Another wonder ingredient making the headlines lately, Vitamin C – an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) also called Ascorbic Acid – is a water-soluble vitamin which plays multiple roles within the body. Despite its importance, it’s not something stored in the body, therefore it’s important that we provide it through consumption and topical application. Today we’re covering the various ways in which vitamin C assists, strengthens and protects the skin and scalp, rounding up with our top tips for introducing vitamin C into your skincare routine.
How Vitamin C Helps The Skin And Scalp
- With age, UV and pollution damage, levels of Vitamin C deplete and skin becomes dull, less firm and uneven. Vitamin C helps protect the skin cells as it neutralizes these free radicals in the body and prevents oxidative stress (an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants).
- It also acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body which aids skin regeneration by helping the body repair damaged skin cells and heals wounds/acne scarring left by spots/blemishes. Regeneration is the natural process where dead skin cells on the surface of the skin are replaced with fresh skin cells underneath and boost the proteins, collagen and elastin which are responsible for the skin’s structure, density and elasticity, resulting in a plumper, brighter appearance.1
- Hyperpigmentation and dark spots appear when too much melanin is produced in the body. When applied topically, Vitamin C can help to inhibit tyrosinase, the enzyme that contributes to melanin production so that any dark spots fade without affecting normal pigmentation of the skin. Skin tone then becomes more even, enhancing skin radiance.2 NB: We don’t support using Vitamin C for the purpose of skin lightening.
- Ascorbic acid also acts as a mild clarifying agent, removing any mineral build up on the surface of the hair, leaving hair soft and supple. It also protects against free radical damage which can leave the hair dry, weak and brittle (and eventually lead to hair loss) and aids collagen and keratin production through cell regeneration on the scalp, providing you with stronger, glossier hair.
Our Tips For Using Vitamin C
- The most obvious way is to include it in the diet. Vitamin C is found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Good sources include oranges, lemons, blackberries, mango, kiwis, cherries, strawberries, avocado, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, kale and potatoes.
- Another great source of Vitamin C is through our skincare products. It is frequently contained in serums in varying concentrations which are excellent at penetrating the skin barrier and absorbs easily into the skin to work at cellular levels. We advise not mixing serums; don’t be tempted to use a Vitamin C concentrated product with retinol as too many actives can cause skin irritation.
- Be aware that Vitamin C can be irritating if used in high concentrations. Many products contain L-ascorbic acid which is the purest form of Vitamin C. This can be too harsh for sensitive skin. We prefer the natural Vitamin C found in plant oils – marula seed, rosehip oil, pomegranate seed oil – all are rich in Vitamin C naturally, and suitable for sensitive skin. We have used these oils in our face oil, eye oil, and body oil
- Add a Vitamin C serum slowly into your skincare routine, starting with using it every other day and then graduating to daily or twice daily.
- Apply the serum on to freshly cleansed skin before you moisturise.
- Always do a patch test when using a new product.
You might also like to read:
The Best Ways To Support Collagen Production In Skin
Tips For Supporting Healthy Hair Growth
What To Expect If You’ve Never Used A Scalp Oil
HOW DO YOU PROVIDE YOUR SKIN AND SCALP WITH VITAMIN C?
We’d love for you to tell us in a comment below!
1. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health, Nutrients. 2017 Aug; 9(8): 866. ↩