Vitamin C is one of the most potent and naturally abundant anti-oxidants in the human body. Topical application of Vitamin C provides a vast amount of clinically proven benefits, such as:
- Skin protection
- Reduction of hyperpigmentation
Vitamin C neutralises oxidative stress caused by environmental factors such as pollution, smoking and radiation. These factors are all known to accelerate skin damage.
Oxidative stressors are best combated with anti-oxidants for which Vitamin C is a very easy to use form you can apply directly to your skin.
Vitamin C strengthens and stabilises collagen fibres, as well as increases collagen and elastic synthesis. This helps improve the appearance of:
- Fine lines
- Skin texture
- Skin firmness
Vitamin C is known to reduce photoaging caused by UV exposure. It therefore works hand in hand with sunscreen. We know that 90% of premature ageing is caused by UV exposure from sunlight. This also means that SPF and Vitamin C equal a powerful duo for both anti-ageing and skin protection.
Reduction in hyper-pigmentation
Melanin is skin pigment, it’s what gives your skin tone and colour. The more melanin you have, the darker your skin is. Melanin provides a degree of protection from UV rays but is in fact a stress response by the human body to try and protect itself from these harmful rays. The more melanin you have, the harder the UV rays find it to penetrate deeper into your skin. This is why people who have darker skin tones often have low Vitamin D levels in their blood because Vitamin D requires UV light in order to become active in your body.
Hyper-pigmentation, which melanin is also responsible for, can occur following an inflammatory process caused by a number of things such as trauma, or skin conditions such as acne or eczema. This is why it is common to be left with dark spots following, for example, a spot eruption. In the human body, an enzyme known as tyrosinase converts a molecule known as tyrosine into melanin. Vitamin C blocks this enzyme and by doing so, reducing hyper-pigmentation.
Vitamin C Serums
Vitamin C is available in a number of forms, with L-ascorbic acid being the most biologically active. However it isn’t as simple as assuming that anything with ascorbic acid works the best. It’s important to take stability and permeability into consideration. Ascorbic acid is largely an unstable molecule. This means it degrades quickly into by products and so no longer possesses the positive benefits it once did.
It is therefore very important to have some understanding of how to spot a stable Vitamin C if you’re thinking about incorporating it into your skincare routine.
Some tips on how to do this:
- Colour – a brown/orange shade is a sign of instability.
- Air tight / dark packaging is preferable
- Encapsulated ascorbic acid is likely to remain more stable
- Inclusion of other ingredients, such as Vitamin E or Ferulic acid can work in synergy and stabilise the product.
What do we recommend?
‘OBAJI Professional C Serum’ (RRP £82.50) is a personal favourite from the ones we have tried. It is also clinically proven to penetrate deeper into the skin surface compared to other brands. Dr Aroosa recommends you work your way up in terms of strength. If you haven’t tried topical Vitamin C before, start with a lower strength and allow your skin to become familiar with it.
What is Dr Aroosa currently using?
- Medik8 C-Tetra Vitamin C serum – RRP £35
- Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C – RRP £20
- ByWishtrend Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced serum – £27.50
On Dr Aroosa’s wishlist
It doesn’t always have to come in a serum format!
I’m looking forward to trying the OBAJI Professional C 30% L-ascorbic acid microdermabrasion polish and mask.
Let us know which brands you have tried and what you recommend!