With all the hype around Vitamin C… should it REALLY be an essential component to our skincare?

Vitamin C serums, creams and oils are being spoken about all over social media, and lots of skincare brands are now incorporating some percentages of Vitamin C into their products!

The question we are often being asked is…. Do they really work? 

As a pharmacist myself I thought it’s worth looking into and understanding the key elements to what makes Vitamin C an excellent skin-care ingredient, and hopefully this should allow some further understanding to our patients when looking to invest in a Vitamin C product. 

Back to basics… What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C  is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in a lot of plants and fruits. The most active form is known as L-ascorbic acid. Availability of Vit. C in the skin is usually inadequate by just ingesting it – that means that eating a lot of Vit C fruits ,although good for your general health, won’t give you the same benefits of applying Vit C cream or serum directly to your skin.

We often tell people of Vitamin C and it’s amazing antioxidant properties, but what does this actually mean for our skin?

An antioxidant skincare product  protects the skin from the damaging free radicals such as UV light pollutants.UV light causes both pigmentation and damage to collagen, resulting in ageing changes. Sunscreens only block 55% of free radicals produced by UV exposure . Vit C is able to neutralise the free radicals to prevent damage to cells and as a result keeps skin healthy. It is important to note that Vit. C is equally effective against both UVB  and UVA light. 

If we weren’t already convinced by the power of Vit C…here’s more…

Vit C has anti-ageing effects due to its acidic nature. The acidity causes a skin healing response by stimulating collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are two very talked about proteins in our skin, which as we grow older naturally diminish. So to keep the skin plump and youthful Vitamin C definitely has a place in our cupboards! 

Another concern for patients is often the appearance of sunspots, skin discolouration and hyperpigmentation. A long term use of Vitamin C can prevent further damage to skin as it has properties to inhibit melanin production. 

Because Vitamin C is an antioxidant, it plays a role in preventing the chemical reaction that produces the melanin. No further melanin production means reduced new discolouration to the skin. 

What if i eat lots of oranges and fruit containing Vitamin C, do i still need to apply Vitamin C to my skin?

Although fruit and oranges provide a good source of vitamin c and will keep you healthy, it will not provide enough for the skin to see benefits. The efficiency of topical creams and serums will protect, brighten and strengthen the skin.

Key benefits summarised: 

  • Helps minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Calms skin
  • Brightens skin
  • Improves skin texture
  • Evens skin tone

We stock a range of Vit C serums and products to suit all skin types and budgets.