Your skin says a lot about your health. Acne, lesions, and rashes may indicate an underlying health condition. It’s not vanity at all to want to protect your skin. So, how exactly does vitamin C – a nutrient known for its immunity-boosting benefits – help with skin health? And what’s the best form of vitamin C for skin care?
What are the different sources of vitamin C for skin health?
Vitamin C is very much vital to our health. It’s not stored in the body, so taking it regularly is important. Otherwise, you risk developing anemia, gum disease, extreme fatigue, spontaneous bleeding, and scurvy. Taking the right form of vitamin C can mean the difference between effective and not-so-effective skincare!
Vitamin C-rich foods
Eating a diet rich in fruits and veggies means you’re already likely getting enough vitamin C. Food is always the best source for overall wellness because it contains many other vitamins and minerals. Some of the richest sources of vitamin C are bell peppers, guavas, brussels sprouts, broccoli, oranges, lemons, and strawberries.
Regular vitamin C supplements, aka ascorbic acid
This form is molecularly similar to the vitamin C found in nature. But since it’s water soluble, it’s not well absorbed by the body, especially in high doses. If you’ve taken one before, you may have noticed your pee turning bright yellow after taking ascorbic acid. If so, this is the excess vitamin C your body couldn’t absorb!
Liposomal vitamin C
This is the improved and more absorbable version of regular vitamin C, aka ascorbic acid.
Essentially, vitamin C is placed inside fat-based vesicles known as liposomes to help increase absorption. So, the water-soluble vitamin C is effectively transformed into a fat-soluble nutrient.
Since our cells are surrounded by a phospholipid (fat) bilayer, a liposomal formulation is better absorbed than water-soluble ascorbic acid.
Our Liposomal Vitamin C supplement uses liposomes made from coconut oil powder and sunflower lecithin. This formula improves the stability of liposomes, helping to ensure that vitamin C gets to where the body needs it.
Topical vitamin C
These are the vitamin C serums, lotions, creams, and balms applied directly to the skin. The question you’re probably asking now is, does the body absorb it? The answer is yes. However, it also depends on the type of vitamin C.
According to this study, a lipid formulation containing 7% tetrahexyldecyl (THD) ascorbate was superior to a water-soluble formulation containing 10% ascorbic acid. The THD product helped improve collagen levels in the skin and reduced the appearance of wrinkles.
What is the best form of vitamin C for skin care?
Well, as you may have noticed above, both Liposomal Vitamin C and lipid-based topical vitamin C have superior absorption rates compared to their water-based counterparts. This means that if you want to reap vitamin C’s skin benefits, then these two are the right forms to choose.
Obviously, there are differences between them, so we’ll go through when to choose one over the other.
When to choose Liposomal Vitamin C for skin care?
Choose this form to enjoy the entire range of vitamin C benefits. Since this form is taken orally, it goes to the gut where it is absorbed and distributed to the tissues and cells that require vitamin C (1).
While this form can help increase vitamin C concentrations in the skin, it’s not as significant compared to topical vitamin C (2). But remember, with this form, it’s not only the skin that will benefit but your whole body as well!
When to choose topical vitamin C for skin care?
Choose topical vitamin C if you want to see improvements in a specific area, e.g. your face or neck. It’s pretty common to see vitamin C combined with other skin-nourishing nutrients, like vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, collagen, niacinamide, aloe vera, etc.
Some products are designed to brighten skin. Others help with dark spot removal. It would be best to look around to find the right product that best fits your skincare needs. But remember, choose a lipid-based formulation over a water-based one.
So, what exactly does vitamin C do for your skin?
Now that you know which form of vitamin C is best for skin care, let’s move on to what this essential nutrient does for your skin:
Vitamin C is needed in collagen production
Collagen is another supplement that’s currently making waves in the beauty industry. Since it’s one of the body’s building blocks, taking collagen daily may help slow aging.
Research suggests oral collagen supplementation may help with skin health by improving hydration, elasticity, and dermal collagen density (3).
But here’s the catch – the body can’t make collagen without vitamin C. This means it’s important to take collagen with vitamin C.
Vitamin C may help light lighten skin and reduce dark spots
Vitamin C’s skin-lightening benefit stems from its ability to inhibit the production of tyrosinase. This enzyme helps produce melanin, the pigment that dictates our skin color. The more melanin you produce, the darker your skin color. Thus, vitamin C directly contributes to reduced melanin production, effectively brightening the skin (4).
That said, our Liposomal Vitamin C may help with more balanced skin lightening. On the other hand, a topical product may be more effective if you’re only looking to reduce dark spots in specific areas.
Vitamin C protects against extrinsic skin aging
Extrinsic skin aging results from the sun’s UV damage, smoking, pollution, and other environmental factors. These factors all cause changes in the skin that make it look older. Worse, prolonged exposure may increase the risk of skin cancer (5).
On a molecular level, these external factors increase free radicals in the body, leading to oxidative stress (6). Fortunately, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can help fight oxidative stress and therefore extrinsic skin aging, too (7)!
Vitamin C may help wounds heal faster
Poor wound healing is one of the hallmark symptoms of low vitamin C levels in the body (8). Due to its antioxidant properties and role in collagen formation, vitamin C may help speed up the healing process.
Studies show that vitamin C’s effect on wound healing involves repairing damaged skin cells faster. It also helps increase ceramide production; these fatty acids hold skin cells together. Moreover, vitamin C’s role in collagen synthesis also contributes to the faster formation of cells that produce connective tissue (9).
Related article: When To Take Liposomal Vitamin C Supplements?
As you’ve learned in this article, the best forms of vitamin C for skin care are lipid-based formulations since they help improve absorption. Try using a topical formulation along with our Liposomal Vitamin C for optimal skin health. In addition, eating vitamin C-rich foods, drinking enough water, avoiding smoking and alcohol, and using sunscreen when you go out may offer comprehensive protection for your skin!