I love the sun. I love aging. I’ve been mindful of how easily both can turn on me if I do not approach them in health. You know what I hate? When the two collide. Even after using a sunscreen free of harmful chemicals, the brown spots on my forehead and cheeks were only getting worse with each summer day. I was doing the right thing, so why was my skin suffering? It’s a harmless little blemish that seems to strike middle-aged women the most. It’s caused by sun damage and has been linked to birth control pills and signs of imbalanced hormones. If only there was a way to make these spots go away… Allow me to introduce you to the extraordinary benefits of vitamin C.
What Can We do?
We already know that a diet filled with vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, berries, leafy greens, broccoli, and cauliflower protect and heal the inside of the body. With its powerful immune-boosting components, vitamin C has received a great deal of attention lately and with good reason. Did you know that vitamin C is also good for the outside of the body? It’s actually one of nature’s most extraordinary and naturally occurring sources of antioxidants, which means a great deal for your skincare routine. From wrinkle reducing to damage control, this essential nutrient does wonders on your skin.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, which goes by ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid, is a vitamin that can not be produced by the body. Instead, the only way to get it is through third-party tested supplements or through your diet. Consuming foods loaded with vitamin C is crucial to maintaining overall good health, but the absorption of it is limited when it comes to the skin. Therefore, while adequate vitamin C in your diet helps keep your skin lighter, brighter, and glowing, the benefits are limited with consumption alone. Applying it topically has proven to prevent and treat a number of issues by decreasing melanin production, increasing vitamin E, promoting skin cell renewal, and neutralizing free radicals that damage cells.
Nature’s Miracle in a Serum
The best vitamin C skin care products are in serum form because they are more effective at penetrating the skin barrier than a cream or toner. The serum should be applied after cleansing and before applying moisturizer and sunscreen.
Vitamin C has the potential to thicken the dermis, diminish fine lines, and is essential for firm, youthful-looking skin.
Vitamin C inhibits melanin production in the skin, which helps to lighten hyperpigmentation and brown spots or liver spots, even out skin tone, and enhance skin radiance.
Photoaging (Sun Damage):
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means it protects skin cells from damaging free radicals caused by UV exposure. It also works to repair the skin by encouraging healthy cell turnover and regeneration.
Melasma is a hormonal disorder that causes the skin to become brown and patchy. It most commonly appears on the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, chin, or above the upper lip. It may also appear on the other parts of the body that are exposed to sunlight. Melasma is more prevalent in women and is mainly triggered by hormones (including birth control) which is why it’s sometimes referred to as a “pregnancy mask.” Vitamin C combined with complete sun avoidance has shown to be a short-term solution for melasma; however, it is also a sign that something is terribly wrong with your hormone levels. At Forum Health Clarkston, we work to identify the root cause and help you with a customized plan that will help create the environment you need to have hormonal balance.
Potential Side Effects
Vitamin C does not accumulate in the body, so it is safe to use. The excess is excreted through urine, so there is low risk of toxicity. Potential side effects include (Ruddock):
- Through topical products: Yellowish skin discoloration, skin rash or allergic reaction, itching, and depigmentation of hair.
- Through oral supplements: High doses can cause nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
Dr. Axe’s DIY Vitamin C Serum for the Face
Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves: About 1.5 ounces
- 1 teaspoon GMO-free vitamin C powder
- 1 teaspoon filtered or purified water
- 1½ tablespoons aloe vera gel
- ⅛ teaspoon vitamin E oil
- 5 drops frankincense essential oil
- Using a bowl and a whisk, blend vitamin C powder and filtered water.
- Add the aloe vera gel. Blend again.
- Add the vitamin E oil and frankincense. Mix all ingredients until well blended.
- Using a funnel, transfer the serum into small amber bottle to help reduce light exposure.
- Apply at night, making sure to remove in the morning since it can cause sensitivity when exposed to the sun.
- You may want to start with every other night to make sure your skin responds well. Results are usually noticeable within a few weeks up to 3 months.
Not into the DIY? Me neither. Luckily there are always people willing to do the research and compile lists for us. Check this one out for 2021’s very BEST Vitamin C Serums.
There are very few ingredients out there that are better for brightening and repairing skin, protecting it against aggressors, and addressing signs of aging. While this little miracle by Mother Nature is a gift for reversing sun damage and signs of aging, there are times when your skin is telling you that something deeper is going on. If you have brown patches on your face that even vitamin C doesn’t seem to completely erase, it’s time to make an appointment with one of our experts to find the right hormone-balancing plan for you. Call today and sign up for one of our monthly Meet and Greets! 248-625-5143
Forum Health Clarkston
7300 Dixie Hwy, Suite 500, Clarkston, MI 48346
Oliver, Kyra, “DIY Vitamin C Serum for the Face,” Dr. Axe, 2016.
Pai, Deanna, “These vitamin C serums can brighten skin, reduce wrinkles and more,” CNN Underscored, 2019.
Ruddock, Vilma MD, “Total Guide to Vitamin C for Skin Lightening,” Love to Know, 2006-2021.
“Unmasking the causes and treatments of melasma,” Harvard Womens Health, 2020.