Vitamin C is safe, cheap, plentiful and effective and is one of the most underrated agents we have against skin ageing. Just remember the tales of sailors suffering from scurvy when they ran low on fresh food as they travelled for months across oceans. Lack of Vitamin C resulted in their skin breaking down into open sores, and their teeth falling out.
Vitamin C is important to the skin as:
- It is an antioxidant proven to be effective in protecting against photoageing i.e. sun damage of the skin; and
- It is thought to have a role in stimulating and preserving collagen and elastin improving skin fullness, structure and resilience.
Used regularly on the skin it will:
- Reduce fine lines and wrinkles;
- Improve evenness of skin
- Lighten hyperpigmentation;
- Reduce sunburn severity; and
- Aid in wound healing.
However taking even large doses of oral Vitamin C does not result in a corresponding increase skin levels but applying topical vitamin C does. The problem is Vitamin C rapidly breaks down and is very difficult to stabilise. As a result, most skin products contain very little of the active form. One of the best ways to get potent Vitamin C to the skin is to use a powder form that is only reconstituted with water just prior to application.
Not that those ancient mariners would have applied fruit to their faces in the name of beauty but I wonder if it would have helped them if they had.