Vitamin C is critical for your body and plays an important role in maintaining healthy, resilient skin.
While young skin is full of vitamin C, aging skin naturally loses this nutrient over time. Other factors like exposure to UV light, pollutants and cigarette smoke compound the decline of vitamin C, contributing to signs of aging. The good news is that you can fight back by replenishing your skin’s vitamin C levels to help to combat and even reverse time’s effect on your face.
One of the most powerful functions of vitamin C is its role in the production of collagen, a protein that gives your skin its elasticity. As you age, collagen breaks down and wrinkles begin to form. Stabilizing your skin’s levels of vitamin C can help to counteract wrinkle formation by increasing collagen production.
When it comes to treating age spots, you don’t need chemical peels and lasers – it turns out that vitamin C can have almost the same results! Age spots are essentially sun damage, and vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, shown to reduce the number of sunburned cells as well as reverse age-related damage to skin. While it’s not a replacement for sunscreen, vitamin C protects against and may repair UV damage like discoloration and fine lines.
Your Anti-Aging Rx
Taking vitamin C through a supplement or food is beneficial to your health, but to specifically target signs of aging on your face, topical vitamin C is best. In fact, applying vitamin C to the skin can be 20 times more effective than taking it orally. Topical vitamin C is sold in a wide range of products from serum to lotions. Look for products that contain between 3% and 10% of vitamin C and include the active ingredient ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid. Pay extra attention to the packaging – all antioxidants, including vitamin C, are vulnerable to deterioration in the presence of air and light. Unless the product is in an airtight and opaque package, don’t buy it!
Apply topical vitamin C once a day, ideally after you’ve exfoliated in the morning to utilize vitamin C’s sun-protecting properties. On rare occasions, topical vitamin C can cause some mild dryness or flaking. Counteract this side effect with a moisturizer. This topical nutrient is safe to combine with all your other skin care products and even works synergistically with other antioxidants. For a super powerful anti-aging punch, combine vitamins C and E together.
The length of time from when you start using vitamin C until you see results varies with each person. While some people see changes as soon as 2-4 weeks, it may take others 6-8 weeks to see a difference. After around 6 months, you’ll reach the maximum benefits.
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