Forget Vitamin D to give your skin summer glow – Vitamin C is the essential ingredient your skin needs this spring!
Dr Jinah Yoo, consultant dermatologist for sk:n clinics, explains how a healthy dose of Vitamin C – which contains a certain secret ingredient – can diminish premature ageing damage and instead give you a beautiful dewy glow this spring.
The power of Vitamin C
When you hear the word ‘Vitamin C’, what springs to mind? Drinking glasses of fresh orange juice in a bid to fight off the lurgy, most likely.
But what about incorporating Vitamin C and its powerful antioxidant properties into your skincare routine to keep your skin looking healthy and feeling fresh?
Vitamin C provides huge benefits to our skin and is a potent antioxidant property that brightens skin and boosts collagen production, giving skin a healthy glow.
How free radicals damage our skin
Our skin contains a network of protective antioxidants that bind to free radicals, which are toxic, unstable molecules that attack cells and cause damage in our body. However, an overproduction of free radicals, which can be caused by factors such as poor diet, lack of sleep, pollution, UV and smoking, can use our antioxidant reserve to fight them off.
Excess free radicals can start to cause inflammation and the breakdown of collagen in our skin, leading to premature ageing. Collagen is essentially the scaffolding of our skin and is vital for maintaining a firm and youthful appearance. If it breaks down, then fine lines and skin laxity develop.
A big cause of an overproduction of free radicals, and therefore premature ageing, can be everyday stress which is, for most of us, a part of modern-day life and can’t be avoided in its entirety. However, its impact can be mitigated by consuming lots of antioxidant foods, including citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables such as kale and dark chocolate – or by giving yourself a boost through your skincare routine.
The Vitamin C science
Vitamin C is water-soluble, making it difficult to penetrate the top lipid layer of our skin, and because it oxidises quickly, it can also lose its potency. It is only when pH levels are below 4, and vitamin C is present in ascorbic acid that some penetration occurs but having low acidic pH can cause skin irritation.
As a result, Vitamin C derivatives have been developed to overcome the challenges with penetration and acidic nature, which results in improved efficacy and less risk of irritation. A skincare product that includes ferulic acid and Vitamin E will do so to help stabilise the formula.
The wonder ingredient
Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (a Vitamin C derivative) has been developed to overcome these challenges and is special because it is oil soluble and can therefore penetrate deep into the skin.
This makes it ideal for skincare products that provide antioxidant protection against free radicals and brighten the complexion. A powerhouse ingredient that has many wonderful benefits for our skin, including protecting it from oxidative skin damage, it is generally known to be gentle on the skin. When combined with Vitamin E, it forms a super-charged antioxidant formula that helps to even out hyperpigmentation and boost collagen production.
Vitamin C serums
Vitamin C serums are an ideal way to give your skin a topical boost, and there are plenty on the market. But there are some things you need to know before using them:
- After contact with light, heat and air, Vitamin C oxidises and loses its potency, and as a result, you may notice that your Vitamin C serum changes colour and turns brown.
- Use it within three months from opening the bottle as it will lose its potency with time.
- Use in the morning to protect your skin from UV damage and environmental impacts.
- Apply after cleansing and before moisturising.
- If the skin is irritated by the serum, reduce the frequency then gradually build up.
The produce recommendations
I rate Medik8’s C-tetra Intense Lipid Vitamin C Antioxidant Serum. This product combines the antioxidant power of vitamin C and E to restore radiance, smooth the complexion, and fight free radicals to reduce visible signs of ageing. The powerful antioxidant formula also offers protection whilst combating sun and pollution-induced damage.
Clinically proven skin rejuvenation treatments can also give you the extra boost to help you feel better about your skin. From removing dead or tired skin cells with skin peels, microdermabrasion and Microneedling, to minimally invasive treatments such as anti-ageing injections, a dermatologist can help you find a treatment that’s right for you depending on what overall result you want to achieve and the level of existing damage or ageing in your skin.
sk:n is offering video consultations with their team of highly experienced skin specialists and nurses, helping you to find skin confidence from the comfort of your own home.
Read more summer and spring focused articles on skincare and beauty here.