There is a lot of information about vitamin C some of it rightful and some of it wrong, and that’s why in this article I’ll summarize the main points about vitamin c skincare benefits so you can decided if it is necessary to add it to your daily skin care.
So without further delay lets talk about what does vitamin C do for your skin exactly.
Vitamin C to avoid skin barrier damage.
Natural vitamin C for skin can be the answer to the question how to have beautiful glowing skin with natural products for skin care. In order to understand correctly why to consider natural vitamin C for skin, you should know why a healthy skin barrier is crucial.
There is a rule to follow: a healthy skin barrier = healthy glowing skin
If you’d like to know the answer to the question what causes transepidermal water loss, it is mainly the skin barrier damage.
Our skin barrier protects us from the external environmental factors, so it needs to be kept in balance so that the skin is as well balanced and stays healthy. If it is not in balance, transepidermal water loss may occur.
The main symptoms of this transepidermal water loss can be dry itchy skin on face with a loss of elasticity in skin, oily face, reddish skin color or sensitive skin with acne, which responds to any active ingredients in skin care.
How does vitamin C act as an antioxidant?
This awesome ingredient, the vitamin C, act as antioxidant, so it does protect your skin from oxygen free radicals.
But before I get deeply to the effects of vitamin C on skin and how does vitamin C act as an antioxidant I’ll remind you what is the oxygen free radicals definition.
What are free radicals and how do they affect the skin?
Oxygen free radicals include, for example, air pollution, cigarette smoke and, above all, UV radiation.
Oxygen free radicals definition:
Oxygen free radicals are highly reactive molecules that affect our body and our skin every single day. This means that they react easily with other molecules from our own body, damaging consequently their structure.
Free radicals can cause some damage to the skin, if we don’t protect it properly, but how do they affect the skin exactly?
How does free radicals affect your skin?
They affect the layers of skin – both the epidermis (or stratum corneum) and the dermis:
- Epidermis is the upper layer of skin. Epidermis consists mainly of dead skin cells.
- Dermis is already a living layer of skin, where capillaries, blood vessels and nerve endings are located.
Oxygen free radicals change the function of cells, which affects the lipid and protein structure of the skin. You probably already know the two most important proteins collagen and elastin in skin.
Oxygen free radicals provoke these proteins, collagen and elastin in skin, to break down, which reduces the skin elasticity and flexibility, as well as its protective mechanism.
What ultimately happens is the skin aging. And skin aging means wrinkles around eyes when smiling (I’m not saying you should stop smiling) and wrinkles between eyebrows.
But nothing is lost, because here comes the natural vitamin C for skin, which is currently one of the most popular active ingredients in skin care.
What does vitamin C do for your skin?
So now that you already know the basics, let’s finally have a look at the miracle effects of vitamin C on skin and what are the main 3 vitamin C skincare benefits.
Vitamin C antioxidant benefits
Natural vitamin C for skin works as an antioxidant in two ways.
Firstly, being an antioxidant itself, natural vitamin C does the job of protecting the skin from oxygen free radicals.
Secondly, natural vitamin C also restores vitamin E in the skin. Its amount in the skin decreases as we age. Vitamin E is another well-known antioxidant. So skin protection and skin renewal is guaranteed thanks to this combination.
Vitamin C wrinkles fighter and collagen and elastin booster
As I mentioned above, collagen and elastin proteins are super important so-called building blocks, which are found in the layer of skin called dermis.
Collagen and elastin proteins are responsible for the skin texture and skin elasticity.
The production of collagen and elastin proteins in the body decreases with age.
Wrinkles under the eyes, uneven skin texture from acne or grainy skin texture on face in general and tired looking skin are some of the signs that collagen and elastin in skin are decreasing.
However, the natural vitamin C for skin promotes the production of these proteins, so the beautiful glowing skin will finally become reality.
Vitamin C for natural skin lightening
Does vitamin C lighten skin tone? Oh, you bet!
If you are looking for a way how to lighten skin, stop right here.
Natural vitamin C for skin is one of the active ingredients in cosmetics that can help even with skin lightening.
How does hyperpigmentation on face actually arise? Melanocytes and keratinocytes play the main role here.
Melanocytes are stored in the layer of skin called epidermis (or stratum corneum), where it forms melanin.
Melanin is a pigment that gives our skin its natural color, thanks to which we get this beautiful suntan in summer.
Ultraviolet radiation (or UV radiation) from the sun rays can pass through the upper layer of skin called (as you already know) epidermis.
