The benefits of using a topical vitamin C by Dr. Catharine Denning
With summer on its way (supposedly), we’re hoping the rain will let up long enough for us to sit in the sunshine, mojito in hand, to watch the world go by. And since things are starting to feel a little more normal again, it’s about time we upped our game in terms of skin protection whilst we’re out and about.
We know the importance of wearing sunscreen on the daily, but a complementary supplement to its protective properties comes in the form of vitamin C to aid the reparation of compromised skin cells. A cold glass of freshly squeezed orange juice when you’re feeling low may work wonders as a quick pick-me-up for your immune system, but applied topically (in its true form as L-Ascorbic acid, don’t cleanse with orange juice!), vitamin C is more potent and offers a variety of must- have benefits, for everyone. Read on to discover just what it can do for your skin...
Vitamin C is in fact a robust and active antioxidant, which we of course know, work to counterbalance and neutralise the effects of free-radicals that ambush our skin as we go about our day; such as UV damage and environmental pollution. Being acidic, when applied to the skin, vitamin C stimulates the skin’s repair process, thus accelerating its cycle of regeneration and the production of collagen and elastin to repair itself - hence a more youthful complexion that works against the skin’s signs of ageing.
You’ll often see a lot of vitamin C products promising a bright, even and glowing complexion. That’s because, in addition to its antioxidant properties, vitamin C has been found, in some way or another (full research pending), to slow the production of melanin which both prevents and reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation in the form of uneven skin tone and dark spots from the long-term effects of sun exposure and ageing. With prolonged and sustained use, pigmentation has been found to fade dramatically.
Vitamin C is relatively potent and so, like with any active ingredient, work it into your regime gradually and consult your skincare expert for tailored advice to suit you. As with retinol (vitamin A) we recommend to start with a low percentage of vitamin C and work towards a higher potency to see its effects take shape at a faster rate.
Apply L-ascorbic acid first thing after cleansing in the morning and wear during the day under your moisturiser AND sunscreen. Make sure you're using a vitamin A at night for that extra ageprevention step.