Vitamin C – is it a hero ingredient?

If there is one thing you can add to your current skincare routine to take it up a notch, it’s vitamin C. Across the globe dermatologists, aesthetic practitioners and now beauty bloggers have been raving about the benefits of vitamin C. But why is it so great, and if you’re not using it, what are you missing out on?

Vitamin C is indeed a hero ingredient, but before I get into the science behind it, who will benefit?

If you have a desire to achieve an even skin tone, vitamin C is for you! If you’ve suffered from acne and have acne scars, vitamin C is for you! If you want to delay the visible signs of ageing, vitamin C is for you! So it seems like vitamin C is for pretty much everyone! Now, being a medical practitioner, I wouldn’t just read a few reviews on a product and jump in head first. I needed to understand the mechanics behind it. Why and how does it work?

It’s benefits include:

ANTIOXIDANT: Vitamin C works as an antioxidant, to neutralise free radicals. When our skin is exposed to the sun, free radicals can attack our skin cells. This causes premature ageing and inflammation. Vitamin C helps to protect against this damage.

COLLAGEN PRODUCTION: Vitamin C stimulates collagen production. Collagen is what gives our skin structure, and will help to prevent our skin becoming saggy and wrinkly.

REDUCES HYPERPIGMENTATION: Hyperpigmentation includes colour changes in the skin, which can appear as darker marks or blemishes. This is usually caused by excessive or irregular production of melanin. Vitamin C reduces your melanin production, therefore preventing the visible signs of hyperpigmentation, and can also help to even out existing damage.

But with so many different options of skin products containing vitamin C, which one do you choose? What makes a vitamin C serum effective?

The actual ingredient you need to be looking for is ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid. I would recommend a product containing 10-15% concentration of ascorbic acid.

An additional ingredient is tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate which can prevent new melanin formation and stimulates collagen production further. This therefore helps to reduce hyperpigmentation and wrinkles!

Although vitamin C is great at preventing damage from the sun, it is most effective when used in conjunction with an SPF. It is not a replacement for SPF, but together they will work wonders for your skin!

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