016) ‘The effects of topical vitamin C on the skin.’ prime-journal.com.
Farris, PK. (2005) ‘Topical vitamin C: a useful agent for treating photoaging and other dermatologic conditions.’ Dermatologic Surgery, 31, 814-7; discussion 818.