Why Do You Need Vitamin C As An Anti-Aging Agent For Your Skin?
Vitamin C is recognised and valued as one of the most important drugs for being one of the best physiological non-toxic antioxidants in human history.
Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is a small carbohydrate molecule which was identified back in the 1920s as a preventative and cure for scurvy, a deadly disease that occurs in people unable to synthesise vitamin C.
Vitamin C, the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body, is found present in the dermal and epidermal layers of the skin. Fresh fruit and vegetables are rich dietary sources of the vitamin. It’s a twin–engine force which plays a critical role in the production of collagen and also serves as an antioxidant, which can help to neutralise free radicals (toxins) in the body. Factors such as ageing, overly exposure to UV rays and pollution may diminish the availability of the vitamin. Vitamin C is vital for the normal synthesis of collagen, an integral part of connective tissue, which comprises 25%–35% of the proteins in our bodies. Collagen and elastin protein fibres energise skin cell regeneration; it’s what keeps one’s skin bright and taut. Collagen also helps retard the ageing process of the skin and prevents pigmentation issues.
“Vitamin C is a potent oxidant which helps in scavenging the free radicals,” shares dermatologist Dr Divya Sharma. Elaborating further, she says: “These free radicals are resultant of both internal and external factors; internally, issues such as stress, metabolic changes, hormonal changes, nutritional deficiencies–and external stresses like pollution, exposure to sunlight, etc. As Vitamin C scavenges these free radicals, it has beneficial outcomes such as photo protection, delaying ageing, preventing uneven skin, reducing the appearance of age spots, etc. Using Vitamin C in your daily skincare routine has many useful outcomes for a brighter, healthier skin.”
She points out that Vitamin C is pivotal also for the synthesis of collagen. Another important feature of Vitamin C, she shares, is that it is responsible for the hydroxylation of two very important amino acids–proline and lysine residues which are incorporated into various proteins found in supporting tissues such as collagen. Hydroxylation of proteins provides tensile strength by allowing fibres to cross-link within the proteins. Hydroxylation of proline and lysine form hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine which play important roles in the maturation of collagen fibres. This helps also in delaying the degeneration of collagen. So, one can surmise that they are potent anti-ageing agents.
Spotlight on Vitamin C Benefits
- Vitamin C is a very strong antioxidant that plays an important role in improving your skin, hair and overall health. This super nutrient helps increase the production of collagen, repairs damaged cells and even boosts body immunity, points out Dr Sharma.
- It has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. It protects against sun damage and helps reduce inflammation caused by too much exposure to UV rays.
- Reduces signs of ageing as it retards the breakdown of collagen, which helps smooth out the texture of the skin. Topical use of Vitamin C can trigger collagen production, which in turn helps with improving the appearance of fine lines.
- Vitamin C helps stem the production of tyrosinase, an enzyme that activates the production of melanin. This helps in preventing hyperpigmentation.
- Skin comprises 64% water. Vitamin C improves overall hydration, helps retain water and prevents the skin from becoming either too dry or oily.
- Vitamin C is a great skin healer; it can increase the flow of antioxidants to the acne affected area, which reduces the severity of acne breakouts. It’s also useful in acne scar treatment as it increases the production of collagen.
- Vitamin C can also be incorporated in one’s hair care routine as it can combat elements that cause structural damage to the protein present in the hair along with the elements that act adversely with the synthetic dyes present in our hair and cause physical damage. Hence, it is also great for colour retention, says Dr Sharma.
Getting It Right
The cosmetic market is awash with a range of Vitamin C- enriched serums, moisturisers, creams and face washes. Serums, said to be powered by the highest concentrations of active vitamin C, are believed to offer the best skin penetration.
However, Dr Sharma is quick to caution about the formulation of Vitamin C in whatever products you use for your skin care. “Remember, you must choose the right formulation, which is stable and doesn’t get oxidised and is made of the purest form of the Vitamin C.” She also advises that all the benefits that accrue from Vitamin C can happen only if it is combined with another effective topical ingredient like Vitamin E, which is more helpful in combating the issues at stake.
Dr Sharma is of the opinion that: “It is of absolute importance to consult a dermatologist before applying it on your skin or hair. Whether you choose a cream, lotion or serum, an ascorbic acid like Vitamin C can degrade quickly when exposed to sunlight so store your products away from sun exposure and in a cool place. Don’t forget to use sunscreen as well for added protection!”
Clearly, eating power-packed fruits and veggies–and making Vitamin C a vital part of one’s daily hair care routine, to moisturise and setting up hurdles in ageing, can power our journey of ‘ageing gracefully’.Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.