Benefits of Vitamin C
Several studies have recently been completed that confirms the beneficial effects of vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) on your skin. Whether it is applied topically or ingested, vitamin C has been shown to have a positive effect on skin cell structure and help protect skin from sun damage caused by UV rays. More research needs to be carried out to verify all these recent findings, but it has long been known that the antioxidant properties of vitamin C help skin produce collagen. Even if the other benefits don’t hold up to scrutiny, its role in collagen production still makes vitamin C essential to the health of your skin.
Facts About Vitamin C and Skin Care
As mentioned above, vitamin C is known to increase collagen production. There are several other benefits and facts about vitamin C that provide plenty of reasons to include it in your skin care regiment, including:
- Vitamin C helps prevent dry skin. There are several reasons for this, but they’re all very technical and have to do with cell structure and water loss prevention and other, more complicated biological processes. Suffice it to say that including higher amounts of dietary vitamin C, especially during the winter, can help your skin retain moisture and reduce the occurrence of dry skin.
- Vitamin C is found in various skin layers. The dermis and epidermis both contain vitamin C in high concentration. As your skin ages, its vitamin C content declines. Decline also occurs when your skin is exposed to too many pollutants like ozone or secondhand smoke. Excessive exposure to UV also causes vitamin C depletion. Topical and oral vitamin C can help keep levels more stable.
- Vitamin C has cancer-fighting properties. The antioxidants in vitamin C bind with free radicals in your system, rendering them inert and harmless. Free radicals are responsible for a wide range of problems besides cancer, including premature and excessive wrinkling.
- Those with diets high in vitamin C have better skin. A balanced diet with a good daily intake of vitamin C helps the skin produce everything it needs to be healthy. This results in fewer and less severe acne breakouts, shortened healing times and other positive effects.
There are many benefits associated with vitamin C and it’s important to make sure you have ample amounts in your diet. Without vitamin C, you can fall victim to diseases such as scurvy. One of the hallmarks of advanced scurvy is that wounds heal slowly, if at all. The good news is that this, like many diseases caused by vitamin deficiency, can be healed by the simple expedient of taking in a larger amount of the required vitamin on a regular basis.
Working More Vitamin C into Your Diet
Abundant in citrus fruit like oranges and grapefruit, vitamin C is fairly easy to add to your diet. Many foods contain essential vitamins like C. From kiwi to Brussels sprouts, strawberries to cabbage, vitamin C is plentiful in foods that are good for you for many reasons besides their vitamin C content.
If all else fails, you can always take a supplement. While natural sources like fruits and veggies are always preferred, there are several good supplemental vitamin C sources. They come in chewable tablets, caplets, fruit chews and more. Most are fairly affordable. If you just don’t like any of the numerous natural sources of vitamin C, don’t despair. Supplements work, too.
Topical vitamin C is also available. There are concerns as to how well the vitamin holds up in various mediums, but topical application of vitamin C seems to provide the most protection from UV damage, especially when combined with vitamin E. If you choose to use a topical cream or ointment, you’ll still want to take a supplement or add natural sources to your diet.
Vitamin C is Good for More than Just Your Skin
As with all vitamins, C is important for processes throughout your body. The benefits don’t just stop at the skin. While its effects may be most visible by the boost it adds for skin health, it is an important constituent of many bodily processes. From helping your body to absorb the iron in plant-based foods, to helping your immune system work like it should, vitamin C is essential for the completion of many different interactions within your body.
A Final Word
Sometimes it can be difficult to make a change, even if you know it’s good for you. Vitamin C makes it easy to make a change by offering outstanding skin benefits. There are many vitamins that can help your skin, hair nails and all sorts of other things. Not only will you be healthier and feel great, you’ll LOOK better, younger and more vibrant. Who doesn’t want that?