Some skincare ingredients are overhyped and yet they deserve applause and accolades. The purpose and role of some ingredients are shrouded in mystery for most people, but a few stand tall and promising on the front line. Let’s welcome a skincare confidante that is popular, hyped, and remains true to its words – Vitamin-C, it perhaps needs no introduction.
The skincare industry is saturated with products formulated with Vitamin-C. From serums to moisturizer to body lotion, its topical application rescue dull-looking skin and gives a radiant and brighter complexion. Being rich in antioxidants, Vitamin-C in skincare helps in scavenging free radicals and leaves glowing skin. It’s a promising skincare currency that acts as a cofactor in boosting collagen production and leaves skin looking youthful.
Let’s inch closer to knowing Vitamin C as a skin-brightening ingredient. Shall we?
An antioxidant that scavenges free radicals
Skin aging from photodamage, sun damage, and pollutants is often contributed by free radicals. These are unstable atoms that damage cells as they take up electrons from other atoms to stabilize themselves. Constant exposure to free radicals is the cause of early signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, saggy skin, etc. This is where Vitamin C comes into play.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights harmful free radicals that comes in contact with our skin. Topically using Vitamin C, combats and eliminates free radicals that improve the overall appearance of skin. Some studies indicate that daily use of Vitamin-C improves the appearance of fine and coarse wrinkles both on the face and neck area.
Reduces oxidative stress and prevents early signs of aging
Oxidative stress is caused due to accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that leads to damage to lipids, protein, nucleic acid, and organelle. It causes cellular damage and the breakdown of elastin and collagen protein. The prolonged state of oxidative stress speeds up the skin aging process.
This contributes to the loss of collagen and elastic fibers which is the primary cause of aging (read fine wrinkles, skin texture change, and sagging). It also leads to discoloration and triggers dark spots. Oxidative stress also reduces barrier function, decreases moisture absorption, and increased sensitivity. Vitamin C is known to reduce oxidative stress that combats aging factors. It boosts collagen and elastin proteins and firms skin.
Brightens skin tone and gives a radiant glow
Vitamin C is largely used in a range of skincare products for its known benefit of brightening skin tone. It lightens dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and blemishes by blocking pathways resulting in melanin synthesis.
Melanin is the pigment that causes dark spots and pigmentation on the skin. There are many clinical trials and research that show that topical Vitamin-C blocks melanin production. As it is quite effective in diminishing spots and blemishes, it helps in brightening the face.
Things to do know about Vitamin C as a potent skincare ingredient
- Vitamin C is often safe to use with a range of other ingredients. However, combining Vitamin C with other topical ingredients like ferulic acid and Vitamin E diminishes redness and protects the skin from inflammation.
- The best way to use Vitamin-C is through the serum. Start with 10% Vitamin-C and gradually progress to a higher value like 15 to 20%.
- If you have acne-prone or oily skin, it is best to use Vitamin-C along with other ingredients like salicylic acid.
- Consistency in using Vitamin-C gives the best result. Often, morning is considered the best time to use Vitamin-C-enriched products.
- As Vitamin-C is an antioxidant, it is unstable and reactive and tends to lose its antioxidant properties on exposure to heat, light, and air. This often leads to the product being oxidized. This makes it important that it is packed in dark-colored bottles.
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