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what is vitamin C and its benefits on the skin

what is vitamin C and its benefits on the skin

what is vitamin C?

Effective and extremely popular, Vitamin C is one skin care ingredient that has continued to gain momentum in the past few years. From anti-ageing to brightening properties, Vitamin C has multiple benefits for your skin health and can be applied through different products. 

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and essential nutrient that helps rebuild and restore tissue damage, but is one the human body does not produce on its own. Naturally, Vitamin C is found in fruits and vegetables, such as guavas, bell peppers, strawberries, oranges and tomatoes. However, the topical application of Vitamin C has proven to give quicker results,  especially for brighter, smoother skin. 

Vitamin C is one of those miracle ingredients that everyone in the world of skin care has been raging about. But how does Vitamin C benefit the skin? Is a Vitamin C serum really necessary for glowing skin? In what form should you use Vitamin C on your skin? Worry not, we’re here to answer all your burning questions about this key ingredient and show you how to use the different products that contain it. 

benefits of vitamin C

Facilitates the production of collagen: Collagen is an important protein that helps give our skin elasticity and therefore, keeps it smooth and supple. Applying Vitamin C regularly can boost the production of collagen, giving you healthy skin in the long run.

Brightens the skin: Vitamin C seeps into the skin’s dermal layer to give you visibly brighter, glowing skin with regular use. Essentially, Vitamin C inhibits the amount of melanin your skin produces, therefore brightening and smoothening your skin.

Protects against environmental stressors: By fighting against free radicals from pollution and ultraviolet light, which cause dullness, pigmentation and wrinkles, Vitamin C protects the skin and reduces or delays visible signs of skin ageing.

Boosts the efficacy of sunscreen: It’s well known that the UVA and UVB rays from the sun and blue light from smart devices cause damage to the skin. While wearing sunscreen is absolutely imperative for skin protection, you can significantly boost your sunscreen’s efficacy by adding a layer of Vitamin C. Studies show that by neutralising the attack of free radicals, topically applied Vitamin C can reduce the damage caused by UV rays by up to 60%.

Reduces dark spots and pigmentation: With continued use, Vitamin C can significantly reduce the appearance of dark spots, pigmentation, redness and patches on your skin, giving you an even tone. Remember, you must apply your Vitamin C product consistently for at least eight to 16 weeks to see a visible difference. 

Helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines: With regular use of Vitamin C, signs of ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles and puffiness can reduce significantly. The boost in collagen production also helps give your skin a more youthful appearance. 

Promotes healing and diminishes the appearance of scars: Topical and concentrated application of Vitamin C has been known to promote the healing of wounds and reduce the appearance of scars, as it helps the body produce collagen, which in turn, helps repair and restore the skin. 

does Vitamin C improve the skin?
The short answer is, yes! Applied topically, this multitasking ingredient provides multiple benefits to the skin, including:

  • hydrates and moisturises 
  • brightens and firms
  • reduces redness and inflammation
  • targets and lightens hyperpigmentation
  • as a powerful antioxidant, it protects from free radical damage
  • promotes the production of collagen, thereby leading to smoother, even, healthier-looking skin
  • protects against sun damage
  • reduces puffiness and under-eye circles

can you use Vitamin C on your skin every day?
While it is suitable for almost all skin types, since Vitamin C is an active ingredient, our Dermalogica experts recommend starting by using it every other day, to see how your skin responds. A certain amount of purging is normal once you introduce a new ingredient to your skin care routine, and once it settles, you can start using a Vitamin C serum or moisturiser every day. You should also be cautious about what other actives you are combining Vitamin C with – for instance, avoid pairing it with retinol as that may cause a reaction. 

is it better to use Vitamin C topically or to consume Vitamin C supplements?
Topical application of vitamins versus taking supplementation is a common question asked. Ingesting any vitamin can definitely improve skin health, but most of the benefit will be directed to vital organs before the skin. Moreover, it takes around two to three weeks to build up sufficient vitamin stores to gain valuable skin benefits. Topically applied, vitamins affect the skin immediately and at full potency. So if you’re specifically looking for the skin benefits of Vitamin C, it is advisable to use it topically. 

how to use vitamin C

Cleanser: Cleansing is the first step to a healthy skin care routine and choosing a face wash with Vitamin C in it will bring you closer to glowing skin. The Dermalogica Skin Resurfacing Cleanser is a cleanser-cum-exfoliant that helps remove surface debris, addresses signs of ageing and gives you healthy, even-toned skin.

toner: a toner essentially refreshes and hydrates the skin, locking in moisture that is lost while cleansing. The Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist is an intensely hydrating toner for dry, ageing, prematurely ageing, dehydrated and pigmented skin, in which the Vitamin C helps build skin elasticity and firmness, and evens skin tone.

Serum: The most popular way to topically apply Vitamin C is with a serum. A serum should be applied after toning and before moisturising, and adding a serum to your routine has many benefits. The Biolumin-C Serum consists of two highly stable forms of Vitamin C, which work together to provide long-term stability and higher protection. It enhances the skin’s natural defence system to brighten, firm and help dramatically reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Dermalogica has also recently introduced the Biolumin-C Eye Serum, also containing the goodness of Vitamin C, which has been specially formulated to hydrate, firm and brighten the delicate under-eye area, which is much thinner than that of the rest of your face. 

Moisturiser: Hydration is a key element of a skin care regime for healthy skin and adding Vitamin C to this step has many advantages, such as more protection and better nourishment. Dermalogica has four different moisturisers that contain Vitamin C, to suit different skin types. The newly launched Biolumin-C Moisturiser is a daily brightening gel moisturiser that provides weightless hydration and gives the skin a radiance boost. Highly-stable Vitamin C complex with advanced re-activation biotechnology helps boost bioavailability for brighter skin and improved barrier defense. Antioxidant-rich formula with Squalane and five different types of Hyaluronic Acid delivers essential hydration to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Verbascum Thapsus Flower Extract provides an instant brightening effect. Phytic Acid and Pumpkin Enzymes with exfoliating properties support natural skin renewal.

The all-time (and Neha Dhupia’s) favourite Skin Smoothing Cream provides 48 hours of intense hydration and shields the skin’s natural microbiomes. The Barrier Repair Moisturiser melts into the skin, preventing water loss, protecting from environmental damage and soothing the skin. The Pure Night Treatment Cream, as the name suggests, is an overnight treatment cream that restores the skin’s luminosity, controls hyperpigmentation, encourages collagen synthesis and hydrates the skin. 

Booster: Mixed with your moisturiser or even applied on its own, a booster can take your skin care game to the next level. It’s an added layer of protection, hydration and repair that your skin will thank you for. The Solar Defence Booster SPF50 contains Vitamin C and can give you an even-toned, bright, glowing complexion, while protecting you from sun damage.

other ways to get your Vitamin C intake

There are many fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C and can be included in your diet on a daily basis. Vitamin C cannot be stored by the body so it’s important to regularly take Vitamin C. The most effective sources of Vitamin C include:

  • citrus fruit, such as oranges and orange juice
  • peppers
  • strawberries
  • blackcurrants
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • potatoes
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