What does vitamin C serum do, exactly?
If you’re even a bit passionate about skincare, then you definitely heard about vitamin C serums. Vitamin C is known as one of the best ingredients on the market, known for its pro-aging support, but also for its efficiency in keeping a smooth, and glowy complexion.
Even if you’re already getting vitamin C from your diet, no one can say for sure that it’s going straight into your skin. Using some serums or topical products might increase the chances of enjoying these benefits.
If you’re not convinced that it would be good for you, read on to learn about 10 benefits of this power vitamin!
The perks of using vitamin C on your skin
There are SO many advantages to using vitamin C, but these are the ones you should REALLY know about:
-They’re extremely safe for the majority of skin types
-They provide a lot of hydration
-Using it will immediately brighten your skin
-Can reduce redness
-Helps with hyperpigmentation
-Can reduce your under-eye circles
-Promotes collagen production
-Helps prevent sagging
-Protects against sun damage
-Helps wound healing
It is safe to use, no matter your skin type
Vitamin C has one of the best safety profiles. Most people might use topical vitamin C for a longer period of time without experiencing any adverse reaction.
There’s a 2017 review that discovered how vitamin C might cause, in certain situations, minor skin irritation, but we’re talking about 20% concentrations.
That’s why you will mostly find a concentration that ranges between 10% and 20% in most skin care products. Vitamin C can also be used with other skincare actives, such as alpha hydroxy acids, and retinol, but also with SPF.
It’s extremely hydrating
According to a recent research review, when we’re talking about healthy skin and organs, they all have one thing in common, and that is a high concentration of vitamin C, which suggests that this vitamin accumulates in the body from circulation.
Even more, review authors discovered that topical vitamin C manages to penetrate the skin much better in its ascorbic acid form.
Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, another vitamin C derivate that is frequently used in different skin care products, has been proven to have a wonderful hydrating effect on the skin, as a 2022 review showed.
You lose transepidermal water loss, which allows your skin to retain moisture much better.
It’s very brightening
Vitamin C fights against pigmentation but also smooths the skin’s surface to reduce unwanted dullness. This allows the skin to get its youthful glow.
There’s even a 2017 review that proved vitamin C fades spots and hyperpigmentation. Also, it does a great job brightening your skin’s appearance.
It reduces redness and even out the skin tone
Vitamin C acts as an anti-inflammatory agent through its antioxidant capacity, as the results of a 2015 review are showing. This basically means that its action soothes the skin and reduces puffiness. The inflammatory action of this vitamin is good for:
-Neutralizing free radicals that might cause oxidative damage
-Optimizes the immune system, discouraging any given inflammatory immune response
The anti-inflammatory properties of this vitamin are also efficient when it comes to fighting redness, which can result in a more even complexion. The combined reduction of dark spots, redness and even irritation are the elements that make a clear and smooth skin tone.
It fades hyperpigmentation
Vitamin C impedes melanin production, so it can really fade the process of hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation, such as sunspots, age spots, and melasma, happens when there’s an overproduction of melanin in some areas of your skin.
It might also happen in areas where acne has completely healed. Vitamin C is a great melanin synthesis inhibitor because it downregulates the activity of an enzyme which is known as tyrosinase.
It is widely used by dermatologists because it reduces the pigmentation of hyperpigmented spots on the skin. Even if the studies are currently limited, it has also been used to treat gingival melanin hyperpigmentation.
You can say goodbye to the under-eye circle
Vitamin C serums are great at smoothing out fine lines, as they plump and hydrate the under-eye area. Even if vitamin C is much more effective at reducing overall redness, some people will agree that it can also help alleviate discoloration that’s directly associated with under-eye circles.
There’s a 2019 study that focused on three treatments for dark circles, that shows how vitamin C mesotherapy was followed by a great improvement in the pigmentation of under-eye circles. Even so, some participants reported a certain burning feeling.
If you want to get rid of under-eye bags, you might also use a cold compress and retinol. The skin under your eyes is extremely sensitive, so it’s important to stick to products that are made for treating that area.
It enhances collagen production
Collagen is a protein that our bodies produce naturally, but it depletes over time. Lower levels of collagen might eventually lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C is famously known for boosting collagen production, through collagen synthesis.
Even more, vitamin C is absolutely essential for collagen synthesis, because the vitamin is a crucial cofactor for the two enzymes needed for collagen synthesis, which are prolyl hydroxylase (that stabilizes collagen molecules), and lysyl hydroxylase (which gives structural strength).
It helps prevent skin sagging
Collagen production is directly linked to skin elasticity, but also to firmness. When your collagen levels start to drop, your skin might sag. But if you use a vitamin C serum, you might be able to boost collagen production, which will result in an overall tightening effect, as a 2017 review has proven.
When it comes to sagging, the main culprits are natural aging, oxidative stress damage, but also extreme weight loss. This basically means that you can reduce the effects of all those mentioned above, and get that firm and toned skin you’re dreaming of.
It is great against sun damage
Excessive exposure to oxidant stress via pollutants or ultraviolet irradiation is oftentimes associated with depleted vitamin C levels in our skin. Vitamin C levels are also much lower in photodamaged skin, even if researchers are still not sure if it’s a cause or rather an effect.
Sun damage is also caused by some molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals are atoms with a missing electron, and they search for other atoms from which they might “steal” an electron.
This process is the reason why our skin is damaged, and that’s why antioxidants like vitamin C are good. They practically “give” these free radicals the missing electron they need, rendering them harmless.
It can also soothe sunburn
Besides minimizing redness, vitamin C can accelerate cell turnover, according to a 2017 review. The damaged cells are replaced with healthy new ones.
The topical application of this great vitamin, combined with vitamin E and other compounds has been proven to reduce injury due to UV irradiation.
This specific combination can also decrease the inflammation caused by excessive UV exposure. It’s highly important to mention that researchers discovered that vitamin C alone is not too effective at reducing sunburn on its own.
It boosts wound healing
Given the effects it has on sunburn, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that topical vitamin C application might speed up wound healing. Healthy wound healing can reduce the risk of inflammation, and infection, but also scarring.
Even more, having a deficiency in this key vitamin might require a longer period of healing. A 2017 review discovered that vitamin C supplements have a great and positive effect on skin healing, but also on growth, as it boosts antioxidant levels in the body, but also the skin.
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