Updated: Feb 5
Vitamin C is a complexion nutrient essential for helping to improve overall appearance; give us that 'glow', a radiant visage and brighten the tone of our skin. It both prevents pigmentation from UV rays and hormonal disruption, and repairs damage already in place. It helps to increase the skin's natural UV defense and boost collagen production.
It's what you need.
The primary role of Vitamin C in skincare is to prevent damage from free radicals. These come from pollution (city or industrial smog as well as smoke, dust and everyday vehicle emissions), UV rays, cigarette smoke, aerosol deodorants and body sprays.
Free radicals are basically corrupted molecules that adhere to healthy cells and corrupt their integrity. When this happens to our skin cells we develop premature ageing and environmental damage. Vitamin C has been largely used in natural skincare for ages because of it's ability to repair and protect from free radical damage.
We know it's good for our internal health, helping to keep our immune system functioning optimally, but it is not generally known that to get this vital mineral (that's where 'vitamin' comes from) to our skins' upper layers we need to apply it topically. Vitamin C is not produced in the body therefore we need to provide it via our diet and topical applications. An important step for skin health because our body will use the majority of Vitamin C from our dietary intake internally as part of the detoxification process undertaken by our internal organs. We are, essentially, one big detox machine. Intensive topical treatments are able to assist in the repair of collagen that supports our skin's integrity because these kinds of treatments target dehydration, which is responsible for:
fine lines and papery skin
deep creases and crinkles
unbalanced skin tone
pigmentation from sun exposure and/or hormonal fluctuations
As ageing and damage from pollution and contaminants happens every day, so to our skincare and diet has to be replenishing the supply of Vit C and other antioxidants every day...but they have to be readily absorbed. Liquid Vit C in the form of oils and juices (even rehydrated super-chilled juice powders) provides the quickest method of injecting your body with bioavailable nutrients.
The human body is essentially a big bag of watery liquids, with a boney structure, encased in an oily barrier... and because our skin's barrier (the stratum corneum) is lipid based it helps if your Vitamin C is also oil based. This enables effective absorption through the protective mantle to the upper skin cell layers where it is used asap. Therefore lightweight products are best as regular and often application will produce the best results.
When we have a vitamin that is used daily to help us detox we need to replenish it regularly. Makes perfect sense. And when that is a compulsory nutrient for so many bodily functions it also makes sense to use this one key nutrient in a regular, intensive, topical treatment.
The main issue with Vit C products is the risk of oxidisation. Choose products that are freshly produced, packaged in dark or opaque glass, and keep it in a cool, dark place, even refrigerating it in hot weather. Your handbag is NOT the place for your Vit C product. Heat and light will degrade it, so use this one in the morning as part of your preparation for the day. Cleanse with water and a soft cloth, then apply your Vit C serum or moisturiser under your solarbalm or makeup. That way you know you're walking out the door with hydrated and protected skin.
So where can you get it?
Various sources of high Vit C are used in MEM skincare products such as Petal Silk (or Tea Silk), Skin Elixir, Veritas, Panacea, Radiant, Luminous, Illusion and EverydaySolarBalm. These contain ingredients like Rosehip, Rosella, Calendula, Olive, Pomegranate, Kakadu Plum (highest Vit C content of any fruit oil) and Carrot Seed Oil (which is both high in C and E).
Internally you can boost your antioxidant and Vit C intake using cool infusions of 3PM Glow or Divine Green Organic Herbal Teas. Green Tea while it is a marvellous antioxidant, contains only small amounts of Vitamin C, and that largely depends on how fresh it is. It does however contain 'catechins', which are antioxidants that provide benefits that help prevent cell damage. They protect cell molecules from damage by reducing the formation of free radicals in the body. When something like Green Tea is used in conjunction with Vitamin C rich ingredients it has been observed that it assists in the bioavailablity (taken up with ease and efficiency by our body) of the nutrient (Vit C).
So sipping a cup of healthy green tea with rosella, rosehips and orange peel while relaxing with a Skin Elixir and Petal Silk home-spa facial IS actually something you can do for yourself very easily and get results with. It's exactly the kind of past-time I enjoy and I hope I've been able to inspire you to try it out too.