Being touted as a solution for every skincare problem, companies often put Vitamin C or one of its derivatives in many of their products hoping to attract more customers. But what’s the truth about Vitamin C? Is it really effective or just another hyped up ingredient?
Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis. Collagen is a fiber that makes skin elastic and its reduction leads to the formation of wrinkles.
In addition, Vitamin C boosts the immune system and is also a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals, which cause premature aging too.
Lack of Vitamin C, instead, causes a condition called scurvy. Its symptoms are spots on skin, bleeding gums and wounds taking longer to heal.
Cons of Vitamin C
Despite its many benefits, the use of Vitamin C in skincare products has a few problems. First of all, to be effective this ingredient has to penetrate deep into the skin and not just lie on the surface. But for that to happen, not only Vitamin C needs to be in an acidic environment, but it has to be present in high concentrations in a product. Most products available on the market, however, don’t contain enough Vitamin C and those that do tend to be expensive. In addition, using products that contain big quantities of Vitamin C can cause irritations to people with sensitive skin.
Another downside of Vitamin C is that, when exposed to light and air, it oxidizes, losing its effectiveness. In addition, that may actually generate more free radicals! Because of this, it is recommend to buy products that have dark packaging and avoid those that come in jars as they expose the products to light and air. Also, store the product properly as stated on the label and, if it changes color and becomes yellowish-brown, throw it away.
Get Vitamin C from food
If you don’t want to buy an expensive Vitamin C product, don’t worry. Eating food rich in Vitamin C like oranges, tangerines, or blueberries, will give you all the Vitamin C you need. But don’t overdo it! Research shows that an overload of Vitamin C won’t produce more collagen.
It is also important to note that Vitamin C is not the only antioxidant that works great for the skin: Vitamins A and E, lycopene and grape extract have good antioxidant properties too. And using several antioxidants instead than just the one, doesn’t matter how well-publicized it is, will benefit the skin more.