Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant commonly found in fruit and vegetables that supports our immune system. It helps strengthen our natural defenses against illness, and also helps improve the body’s capability to absorb the iron it needs.
Enjoying food rich in vitamin C helps the body fight free radicals, which damage our cells; research shows that pulmonary patients with lower levels of vitamin C had an increased risk of breathing problems on high-pollution days compared to those with higher vitamin C intake, meaning antioxidants have a significant impact against the effects of pollution and other environmental stressors on the body.
Vitamin C in skincare
There’s more to this essential vitamin than just keeping your insides healthy, however. Vitamin C is considered a holy grail skincare ingredient, and for good reason: IT WORKS.
As we age, the levels of vitamin C in our epidermis and dermis naturally diminish. This is accelerated by UV damage as well as exposure to pollution and other irritants. Our skin gets exposed to these environmental stressors every single day, leading to a compromised moisture barrier; this results in skin becoming more prone to irritation and skin diseases.
Without protection and a nourishing skincare regimen, our skin becomes progressively more dull, uneven, and discolored.
By incorporating vitamin C into your skincare routine, you give your skin a better fighting chance to heal and transform itself on a cellular level.
Here’s what it does:
1. It helps prevent skin cell damage from environmental aggressors.
Vitamin C doesn’t just fight off free radical damage internally — it also combats damage to skin cells! Studies show that vitamin C can help treat UV-induced damage by reducing inflammation and aiding in collagen synthesis. Collagen is one of our skin’s building blocks, and stimulating collagen production contributes to skin cell repair while helping prevent further damage.
2. It combats redness and inflammation.
Free radicals attack cells and tissue, which can trigger inflammation in the skin. Antioxidants like vitamin C neutralize the damage free radicals do, alleviating the inflammation caused by oxidative stress. When inflammation is controlled, redness is minimized, leading to an overall healthier and more radiant skin appearance.
3. It helps eliminate dullness and rough patches.
Remember what we said about stimulating collagen production for skin cell repair? Vitamin C doesn’t just stimulate collagen production — it also speeds up cell turnover, which means your skin heals and repairs itself more rapidly than it otherwise would.
The cumulative effect of regular vitamin C use: Wounds heal more effectively, blemishes are minimized faster, and skin is renewed over time, eliminating the roughness and dullness brought about by environmental aggressors.
How to incorporate Vitamin C into your skincare routine
A hydrating face mist is one of the easiest ways to incorporate an active ingredient like vitamin C into your routine. You can easily mist it on after cleansing, then seal in the antioxidant-packed moisture with an occlusive moisturizer. Alternately, you can mist away throughout the day, providing your skin with a refreshing pick-me-up that helps minimize redness with continued use. If you want to take it up a notch, you can also opt to start your routine with a cleanser infused with vitamin C for an added antioxidant boost!