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January 30, 2017

The mighty Vitamin C and why your skin craves it in wintertime

Take this citrusy immunity booster out of the medicine cabinet and onto your face

What do citrus fruit, leafy greens, and that orange powdered stuff we drink during cold and flu season all have in common?

It’s Vitamin C – the antioxidant and immune booster that helps us fight off disease and stay healthy during the worst of the winter season.

But did you know that it is also the secret to a healthier, brighter and more youthful complexion? That’s right. When it comes to anti-aging, very few antioxidants come close to the powerful Vitamin C.

Here are some reasons why you should consider adding this antioxidant into your daily skin care regimen:

1. To repair sun damage and heal acne scars. Various studies have shown that applying Vitamin C topically after sun exposure can help repair and reverse the DNA damage caused by UV radiation. Vitamin C is also responsible for proper wound-healing, which means acne scars will heal faster with a minimal chance of scarring.

2. Protect against free-radical damage. A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C seeks out free radicals and renders them harmless before they’re able to destroy healthy cells. Free-radical damage is a major cause of skin cancer, premature aging, and wrinkles.

3. To brighten the complexion and even out the skin tone. Vitamin C acts as a mild exfoliant, speeding up cell turnover and inhibiting melanin production. This means pigmentation and dark spots not only fade quicker, but the skin takes on a smoother and more youthful appearance.

4. To firm and strengthen the skin. The single biggest factor with sagging and wrinkling of the skin is the breakdown of collagen, which is a complex network of proteins that give the skin its structure, firmness, and elasticity. As we age, we start to lose a lot of our collagen. Not only is Vitamin C responsible for rebuilding this protein by signaling the body to produce more of it, Vitamin C is also one of the essential building blocks. When new collagen is being produced, your skin will retain its strength and support.

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If you already follow a daily skin care ritual, adding Vitamin C is as easy as finding the right serum or cream and incorporating it into your regimen. While there are many Vitamin C products available on the market, the most effective ones will contain a high concentration of the active ingredient. Look for L-ascorbic acid, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate or Ascorbyl Palmitate high up on the ingredient list. A skilled professional can also help you find the right product and recommend one that’s suited to your skin type.

Another way to benefit from this antioxidant it to simply eat more of it.

Whether you choose fresh fruit such as citrus, berries, and kiwi or prefer leafy greens like kale, spinach, and bok choy, you’re likely to find Vitamin C in many different types of produce.

So, the next time you reach for a glass of fresh orange juice, remember it’s not just your immune system that’s reaping the benefits. Adding that extra Vitamin C to your diet and skin care regimen will also help you stay looking younger and more radiant.

Joanna Kula is a skin-care expert and licensed esthetician at Rescue Spa in Center City, Philadelphia.