The moment we expose our skin to UV radiation, particles of melanin pigment in skin are clustered and absorbed by this UV radiation.
These clusters of melanin pigment form a protective shield over keratinocytes, which are the primary type of cell found in the epidermis.
Natural vitamin C for skin is a good option if you would like to even skin tone naturally or if you have a tired looking skin that could do with brightening up.
Pure vitamin C derivatives for face
Pure vitamin C for face
Pure vitamin C for face is a water-soluble natural form of vitamin C.
On the packaging you will find it as ascorbic acid.
Pure vitamin C for face is the strongest form, so the results will be visible faster.
On the other hand, there is a higher risk that skin irritation may appear when you’ve just added it into your cosmetic routine.
Pure vitamin C for face is very unstable. If your vitamin C cream for skin suddenly turned brown, it’s because the pure vitamin C has degraded.
For this reason, another antioxidant is often added to products containing pure vitamin C for face, most often it is vitamin E or ferulic acid.
All other forms of vitamin C inside skin cells need to be converted into pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid) so that you could notice any improvement in the skin.
Vitamin C derivatives
Vitamin C derivatives are used more often in cosmetics than pure vitamin C for face.
These vitamin C derivatives include, for example, water-soluble salts or oil-soluble esters.
Their only downside is that the results will take longer to show.
Vitamin C derivatives, on the other hand, have several advantages over pure vitamin C.
These advantages include, for example:
- Their stability, which means they aren’t so sensitive to light and air
- Lower risk of developing skin irritation and sensitivities
- They are not so dependent on the pH of the final product
And how can you spot pure vitamin C for face on the product packaging? Look for the word “ascorbyl” or “ascorbate”.
Pure vitamin C for face and its most common derivatives
- Ascorbic Acid (L-Ascorbic Acid)
- Ascorbyl Palmitate
- Sodium Ascorbate
- Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
- Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP)
- Magnesium ascorbyl Palmitate
- Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (THDA)
- Ascorbyl Glucoside
- Ascorbyl Glucosamine
- Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate
- Ethyl Ascorbic Acid
Here are a few notes on selected derivatives:
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP)
Sensitive skin type, tired looking skin, dull skin or dry skin type will go hand in hand with Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate.
When it comes to evening out skin tone, you will get much better results with this vitamin C derivative than with any other. He’s really great for uneven skin tone.
Ascorbyl Glucoside for skin
Ascorbyl Glucoside is suitable for all skin types. When it comes to promoting the production of collagen and elastin proteins, Ascorbyl Glucoside has similarly strong abilities as pure vitamin C for face.
Therefore, it may be more suitable for those who are looking for a way how to remove wrinkles under eyes. On the other hand, it doesn’t have such an effect on uneven skin tone.
Ethyl Ascorbic Acid
Ethyl Ascorbic Acid is a real star among all vitamin C derivatives.
It is suitable for all skin types, only sensitive acne prone skin should be careful with it.
Ethyl Ascorbic Acid is great for you if you suffer from hyperpigmentation on face or want to achieve an even skin tone naturally, because here are its abilities really powerful.
In fact, it is often compared to the abilities of pure vitamin C for face (ascorbic acid).
Ethyl Ascorbic Acid is also good for promoting collagen and elastin proteins.
It’s the only vitamin C derivative that doesn’t need to be converted into pure vitamin C to actually work.
A few tips on how to use natural vitamin C for face
What concentration of natural vitamin C for face to choose depends on what you want to achieve.
If you are looking for an effective antioxidant, then 1% of vitamin C will be sufficient.
However, if you want to focus on uneven skin tone on face or if you are looking for a way how to get rid of wrinkles under eyes, you will need a concentration between 5-20%.
Since natural vitamin C is sensitive to light and also because it can make the skin more sensitive to UV radiation, I recommend including vitamin C products with higher concentrations in the evening routine. For the same reason it is advisable to buy vitamin C products that don’t have a transparent packaging.
During the day, it is necessary to apply a sufficient amount of sunscreen.
If you want to get the best results and keep your natural vitamin C products fresh for as long as possible, choose those that are in a dark glass airless pump bottle.
Especially pure vitamin C is one of the ingredients that need a suitable packaging that will adequately protect the product.
Not only light, but also air and heat can cause your natural vitamin C product to degrade if it is constantly exposed to these factors. Therefore, do not let the products sweat on the windowsill in summer.
Vitamin B3 niacinamide, is another very effective and versatile antioxidant. You can check the article in the link to see if you should consider this active ingredient, too.