Ingredient: Vitamin C
INCI: Ascorbic Acid
Sources: Fruits and Vegetables
Our rating: GOOD
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is an essential component of the various nutrients that keep skin, blood vessels, bones and immune system healthy. It acts as an antioxidant and helps to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals – compounds that are formed when the food we eat is converted into energy.
People are also exposed to free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and UV rays from the sun.
Being a water-soluble vitamin, Vitamin C needs to be ingested every day as it cannot be stored by the body. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C include oranges, grapefruit, red and green pepper, broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, baked potatoes and tomatoes.
Benefits of Vitamin C:
Exposure to UV rays can decrease collagen production which will drop as we age, resulting in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. Vitamin C helps with the production of hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine both of which are needed by the body to synthesize collagen. Fibroblasts in a cell will selectively secrete collagen when Vitamin C is added in a dose-dependent fashion. In addition, topical vitamin C increases the level of tissue inhibitors of the collagen-degrading matrix metalloproteinase. Vitamin C also increases the formation of elastin which works to heal and protect the skin cells. It maintains the moisture levels, increases the skin’s circulation and plumps the skin to make it look younger, tighter and more radiant.
Vitamin C is extremely high in antioxidants, which help to protect the skin from damage from UV rays. It not only provides protection against free radicals but also helps to reduce the chances of sunburns and sun damage. Vitamin C is able to lighten the hyperpigmented skin through the inhibition of the enzyme tyrosinase, protecting the skin from discoloration, sun spots and pigmentation.
Side Effects & Toxicity:
An extremely safe ingredient, Vitamin C has no known toxicity in general use and is shown to be non-irritating and suitable for sensitive skin.
The recommended daily intake of Vitamin C is 90mg for men and 75mg for women is. It is important to note that the Vitamin C content of food may be reduced by prolonged storage and by cooking. Smokers require 35g more Vitamin C daily for the body to repair the damage caused by free radicals.