- Topical vitamin C offers a number of powerful anti-aging benefits through multiple mechanisms of action.
- Vitamin C is an effective anti-aging tool, particularly in its purest form as L-ascorbic acid.
- Selecting the most efficient form of vitamin C product or alternative depends on the specific signs of aging which need to be treated.
Vitamin C is an effective and healthy option for those interested in preventing wrinkles and other apparent signs of aging.
Because of its antioxidative, photoprotective, antiaging, and anti-pigmentary effects, Vitamin C can help in fighting the visible signs of aging.
Anti-Aging Benefits of Vitamin C
Clinical studies demonstrate that vitamin C has several anti-aging mechanisms of action, ranging from combating environmental oxidative stress such as UV-induced photoaging, to collagen synthesis and enabling a healthy complexion by lightening hyperpigmentation.
|MECHANISM OF ACTION||METHOD||EFFICIENCY|
|Antioxidant||Protects the skin from free radicals generated by environmental irritants such as pollution and UV-induced sunlight exposure, as well as from lifestyle oxidative stresses such as smoking.||Highly efficient as a mode of prevention of wrinkles, fine lines, dry skin and coarse skin texture. As for photoprotection, vitamin C appears to function optimally in conjunction with vitamin E.|
|Firming||Boosts skin collagen production and elastin synthesis process, the protein that keeps skin firm.||Highly efficient as modes of prevention and treatment, for improving the overall appearance of the skin, producing denser, firmer and more youthful-looking skin.|
|Anti-pigmentary||Decreases and fades unwanted skin pigmentation and discoloration, as well as brightening skin tone.||Efficient as modes of prevention and treatment of dark spots and dark circles.|
Is Vitamin C an Effective Anti-Aging Tool?
Evidence supports that vitamin C’s anti-aging capabilities depend on its active forms. L-ascorbic acid (LAA), the purest version of vitamin C, is said to be the most biologically active. It is also the form most studied.
Because formulation of L-ascorbic acid often turns yellow due to oxidation upon exposure to light, other more stable topical forms of vitamin C may be turned to, such as ascorbyl-6-palmitate, retinyl ascorbate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. This explains why carrying out a useful dose of vitamin C topically is difficult.
Vitamin C anti-aging myths
Some false or misleading anti-aging benefits of vitamin C are commonly reported.
Despite some claims, applying vitamin C to the skin to fight aging may not always be absorbed in an adequate quantity or may only have short-term effects. This is why vitamin C is not a miracle anti-aging solution, and its topical application must be repeated every day and in long duration, in a formula with adequate concentration.
Also, although vitamin C is known as highly effective in preventing and decreasing the signs of skin aging, it is not as effective in reversing skin damage.
Choosing a Vitamin C Anti-Aging Product
Vitamin C is available in the market as a variety of serums, day creams, night creams and dietary supplements. Not all of these forms
Because vitamin C products are so prone to oxidation, it is best to opt for serums, because these formulas are generally in air-tight, pumps or single-use packaging.
Serums also generally contain a higher vitamin C concentration than other types of cosmeceuticals to penetrate the skin better.
Serums should be applied sparsely on a clean face. Because there are many different types of vitamin C serums available with each specific application indications, it is best to follow product guidelines.
As a general rule, application largely depends on the consistency of your chosen serum. Thinner water-based should be used sooner in a skin care routine, such as after washing, while serums with thicker consistency should be used in mid-routine, such as after the application of a toner.
Day creams vs night creams
To protect your skin from aging, vitamin C is more commonly recommended as a cream in a morning skin care regime. Using a vitamin C at night in a night cream is also effective because free radical damage continues to affect the skin overnight.
Although vitamin C can be naturally found in vegetables and fruits, getting vitamin C from a high vitamin C diet is associated with better skin-aging appearance. Yet, the clinical study demonstrating this should be interpreted with caution because it didn’t take into account that the higher intake of vitamin C was combined to lower intakes of fats and carbohydrates, as well as of the possible use of cosmetics.
Skin tightening masks, moisturizers, transdermal patches, sunscreen and toners containing vitamin C may also be of the other skin anti-aging options available on the market.
Anti-Aging alternatives to Vitamin C
Although there’s no miracle solution for treating signs of aging, vitamin C can undoubtedly be a great tool. By introducing to your skin care routine serums, creams and other cosmeceuticals containing the right concentration level, you may effectively and safely treat visible signs of aging. Should you feel the need for professional advice, consult with a dermatologist to find out about anti-aging treatment options.