VITAMIN C- THE ANTIOXIDANT FRIEND WE ALL NEED
It’s the skincare ingredient that actually lives up to the hype! Vitamin C is a seemingly all-in-one skincare solution for common skin complaints- dullness, uneven skin tone, fine lines, rough texture. Vitamin C's skincare star power comes from being a powerful antioxidant. Because antioxidants you know, fight free radicals. We hear these words a lot in the beautysphere. But what do they actually mean?
Put on your lab coats, we are going in!
Welcome to the great battle of oxidative stress your body is fighting daily! Oxidative stress occurs when the levels of free radicals exceeds the defence mechanisms of the skin.
And what exactly is a free radical?
A free radical is an unstable molecule with unpaired electrons...but being a social bunch, electrons insist on being in pairs. So these unstable free radicals go scavenging into the deeper layers of our skin searching for other electrons they can bond with to become whole.
Their bad behaviour doesn’t stop there! Free radicals are a very bad influence on other molecules- because once a free radical steals an electron from a molecule, then that molecule becomes yet another free radical. Which in turn steals another electron. This chain reaction of electron theft can eventually disrupt and damage the whole cell.
There is more bad news- free radicals are everywhere and you can be exposed to them from air pollution, UV, blue light from digital screens and poor nutrition. They are even produced as a normal byproduct of your metabolism and part of the ageing process.
So is there no escape? Well, no. But this is where antioxidants come to the rescue. Much more selfless than the selfish free radical, antioxidants can donate an electron to stop the free radical bad influence/chain reaction.
Antioxidants can be very supportive! Not only to free radicals (“take my electron, I didn’t want it anyway”) but also to other antioxidants. For example, Vitamin C and Vitamin E love to hang out and actually work in synergy, regenerating each other after neutralising the free radicals- talk about double-teaming against cell damage! This teamwork also gives them the strength to survive for much longer, which means longer protection for our skin.
This is why you'll very often find the two antioxidants formulated together like in A-Oxitive.
How else does Vitamin C benefit the skin?
But wait, there is in fact more! Studies have shown that Vitamin C may be beneficial for sun-induced ageing, pigmentation, tissue healing and is essential for collagen synthesis. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein fibre which we know keeps skin plump and firm. So Vitamin C can also help prevent premature ageing of the skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Incorporating Vitamin C into your skincare routine is simple. A serum like our new A-Oxitive Defense Serum is often the best form as they often have a higher concentration of Vitamin C and can penetrate the skin the most effectively. A Vitamin C concentration of over 10% or equivalent is also ideal, though high concentrations of pure Vitamin C may be irritating if you have sensitive skin.
The best thing is always to listen to your skin! Use at least once a day followed by a complimentary moisturiser- A-Oxitive Smoothing Water-cream, we’re talking about you! Mornings are ideal to help protect against the damage from pollution, UV, stress and blue light from all those digital screens you’re eyeballing all day but you can also use overnight to help repair any damage to the skin.
Vitamin C is a little high maintenance though. Pure Vitamin C is well known for being extremely unstable to light, water, oxygen and pH so look for protective packaging that will maintain the integrity of the formula long after opening.
An airless tube, allowing for no retro-contamination of air and no penetration of light is ideal.