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The Latest Breakthroughs in Vitamin C for Skincare and Anti-Ageing

April 8, 2024

Why you should not Neglect to Prescribe Vitamin C Skincare

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in various physiological processes within the human body. In recent years, it has gained significant attention for its remarkable benefits in skincare and anti-ageing.

Here we delve into the latest scientific and medical studies, presenting a comprehensive overview of the breakthroughs in utilizing vitamin C for skin health and anti-ageing purposes.

The importance of Vitamin C in skin health

  • Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps neutralise harmful free radicals, which are known to contribute to premature ageing and damage to skin cells.
  • Additionally, it is essential for the synthesis of collagen, a protein that provides structural support to the skin, keeping it firm and youthful.
  • Moreover, vitamin C aids in regulating melanin production, which can help prevent and alleviate hyperpigmentation issues such as dark spots and uneven skin tone.

Latest Formulations and Delivery Methods

  • Recent advancements in skincare technology have led to the development of innovative formulations and delivery methods to maximise the benefits of vitamin C.
  • These include stabilised forms of vitamin C, such as ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, which exhibit instability and enhance efficacy, compared to traditional forms.

Furthermore, liposomal and nanotechnology-based delivery systems have emerged as promising approaches to enhance the absorption and penetration of vitamin C into the skin, ensuring optimal results.

Efficacy in Combating UV-Induced Skin Damage

  • Numerous studies have demonstrated the protective effects of vitamin C against UV-induced skin damage.
  • A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology in 2017 showed that topical application of vitamin C effectively reduced UVB-induced skin erythema and sunburn cell formation, highlighting its potential as a natural sunscreen agent.
  • Additionally, vitamin C’s antioxidant properties have been shown to mitigate oxidative stress caused by UV exposure, thus helping to prevent the breakdown of collagen and the formation of wrinkles. 
  • For this reason, having vitamin C in your daytime moisturiser is vital, as it will provide further support against photo-ageing when used in combination with sunscreen.

Skin cancer study

  • This is important as studies show that skin cancers are continuing to rise here in Australia, even among sunscreen users. 
  • This can be due to insufficient sunscreen application, or inadequate application.
  • By recommending the use of a moisturiser that also contains vitamin C, this will provide an additional layer of protection against sun damage and photo ageing.

It is advisable that the higher-risk Fitzpatrick skin types I, II and III be given extra support with sun protection. 

Pairing an SPF 30+ sunscreen applied over a vitamin C moisturiser will provide added insurance against sun damage or even skin cancer.

Anti-Ageing Properties and Collagen Synthesis

Collagen is a critical protein for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness. Recent research has revealed that vitamin C plays a pivotal role in collagen synthesis by stimulating the production of collagen-boosting enzymes.

  • A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2017 as well recent subsequent studies demonstrate that regular application of a vitamin C serum led to a significant increase in collagen production, resulting in improved skin texture and reduced fine lines.
  • A randomised controlled trial published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2020 investigated the effects of topical vitamin C on collagen production in human skin.
  • That study demonstrated a significant increase in collagen production after regular application of vitamin C-based formulations. This finding underscores the potential of vitamin C in combating the signs of ageing.
  • Furthermore, vitamin C’s ability to inhibit matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), enzymes that degrade collagen, further contributes to its anti-ageing benefits.

Hyperpigmentation and Even Skin Tone

Hyperpigmentation, characterised by dark spots and uneven skin tone, is a common concern in ageing skin, especially with Australia’s long summers.

  • Vitamin C has been shown to effectively address this issue by inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in melanin production.
  • Studies have indicated that topical application of vitamin C can lead to a reduction in hyperpigmentation and an overall improvement in skin tone.

A more recent study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology in 2021 examined the impact of vitamin C on hyperpigmentation. The results showed that consistent use of vitamin C led to a reduction in melanin production, resulting in a more even skin tone.

This finding is particularly promising for individuals dealing with skin discolouration concerns.

The latest evidence

The latest scientific and medical studies underscore the remarkable benefits of vitamin C in skincare and anti-ageing.

From its potent antioxidant properties to its role in collagen synthesis and hyperpigmentation reduction, vitamin C continues to emerge as a powerful ally in maintaining youthful and healthy skin.

With ongoing research and advancements in formulation and delivery methods, vitamin C continues to hold great promise for the future of skincare and anti-ageing treatments.

Read more about Vitamin C in the APJ Journal

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