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How Vitamin C Helps Your Skin (Aging Skin)
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How Vitamin C Helps Your Skin

Mariusz J.A. Sapijaszko, MD FRCPC (Dermatology)

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is famous for its various health benefits, and is contained in fruits and vegetables. Less known is Vitamin C’s effect of preventing and reversing aging skin. While much more needs to be studied, vitamin C has been shown to have some benefits in rejuvenating the skin.

Vitamin C has two major effects in helping the skin. First, vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant, and can act against free-radicals which take a role in the skin’s aging process. In combination with vitamin E, which works against other types of free radicals that vitamin C does not affect, they form a good defence against the various effects of aging. The second positive effect of vitamin C is in its effect of promoting and sustaining healthy collagen production. Collagen is an essential component in skin tissue.

Various human and animal studies have shown encouraging results. Protection against UVA and UVB damage, such as decrease in the strength of the immune system, redness, or formation of mutant cells have been noted in various animal studies. In human studies, topical application of vitamin C has had notable improvements in collagen production. 

There are, however, several challenges in maximizing the benefits of vitamin C on the skin. When vitamin C is ingested through foods or supplements, they do not increase vitamin C levels in the skin, instead being absorbed elsewhere or excreted. Topical creams and lotions are more effective as the skin absorbs the vitamin C. For it to be effective, it must have a high concentration of vitamin C and have a high enough pH to be able to penetrate the skin at the same time, something which is difficult to produce in practice.

Vitamin C has a lot of potential benefits, and will likely be further studied and developed. Vitamin C, as with any other treatment or solution, should be thought of as supplementary. The first and most important skincare advice is to protect your skin in the first place from sun damage, and other trauma.

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anti-aging,   vitamin c,