Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has been known for over a century. It was noted that sailors on long voyages developed bleeding gums, nausea, anemia and many other signs of a deficiency unknown then to be due to vitamin C deficiency (scurvy). However, the cure came when citrus fruit was kept on the ships to prevent the problems, particularly limes and then the sailors became known as limies.
How does Vitamin C Work?
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin so that it is not stored in the body and you cannot get too much of it. This also means that the body cannot get a high enough concentration to get the vitamin into the skin.
Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant, which means that it fights the actions of the sun. It is also important in the rebuilding and maintaining of healthy tissue, particularly blood vessels and collagen.
Research performed at Duke University about 30 years ago demonstrated its positive effects when applied to the skin and many products have been developed since then. All the topical vitamin C preparations protect the skin from one of the wavelengths of the sun and repairs collagen, which is one of the main constituents of the skin and as it becomes damaged is the main cause of the appearance of wrinkles.
Vitamin C Skincare Products
Although there are many companies selling vitamin C products for the skin, they are not all created equally. The product is yellow when you first open the jar or tube and must remain yellow for it to continue to be effective. Because once it is opened the vitamin C is exposed to oxygen and begins to turn brown, it is important to use a product that is formulated and packaged so that it remains yellow. Some companies will tell you that the product is still effective even if it turns brown. That is simply not true—it must remain yellow to be effective.
The proper method of use is to apply a small amount of the product in the morning after cleansing the face and prior to applying your sunscreen. Over a period of time you should notice a decrease in the fine lines and wrinkles over the face and a decrease in the sallow appearance.
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