A few centuries ago, sailors found the key to avoiding scurvy—vitamin C. While you were growing up, your mother likely often told you to take vitamin C to ward off colds and other illnesses. Fast forward to about 20 years ago, when an American university scholar published a paper showing ground-breaking results in the use of vitamin C to reduce UVB damage when applied to the back of hairless pigs. His research showed conclusively that applying vitamin C topically could repair sun damage. Our seafaring friends, who couldn’t get fresh fruits and vegetables, suffered bleeding under their skin, ulcers and joint weakness. The reason? Vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid) is essential to the production of collagen, a protein that helps with the growth of blood vessels and cells and gives your skin its firmness and strength. Vitamin C also assists with the formation of scar tissue and helps your skin to repair itself.
What to look for in a skin care product containing Vitamin C
It’s always important to use medical grade cosmetic skin care—vitamin C needs to be manufactured well and packaged properly. When shopping for vitamin C skin care products keep in mind that it is relatively unstable—it’s effectiveness can reduce quickly over a short time. Look for the following:
- the active ingredient on the label needs to be “ascorbic acid” or ”L- ascorbic acid”
- the label should state the product contains between 3-10 percent vitamin C
- the packaging should be airtight and opaque as vitamin C is an antioxidant, quickly degrading in air and light
How can vitamin C help with skin rejuvenation?
Here’s what a well-formulated, stably packaged product containing vitamin C can do for your skin:
- Protect your skin cells and skin support structure from UV damage
- Improve the appearance of sun damaged skin
- Strengthen your skin’s barrier response
- Lessen inflammation
- Promote the production of collagen
- Enhance effectiveness of chemical peels and microdermabrasion
- Reduce hyperpigmentation (at levels of 3 percent or higher)
- Increase the effectiveness of sunscreen
Miracle cure for skin rejuvenation?
From its humble beginnings on the backs of hairless pigs to today’s extensive body of research and studies, vitamin C is definitely being touted as a powerful antioxidant. As we’ve said before though, no one ingredient will repair all your skin problems – it’s the same as eating only one type of vegetable and expecting to remain healthy.