You have probably heard about the multiple properties of vitamin C in our body. The most widely known of them is, undoubtedly, its role in our immune system and defenses, since this vitamin contributes to its normal functioning. However, did you know that it also plays a role in the good condition of our skin?
Apart from its important role in the immune system, vitamin C is essential in many cellular processes in the body due to its antioxidant action. So, this vitamin is important in processes such as the biosynthesis of collagen in the skin, but also in bones, cartilage and blood vessels.
Therefore, it is evident that this vitamin has become very successful due to its use in cosmetic products, but vitamin C is a nutrient that we should consume through our diet on a daily basis, since our body is not able to produce it.
Benefits of Vitamin C for your skin
The skin is the first barrier of the human being with the environment. For this reason, it is constantly exposed to sunlight, pollution, chemicals and, ultimately, to damage from external agents. All of these factors increase the production of free radicals in the body, which are responsible for the natural aging of the body and which are visible in the skin as wrinkles, loss of elasticity or hair loss.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin and is well known for its antioxidant properties, against damage related to photo-aging and UV rays. It neutralizes free radicals and protects cells against oxidative stress, so it is involved in reducing the signs of aging on the skin.
Ascorbic acid is the most abundant antioxidant in human body tissues, especially in the skin, but it is an unstable acid that may be easily oxidized by light, oxygen or high temperatures.
What does it do in our skin?
Vitamin C has useful and convenient properties for the skin, not only to protect against oxidative damage. It also contribute to the normal formation of collagen.
Ascorbic acid is an antioxidant that regulates the pro- and antioxidant enzymes that protect our skin, neutralizing the free radicals that are produced after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Continued exposure greatly reduces the availability of the vitamin in the skin. So we must pay special attention to the intake of vitamin C through the diet.
The relationship between vitamin C and collagen
Collagen is a protein that is naturally present in the skin, bones and cartilage, with a key role in its maintenance and elasticity. Through the years, the production of collagen decreases. This causes a weakening of its structure, which can lead to the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles.
It contributes to the maintenance of collagen levels and to the proper biosynthesis. As well as to the production of this protein in the skin tissues.
How does it get into the skin?
The most common way to get vitamin C is through food. Through the digestive system, ascorbic acid is carried into the cells from the blood vessels present in the dermal layer. As compared to other tissues in the body, the concentration of this vitamin in the skin is very high.
Different ways to find vitamin C
Food and food supplements
The easiest way to provide vitamin C to the body is through food. It is present in many fruits and vegetables such as oranges, grapefruits or kiwis, but also in peppers or broccoli. It is also present in peppers and broccoli. The intake of fruits and vegetables has been commonly related to the good condition of the skin.
The intake of vitamin C in our diet can be complemented with food supplements that can be taken in capsule or liquid forms.
It is very common to find cosmetics with vitamin C in different formats such as creams or serums, whose special formulations improve its absorption through the skin, since it is a very unstable vitamin and oxidizes easily.
- WebMD. The Benefits of Vitamin C for Your Skin. Nov, 2020.
- Pullar, J. et al. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients, 2017, 9, 866.
- Ravetti, S. et al. Ascorbic Acid in Skin Health. Cosmetics, 2019, 6, 58.