What is it?
We don't need to do any PR for vitamin C – this much-loved enemy of illness has clear and well-known benefits that your granny, doctor, and grocer can agree on. It's an essential nutrient that enables growth and repair tissues in just about every part of the body, and promotes collagen production, and we can't produce it naturally. Outside of flu medication and tall glasses of orange juice, vitamin C can be used beneficially in topical skincare, too – so while you'll still want to eat your fruits and vegetables for glowing skin, it's also worth exploring what vitamin C in its synthetically produced form can offer you as a skincare ingredient.
Want to know a little more science behind it?
Dermatologist Sara Hogan, M.D. explains that, "Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that brightens dark spots, smooths fine lines, and, importantly, scavenges free radicals from the environment, pollution, and UV radiation." Ah, yes, free radicals: never far from a conversation about all that can go wrong when it comes to health in general and skin in particular, these are what you really don't want in your life – they're a major factor in premature signs of ageing when it comes to your skin, and the risk of cancer.
How does it help your skin?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid, is not necessarily a friend to all when it comes to free radicals. It's also worth noting that its relationship with retinol is a little complicated. You won't want to use them both together, which may diminish their efficacy. If both of them form part of your skincare routine, use vitamin C in the morning and retinol at night. Vitamin C works best in any way, just make sure that you give it some time between applying your skincare and heading out the front door, as sunlight can diminish its efficacy too. And that's it for the closest to bad news that we've got about vitamin C. Use it everyday to enjoy its benefits, such as diminished acne scars, an even skin tone, and brighter, better-hydrated skin.