Of all nutritional supplements, many are familiar with Vitamin C. This vitamin is a household name and acts as a nutritional source often consumed through supplements and food, such as oranges, tomatoes, peppers, and other citrus fruits. In addition, many people have turned to Vitamin C to address skincare concerns such as hyperpigmentation and to prevent signs of aging. Vitamin C is important for our internal and external health, but can be ingested and applied in different forms. Today we will explore the different methods that vitamin C is ingested, applied, and consumed.
What exactly is Vitamin C?
According to the National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, vitamin C is also known as L-absorbic acid and contributes greatly to the body’s healing process. It can naturally be found in certain foods, while also being supplemented in others. The Mayo Clinic reports that vitamin C assists in the formation of blood vessels, collagen, and cartilage, while also serving as an antioxidant that works against free radicals. There are two main conditions in which ingesting vitamin C has proven to be effective:
- Treating the common cold
Although Vitamin C won’t prevent the common cold, it is shown to help alleviate the severity of the symptoms associated with it.
- Eye Disease
As we age, so do our eyes. People who regularly take vitamin C have demonstrated protective benefits from macular degeneration and developing cataracts.
Now, how does it help my skin?
While vitamin C is often associated with health and building one’s immunity, it also plays a prominent role in skincare. Many skincare afficianados have seen the rise in vitamin C products over the past 5-10 years. The American Academy of Dermatology notes that vitamin C, along with retinoids, is one of the supplemental ingredients that can help in both treatment and prevention. Throughout day-to-day life, the skin may be exposed to UV light. As a protective measure, vitamin C neutralizes the free radicals that may lead to the damage caused by UV light. As a result, vitamin C can help prevent the breakdown of collagen and lead to the production of healthy, glowing skin cells.
One of the major reasons many beauty gurus turn to vitamin C is because of its effectiveness in treating hyperpigmentation. Although, when choosing products that contain vitamin C, it is important to recognize that not all are the same. Different products contain varying percentages of vitamin C and can therefore have different effects.
According to dermatologists, one of the most effective methods of applying vitamin C to the skin is through a serum. This is important information because it is highly likely that you will see vitamin C in lotions, creams, and many more topical products. When applying the vitamin C, it is also beneficial to apply the product in the morning on clean skin. When doing so, the product has the opportunity to absorb directly into your skin without having to bypass a barrier of heavy lotion or makeup products.
How to Choose the Best Vitamin C for You
Consuming vitamin C is generally safe and can be consumed through many whole food sources such as kiwi, oranges, cauliflower, and spinach. While it may be difficult to incorporate these foods into your diet on a daily basis, there are many “gummy” supplements that can account for this difference.
When choosing the best vitamin C for you skin, do not feel as though you have to break the bank for good skin. A few tips for looking for high-quality vitamin C can begin in the drug store. To begin, look for packaging that has a dark casing that will limit the amount of light or air that can reach the product. This is especially important because vitamin C can break down when it is exposed to light or oxygen. As it is exposed, its efficacy also decreases.
Another tip is to look for small bottles. Typically, you will only need 1-2 drops of vitamin C to cover your entire face. Therefore, buying smaller bottles will allow you to have a high-quality product for the perfect amount of time before it breaks down.
There is no need to take “megadoses” of vitamin C, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. By megadoses, we mean consuming the juice of 24 oranges in one day hoping that it will stop you from developing any type of illness. While this is not the case, it is more beneficial to ensure that you are obtaining £100 mg of vitamin C per day. Even this amount is on the upper limit, so much less will be fine. The best option is to consult your physician if you are concerned about your nutritional intake.
When looking to apply a high-potency and effective vitamin C to your skin, look for well-reputable serums that contain 15% pure vitamin C. Keep in mind that companies that sell vitamin C with this high of a percentage can get pricey, so don’t be afraid to start on the lower end and work your way up. With high-potency vitamin C, those with sensitive skin may also experience adverse reactions. It is best to consult with a dermatologist when looking to choose the best protective and preventative serum for your skin.