Know your makeup: How Vitamin C is good for your skin

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While many of us are familiar with its health benefits, the antioxidant has also become a staple in skincare regimens across the globe. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

If you are updated with the skincare game, then you have probably heard of Vitamin C, which is touted as one of the best anti-ageing ingredients present in the market. It is also key to maintaining a smooth, even and glowing complexion.

Undoubtedly, no ingredient deserves its own special category more than Vitamin C. While many of us are familiar with its health benefits, the antioxidant has also become a staple in skincare regimens across the globe. From cleansers to serums to moisturisers and face-masks, the skin staple has left its mark on a variety of formulas thanks to its widespread properties and ability to regenerate the skin.

Read on to learn why you should add Vitamin C serum to your routine, how to introduce a new product, and more.

What is Vitamin C?

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This free-radical-fighting power isn't just important for helping to keep signs of premature ageing at bay. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

As far as your skin is concerned, Vitamin C as an ingredient can neutralise free radicals because of its potent antioxidant properties. Vitamin C aids the natural regeneration process, helping your body repair damaged skin cells.

Just like we consume antioxidant-rich foods aids to fight off free radicals, topical antioxidants do the same for your skin by helping to offset daily aggressors like UV damage and exposure to air pollution.

This free-radical-fighting power isn't just important for helping to keep signs of premature ageing at bay. It may also help protect skin from precancerous changes caused by UV exposure.

How does Vitamin C help your skin?

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Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

It is amazing how Vitamin C's skin-saving benefits aren't just limited to its antioxidant status. It has plenty of other skin-healing properties that make it worthy of a permanent place in your medicine cabinet.

Here's how it benefits you.

Promotes collagen production
Vitamin C is well-known for boosting collagen production. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that depletes over time as we age. Lower levels of collagen can lead to fine lines and wrinkles.

Protects against sun damage
Sun damage is caused by molecules called free radicals. Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants, which protect healthy skin cells by providing these free radicals an electron, rendering them harmless.

Helps fade hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation, which includes sunspots, age spots, and melasma occurs when melanin is overproduced in certain areas of the skin. It can also happen in areas where acne has healed and left marks behind. Vitamin C application has been shown to impede melanin production leading to a more even-toned complexion.

Reduces the appearance of under-eye circles
These serums can help smooth out fine lines by plumping and hydrating the under-eye area. Although Vitamin C is more effective at reducing overall redness, it is claimed to alleviate discolouration associated with under-eye circles.

How can you add Vitamin C into your daily skin-care routine?

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You'll notice that both of these serum bottles are dark — and that's on purpose. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

Understand that the key is not the vehicle that Vitamin C comes in, but the form that is being applied. The term to look for is ascorbic acid (also known as L-ascorbic acid), which is the most stable and effective form of Vitamin C in skincare.

The best Vitamin C skin-care product to use are serum because these are more effective than creams or toners. The effectiveness increases when combined with other antioxidants, such as Vitamin E, and together they can offer double protection against free-radical damage.

You'll also notice that both of these serum bottles are dark — and that's on purpose. Vitamin C actually breaks down when it's exposed to light or air, so dark glass bottles help maintain its stability (and therefore, efficacy).

As a general rule, serums should be layered underneath your moisturiser.

Who should avoid vitamin C?
Those with sensitive skin may suffer allergies or redness due to Vitamin C. To avoid this, begin with a lower concentration and also try a test area first to make sure that no allergy exists.