Vitamin C:  One of Your Skin’s Biggest Allies

Written by Dahvi Shira

If you still haven’t jumped on the Vitamin C bandwagon, consider this your sign.  Skincare trends come and go, but the spotlight has remained on Vitamin C for years now—and we have all the firsthand deets on why.

Now yes, what you eat shows up on your skin, but to get all the skincare benefits from Vitamin C, you’re going to have to do more than just drink your OJ in the morning.  And trust us, you’ll want all the positive effects this antioxidant powerhouse provides – because not only does it do wonders to brighten the skin, but it also helps to protect your complexion and minimize signs of aging. 

With that, let’s get into our Vitamin C deep dive.

Antioxidants 101: Why do they matter?

Antioxidants are commonly referenced in skincare, and we know they’re good for you, but what do they actually do?  

In short, antioxidants work to prevent oxidation, which occurs in your skin when environmental aggressors (aka free radicals) like UV rays and air pollution latch onto your skin cells and damage the DNA.    Over time, this can lead to the breakdown of collagen, causing inflammation and weakening your protective skin barrier.  As time passes, without any prevention or treatment for it, your skin is left vulnerable to more future damage.

Vitamin C's Role in Skincare

In general, our skin contains a variety of antioxidants, but the most abundant one is Vitamin C.   However, with each trip around the sun, the Vitamin C levels in our complexion slowly diminish.  And because this ingredient directly correlates to the overall health + brightness of our skin, it’s typically the first solution someone should reach for when looking for an overall skincare boost.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient found in a wide range of plants, including leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits.  However, although we’re born with Vitamin C in our skin, humans can’t further synthesize Vitamin C throughout our lifespan.  We can obtain this essential nutrient through the regular consumption of fruits and vegetables for dietary purposes and overall health, but a small portion of the Vitamin C we consume actually makes its way to the skin. So, to boost the skin with Vitamin C as we get older, it’s recommended to deliver this ingredient to the skin via topical application, like serums and moisturizers.

L-Ascorbic Acid versus Vitamin C

L-ascorbic acid is the biologically active, stabilized form of Vitamin C most frequently used in skincare formulations. On its own, it can’t penetrate the skin’s natural moisture barrier effectively; however, it can be manipulated to enhance absorption by combining it with other vitamins or acidic substances that will penetrate the epidermis.

The Power of Vitamin C

With all this said, Vitamin C is truly an all-star in skincare and extremely beneficial for your complexion.   It provides antioxidant protection against free radicals that will damage your skin, and produces several additional essential compounds directly correlated to skin’s elasticity.  Yes, it does even more.

Let’s dig even deeper into why Vitamin C is so good for your skin.

1. Protects Against Free Radicals

Unfortunately, your skin is susceptible to the exposure of free radicals by just leaving the house, due to stressors in the air and within our environment.   This is where Vitamin C comes in, because it actually neutralizes these pesky molecules, so they no longer bind themselves to your skin cells.

Curious what specifically contains free radicals?

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Environmental pollutants
  • Certain drugs and pesticides
  • Industrial solvents
  • Ozone
  • Ultraviolet radiation (like direct sunlight or lights in tanning beds)

Your body also produces free radicals naturally, in response to stress and inflammation – Because of course, stress somehow affects everything.  

Since these daily factors causing free radicals are near impossible to prevent on a daily basis, Vitamin C comes in to help neutralize and thereby disarm their negative effects.

2. Rejuvenates + Restores

Whether your skin concerns show up from dull skin to scarring, Vitamin C will rescue with its rejuvenating properties.   Because it works to repair, brighten and lighten the skin, your lackluster complexion can be completely transformed back to life by implementing this into your morning routine.

It also inhibits melanin production, which can help to fade existing hyperpigmentation, while also preventing future dark spots and encouraging a luminous, lit-from-within appearance. 

3. Boosts Collagen Production

When it comes to collagen, consider Vitamin C your go-to booster.  It encourages collagen synthesis and slows its degradation, softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time to result in a supple, youthful-looking complexion.

This might remind you of vitamin A (a fellow antioxidant better known as retinol), which prompts the skin to produce collagen by encouraging cell renewal.  Paired together, these two make a powerful skin-plumping duo, which is why you’ll often see them together in skincare formulations.

4. Promotes Even Skin Tone

Aside from wrinkles, one of the most noticeable signs of aging can show up as uneven skin tone, due to discoloration.   These spots result from disruptions to the skin’s natural production of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color.  Melanin production naturally slows with age, but chronic exposure to stressors and free radical damage can speed up this process, resulting in premature formation of age spots, sun spots and other forms of discoloration.  And what a shocker –studies show that topical Vitamin C can also help to reduce the appearance of these spots to give skin a more even, youthful appearance.  I mean, what doesn’t it do?!

5. Delivers Glow + Radiance

With age comes maturity and wisdom — along with drier, less elastic and duller-looking skin.  And although smile lines are often a sign of a life well-lived, sometimes we don’t want them to be oh so visible.

And that can change with the incorporation of Vitamin C into your routine, which plays a role in maintaining the skin’s overall hydration.  It works to prevent water loss and a lack of elasticity, which helps reduce dullness and promotes more radiant-looking skin.

6. Gives Results with Care

This may come as a surprise given its efficacy, but Vitamin C is actually quite gentle, especially ours which is designed for sensitive skin.  Morning Cocktail Vitamin C Serum, formulated with 3 forms of stabilized Vitamin C, Niacinamide, Squalene + Hyaluronic Acid, brightens skin, evens tone + texture and smooths the complexion by increasing moisture retention.

In general, Vitamin C is one of the few products that can actually be applied around the eyes, which is among the thinnest and most delicate areas of the body.  Because the skin in this location is so thin, it becomes one of the most susceptible areas to age-related concerns, like wrinkles, lines and discolorations.  And to that, we say hello, Vitamin C.

Using Vitamin C In Your Skincare Routine

Luckily, it isn’t difficult to implement Vitamin C into your skincare routine. Not only does it play nice with other ingredients, but it can also heal blemishes, reduce hyperpigmentation, and deliver true radiance.  It’s gentle enough to start incorporating into your routine without signs of irritation, especially if used 2-3 times per week to start.

For guidance on when + how to use it, head to our routine page on how to implement it into your morning regimen…. And get back to glowing skin.