An Important Anti-Aging Ingredient
You should have at least one skincare product that contains the active ingredient vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid. It is one of the most effective cell renewal, anti-aging, ingredients available. That’s because vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes the free radicals that damage and age our cells.
Our bodies need vitamin C for healthy skin. It is key to the production of collagen – a protein that gives skin its firmness and strength – and it helps the skin repair itself. According to the Linus Pauling Institute (Linus Pauling was the pioneer in the study of the effects of Vitamin C on the body) “the antioxidant properties of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and its role in collagen synthesis make vitamin C a vital molecule for skin health. Dietary and topical ascorbic acid have beneficial effects on skin cells, and some studies have shown that vitamin C may help prevent and treat ultraviolet-induced damage”. (Source: Linus Pauling Institute).
No wonder Vitamin C is an important anti-aging ingredient. Whether taken orally, or used as a topical treatment, Vitamin C can help:
- Promote collagen production
- Tone and tighten the skin
- Neutralize free radicals
- Rejuvenate the skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Topical Products Containing Vitamin C
Given the amazing benefits of vitamin C for maintaining healthy skin, preventing and reversing skin damage, there are loads of skincare products using this key ingredient that are very effective. However, vitamin C happens to be an unstable ingredient for topical solutions. That means that as soon as it is exposed to the air, it begins to degrade and loose it efficacy. Pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is the most effective ingredient, but it is the quickest to degrade.
That said, these are some of the more stable forms of vitamin C you may notice in your favorite skincare product:
- L-ascorbic Acid
- L-ascorbic Acid 2-Phosphate
- Ascorbyl Palmitate
- Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
- Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
- Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate
Using Fresh Citrus as an Alternative
Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C and are capable of delivering the same benefits to the skin when used naturally. The intense acids found in lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits can effectively exfoliate the skin, improve circulation in the skin and can lighten the skin where dark patches or scar tissue have formed. See our article on Grapefruit Skincare for more information and easy DIY recipes.
Eating Your Vitamin C
As discussed, taking vitamin C orally can be just as beneficial to the skin as a topical treatment.
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice to your tea or water for an antioxidant boost
- Lemons and grapefruit can help detox the skin from the inside out
Eating a healthy diet is important for maintaining healthy skin. Our article on Foods That Boost Your Skin highlights the best foods for healthy skin.
Make Your Own Vitamin C Skincare Products
Salty Sparkling Orange Cleanser
- ½ orange with skin on (chopped)
- ¼ cup mineral water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Blend all ingredients in a blender. Pour a little sparkling cleanser onto a clean cloth or sponge and gently wash face. Rinse with cold water. For best results use twice a day.
The mineral water and sea salt cleanse away impurities without harming the skin while the anti-aging vitamin C in the orange helps boost collagen levels and brighten the complexion.
For a gentle skin conditioning treatment, try this simple recipe with lemons. Lemons are especially good for closing pores, combatting oily skin and maintaining healthy pH balance. This cleansing facial is perfect for acne-prone skin and it will also help lighten skin that is discolored or even out skin tone.
- 1 Tbs. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
- ¼ Cup Plain Yoghurt
- 1 Tbs. Honey
Blend ingredients together for a gentle, antibacterial cleanser and peel. Apply to skin and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
DID YOU KNOW?
Vitamin C products or natural recipes made with citrus will leave your skin photo-sensitive. If you use a vitamin C treatment make sure you protect your skin from UV rays at all times with an SPF 30 or more