Why vitamin C is the most important nutrient for your skincare
If you could eat only one fruit for the rest of your life, what would it be? I would pick a hairy mango or guinep, grown in the heart of The Bahamas. But that is the island woman in me talking. Although I never explored guinep skincare benefits, I know that mango peel has many. It is rich in vitamin E and potassium and contains other antioxidants that hydrate and improve your skin tone. Mango contains vitamin C, a super nutrient your anti-aging skincare routine needs. Speaking of anti-aging, let's unpack why you need to add it to your anti-aging skincare routine.
The best skincare ingredients for anti-aging
As an early 30-something, anti-aging skincare has been my routine for at least four years now. When I first added anti-aging products to my skincare routine, retinol was all the rage. It still is, although peptides and niacinamide give it a run for its Sephora and Ulta money. Retinol is a vitamin-A derived skincare ingredient that promotes rapid cell turnover. If your skin takes 28 days on average to renew itself, retinol use can cut that time in half. The average retinol skincare product on the market contains anywhere between 0.5 - 2% retinol. Prescription retinol products may have up to 4%. If you struggle with enlarged pores, acne, hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and other stubborn superficial skin issues, retinol is a dream!
What if you don’t struggle with those issues? What if your skin issue is as simple as a dull complexion and a fine line or three that you want to iron out? That is where vitamin C skincare comes in. You can add vitamin C to your skincare routine in three ways:
- Diet (fruits and vegetables)
- Skincare products
Vitamin C is everything that your skin needs.
Of its many benefits, its ability to stimulate collagen production is most important. Collagen is an abundant protein produced by the body. It is the glue that holds your connective tissue together. Without collagen, your skin will be loose, saggy, and wrinkly. Collagen thickens your dermis. A thickened dermis is a good thing for anti-aging! The thicker your dermis, the fewer fine lines, and wrinkles you will have. In other words, collagen is the fountain of youth that everyone searched for via Halle Berry.
Three common lifestyle reasons for premature aging
Aging is a sure thing for everyone. Though we advanced enough to slow down the visible signs of aging, we still cannot figure out how to stop it. If this does not give you peace about aging, here are a few reasons why you may experience premature aging:
- Late nights: the average adult needs at least seven hours of sleep each night. Your sleep routine should be consistent. Without a sleep routine, you deprive your body of much-needed regeneration. Part of that regeneration process involves cell turnover. As mentioned earlier, rapid cell turnover is critical for anti-aging.
- Excessive alcohol: social drinking can be fun! Yet, like most bad habits, it can creep up out of nowhere and take over your life. Not only does excessive drinking destroy your pockets, but it ruins your relationships, career, and skin. Since this is a gentle skincare blog, let's focus on the latter. Alcohol dehydrates your skin and can cause severe, terminal inflammation. Not to mention, it acts as a stimulant as it metabolizes. That means it can interrupt your sleep cycle if you drink too much late into the night. The cycle is unending.
- Stress: as with most things in life, stress lies on a spectrum. For some, stress is temporary, and for others, it is more acute. Either way, too much of it wears on your body, mind, soul, and skin! I will not suggest that you stop stressing out because it is not as easy as it sounds. But, I will remind you that stress causes wrinkles. So if only for the skin that you want, consider these things.
What if your aging is not a result of the common lifestyle reasons mentioned above?
Anti-aging skincare is a lifestyle. It is as much about the things that you do daily as it is about your skincare routine. Adding vitamin C to that makes it all the better. It can combat the signs of aging brought on by the loss of sleep, excessive alcohol, stress, and more. Vitamin C skincare products come in many forms. They include:
- Cleansers and face soaps
- Face masks (such as Masktini’s Metal Head Gold Brightening Mask)
- Skin toners
- Exfoliants and face scrubs
- Moisturizers and face oils
This list is not exhaustive, but it covers the most common skincare products that people use. The concentration of vitamin C or ascorbic acid ranges from 3% to up to 20% depending on the skincare product. Unlike retinol, which can be very harsh for the skin with higher concentrations, vitamin C is more gentle. Even at higher concentrations. As with most skin care products, the higher the concentration of the most active ingredient(s), the sooner you will see results.
This flexibility makes vitamin C perfect for any skin type.
Another common lifestyle reason for premature aging is sun overexposure. Nothing speeds up the aging process like UVA and UVB rays. The antioxidants in vitamin C defend against the damaging effects of sun overexposure. Again, rapid cell turnover is critical for this and the resulting sunspots that occur too!
The most important benefit of vitamin C is its ability to fight free radicals. These are the icky things that you cannot see which attack your skin cells daily. Without proper anti-aging skincare, free radicals speed up the aging process. You can see that everything always points back to rapid cell turnover. Once you use skincare products that stimulate collagen, you promote the growth of new, fresh skin. That type of skin will always be clear, smooth, supple, and wrinkle-free.
So what is my anti-aging secret? I take life one day at a time, sleep like a koala bear, and keep vitamin C skincare products on my face where they belong. The next time you source anti-aging skincare products, search for products that contain vitamin C! It is the elixir of skincare ingredients and the secret to brighter, more radiant skin.