Vitamin C - The Little Known Anti-Ageing Wonder
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is present in many of the fruits and vegetables we eat such as spinach, broccoli and oranges. It’s necessary for the growth and repair of all body tissues. However, we are unable to produce vitamin C naturally and must obtain it through the diet and/or supplementation.
How does vitamin C promote youthful skin?
Vitamin C has an important role to play when it comes to collagen synthesis.
Collagen, known as the 'youth protein', is the main structural protein that forms the connective tissues throughout the body – from the skin to bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Collagen makes up a huge 80% of the skin and works with another protein called elastin which keeps the skin elastic and plump. However, as we age, our body naturally starts reducing its collagen production until, eventually, our bodies aren’t producing enough collagen to replace what’s broken down.
So, if collagen keeps our skin supple and smooth, what happens when you’re low on it? - wrinkly and saggy skin!
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for collagen biosynthesis. It serves as a co-factor for the enzymes that are responsible for stabilising and cross-linking collagen molecules. Vitamin C is also known to stimulate collagen gene expression.
So, by increasing the amount of vitamin C in the body, in turn, increases collagen production. The result? Firmer, plumper, more youthful-looking skin.
Vitamin C’s other benefits for the skin:
It protects the skin from oxidative stress
Free radicals are unstable atoms that form as a result of exposure to environmental and lifestyle stressors such as pollution and smoking. Over time, these free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which harms the skin and causes premature ageing. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which means it can help neutralise the effects of free radicals – preventing and repairing damage to the skin cells.
It reduces damage from sun exposure
Vitamin C has been shown to have UV protective effects, which means it could play an important role in the reduction of damage from sun exposure.
It has anti-inflammatory effects
If you struggle with a skin condition such as acne and rosacea, vitamin C should be your go-to supplement. This is because it has potent anti-inflammatory effects which can calm many skin conditions.