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Vitamin C, the secret to glowing skin?

A busy lifestyle can take its toll on the epidermis, leaving you with a visibly fatigued, dull-looking complexion[1].

But did you know that one of the most well-known vitamins around could also be the answer to radiant, glowing skin?

We take a look at the revitalising properties of vitamin C...

water makes up around
30%of the skin

What causes a dull, uneven skin tone?

There are several reasons why you might have dull skin and/or pigmentation concerns, and sleep is just one of them.

Dehydration[2] is a significant cause of lacklustre skin, as water makes up around 30%[3] of the skin, and is responsible for its plumpness, firmness and protection. Poor circulation can also make the face look pale and fatigued, as the skin is not receiving enough blood to give it a healthy pink glow.

Another reason for dull-looking skin can be diet-related. Studies have shown[4] that the ingredients in our food affect the appearance of the skin, with links made between anti-oxidant carotenoids[5] (found in fruit and vegetables) and a healthy, glowing complexion. 

Sometimes it's just natural! In the same way that we are born with a certain hair or eye colour, some people have a naturally uneven skin tone, which can make the face look tired and dull. Hyperpigmentation, where the skin is of a darker colour in certain spots or areas, can also make the rest of the face appear drained.

Ways of getting a brighter complexion

Vitamin C is known for its benefits to the immune system and is usually associated with fruit and vegetables. But it is also, according to research, "a potent antioxidant drug that can be used topically in dermatology to treat and prevent changes associated with photoageing. It can also be used for the treatment of hyperpigmentation.[6]" It helps to even the skin tone, smooth wrinkles, reduce inflammation and restore radiance to the face.

Vitamin C stimulates collagen synthesis, helping skin to keep its elasticity

Dr. Nina Roos, Dermatologist

We asked dermatologist Dr. Nina Roos to explain some of the principal benefits of vitamin C in a little more depth. Nina says: “Vitamin C speeds up cell repair - in other words, it boosts cell metabolism. This means that skin is better able to recover and deal with visible signs of fatigue. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen synthesis, helping skin to keep its elasticity, as well as helping to fight against damage linked to oxidative stress.”

This means that vitamin C is not just a go-to vitamin when it comes to coughs and colds, but can help keep skin young-looking and radiant when applied topically. You can find vitamin C in many skincare products, such as Vichy's Liftactiv Antifatigue Fresh Shot. Simply take a pea-sized amount on one finger and massage into clean skin using small circular movements to ensure optimal absorption.

[1] T. Sundelin, M. Lekander, G. Kecklund, E.J. Van Someren, A. Olsson, J. Axelsson, ‘Cues of fatigue: effects of sleep deprivation on facial appearance’ in Sleep (2013) 36.9, pp. 1355-1360. [Accessible at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23997369]
[2] X.Z. Jiang and J. De La Cruz, ‘Appearance benefits of skin moisturization’ in Skin Research and Technology (2011) 17.1, pp. 51-55. [Accessible at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20923460]
[3] B. Popkin, K. D’Anci, and I. Rosenberg, ‘Water, Hydration and Health’ in Nutrition reviews (2010) 68.8, pp. 439-458. [Accessible at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/]
[4] Springer. (2009, November 23). ‘Skin color gives clues to health’ in ScienceDaily. [Accessible at: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091116103525.htm]
[5] H. Sies and W. Stahl, ‘Vitamins E and C, beta-carotene, and other carotenoids as antioxidants’ in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1995) 62.6, pp. 1315-1321 [Accessible at: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/62/6/1315S.short]
[6] P. Telang, ‘Vitamin C in dermatology’ in Indian Dermatology Online Journal (2013) 4.2, pp. 143-146. [Accessible at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673383/]

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