First, I will give a history lesson on VITAMIN C, which is also known as ASCORBIC ACID. We now know that individuals lacking in this vitamin were known to have the condition called Scurvy. Scurvy was a horrendous disease that caused slow wound healing, bleeding gums, tooth loss, pneumonia and eventually death.
Scurvy is written about in the very ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman literature as well as in the Renaissance era. The British and European explorers were ravaged by scurvy. Scurvy was a major cause of death among much of Europe during the great potato famine. And many died of scurvy here in the US during the 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 fruits and vegetables. Sailors were saved from Scurvy by eating fresh limes. 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!
In about 1928, a scientist by the name of Albert Szent-Gyorgyi discovered what we now call Vitamin C. He isolated hexuronic acid from cabbage, oranges, and paprika. Hexuronic acid was subsequently termed Vitamin C and it was the Vitamin responsible for preventing 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.
As a physician, I really appreciate the history that lead to the discovery of Vitamin C in the early 1900's. Since then, Vitamin C has been studied excessively in the medical literature, including its role in our skin's health, which I will focus on now.
Vitamin C has several effects on the skin, and can be formulated into creams and serums. Here are the following benefits of Vitamin C on the skin:
- Improved Skin elasticity: One of the benefits of vitamin C is 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. Vitamin C topically can help prevent sagging skin.
- Reduced Hyperpigmentation: Vitamin C is also believed to reduce the appearance of dark spots on the skin caused by sun damage by encouraging skin healing, thereby reducing pigment clusters.
- Reduced Inflammation: Another benefit of vitamin C is the ability to reduce inflammation in the treated 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 Effect: Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant to address other skin damage, beyond dark spots and inflammation. Vitamin C penetrates 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 :)
Click now to shop DrYoungerYou.myrandf.com If you want an excellent topical Vitamin C product, purchase Step 3 of The Reverse Regimen on my website. It is called the Dual Active Brightening complex. It is the Vitamin C containing product that I use. It is sold with a tube of Retinol, because Vitamin C and Retinol work best in combination for anti-aging. This product is clinically proven and third party dermatology tested, and carries a 60 day money back guarantee.