Why vitamin C is nature's best vitamin
Have we tried unplugging 2020, waiting ten seconds, then plugging it back in?! Three months into the New Year (new skin) and decade… that’s the most pressing question on my mind. From the coronavirus pandemic to the first bear market in over a decade, this year is already stressing me out! And stress is the last thing that this semi-friendly black hottie needs for her skin, okay?
Anyway, here’s a little story. As a kid, my parents forced me to drink 100% orange juice every morning with pulp and let me tell you… I hated that! It felt like abuse. Seriously, was it too much to have my daily serving of vitamin C without the nasty texture of pulp floating around in my juice? The answer is yes, it was too much… and they still drink orange juice with pulp in it. Ew.
If you tune into the news, you’re being advised to do many things to prevent contracting COVID-19 including taking more vitamin C. Spoiler alert: it's a myth that vitamin C can boost your immune system when you have a cold or flu! In fact, vitamin C is more likely to be better for your skin than it is for your immune system, which brings me to the point of this article.
As we transition into warmer Spring and Summer months, you might need a bit of a refresher on the benefits of vitamin C for the skin. Keep scrolling to learn why it is nature’s most potent elixir.
1. It fights off bacteria… and signs of aging, too!
Vitamin C is ascorbic acid. This acid is a natural water-soluble vitamin that has antioxidants and fights off bacterial infections. Increased antioxidants in your bloodstream mean less chances of inflammation. Hint: this may be why doctors and scientists often recommend it when treating symptoms of the cold and flu. It promotes cell turnover and boosts collagen which is essential to supple, dense skin that ages flawlessly.
2. Solid like a… piece of iron?!
The key to a good skincare routine is skin that is able to absorb all of the products that you apply. When you have a build up of dead skin cells, it becomes difficult for skincare products to work as they should. However, with a strict regimen that includes regular skin exfoliation, you should be able to avoid that kind of build up. So how does this relate to vitamin C? Glad you asked. Well, when you take in more vitamin C, your body is able to absorb iron much better. Healthy iron levels not only prevent blood deficiencies but work alongside other natural ingredients to promote and maintain healthy skin.
3. The solution for brighter skin
Before I get too deep, I want to clarify that brighter skin does not mean lighter skin. When you use a brightening skincare product, it simply exfoliates rough, dead skin cells to reveal softer, supple skin that appears brighter as a result. On the other hand, skin lightening products contain bleaching agents that decrease pigmentation over prolonged use. A lot of skin lighteners can be very toxic for your skin!
All this said, vitamin c may appear to act as a natural lightener for the skin, although it is not as harsh as hydroquinone, a popular skin bleaching ingredient. Like vitamin A (retinol) and soy, vitamin C has a mild pigment-lightening effect. Unlike hydroquinone, this process is done naturally and modulates common forms of hyper-pigmentation.
Personally, I’ve used vitamin C products for at least five years now and my skin is no lighter than when I started. However, during times that I am consistent with use, my skin appears brighter or has that glow that every skincare enthusiast wants. And really, that’s what’s most important!
4. Is there a vitamin that doesn’t boost collagen?
The answer seems to be no for now. Like vitamins A and E (pun likely intended), vitamin C promotes healthy cell turnover and regeneration. If your body is constantly producing new skin cells, you will naturally have a plumper, brighter, more youthful appeal to your face. And, again, that’s what’s most important!
So there you have it! The four key benefits to vitamin C for your skincare routine. If you’re not sure where to start, I highly recommend you check out Masktini’s Metal Head Gold Brightening Mask! It contains vitamin C extract and is the perfect quick mini facial before you apply your makeup for a girl’s night out. Tested and proven, truly. Until next time…
Further reading: Why Your Skin Needs Vitamin C Every Day by NYC-based dermatologist, Dr. Dennis Gross.