Vitamin C is often hailed as the latest wonder for anti-ageing, but is there any truth to this claim? After all, for years we’ve been seeing new unpronounceable ingredients added and told it’s the latest and greatest in a long line of things that don’t seem to work as well as the adverts might claim.
Vitamin C has lots of uses, almost all of which make it an important part of a healthy diet. It’s vital to keeping a healthy immune system. This might not seem relevant to ageing, but it really is! Have you ever noticed how your look worse when you’re ill? Making sure you have a healthy intake of Vitamin C will help you remain healthy all year round, keeping your skin looking fresh and glowing!
Of course, this might not be quite the type of benefit you were thinking of. Vitamin C also plays a vital role in the production of collagen. What’s collagen? Collagen is a protein that is responsible for keeping the skin supple, elastic and firm. In other words: it’s the thing to focus on if you want to reduce wrinkles. Collagen production decreases dramatically as you age, which is why so many creams and cures claim to contain it. No amount of covering your face in collagen will give as big a boost as upping your body’s own production of it though. Increasing your intake of Vitamin C will help your body keep producing collagen, thus encouraging your skin to stay firm and elastic and avoiding wrinkles.
But what are the best routes to making use of Vitamin C? The obvious – and easiest – one is to make sure your diet is full of it. Fruit and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and dark leafy greens are the best place to start. If you’re worried that your diet doesn’t contain quite enough, supplements are great ways to boost your intake quickly and effectively. Be careful with this, however – too much Vitamin C can lead to side-effects like stomach pain. The maximum recommend intake is around 1000mg a day. If you do end up experiencing side-effects, it’s easy to fix. Since Vitamin C is water-soluble, a few days on a reduced amount will easily set you back to normal.
If you really want to boost your collagen production, you can also add in some omega 3. Whilst the most common way to do this is fish oil supplements, we recommend vegetarian omega 3 instead. Sources such as flax and chia seeds, as well as seaweed and beans have lots. The best source is dark leafy greens – as mentioned above, these have Vitamin C in too so you get even more benefit from it!
You can also use creams that contain Vitamin C directly on your skin. However, if you choose to do this, there are certain things you should be aware of. One of the things that make it tricky to use Vitamin C in creams and serums is the way it oxidises. This basically means it ‘goes off’ when it comes into contact with air. Modern solutions reduce this, but it means you want to look for sources contained ‘activated Vitamin C’ since they’re less likely to do this. If you can find creams that contain photo-stable Vitamin C, that’s even better since it means it won’t be affected by exposure to sunlight either. You want a high percentage – around 10% in a serum – for it to be effective as well.
If you really want to get the skincare benefits of Vitamin C, combining a few of these solutions is best. Increase your daily intake of fruit and vegetables – making sure to add in dark leafy greens like kale and spinach to boost your vegetarian omega 3 levels at the same time! You can also pick up supplements if you’re concerned this won’t be enough. Finally, find a cream, serum or lotion suitable for your skin type with a high proportion of vitamin C. Soon your skin will feel healthier, more elastic and – most importantly – less prone to wrinkles!
By Jefferey Morgan for Healthy Moms Blog Magazine.
Jefferey Morgan is a freelance health and beauty writer.