Vitamin C is an essential nutrient and powerful antioxidant found mainly in fruits and vegetables. It is water-soluble and is readily absorbed into the body’s tissues when ingested. However, because the body does not store it, any excess is excreted. It must therefore be taken every day, through food or supplements.
What is the role of vitamin C in human health?
The body needs vitamin C to form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle and collagen in bones.
Some of the vital roles it performs in the body are:
- It works to neutralise free radicals before they damage cells. Free radicals are unstable molecules resulting from natural bodily processes, exposure to sun and pollution, smoking and other factors. They can lead to oxidative stress which, in turn, can cause cell damage, illness and premature ageing
- It helps the body produce collagen, a protein needed to develop and maintain healthy teeth, bones, gums, cartilage, vertebrae discs, joint linings, skin and blood vessels. Collagen also gives strength and elasticity to the skin
- It enhances the body’s ability to absorb and to store iron
- It boosts the immune system
- It assists in wound healing, and in minimising raised scar formation
- It helps to keep skin healthy, enabling it to function as a barrier against external toxins and aggressors
Lack of vitamin C can cause impaired immunity and higher susceptibility to infections. Deficiency can lead to swollen joints, bleeding gums and loose teeth, anaemia, and tiredness.
How much vitamin C do I need, and how do I get it?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 75 milligrams (mg) for women and 90 mg for men.
However, a recent study that looked at more than 100 studies over 10 years indicated a far higher ideal dosage for optimal health. Study researcher Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan said "The safe upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 mg a day, and there is a great track record with strong evidence that taking 500 mg daily is safe".
As the body excretes any excess of vitamin C, overdose is not a concern. Even so, it is not advisable to exceed the safe upper limit of 2,000 mg a day to avoid stomach upset or discomfort.
It is possible to get enough vitamin C from a balanced diet, and food sources are always best. Good nutritional sources include oranges (83 mg per medium-sized), grapefruit (92 mg per fruit), strawberries (58 mg per 100 g), and raw bell peppers (80 mg per 100 g).
Orange juice is recognised as a valuable source of vitamin C, but most pre-packaged orange juice is pasteurised to prolong its shelf life. Pasteurising is a heat process that destroys the vitamin C in the juice. Many manufacturers make up for this by adding synthetic vitamin C after pasteurising. Freshly squeezed orange juice, drunk immediately is best, as vitamin C also degrades with air exposure.
Vitamin C nutritional supplements are another way to increase intake. The daily dose of Skin Diligent Acne & Stress Supplement provides 57mg of natural vitamin C, from Acerola cherries. This food form includes other phytonutrients that help the body absorb the vitamin C in almost in its entirety. In contrast, the consumption of vitamin C as ascorbic acid (synthetic form) has an absorption rate of approximately 20%.
What is the benefit of vitamin C in skincare?
Vitamin C is a valuable active ingredient for all skin types. Its skin-brightening properties combat uneven skin tone and dark spots. By promoting collagen production, it smooths skin texture and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Some forms of vitamin C can provide protection from UV rays. As an antioxidant, vitamin C targets oxidative stress on skin (neutralises free radicals that damage skin cells).
The most effective way to replenish vitamin C on the skin is by direct application. In fact, it is claimed that applying vitamin C to the skin is 20 times more effective than oral ingestion.
Serum is the ideal skincare carrier for vitamin C. Serums are concentrated forms of active ingredients, and closely target specific problems.
The challenge of formulating vitamin C skincare products
Ascorbic acid is only stable in formulas with a pH below 3.5. This is significantly more acidic than the facial skin’s pH of 4.7-5.75, and explains why some vitamin C skincare products cause irritation.
Additionally, as it is water soluble, ascorbic acid struggles to penetrate the skin. To compensate for this, water-based serums contain high concentrations of vitamin C, despite knowing that much will be wasted and the risk of irritation will be further increased.
All skincare products carry a list of the ingredients they contain. These are the most commonly used forms of vitamin C to look for in the list:
Water-soluble forms of vitamin C:
- Ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid
- Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate
- Sodium ascorbyl phosphate
- Ascorbyl glucoside
Oil-soluble forms of vitamin C:
- Ascorbyl palmitate
- Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, used in our Vitamin C Serum in Oil
How Skin Diligent Vitamin C Serum in Oil is different
Our Vitamin C Serum in Oil is expertly formulated to eliminate the issues of absorption and irritation.
Skin Diligent Vitamin C Serum in Oil contains a rare oil-form of vitamin C. Oils do not have a pH, and they are easily recognised by the skin. As a result, they are better absorbed and more efficient, with no risk of irritation or photosensitivity.
While vitamin C is the star, Serum in Oil is packed with active ingredients that provide skin nourishing and protective benefits. The 99.7% natural formula contains pomegranate extract, rich in punicic acid, which can help to improve elasticity and even skin tone, while encouraging skin regeneration. It also contains hemp seed oil, rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and moringa oil that helps rebalance sebum.
Proven results from clinical tests:
20 volunteers under the supervision of a dermatologist have tested the Vitamin C Serum in Oil for 28 days.
- 100% of people said their skin felt softer
- 100% said their skin appearance was improved
- 100% had increased skin hydration
- 95% said it evens skin tone
- 90% said it prevents blemishes & breakouts
- 90% said it reduces fine lines and wrinkles
Like all Skin Diligent products, Vitamin C Serum in Oil respect the skin’s microbiome and the integrity of the skin barrier. All our products are non-irritant and hypoallergenic and, in our efforts to reduce toxins from our lives, our skincare products are certified free of oestrogenic endocrine disruptors.