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Vitamin C Benefits for Skin
Vitamin C Benefits for Skin


Vitamin C Benefits for Skin


Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that is known for its health and skin benefits. It can help slow down early signs of ageing and help improve the appearance of fine lines and dark spots.

But what is vitamin C? And how does it work? Read on to discover everything you need to know about vitamin C, including what it is, its benefits for the skin, and how to easily introduce it into your skincare routine.

In this guide:

What is vitamin C?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a natural antioxidant. Most plants and animals can synthesise vitamin C from glucose. However, humans lack the enzymes needed to internally create our own source of vitamin C. Therefore, we have to obtain it through natural sources, like fruits and vegetables, instead.

It can also be found in topical treatments for your skin. Vitamin C skincare products work locally on the skin to help counteract signs of hyperpigmentation and photoaging.

How does vitamin C work?

Free radicals are all around us. They're generated from exposure to common aspects of our environment, such as pollution, smoke, UV rays from the sun, and external aggressors. While they can help protect our body against infection, a build-up of too many free radicals can damage our cells.

Jessica Snell, Associate Director of Franchise and R&D at Neutrogena, says: “Free radicals create a response in the skin that will show up as dull, tired skin, as well as fine lines, dark spots, uneven skin texture and uneven skin tone."

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which means it can stabilise free radicals and thus, reduce their harmful effects. It helps protect the skin from environmental damage and improves the skin’s overall appearance.

However, while we can obtain high levels of vitamin C from our food, only a small fraction of vitamin C will be active in the skin. That’s why topical application of vitamin C is important, as it’s one of the most effective ways to deliver the nutrient directly to your skin.

Vitamin C skin benefits

Vitamin C is scientifically proven to have a wide range of skin benefits, thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Incorporating vitamin C into your daily skincare routine can help reduce the appearance of signs of ageing and brighten your complextion.

Here are some other vitamin C skin benefits:

Helps prevent sun damage

While the skin's natural antioxidants (the ones you get from eating antioxidant-rich foods) do a great job protecting your complexion from free radicals, a long day spent in the sun can deplete them. That's where topical antioxidants come in.

Clinical studies have found that vitamin C can help defend against the damage that UV light can cause. But that doesn’t mean you should use vitamin C in place of sunscreen. Instead, vitamin C should be used in combination with a broad-spectrum sunscreen for the best protection.

Aids in reducing hyperpigmentation

Acne, skin injury, and UV rays can all lead to hyperpigmentation, or dark spots, forming on the skin. Vitamin C is renowned for helping to improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation. It does this by reducing the impact of the tyrosine enzyme, which is responsible for the production of melanin that gives your skin its natural colour.

Vitamin C also has brightening properties, which can improve the appearance of dark spots without affecting your overall skin tone.

Smooths out fine wrinkles

Vitamin C is found in many anti-aging skincare products. This is because studies have shown that it can help reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles with prolonged use. Vitamin C can also promote collagen production, which can help prevent the skin from sagging and reduce signs of ageing.

Supports scarring

Studies have shown that when applied directly to the skin, vitamin C can aid in reducing the appearance of scars. This is because vitamin C can support wounds in healing more quickly by promoting collagen production in the body. Collagen is a natural protein, which has strong fibres to help hold skin together.

How to introduce vitamin C skincare into your routine

Vitamin C is found in many different skincare products, making it easy to introduce to your routine. Here are some of the best vitamin C skincare products to look out for and how to apply them:

  • Serums – These tend to be more concentrated and so are one of the most effective ways of getting vitamin C into your skin. For best results, look for vitamin C face serums that contain L-ascorbic acid (an active form of the vitamin) and combine with vitamin E.
  • Cream – If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to avoid vitamin C skin products containing L-ascorbic acid. This is because they can sometimes cause redness and dry skin. Instead, you can look for a cream that contains a less potent form of vitamin C, such as Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate. You can apply vitamin C cream after you wash your face and before you moisturise.
  • Facial washes – containing vitamin C, like the NEUTROGENA® Clear & Radiant Face Wash, can help improve the appearance of blemishes for clearer, more radiant skin. Use in the morning and evening by massaging the product directly onto the skin, then rinse thoroughly.
  • Exfoliators – with vitamin C, like the NEUTROGENA® Clear & Radiant Face Scrub can help unplug pores for a smoother, clearer complexion. Massage the product onto a wet face once a day and rinse thoroughly.


Vitamin C skincare FAQs

Does vitamin C help acne?

Vitamin C can help with some symptoms of acne. It can help soothe the effects of acne, and it can brighten dark spots and help improve the appearance of scars left by acne.

Does vitamin C lighten your skin?

Vitamin C skincare products can brighten the skin and help to reduce the appearance of dark spots and even out skin tone.