First, a quick history lesson on how VITAMIN C, which is also known as ASCORBIC ACID, came to light. Vitamin C has a prominent role in history. We now know that individuals lacking in this vitamin were known to have the condition called Scurvy. Scurvy is a horrendous disease that caused slow wound healing, bleeding gums, tooth loss, pneumonia and eventually death. It is written about in the very ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman literature. Also, the British and European explorers of the Renaissance era were ravaged by scurvy. Scurvy was a major cause of morbidity and death among much of Europe during the great potato famine, the United States Civil War, the exploration of the North Pole, and the California gold rush.
Captain James Cook was one of the first to demonstrate that sailors who spent months at sea could avoid scurvy by maintaining a diet rich in vegetables. James Lind, a British naval surgeon, published his experiences and studies on scurvy aboard ships in a book titled Treatise of the Scurvy. Here is a fun fact: Sailors were eventually saved from Scurvy by the addition of fresh limes to their diet. Hence, the nickname "Limey" was born and it is "pirate lingo" we use to this day! Personal Editorial: One of my best friends from high school says: "I need a lime with my Corona to prevent scurvy!" I chuckle every time she says it!
During 1928 to 1931, a man by the name of Albert Szent-Gyorgyi discovered what we now call Vitamin C by isolating hexuronic acid from cabbage, oranges, paprika, and adrenal glands. Hexuronic acid was subsequently termed Vitamin C and is found to prevent the development of Scurvy.
Linus Pauling PhD in Physical Chemistry (1901-1994) is known as the Vitamin C Guru. He is the most famous modern day proponent of high dose vitamin C treatment for colds and other diseases. Linus Carl Pauling was also a peace activist who in his lifetime won two Nobel Prize awards; one in chemistry in 1954, followed by a Nobel Peace Prize in 1962.
As a scientist and physician, I really appreciate these amazing men who discovered and studied the effects of Vitamin C in the early and mid 1900's. Since then, Vitamin C has been studied excessively in the medical literature, including its role in our skin's health.
So let's focus on Vitamin C for the skin. Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) has several effects on the skin, and can be formulated into creams and serums.
- Skin elasticity: One of the benefits of vitamin C is thought to be improved skin elasticity with regular use. This is achieved through the stimulation of collagen fibers within the skin, which act as the skin’s support network. Stronger, more plentiful protein fibers create a tighter look in the face and diminish the appearance of wrinkles. Vitamin C works on the skin as a co-factor for our bodies' ability to make the protein collagen. Collagen is the strong connective tissue that essentially holds us together. Collagen, underneath our skin surface, is responsible for holding our skin in place on our face as well as on the rest of the body. That is why as we age, collagen stores become depleted, and the skin starts to sag.
- Hyperpigmentation: Vitamin C is also believed to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation by encouraging skin healing, thereby reducing pigment clusters. However, this is not the primary benefit of the ingredient, and other chemicals (like hydroquione) are believed to be more effective for skin brightening.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Another benefit of vitamin C is the ability to reduce inflammation in the treatment area. This can have several benefits, including inflammatory relief in the short term like in sunburns, as well as anti aging effects in the long term. Vitamin C does so by hindering the production of arachidonic acid, which causes inflammation. This acid has been found to play a role in the formation of certain skin conditions like psoriasis.
- Antioxidant: Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant to address other skin damage, beyond hyperpigmentation and inflammation. Vitamin C can penetrate deeply, and is effective at stimulating healthy skin.
In summary, the verdict is out there that Vitamin C is great for the skin. I recommend eating a diet rich in Vitamin C, as well as taking oral supplements of Vitamin C and using clinically proven Vitamin C containing creams and serums. If you have any questions or comments on Vitamin C for your skin, please leave a message below.
Here's to Good Health & Much Happiness,
Dr. Younger You :)
PS Click now to shop DrYoungerYou.myrandf.com Look for Step 3 of Reverse Regimen, called the Dual Active Brightening complex. It is the Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) containing product that I use. This product is clinically proven and third party dermatology tested, and carries a 60 day money back guarantee.