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Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) has been garnering lots of attention for its anti-aging benefits to skin. Now available in creams, serums, powders and even eye and lip treatments, Vitamin C is backed up by oodles of clinical research to support its claims which include:

An increase in collagen synthesis, which helps to thicken the skin
Antioxidant activity which reduces skin damage caused by free radicals
An effective depigmenting agent at concentrations 5% or higher
An improvement in the appearance of sun damaged skin

One of the main drawbacks of Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is that it is quite unstable. When exposed to air, a Vitamin C solution will oxidize (break down) and become ineffective as well as potentially harmful. This is because oxidized Vitamin C may increase the formation of free radicals which leads to skin damage. Oxidized Vitamin C will take on a yellowish tinge so look for clear solutions or white creams and powders, a good indication that your formulation is stable and therefore, effective and safe. Also purchase from a reputable company to ensure that you‘re purchasing the real deal.

Research continues with newer more stable forms of Vitamin C and we can expect to see more products containing this beneficial ingredient to be introduced.  

How can you incorporate Vitamin C into your skin care regimen?

Like any skin care product, one containing Vitamin C will not necessarily benefit everyone. And though studies have shown Vitamin C to be well tolerated, some skin types may not take to it very well. Always conduct a skin patch test; especially important if you have sensitive skin.

If you‘re concerned about uneven skin tone, sun damaged skin, wrinkles and even hyperpigmented areas, you may wish to try Vitamin C. Vitamin C at lower concentrations will perform antioxidant activity, but concentrations of at least 5% are required to increase collagen synthesis (and thereby have any effect on wrinkles or fine lines) or to assist with hyperpigmentation.  

Depending on your skin type, a Vitamin C preparation may be added instead of a moisturizer or in addition to your moisturizer. Because of its beneficial effect on free radicals, a Vitamin C preparation is a great idea for your morning routine as studies have shown that it will help to protect your skin from damaging UV rays.

Here are some products that you may want to consider:
[Link Removed] - One of the highest concentrations of Vitamin C - 20% - Skin Brightener is formulated in a unique base to retain stability. Though marketed to improve skin radiance by decreasing discolorations, Vitamin C at this concentration will also help to diminish fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen sythesis.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care. She owns and operates an online skin care store at www.pharmacymix.com.


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