Our skin is constantly assaulted by free radicals, but as summer approaches chances are you’re spending more time in the sun, so it may be a good time to remind you about the benefits of this powerful antioxidant and free-radical scavenger.
Vitamin C improves skin elasticity, decreases wrinkles by stimulating collagen synthesis, boosts the skin’s immune system, and repairs damages caused by external elements. While the benefits of vitamin C have been known for some time, a 2009 study solidified speculations and provided some hard evidence to support the theories.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Leicester and Institute for Molecular Cellular Biology in Portugal, found that vitamin C helped promote wound healing, protect against DNA damage in skin cells and encouraged skin regeneration.
Since the body doesn’t naturally produce vitamin C, we must obtain it through our diet, supplements and topical agents. L-ascorbic acid, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP) and ascorbyl palmitate are common forms of vitamin C used in skin care topicals.
- L-ascorbic acid – is a naturally occurring organic compound and a valuable antioxidant. It protects the skin against photo-damage, augments the skin’s ability to neutralize reactive oxygen species, and increases collagen production
- MAP – is a non-irritating, stable derivative of vitamin C that works to increase the activity of the vitamin. It is equally as effective as L-ascorbic acid in regulating collagen biosynthesis, and has the ability to suppress melanin formation by inhibiting tyrosinase. It is also wonderful for sensitive skin types.
- Ascorbyl palmitate – is a vitamin C ester and because it is fat-soluble it penetrates more rapidly and reaches deeper layers of the skin. It also fights free radicals.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON VITAMIN C
- Forms an important protein used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.
- Heal wounds and form scar tissue.
- Repairs and maintains cartilage, bones, and teeth.
- Combats free radicals when your body breaks down food or when you are exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation. (The buildup of free radicals over time is largely responsible for the aging process).
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