Topical Vitamin C
I was inspired to write this post after talking to more and more patients about topical vitamin C - and the consistent misconceptions. Media attention and hype has turned vitamin C into the next great thing in skin care. I support vitamin C in many of my patients - but as they say knowledge is power... read on!
Let's start with the basics - vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and an antioxidant. It's ever present in nature in citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables. However, before you start slicing those lemons and limes in hope of skin improvement - let it be known that oral ingestion DOES NOT increase skin levels of vitamin C hence why topical vitamin C came to light...
The issue with vitamin C as a topical ingredient is exposure to air changes its chemical composition and decreases its activity. However, chemists have prevailed and modified vitamin C to make a form stable version when exposed to air. Note - some skin care professionals may still be offering the air unstable vitamin C unaware of this fact. Not the case at The Garden Medical Spa! :)
So what can Vitamin C's antioxidant power offer our skin?
Photo-protection: Regular topical vitamin C use has been shown in multiple studies to reduce the effects of UV damage to skin - ie less UV induced erythema, less reaction to sun exposure. Note, vitamin C will not absorb UV light and sunscreen remains the gold standard in that regard!
Increased collagen production: As it antioxidant, it prevents free radical formation which can break down collagen and inhibit production.
Skin lightening: Vitamin C can block production of melanin.
Anti-inflammatory: Vitamin C can block inflammation and redness that is commonly seen in skin conditions like acne.
I hope this helps our followers understand the benefits and limitations of topical vitamin C. It's recommended to many of our patients at The Garden Medical Spa for their skin care regime, if you're interested in seeing if it can help your skin - stop in for a consult :)
Enjoy the weekend!
- Dr Mirmanesh