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Skincare QnA | Why is Vitamin C so Important?

Skincare QnA | Why is Vitamin C so Important?

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that is vital in skin health. Consuming Vitamin C supports the immune system, while on the skin, it protects from oxidation (a form of damage from the environment), but is easily lost from the skin when exposed to stressors and sunlight. Therefore, topical application of this vital vitamin is essential for optimal skin health.

The benefits of Vitamin C are:

  • It assists in the formation of collagen and elastin fibres production. These two proteins are responsible for giving the skin its strength and its plump youthful look.
  • It protects the skin from excessive exposure to pollutants in the environment.
  • It also protects the skin from over-exposure to the harmful rays of the sun.
  • It helps wound healing and minimizes raised scar formation
  • It influences the stability of a healthy skin barrier
  • It can also be used to reduce and prevent hyperpigmentation
  • It slows down the aging process by neutralizing the free radicals that causes oxidative stress and premature skin aging.

Forms of Vitamin C

There are various derivatives of Vitamin C in skincare – Ascorbic Acid, L-Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Calcium Ascorbate, and Sodium ascorbate. The most popular form of derivatives in skincare is Ascorbic Acid or L-Ascorbic Acid. The latter is preferred because it is the most researched and is naturally derived and found in human skin and it is bioavailable and ready for immediate use.

It can be unstable, therefore, it is essential to know which vitamin C product formulation is best for your skin type and condition. For example, L-Ascorbic acid can be used by all skin types, but depending on its strength and formulation, it can be irritating for dry and sensitive/ sensitized skin. Magnesium Ascorbic Phosphate is one of the most stable forms of vitamin C; It is hydrating and has anti-inflammatory properties that effectively calms the skin and prevents oxidation; it is great for oily acne-prone skin, and like other derivatives, it can be paired with Niacinamide. Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate converts into ascorbic acid when applied to the skin. This process makes it less active, but effective and less irritating for sensitive skin.

Application

Vitamin C is most effective when the skincare product formulation is combined with other antioxidants like Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid and glutathione. When applied, sunscreen is a must as it can make the skin photosensitive to sunlight. A 10% formula will help brighten dull skin, and 15% to 20% will help to improve hyperpigmentation concerns. However, 15% and above can be irritating to dry and sensitive/ skin. It is best to include it in your morning routine, after your lightweight treatment serum and before your moisturizer and SPF.

Caution

Vitamin C oxidizes (losses its level of potency and effectiveness, by turning brown, dark brown or orange from its clear colour when exposed to light and oxygen), when purchasing your preferred product, look out for dark, opaque, airless bottles or pumps.

Using a vitamin C serum that is best suited for your skin has immense benefits and including it in your skincare routine is one of the best healthy skin care decisions to take.

Some of my favourite Vitamin C serums are

Skintivity RESTORE Vitamin C serum

See Also
Do Black People Need Sunscreen

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Ronke is an internationally trained and fully qualified beauty, skin and wellness therapist. She has a CIBTAC and CIDESCO Diploma in Beauty Therapy from the Oxford International College of Beauty, Oxford, United Kingdom.

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