Among the many beautiful afternoons spent at my grandmother’s house while my parents were in the office, snack time remains my most favorite memory: a glass filled to the brim with fresh-squeezed orange juice. Dense, sweet, and simply perfect, she would bring it in to me during my afternoon study as I drowned in books and my big nerdy glasses. To this day, I have not found orange juice as good as hers.
At the time, I was ignorant to all the benefits of Vitamin C, and did not understand until my adulthood why my grandmother insisted on preparing for me this same snack daily. Until, that is, I started studying) the real power vitamins have for our body and skin in my work in beauty.
“Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid,” says the dermatologist Antonio Di Pietro, “is the engine of some of the functions of the body that also express themselves through the skin. It is essential for the construction of immune defenses, it stimulates the circulation and absorption of iron and it improves the oxygenation and nourishment of cells.” Is it thanks to my grandmother’s orange juice – in addition to my very fortunate genes – that my almost-40-year old skin has stood the test of time with compact pores and a bright complexion.
Vitamin C has a plumping and anti-aging effect, because it is essential both to synthesize collagen and to counteract its degradation. And collagen, as you surely already know, is the substance that primarily affects your skin’s tone. Don’t forget the power of Vitamin C to lighten and treat spots and discolorations. What I was shocked to find is that Vitamin C is also essential for the synthesis of serotonin, the neurotransmitter of happiness, which apparently affects the hydration, tone and brightness of the skin. Who knew?
For the maximum benefits, our diet should be rich in slightly acidic fruit like citrus, kiwi, cherries and green leafy vegetables, as well as broccoli, bell peppers and tomatoes. Experts’ advice is to eat all these foods fresh, raw or slightly cooked, and freshly cut. Also, if you find yourself in a period of a high stress level, try, every once in a while, taking your eyes of the computer or tablet and pamper yourself with a super relaxing bath – with, of course, a splash of Vitamin C.
And, of course, slathering it directly onto your face is the most effective way to absorb the power of this supplement. Some studies – one of the latest here in Italy, by the Instituto Dermoclinico Vita Cutis of Milano and published in the “Journal of Plastic Dermatology” – showed that at the same dosage, the amount of Vitamin C absorbed with a cream or cosmetic in general is much more effective on the skin (up to 70% more) than when taken orally. And if your objective is brighter skin, watching your diet is not enough. Throw some useful products into your beauty routine, from serums, masks and boosters. Here are some of my favorites for you:
Tip: normally, in cosmetics, the concentration of Vitamin C is between 5-20%, too high of a concentration can cause irritation. We found that a higher percentage is found in products for professional use.
An authentic starter of radiance and youth, this serum maintains natural skin tone and firmness over time. Its texture permits a rapid absorption of the functional substances and leaves a wonderful silky effect on the skin.
Contains 20% of Vitamin C: the highest concentration of stable Vitamin C that the skin is capable of absorbing. It combats premature aging, reduces problems with pigmentation, enhances skin tone and smoothens wrinkles. The cream can be applied by itself directly on your face or mixed with a serum, moisturizer or foundation.
Ideal for combination types, it illuminates the skin, leaving it smooth.
Contains organic Bergamot Unicellular Water and Vitamin C, which has an intense regenerating action, restoring radiance and brightness to the face in just a few minutes. Its melt-away texture combines the nourishing effectiveness of a mixture of vegetable oils with the freshness of a gel. In the formula, Vitamin E and B5 are also present, giving it toning and protective properties.
This illuminating and multi functional day serum is formulated to give an instant charge of radiance. With the power of Ester Vitamin C, it addresses the darker and irregular areas, increasing the clarity of your face and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
Susanne KaufmannTM Pollution Skin Defence System
A special treatment of 15 vials with three different types – Vitamin C, Ectoin and Q10 – was designed to counteract the harmful effects of pollution and external factors and to repair the skin in depth.
This special treatment activator maximizes the power of pure Vitamin C, in the highest concentration proposed by Clinique to illuminate and uniform the skin. Designed as a daily supplement to revitalize the skin, it can be used alone or mixed with a cream. To get the maximum effectiveness, try also Clinique Fresh Pressed™ Renewing Powder Cleanser with Pure Vitamin C, a ultra fine powder cleanser that activates with water and contains pure Vitamin C.