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Vitamin C for Skin: Looking into its Roles, Benefits, and More

Vitamin C for Skin: Looking into its Roles, Benefits, and More

You may know vitamin C as an important nutrient you get from several fruits and vegetables to keep you healthy. But, apart from that, its benefits could also take help your skin. Is vitamin C for skin real?

The Roles of Vitamin C for Skin

Vitamin C for skin works because it’s been noted to enhance keratinocyte differentiation and decrease melanin formation. Thus, resulting in antioxidant protection against UV-induced photodamage.

Normal skin requires high levels of vitamin C, which plays a variety of roles in the skin, including the following:

  • Development of the skin barrier and collagen in the dermis
  • Ability to combat skin oxidation
  • Modulation of cell signal pathways of cell proliferation and differentiation

Benefits of Vitamin C for Skin

The topical application of vitamin C can supply the skin with benefits in the following aspects and more.

Photoprotection

The use of vitamin C, in tandem with a broad-spectrum sunscreen, can help protect the skin from harmful UV radiation. Clinical studies have shown that combining vitamin C with other topical agents, such as ferulic acid and vitamin E, can minimize redness and help shield the skin from long-term UV damage.

Photodamage/Wrinkling

The buildup of oxidative damage to proteins distinguishes both photodamage (photoaging) and intrinsic aging, which can result in changes in skin structure. Vitamin C, in addition to its antioxidant properties, promotes the formation of the structural protein collagen.

A few clinical trials have shown that vitamin C can help with wrinkles. A study revealed that using a vitamin C formulation on a daily basis for at least three months reduced the effect of fine wrinkles on the face and neck, as well as overall skin texture and appearance.

Wound Healing and Acne Treatment

Topical vitamin C can assist with acne treatment by reducing inflammation and controlling oil production in the skin. When compared to a placebo, twice-daily use of vitamin C reduced acne scars in clinical trials.

Furthermore, vitamin C helps lessen the appearance of dark spots by inhibiting pigment formation in our skin. In clinical research, the majority of patients who used topical vitamin C saw improvement in their dark spots with little discomfort to no side effects. However, there is still a need to establish vitamin C’s brightening effects.

How Does Vitamin C for Skin Work?

To be able to understand the mechanism of the topical application, you also need to understand the interaction that takes place between free radicals and antioxidants in the body.

  • Free radicals refer to the molecules produced as a byproduct of oxygen metabolism when our bodies generate energy at the cellular level. The oxygen molecule loses one electron, resulting in the formation of a free radical.
  • External variables including pollution, sunshine, radiation, mental stress, smoking, excessive alcohol, diseases, and some medicines can all contribute to free radical generation.
  • Free radicals move around the body searching for electrons to help them adjust. When necessary, free radicals take electrons from normal healthy cells, causing a variety of disorders ranging from accelerated aging to terminal diseases.
  • Antioxidants shield healthy cells from free radicals by providing an electron to them. Antioxidants are naturally produced by the body, but we can also obtain them from the foods we eat and from supplementation.

Key Takeaways

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an essential nutrient for skin health due to its antioxidant effects. It helps in reducing the risk of skin cancer, but it is more known for its role in collagen formation. Thus, you may also think of it as vitamin C-ollagen.

You may incorporate a potent topical vitamin C in your skincare routine after washing your face with a gentle cleanser and before putting on your moisturizer and sunscreen.

Learn more about Skincare and Cleansing here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/ Accessed November 25, 2021

Vitamin C and Skin Health, https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C Accessed November 25, 2021

Why is topical vitamin C important for skin health, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/why-is-topical-vitamin-c-important-for-skin-health-202111102635 Accessed November 25, 2021

The Role of Vitamin C in Skin Diseases, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2018.00819/full Accessed November 25, 2021

Topical Vitamin C, https://dermnetnz.org/topics/topical-vitamin-c Accessed November 25, 2021

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Written by Fiel Tugade Updated Dec 21, 2021
Fact Checked by Kristel Dacumos-Lagorza