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Saturday, 13 August 2016

Vitamin C and beauty

Over recent years, a glance at the ingredients on the back of my face cream has left me wishing I’d done a PhD in chemistry — all those AHAs, nanoparticles and pentapeptides. 

But some good news from the beauty world is that the latest wonder ingredient is something we all know and love. Good old vitamin C.

Look down the beauty aisle of any department store and you’ll see three new products from Origins, Kiehl’s and StriVectin-EV, which feature the old favourite as their key ingredient. Other brands such as Sisley, Vichy, Environ and Philosophy also have vitamin C-based formulas.

The beauty industry has long known that vitamin C — in food and cream form — is vital for good skin. The nutrient helps form collagen and elastin (essential to keep the skin looking plump, taut and young) as well as acting as an antioxidant to protect us from the harsh effects of the environment, such as UV rays, pollution and a bad diet.

In recent years, lowly vitamin C has been left in the shadows as cosmetic companies embarked on a rush to find new (often unpronouncable) ingredients — the likes of acai, glycans and hyaluronic acid. 

‘Yet new technology means we can harness vitamin C in new, more targeted ways — specifically in terms of tackling fine lines and pigmentation,’ says Gillian Barclay from Kiehl’s.
Indeed, dermatologists have discovered that vitamin C is one of the best ingredients to tackle dark spots. It not only brightens the skin but also inhibits the production of tyrosinase, an enzyme that creates pigmentation. 

Scientists have also found that vitamin C is not only an essential building block of skin-plumping collagen and elastin, but it actually kick-starts the body into producing more of these proteins — making it a potent anti-ager.

Look for creams containing Vitamin C. If your skin is sensitive, experts warn you may experience stinging or irritation with products containing the water-soluble form of vitamin C, called L-Ascorbic acid, so do a patch test first. But for most of us it seems our skin would benefit from a vitamin boost.

Do not forget to nurish from within.
 See my next post on getting vitamin C from your diet.

Vitamin C: The latest wonder ingredient



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