I have used topical Vitamin C products for a long time, and swear they make a difference to my skin. There is research that shows in fact Vitamin C is absorbed and effective topically.
Here’s a good article- thanks to thanks to Nicole Evans at:
Vitamin C is much touted for its ability to prevent and improve wrinkles. Many people take Vitamin C as a supplement, but does oral Vitamin C work as well as topical Vitamin C skin care products for wrinkles?
The mechanism with which Vitamin C prevents wrinkles is due to its antioxidant properties. Damaging free radicals are generated in the skin by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. These free radicals cause photo-aging, ie wrinkles and sun spots. Vitamin C in the skin is thought to play a key role in neutralizing these free radicals and reducing UV skin damage.
Once the sun damage has been done, vitamin C is believed to help treat photo-aging and improve wrinkled skin due to both vitamin C’s antioxidant properties and by increasing collagen production and improving collagen organization.
There is an abundance of skin products on the shelf that contain vitamin C. But is it really worth the extra cost, could consuming extra Vitamin C be enough? The human body has to get vitamin C from the diet because it can’t make it’s own. The vitamin C available from our diet is then used by every cell in our body, including our skin. Couldn’t eating lots of Vitamin C rich fruits and veggies and/or taking vitamin C orally be enough?
Well, it turns out that a very high concentration of vitamin C is required to get a therapeutically effective level of vitamin C in the skin. There are two characteristics of vitamin C that keep us from getting skin-therapeutic levels from oral supplementation. The first is that vitamin C is well absorbed orally at lower does, but absorption decreases as the dose increases. Approximately 80% of a 100 mg dose is absorbed, 63 % of a 500 mg dose is absorbed, and less than 50% of a 1250 mg dose is absorbed.
The second characteristic of Vitamin C that limits our attainable vitamin C levels in the skin, is that vitamin C is water soluble. So at high doses most of the Vitamin C that is absorbed is actually just excreted in the urine.
Topical preparations that contain vitamin C work well to increase the amount of vitamin C in our skin. Research indicates that skin creams containing 10% vitamin C might be most effective for increasing vitamin C concentrations in the skin. By using lotions or creams with vitamin C daily you can benefit from the protective antioxidant effect and the restorative collagen-boosting effect of vitamin C.
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