Rainbow Spotlight: Vitamin C in Skincare
Dermatologists say vitamin C has glow-boosting benefits for every skin type. But what exactly is it, how does it work, and what can it do for your skin?
Here's everything you need to know about vitamin C and how to get the most out of this powerful antioxidant.
WHAT IS VITAMIN C?
Vitamin C, also known as l-ascorbic acid or ascorbic acid, is a potent antioxidant proven to neutralize free radicals and aid in your skin's natural regeneration process.
Most of us know that consuming antioxidant-rich foods like fruits and vegetables helps the body fight off free radicals. Topical antioxidants work the same -- only for your skin, instead of your body. They shield your skin from free radical damage caused by UV exposure and pollution, which can result in premature aging.
In addition to keeping signs of premature aging at bay, vitamin C may also help protect skin from precancerous changes caused by UV exposure. People of all ages can benefit from using a vitamin C product in their skincare routine, which is why dermatologists highly recommend it.
SKINCARE BENEFITS OF VITAMIN C
This skincare ingredient has a lot to offer and can treat a wide range of skin concerns.
Boosts Collagen Production
From the age of 20, collagen production slows down, leading to the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging. Applied topically, vitamin C speeds up collagen and elastin production, which help keep the skin smooth and firm.
"Collagen gives our skin support and structure, and as it degrades with age, we begin to notice wrinkles and lines," says dermatologist Jennifer Herrmann. "Vitamin C is a necessary cofactor for building collagen bundles, without which this process halts."
While retinol is considered the gold standard of anti-aging formulas, you shouldn't overlook the youth-restoring powers of vitamin C.
Another interesting fact about this ingredient: it inhibits melanin production in the skin, which helps to lighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation. With daily use, vitamin C can prevent discoloration from occurring in the first place.
Hyperpigmentation is most often caused by excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays and environmental stresses. While it isn't dangerous, hyperpigmentation can make you appear older than your years.
According to a study, vitamin C’s antioxidant properties play an important role in treating unwanted dark spots and preventing signs of aging caused by sun damage.
"It's a superior brightening agent that works to fade brown spots without altering normal skin pigmentation," says New York City-based dermatologist Howard Sobel.
Protects Against Environmental Stressors
As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps protect skin cells from harmful free radicals caused by sun exposure.
"Normal cellular processes, as well as environmental insults like ultraviolet light and pollution, create free radicals in the skin," explains Herrmann. "Free radicals are inherently unstable molecules that damage cells, promoting skin dullness, wrinkles, and even cancers." By scavenging these free radicals, vitamin C keeps the skin healthy and improves visible signs of aging.
Dermatologists say using vitamin C under your daily sunscreen can maximize its UV-shielding effects, and further protect your skin.
Offers Brightening Effects
One of it vitamin C's most famous benefits is its brightening effects.
If you are dealing with dullness, you can rely on vitamin C for a face full of radiance. That's why you'll often find this ingredient in oils, serums, moisturizers, and other skincare products promising glowing skin.
Besides its brightening effects, vitamin C can also lighten dark circles under your eyes. Research shows vitamin C helps reduce and prevent under eye dark circles by strengthening the delicate skin under the eyes, which can help conceal blood vessels.
Thanks to vitamin C's powerful anti-inflammatory properties, this skincare nutrient helps minimize redness and offers relief for skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea.
Using vitamin C in your daily cleanser, serum, or lotion can ultimately help promote a smoother complexion and an even skin tone. It can also bring down inflammation in painful, red breakouts, making them appear less angry.
HOW TO USE VITAMIN C IN YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE
Like any new product, it's a good idea to introduce vitamin C into your routine gradually. Start by using it every other day so your skin can adjust. After two weeks, you can start using it daily.
Start your skincare routine by using a gentle cleanser to wash away dirt and oil. Next, while your skin is still damp, apply a thin layer of vitamin C serum to your skin, making sure you include the neck too. After leaving it to absorb for 2-3 minutes, apply a hydrator like cream or oil to seal in the serum. Finally, complete your regimen by applying a generous layer of broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Skip this step if it's your night time routine.
RECOMMENDED VITAMIN C SERUM
Rainbow's Smooth Serum
Deemed the "age defender face serum," Rainbow's Smooth Serum delivers major brightening and anti-aging benefits. This formula includes vitamin C and vegan collagen that work hand in hand to boost collagen production, strengthen the skin barrier, plump out fine lines and wrinkles, and give a radiant glow to the skin. It's well-tolerated by all skin types. Make this serum part of your daily skincare regimen to see noticeable results.
Use this vitamin C serum in conjunction with Rainbow's Smooth Mask to enhance its benefits.
As you can see, vitamin C is a powerful skincare ingredient with a slew of benefits. Whether you're looking to prevent fine lines and wrinkles, curb discoloration, or boost overall radiance, this potent antioxidant can do it all.
While vitamin C is generally considered safe for daily use and by all skin types, those with sensitive skin or skin conditions may experience allergies or redness from vitamin C. Consult your dermatologist before using vitamin C to check it's safe to use.