Skin & Vitamin “C”

Vitamin “C” also known as Ascorbic Acid is one of the water soluble vitamins which helps to maintain our body healthy. Human body does not synthesize Vitamin “C” therefore it is an essential micronutrient which needs to be taken from outside. It is found in many citrus family fruits like Lime, Lemon, Oranges, Strawberries, Kiwi fruit and some vegetables like Bell pepper, Broccoli, Spinach. Vitamin “C is also sold as a dietary supplement in tablets, powder, liquid and local applications.

 

Vitamin “C” has multiple effects on our body on various systems. Specially being an antioxidant, it has a protective effect from cancer. It has a protective effect on Cardiovascular system. It may reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) in blood. Vitamin C supplements have been found to lower blood pressure in both healthy adults and those with high blood pressure. It can also improve the absorption of iron in our body. Vitamin C is one of the nutrients sensitive to stress, so it can be an ideal marker for overall health of a person.

Most importantly Vitamin ”C” plays an important role with regards to skin.  Vitamin C can act as an antioxidant and it prevents the cellular damage to the skin. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined links between nutrient intakes and skin aging in 4,025 women aged 40-74. It found that higher vitamin C intakes were associated with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance, dryness of the skin, and a better skin-aging appearance.

Usually darker skin people have a compound called Melanin. This compound is produced by a group of cells “melanocytes” deep within the skin. The higher melanin is produced, the darker the skin gets.Vitamin C acts as “Tyrosinase Inhibitor” in Melanin formation of the body. Vitamin C can indirectly inhibit the activity of tyrosinase because of its antioxidant capacity, thus reducing melanogenesis. Therefore it has an effect on skin whitening. 

Vitamin C can interact with our fibroblasts. In the skin, collagen formation is carried out mostly by the fibroblasts in the dermis, resulting in the generation of the basement membrane and dermal collagen matrix. Collagen, a protein required to help wounds heal and cell repair. 

Vitamin C strengthens capillary walls and helps to maintain proper functioning of blood circulation. Vitamin “C” is likely to be safe when taken orally or applied on skin. Higher doses may cause heartburn, nausea, vomiting, headache & stomach cramps. It is always advisable to seek proper medical advice on Vitamin “C” intake and applications. 

Dr. Harsha Jayakody
Cosmetic Physician
MBBS (Sri Lanka), MBA (Malaysia), MSc (Sri Lanka),
Member of American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine (AAAM)

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