Vitamin C (ascorbic Acid) is the most abundant antioxidant in our body. We, unlike animals, cannot synthesize our own vitamin C and therefore must consume it in some way. The citrus fruits are the biggest source of vitamin C.
However only a limited intake of vitamin C is available to our skin. For our skin we have to rely on the topical supplements of vitamin C that are present in the skin care or cosmeceutical products. The anti-oxidatative properties of the vitamin C have highly positive effect on our skin.
Vitamin C - the 3 main roles are:
Throughout the day our skin faces environmental stress. Factors such as solar radiation, smoking and pollution damage the skin through the generation of so called ‘oxidative stress’. This oxidative stress leads to the release of the enzymes responsible for collagen degradation, reduced collagen production and increased elastin accumulation.
As a result we see hyper-pigmentation, coarse skin texture, deep wrinkles and even telangiectasias. The oxidative stress is neutralised by antioxidants only and vitamin C is one potent antioxidant for the skin. Topical supplements containing vitamin C are highly effective in reversing oxidative stress.
Collagen is claimed to hold the integrity of the skin cells which prevents the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C is essential for collagen biosynthesis and also decreases collagen degradation.
Also vitamin C is a known replenisher of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant and has a primary role in protecting the cell membranes and maintaining the collagen network in the skin. Thus, playing a direct role in the anti-aging process of the skin.
Vitamin C also plays a role as an anti-pigmentation agent. It inhibits the action of the enzymes responsible for the formation of melanin. A topical formulation containing 25% vitamin C, significantly decreases pigmentation caused by melasma after 16 weeks. This fights hyper-pigmentation and evens the skin tone.