Vitamin C in Skin Care has been all the rage in 2018. I could not pick up a magazine or read an article in an industry post that did not tout the importance of Vitamin C in Natural Skin Care. I will say it is not an easy ingredient to work with. But I have grown to love it. What is does in our skin care formulas is phenomenal. We have had our Vitamin C Face Cleanser since we opened our business almost 10 years ago. It is still my favorite cleanser to date. We now have a Vitamin C Peel Mask and a Vitamin C Moisturizer. We are in the process of reformulating our Hyaluronic Acid Serum to include Vitamin C.
Humans are one of the only mammals, together with monkeys and guinea pigs that cannot synthesise vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) on their own. It is therefore considered an essential nutrient that needs to be supplied in our diet.
Vitamin C deficiencies were very common in the past. When we look back in history, we come across scurvy, a disease caused by extreme vitamin C deficiency and that was potentially fatal. Luckily, in our day and age, scurvy is rare.
However, varying degrees of vitamin C deficiency are still possible and more prevalent than you think. It can be caused by mental and/or physical stress, smoking (each cigarette costs you around 25mg of vitamin C), antibiotics, and the regular taking of antidepressants, aspirin and oral contraceptives, as well as over consumption of alcohol and refined sugar. This probably means a good many people suffer a vitamin C deficiency even if they don’t realize it.
Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetables. Examples of sources rich in vitamin C are: acerola cherries, rosehips, blackcurrants, red peppers, parsley, cress and leafy greens like spinach, cabbages, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and kale; as well as cauliflower; along with tomatoes, citrus fruits, melon, pineapple, berries, kiwi fruit, and strawberries. Vitamin C comes bundled in lots of delicious foods which we could easily make part of our daily diet.
Not only is vitamin C vital inside our body as a nutrient, it can also be found in the following layers of our skin:
• The epidermis: this is the outer and top layer of our skin. Here, we find melanocytes which are responsible for making the pigment melanin in our skin.
• The dermis: this is the deeper layer of our skin, below the epidermis. Here, we find fibroblasts that make collagen.
Our vitamin C content in both these layers can be compromised on account of:
• excessive exposure to UV light; and
• excessive exposure to pollutants, like cigarette smoke and ozone.
Vitamin C is transported through the bloodstream to the skin.
Collagen is a protein and the primary structural component of the dermis. It is responsible for strengthening and supporting our skin. As we age, these building blocks deteriorate as the production of collagen slows and elastin, another protein, is less springy. This leads to wrinkling and other typical signs of skin ageing.
Vitamin C both influences and promotes quantitative collagen synthesis as well as qualitative changes in the collagen molecule. So, it gives our skin a double whammy helping it look firmer and suppler and overall healthier and younger.
Melanocytes in the epidermis make melanin. Melanin is the brown pigment that produces our normal skin color and what makes our skin tan.
As we grow older, our skin can be characterized by hyperpigmentation which means that patches of skin become darker in color in comparison with the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin forms deposits in the skin.
As a formulator it is my aim to help reduce this hyperpigmentation without causing undesirable hypopigmentation – loss of color in the skin – and without irritation in the surrounding and normally-pigmented skin.
Topically-applied vitamin C has the cosmetic effect of fading of dark spots and brightening the skin.
Vitamin C is often combined with soy and/or licorice for an even greater effect on reducing the visible signs of hyperpigmentation.
Thanks to all these properties, we can definitely conclude that topically-applied vitamin C is of great value in a variety ways in high-performance skincare.
I hope you found this article informative and I welcome your comments. Please feel free to set an appointment to come by and sample our line of Vitamin C Products. You will be glad you did.