Vitamin C for Skin Health

Vitamin C may not be as effective in fighting colds as once thought, but this vital nutrient can do wonders for the skin!

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a powerful nutrient and antioxidant necessary for the growth and repair of tissues throughout the body. It helps the body produce collagen — an important protein that aids in the growth of cells and blood vessels and gives the skin its firmness and strength.

Collagen Booster

Collagen, a fibrous protein found in skin and connective tissue that aids the growth of cells and gives skin its elasticity, naturally decreases with age, leading to loose, weak and dry skin.

Vitamin C stimulates the production of new collagen, thus helping the skin maintain its elasticity and flexibility.

In fact, an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study of 4,025 women ages 40 to 74 found that those with high vitamin C intakes experienced a lower likelihood of wrinkles, fine lines and dry skin.

Protective Antioxidant

Vitamin C is also a highly effective antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage.

Free radicals, unstable molecules that damage the structure of healthy cells, contribute to the aging process and the development of such health conditions as cancer and heart disease. Although the body creates some free radicals during normal metabolic processes, most are caused by such environmental factors as pollution, radiation, sun exposure, and cigarette smoke.

Here’s how it works: When a molecule — the building block of every cell in our bodies — splits in such a way that leaves it with one unpaired electron, it becomes unstable and tries to recapture the electron by stealing it from another molecule. That attacked molecule then becomes an unstable free radical itself, setting off a chain reaction.

Antioxidants — essential nutrients that include vitamins C, D and E, beta-carotene and selenium — protect the skin from damage by stabilizing those free radicals. But if antioxidants are unavailable to stop these attacks or if too many free radicals are produced, cell damage can occur, leading to a multitude of chronic diseases and prematurely aged skin.

Reduces Sun Damage & Wrinkles

Vitamin C is not a “sunscreen” because it doesn’t absorb light in the UVA or UVB spectrum, but its antioxidant activity protects the skin against sun induced damage. Topical application of Vitamin C has been shown to reduce the number of sunburned cells, decrease redness and reduce cellular damage. It has also shown a decrease in wrinkles and roughness of the skin. The stability of the topical solution or product is important since exposure to air, heat and light will slowly cause it to degrade. An air tight container or airless pump diminishes the breakdown of Vitamin C.

Vitamin C is an important nutrient for skin health. It aids in collagen synthesis, protects the skin and decreases sun damage. It can also benefit skin wrinkling, dry skin and wound healing. Topical application is an effective route for absorption. Talk to your Skin Center provider to find the best medical grade Vitamin C product for your skin.

 

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