Vit-C has been a buzzing word in the beauty biz for a while now. A powerhouse ingredient that targets dull, tired skin and dark spots, this multi-tasking miracle worker evens out your skin tone, brightens your complexion, and tackles external stressors such as sun exposure, pollutants, and free radical change. It is also known to boost collagen production, which thickens the dermis and promotes the skin’s natural repairing processes. Unfortunately, this high performing antioxidant—whose popularity has sky-rocketed in the past few years—gradually depletes as we age, further accelerated by UV damage and pollution.
"While the benefits of Vitamin C are several, both for the body as well as your skin, it is not naturally produced by you. Thereby, nutritional and topical sources are two primary ways by which the body can extract the goodness of this ingredient. For consumption, it can be found in citrus-rich fruits including oranges and lemons, green and red peppers, tomatoes, and cauliflower. And for topical application, you can find a range of Vitamin C-infused formulations such as moisturisers, serums, cleansers, as well as exfoliators," informs Ms Plabita Sharma, National Training Manager, The Body Shop India.
Citing a ton of research conducted on this potent ingredient, Paula Begoun of Paula's Choice adds, "Topical application of Vitamin C can help offset free radical damage and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The synergy of mitigating skin-ravaging problems before as well as after they occur makes it a powerful component that all skin types can benefit from. Plus, research indicates that a high concentration of Vitamin C (10% or higher) is particularly effective for dark spots."
That said, lower concentrations of this Vitamin serve umpteen benefits to your skin as well. "Studies suggest that a concentration as low as 0.6% lends antioxidant and anti-ageing benefits to the skin. Lower strengths of Vitamin C also help enhance the benefits of other youth-preserving ingredients such as retinol and ceramides," she adds. Oh, and in case we missed this out—Vitamin C is hydrating for your skin too!
As we continue to stay cooped up at home, modifying our skincare routine to match our indoor lifestyle becomes a must; and this does not mean skimping on sun protection. According to Ms Sharma, 68% of ultraviolet rays can come through the windows, causing similar levels of skin damage as being outdoor. "This powerful Vitamin will not only curb such damage but will also limit the adverse impact of indoor pollution (yup, another skin killer not talked about enough)," she puts forth.
Gauging the unlimited benefits Vit-C has to offer, cosmetic companies have managed to twist and turn the ingredient to be suitable for all skin types. "Whether you opt for a mild cleanser or a potent serum, Vitamin C-infused products are sure to deliver visible results with regular use. Vitamin C exfoliators and peels are another way to boost your glow by scrubbing off dirt and grime. Plus, a Vitamin-packed skincare routine that includes both Vitamin C and E is a great way to make the most out of what these components have to offer to your skin," says Ms Sharma.
While we hope you're already aching to add this all-rounder ingredient to your routine, you must bear in mind that Vitamin C is extremely sensitive to air and light. "For the best possible results, ensure that your Vitamin C serum or moisturiser is stored in an opaque, air-restrictive pump bottle to keep the ingredient stable. A Vitamin C cream that comes in a jar or clear packaging won’t remain effective for too long," proposes Paula.
That said, there is certainly a Vitamin C variant for everyone out there—it's all about figuring out what works best for your skin.