Though a wide array of nutrients work to keep us and our skin healthy, Vitamin C is a skin defender loved by all. Here’s how it helps, and how to put it to work for you.
Mother Nature has given us so many natural ways to support our health, and keep our skin looking and feeling good. One of the amazing nutrients we’ve been gifted is Vitamin C, a.k.a. ascorbic acid.
WHAT MAKES VITAMIN C SO IMPORTANT?
This handy natural nutrient is what our bodies use to:
- make collagen (a protein that helps cells heal, and also makes our skin look plumper and be more pliable, so lines are less noticeable);
- reduce the effects of free radicals from pollution, UV light and cigarette smoke;
- repair and maintain cartilage, bones and teeth.
It also can help to lighten and brighten the complexion, reducing the appearance of age spots and evening out skin tone.
VITAMIN C IN YOUR DIET
Nutrition is a building block of good self-care. And obviously Vitamin C is a critical piece! Fortunately, it’s also in many of our most-popular fruits and veggies.
Start by making sure you’re getting the recommended levels of Vitamin C. (It can be challenging, and time consuming, to keep track of nutrition, so sometimes tracking our meals and snacks with one of the many apps available can help.)
- 75mg/day for most women (15mg more if you’re pregnant)
- 90mg/day for most men.
- And if you’re a smoker, you need even more: 35mg more than non-smokers.
Best sources of Vitamin C: Citrus fruits (like oranges), red or green peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes and potatoes.
VITAMIN C IS A SKIN DEFENDER
Vitamin C can also help you from the outside, in. One reason that vitamin C in skincare products is helpful to your complexion is that it brings the benefits right to the skin’s surface. And since the skin’s outermost layer doesn’t have any blood vessels to carry nutrients to it, serums or other products can help close that gap.
Skincare products that incorporate Vitamin C can help skin look more plump, and have a nice glow, quite quickly after applying. Over time you may even find dark spots begin to be less noticeable, too.
As with most self-care practices, balance is key. Too little vitamin C can leave your body less able to do the work it needs to keep you healthy, and make you tired, slower to heal, have puffy gums and more. Too much is no good either, often leading to stomach problems or, in topical skincare products, skin irritation. When in doubt, follow your physician’s recommendations.
It’s easy to see how Vitamin C is a skin defender for us all! Yet exploring the ways that this and other ingredients affect your skin is a smart practice. We each have a unique make up, and getting to know how the variations in your environment, stress, nutrition, and type, impact you is the best path to your best skin, and overall health.