A true treasure of nature, vitamin C or ascorbic acid is famous in cosmetics for its anti-aging antioxidant properties that play a direct role in preventing skin aging and its appearance. Acting as an immune system booster, it is also essential for the proper functioning of our body and our organism as a whole.
Discover below its various effects on the skin and its many other benefits!
Vitamin C: a super active ingredient for beautiful skin
What is vitamin C?
A famous cosmetic active ingredient, vitamin C is originally a water-soluble vitamin that allows the production of collagen, an essential protein for the proper development of the body and the organism in general (water, calcium, minerals, bones, ligaments).
Did you know that? Vitamin C is not naturally present in the body! Humans are unable to synthesize vitamin C, as they have lost the ability to produce the enzyme necessary for its production and storage over time. Vitamin C is therefore obtained from food sources such as citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables. However, the absorption of vitamin C taken orally through the diet remains quite limited and can therefore lead to a deficiency. In this case, a supplementation in the form of vitamin C food supplements can be interesting. On the other hand, topical application (on the face) of cosmetic vitamin C in the form of a cream or serum, for example, is essential to take advantage of all its benefits and observe real results.
Vitamin C in cosmetics can be of synthetic or natural origin. The synthetic vitamin C found in most cosmetic skin care products is generally present in the form of L-ascorbic acid. It can also be found as calcium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate, sodium ascorbate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, etc.
Naturally occurring vitamin C is generally found in citrus fruits, berries and certain vegetables. It also contains powerful nutrients that give it an incomparable power. Therefore, a healthy and balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, is essential for a natural intake of vitamin C and to avoid a potential deficiency!
In terms of chemical structure, naturally occurring vitamin C is similar to synthetically occurring vitamin C. However, clinical studies show that naturally occurring vitamins can be even more potent.
What is the role of vitamin C?
Vitamin C plays an essential global role for the body and more precisely for the metabolism. Indeed, as an antioxidant agent, it allows to fight against the risks of free radicals, aggressive for our skin and our cells. These free radicals generate what is called "oxidative stress". Vitamin C thus helps us to keep a beautiful skin as well as a bright and uniform complexion!
But its role does not stop there; it is also beneficial to health:
The role of vitamin C on health
By fighting together with vitamin E against the free radicals produced by the body when it is subjected to external aggressions such as stress, pollution, tobacco, alcohol or UV rays, vitamin C helps protect the skin and slow down the skin aging process.
Indeed, when the skin is exposed to this type of external aggression and various stresses, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are released. In order to protect itself from these ROS, the skin is equipped with a complex enzymatic and antioxidant system. Among these antioxidants, we find the famous vitamin C.
Vitamin C also acts on the production of collagen, which brings real results in terms of skin elasticity and the attenuation of signs of aging. Among other things, it promotes healing.
On the other hand, vitamin C helps our body and more precisely the intestine to better assimilate iron from food. Once again, it helps to avoid the risks of a potential deficiency followed by a necessary supplementation at this level.
Finally, vitamin C plays an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, it helps to eliminate liver toxins and to improve the overall immunity thanks to its action on the white blood cells present in our body.
Vitamin C in cosmetics
Vitamin C: a powerful antioxidant to fight against aging
Collagen production progressively decreases as we age and thus plays a major role in the sagging of the skin. On the other hand, certain factors such as sun exposure, stress or smoking can cause a premature reduction in collagen production. This leads to an early development of fine lines and wrinkles.
Vitamin C plays an essential role in collagen biosynthesis. In fact, it acts as a cofactor for enzymes capable of stabilizing collagen cross-linking. Vitamin C can also directly stimulate collagen synthesis and even preserve the collagen that exists naturally in our body.
Vitamin C: a powerful anti-inflammatory
In addition to its anti-aging properties, vitamin C is known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory. Indeed, it acts by suppressing the activation of factors responsible for the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This is why topical application of vitamin C can be useful in the treatment of various inflammatory dermatoses, including post-laser application.
Vitamin C helps fight hyperpigmentation
Vitamin C can also act on the production of melanin which is, in a simplified way, the element responsible for the color of our skin.
Vitamin C helps to fight against sun spots and acne marks or even melasma, a skin condition characterized by the appearance of brown spots on the skin.
A natural protection against the sun's rays
Yes, vitamin C can also protect your skin from the sun! Be careful, it is not a sunscreen and it will not protect your skin like a screen. To be safe, always apply sun protection when exposed to the sun. Nevertheless, thanks to its antioxidant properties, vitamin C absorbs skin damage caused by UV rays at the skin level. UV rays are responsible for the production of free radicals.
Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C
Even if it is true that taking vitamin C orally will have little effect on the skin, it is still essential for your health. No matter what the season, your skin and body always need vitamin C. It is THE essential booster, so let's make room for a good diet that protects our body from deficiency!
In winter, this is when we are most susceptible to infections. The consumption of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C in the daily diet is therefore essential to boost our immune system, providing it with all the nutrition it needs. Choose vegetable soups!
