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Ingredient Focus: Benefits of Vitamin C for Skin

vitamin c and skin

You’re probably familiar with vitamin C, an antioxidant found in citrus fruits like oranges and veggies like peppers. While vitamin C can give your immune system a boost, it can also revitalize your skin and give it a healthier glow when used topically.

Your body can’t produce or store vitamin C itself, so to get it, you can supplement through food and multivitamins.

You can also apply vitamin C to your skin in topical applications, like serums and creams. Skincare products deliver vitamin C to the epidermal layer of your skin. Then it can get to work nourishing and replenishing, and brightening while protecting. 

Learn how the powerful vitamin C can help you achieve more youthful-looking skin.

Shop Biopelle skincare products with vitamin C.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C, commonly seen as ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid in skincare, is an essential nutrient that neutralizes free radicals and works in tissue repair and protection. Since free radicals break down elastin and collagen and can lead to the appearance of wrinkles, vitamin C can help protect against skin aging.

Vitamin C directly relates to skin health. According to a 2017 study in the journal “Nutrients,” aged and photodamaged skin have lower levels of vitamin C. Exposure to oxidative stress via UV radiation and pollutants is associated with depleted vitamin C levels in the epidermal layer.

Nourishing your skin with vitamin C through skincare can help you optimally protect your skin.  

How Does Vitamin C Work?

Vitamin C for skincare doesn’t come from the produce section — it’s created in a lab. That makes it more shelf-stable and less susceptible to temperature and heat.

While eating a diet rich in vitamin C-filled foods can benefit your skin, applying vitamin C topically provides many benefits. Dermatologist Dr. Patricia Wexler told CNN vitamin C is 20 times more potent when taken topically compared to orally. By applying vitamin C skincare directly to your face, the epidermis can instantly absorb the antioxidant benefits.

Vitamin C helps increase the production of barrier lipids in cell culture, which helps protect skin from environmental damage. Vitamin C can provide significant protection and help repair skin from damage including:

  • Deterioration due to aging, including wrinkle formation and loss of elasticity
  • Exposure to elements like pollution and the sun, which can lead to wrinkling, dryness and discoloration
  • Damage from chemicals, wounds and burns

Vitamin C can even protect skin from precancerous changes according to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. While you might take a multivitamin for your internal health, vitamin C applied topically can help promote healthier skin, too.

Benefits of Vitamin C for Skin

Vitamin C supports healthy skin functions, helps promote collagen production and assists in antioxidant protection against UV-induced photodamage. That can lead to firmer skin, fewer wrinkles and more youthful-looking skin.

Vitamin C also inhibits the skin’s melanin production. This can diminish dark spots and brighten your complexion by evening out skin tone.

According to Zeichner, you may see noticeable improvements in your skin from vitamin C skincare within 3 weeks. In 2 months, vitamin C skincare use may significantly fade hyperpigmentation.

How Can I Incorporate Vitamin C into My Routine?

Since vitamin C limits the damage of UV exposure, it’s a helpful protector to apply in the morning for skin throughout the day. Used at night, it can help repair damage caused by sun and pollutant exposure and encourage skin cell regeneration for more radiant skin.

Vitamin C is especially effective in serums since they quickly penetrate the skin and are concentrated to deliver ingredients quickly and effectively. You can apply a serum with vitamin C after cleansing your face both in the morning and at night. Follow a serum with a moisturizer or sunscreen.

Like most antioxidant defense, you’ll get the best results from vitamin C when you incorporate it into your skincare routine sooner, even in your 20s. Since it offers so much oxidative stress protection, use it regularly as soon as possible to prevent dangers like UV radiation and pollutants from harming your skin.

Things to Watch for With Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful and popular skincare ingredient, but it also has some peculiarities. It’s a very unstable ingredient, which is why it can be found as derivatives like sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, retinyl ascorbate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. These vitamin C derivatives are combined with other ingredients which can keep it more stable. Even when using derivatives, though, vitamin C is very sensitive to light. Routine UV exposure can make your vitamin C products less effective, so look for products without transparent packaging. 

Vitamin C also doesn’t play well with everything, again due to its instability. Vitamin C can work well with complementing antioxidants like vitamin E and ferulic acid, which can boost the efficacy and stability of the molecule. When keeping in mind what not to combine this antioxidant with, avoid combining vitamin C with benzoyl peroxide, which can cause it to oxidize and quickly reduce its benefits. Also avoid using it with other acids, which may cause excessive skin irritation, especially if used daily. 

Biopelle’s Vitamin C Formulations

If you’re interested in using vitamin C to brighten your skin, decrease wrinkles and protect against pollution that can cause aging, Biopelle offers several effective serums with vitamin C.

  • Tensage Antioxidant Defense Serum: This serum contains 10% vitamin C, along with growth factors in SCA Biorepair Technology with ferulic acid and Edafence for extra antioxidant defense. Edafence is an anti-pollution botanical ingredient that helps protects against free radical damage. Help shield your skin from pollutants while evening out and brightening the appearance of your complexion.
  • Tensage Daily Serum: This serum combines vitamin C with growth factors, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid for moisture. The ingredients combine to help even skin tone, improve the visible signs of aging and protect against environmental damage.
  • XCP Brightening Serum: 10% vitamin C (as L-ascorbic acid) is combined with phytic acid, green tea extract, and grape seed extract to deliver antioxidant benefits and brightening ingredients to help combat uneven skin tone. 

Applying vitamin C in a serum can nourish your skin and promote a healthier appearance. See all Biopelle vitamin C skincare products.

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