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If you’ve been shopping for skin care products during the past few years, there is no doubt that you have seen countless products advertising the inclusion of vitamin C for better skin. The constantly evolving world of skin care sees buzzworthy ingredients come and go, but there are those ingredients that stand the test of time for the simple reason that they are effective. Vitamin C is one of those ingredients. Keep reading to learn more about vitamin C, it’s derivatives and just how using well-formulated products with vitamin C can improve your skin.
Vitamin C and Derivatives
Vitamin C is an incredibly powerful antioxidant that provides skin with protection from free radicals. The most frequent sources of free radical damage are inescapable environmental factors like the sun, pollution and oxygen. Perhaps the most famous use of vitamin C is as a boost to the immune system, but this vitamin is also a seriously beneficial skin care ingredient. Collagen is an essential protein that supports the structure of your skin, in addition to ligaments, tendons and blood vessels. Vitamin C stimulates collagen production, which means your skin remains strong, smooth and firm. There are many derivatives of vitamin C, including:
- Ascorbyl palmitate
- Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate
- Retinyl ascorbate
- Sodium ascorbyl phosphate
- Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate
The most widely used derivative of vitamin C for cosmetic purposes is ascorbic acid.
Ascorbic acid is the form of vitamin C that is used most frequently in skin care products, primarily because it is the form of vitamin C that has the most research where skin care benefits are concerned. Alexander J. Michels, Ph. D. from Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, writes that “…ascorbic acid is the most effective for topical administration,” but he also notes a potential downside to ascorbic acid. Like all antioxidants, ascorbic acid (and other derivatives of vitamin C) are vulnerable to destabilizing when they are exposed to air or light. Skin care expert Paula Begoun advises that, “…if you want to reap the reward of your antioxidant-enriched treatments, only choose those that are packaged in opaque tubes, air-restrictive bottles, or pumps that help keep their ingredients stable.”
Skin Benefits of Using Vitamin C
Because vitamin C is such a potent antioxidant, there are multiple benefits to using this ingredient in your skin care. Some of these benefits are:
- Sun Protection – While you shouldn’t skip sunscreen when using products with vitamin C, this antioxidant does provide protection from environmental damage, including UV rays. Sun damage is the number one cause of aging and protecting yourself is essential. Use of vitamin C in conjunction with your sunscreen increases the effectiveness of your SPF by boosting your skin’s natural defenses against photodamage.
- Collagen Production – As you age, your body naturally produces less collagen and vitamin C can help to increase collagen production to keep your skin looking young. Vitamin C is a required component for the production of agents that bind the molecules responsible for producing collagen. Increased collagen means firmer skin with a visible decrease in the number of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Skin Texture – Collagen, as previously mentioned, also supports your blood vessels. The tiny blood vessels located under your skin carry nutrients and oxygen required for healthy skin. Elastin is another essential ingredient to healthy, even skin and vitamin C increases elastin formation, which in turn thickens the skin and adds additional protection.
Vitamin C helps to keep your complexion smooth, strong, even and youthful. This antioxidant also increases your natural defense against sun damage and enhances the effectiveness of your sunscreen, keeping your skin well protected. If you aren’t using skin care products that contain vitamin C already, you should certainly consider adding this amazing antioxidant to your skincare routine.