Ascorbic acid, better known to us as vitamin C, plays a vital role in skin health. While taking vitamin C daily internally is often beneficial for boosting immune health and fighting the common cold, applying it topically can do wonders for the skin. Let’s break down why vitamin C belongs in your skincare routine.
What does vitamin C do?
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that reduces damage from UV rays and pollutants in the air and environment. It’s naturally found in both our epidermis (outer layers of skin) and dermis (deeper layers of skin). As we age, the vitamin C levels in our skin decrease, making us more susceptible to skin damage.
It’s interesting to note that exposure to UV light and cigarette smoke both can lower the amount of vitamin C found in our skin as well. Vitamin C can also speed up wound healing time, decrease inflammation, alleviate dry skin and it’s crucial for collagen production.
How can we increase our vitamin C?
Is it possible to just increase our oral intake of vitamin C and get the same effects as topically applied vitamin C? No. Studies have shown that oral consumption alone does not have the same effects as topically applied vitamin C.
Topical vitamin C application results in an increased ability to repair photo-damaged skin, and a reduction in skin wrinkling. A combination of both internal and external vitamin C is ideal for optimal skin benefits.
When should we apply vitamin C?
Ideally vitamin C serums or drops should be applied in the morning, beneath sunscreen. Since vitamin C actively fights free radicals, it is important to make sure this step is taken in the morning before we step out into the world of pollutants. Another option is this simple Vitamin C Facial Mask that can be done weekly.
Vitamin C Facial Mask
- 1 teaspoon L-Ascorbic Acid powder
- 4 teaspoons jojoba oil (can be substituted with grapeseed or coconut oil)
In a small bowl, mix the L-ascorbic acid powder and the oil. It’s important for your vitamin C powder to be L-ascorbic because that means it’s a stable form of vitamin C. Blend well and then apply with facial brush to face and neck. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse with warm water. Apply regular moisturizer and sunscreen.
Photos by Ana Stanciu44