Many of us overload on vitamin C when we feel a cold coming on, but this crucial vitamin does more than affect the immune system. Vitamin C has health benefits whether it’s ingested (eaten) or topical (applied directly to the skin). One of its many perks is the ability to prevent and treat wrinkles.
What does vitamin C do?
On the inside, vitamin C gets used by many body systems and in various processes. It plays a role in human growth and development, making it an important vitamin for growing children. It also plays a role in protein metabolism and making neurotransmitters for the nervous system.
The immune system uses vitamin C to protect the body from illness and heal wounds. As part of its wound-healing role, vitamin C makes collagen, which comes into play when preventing wrinkles too.
A vitamin C deficiency is extremely rare in industrialized countries, but it can result in scurvy. In colonial times, sailing ships carried limes with them to prevent sailors from developing scurvy’s red inflamed gums, bleeding, joint pain, and swelling.
Vitamin C and wrinkles
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants protect your body from oxidative stress caused by the breakdown of food needed for nourishment. The oxidative process releases free radicals, which are atoms with an unpaired electron in their outer shell. Those unpaired electrons damage DNA, proteins, and lipids as they search for an electron to make them more stable. The damage they cause eventually shows up as fine lines and wrinkles.
Vitamin C and other antioxidants neutralize free radicals. All together, vitamin C prevents oxidative stress and produces the collagen needed to repair skin damage and maintain the skin’s natural flexibility. Finally, vitamin C also helps even pigmentation to make the skin look younger.
How to use vitamin C to prevent wrinkles
Eat a healthy (varied) diet
Regularly eating vitamin C gives your body the building blocks it needs to create collagen and heal from daily environmental and sun damage. Your body can’t make vitamin C on its own, and it’s a water-soluble vitamin, so it’s not stored in your body fat for use at a later time. That means you need to eat vitamin C every day. Many fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C, including:
- Red peppers
- Oranges (and orange juice)
- Brussel sprouts
Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to give your body a regular dose of vitamin C.
Apply vitamin C serums and skincare products
Vitamin C applied to the skin can help fight the damage of environmental pollutants, cigarette smoke, and sun damage. Look for skincare products that include vitamin C as a primary or secondary ingredient. Try SkinResourceMD’s Total Antioxidant - Vitamin C Facial Serum, which is, of course, rich in vitamin C. However, it also contains vitamin A, vitamin B, and natural extracts that nourish the skin.
Other skincare products like Oil Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer, Eye Protection Therapy, and Total Skin Moisturizer also contain high amounts of vitamin C. The latter is a moisturizer that’s gentle enough for the face but can be used all over the body.
Layer your skincare products carefully
Some skincare products can prevent others from absorbing into the skin. For example, sunscreens can prevent moisturizers and serums from absorbing evenly or absorbing into the skin at all.
Always start with clean skin, and apply serums and specialty products next. If you use any deep treatments, apply them before bed so they have more time to absorb into the skin. Follow serums and specialty products with a moisturizer. The last layer is sunscreen. Look for a physical sunscreen, like Essential Solar Protector or Hyaluronic Facial Solar Protector. These physical sunscreens prevent sun rays from penetrating the skin. Chemical sunscreens absorb sun rays and more readily enter the bloodstream.
Nourish from the inside out
Vitamin C stimulates collagen production, helps repair daily damage throughout the body (but especially the skin), and keeps the skin flexible and supple. Your skin draws nutrients from the food you eat and from anything that comes in direct contact with the skin. A healthy, varied diet combined with vitamin C-rich skincare products can help you prevent and reduce the visible signs of aging.
As you develop a skincare routine, keep application order in mind. Protect your skin with sunscreen every day but make sure it’s the last product applied to your skin before adding makeup. A little (or a lot) extra vitamin C brightens, strengthens, and brings a youthful glow to your skin. Drink it, apply it, and your skin will thank you.