In summer, make way for delicious fruits: strawberries, papayas, cherries! Treat yourself but don't forget the vegetables: cucumbers, artichokes and avocados are your best friends!
Did you know that? Oranges are not the richest fruit in vitamin C!
Yodi takes care of you and offers you a small dietary overview with a list of the fruits and vegetables most concentrated in vitamin C. These fruits and vegetables are interesting in terms of nutrition and intake and allow you to avoid potential vitamin C deficiency!
- Lemon peel
- The kiwi
- The lychee
- Red fruits
- The strawberry
- The yellow bell pepper
- Fresh parsley
- The red bell pepper
- Red cabbage
Did you know that? It is advisable to eat the fruit or vegetable raw to limit the loss of vitamin C content! Yes, vitamin C degrades during cooking and becomes less interesting in terms of intake and nutrition for the body.
Serum, cream, food supplements: in what form should vitamin C be used?
Does it matter what form of vitamin C we apply to our skin? Yes, this is a real question to ask and the answer depends on your skin type and your own tolerance to vitamin C!
To begin integrating vitamin C into your routine, the ideal is to start with skin care products containing vitamin C derivatives, let your skin get used to them and then gradually move on to other more concentrated products as your skin develops tolerance. The most important thing for optimal effectiveness is to find the right dosage of vitamin C!
If your skin is sensitive, choose a cream containing vitamin C: it will be less concentrated and therefore better tolerated by the skin. On the other hand, the cream will bring comfort, hydration, elasticity and radiance.
If your skin is not particularly sensitive, you can opt for a serum, which is generally more concentrated in vitamin C than a cream. Thanks to its lighter molecular weight, it can act deeply on the skin.
For an even stronger action and visible results, combine the vitamin C serum with a vitamin C cream!
At the time of the change of season, in prevention of the winter, in case of pollution peak in your environment or simply if you are in vitamin C deficiency, it can be interesting to have recourse to a supplementation. You can for example make a cure by taking food supplements with vitamins and vitamin C in particular, in the form of tablets.
How to integrate vitamin C into your skincare routine?
- Apply your vitamin C care products in the morning and/or evening to clean, dry skin. If you choose to apply it only once a day, choose the morning to benefit even more from its sun protection properties.
- Don't panic: vitamin C is not photosensitizing. On the contrary, it reduces the skin's sensitivity to UV rays!
- Try to incorporate a quality, naturally derived, properly dosed vitamin C into your skincare routine.
- Pay attention to your diet to avoid deficiencies: choose foods - fruits and vegetables - that are naturally rich in vitamin C, even if they have little visible effect on the skin. Your health is also important!
- Supplementation: in case of deficiency or at the change of season, take a vitamin C cure as a preventive measure, to help your body regain an adapted and complete nutrition.
Precautions and contraindications
In general, vitamin C-containing skin care products are not harmful to health and do not present any particular risks.
Indeed, the vitamin C present in the latter is now microencapsulated, which allows to obtain a less acidic pH, closer to that of the skin and therefore less irritating than before.
As a precaution, it is advisable to use vitamin C creams rather than serums because they are less concentrated and therefore potentially less irritating.
On the other hand, it is not recommended to combine a vitamin C treatment with another potentially irritating active ingredient such as retinol or a fruit acid.
Finally, it is best to apply the vitamin C treatment only in the morning OR in the evening.
Although most vitamin C products are suitable for all skin types, the most sensitive skins may experience some side effects. Indeed, when the concentration of vitamin C is too high, for example, sensitive skin may experience itching, skin irritation, tingling or even burning. If this is your case, don't wait any longer and adapt your skincare routine to avoid the risk of complications!
Remember to keep your vitamin C-based care products away from light and to close them properly after use.
Discover our natural products with vitamin C
Yodi recommends its 100% vitamin and antioxidant routine and especially without preservatives! Combine the Vitamin C & Hibiscus Flower Face Wash Powder with the Muesli & Pure Vanilla Precious Oil and/or the Retinol-Like Anti-Wrinkle Oil Super Serum.
Our facial cleanser is enriched with ascorbyl glucoside, a stabilized natural derivative of vitamin C that brings visible results: a brightened complexion and reduced spots.
This vitamin C derivative has a stability that resists discoloration and degradation, while retaining the full biological activity that provides lightening, anti UV and anti-aging properties. Our cleanser contains 2% vitamin C, the optimal concentration to lighten the skin and play a role in the prevention and reduction of hyperpigmentation spots (age spots, acne, pregnancy, etc.).
In fact, a clinical study conducted on 60 women volunteers showed that a product formulated with 2% ascorbyl glucoside increased the luminosity of their skin significantly after 2 months of use.
And that's not all! You can also use our Muesli & Pure Vanilla Precious Oil, composed of a blend of nourishing oils and pure vanilla, enriched with Vitamin E that helps fight against free radicals responsible for skin aging.
Our Retinol-Like Vegetable oil serum concentrated in Bakuchiol, prebiotic and vitamin E is also perfectly adapted. Results: the skin is regenerated and the signs of aging are reduced.