Did you know that your body cannot produce vitamin C? This essential vitamin is crucial to a healthy body and glowing skin. In fact, we cannot survive without it! So, why is vitamin C so important, why did we lose the ability to make it, and what's the best way to get it?
THE IMPORTANCE OF VITAMIN C
Vitamin C's ability to donate an electron allows it to take on two critical roles. First, it can donate an electron to enzymatic reactions in your body like homeostasis of iron and the production of collagen. Without it these important reactions would be hindered. Collagen is what "holds" your skin together and gives it that firm and youthful look.
Its second role is as an antioxidant. Antioxidants donate an electron "quenching" a free radical's "thirst" for electrons. Without antioxidants free radicals would damage your cells--- including skin cells.
FINDING VITAMIN C
Millions of years ago we lost the ability to make vitamin C. Scientists think that our ancestors with the mutated gene that hinders vitamin C production were able to survive because of their vitamin C rich diet and therefore pass the gene on. Luckily, this diet consists of more than a bunch or oranges and rare tropical fruit. In fact, there are very rich sources of vitamin C in the common diet.
Here's a list of potent common sources of vitamin C with their RDA contributions:
[400%] 1/2 Papaya
[360%] 1 Bell Pepper
[200%] 1 Mango
[150%] 1/2 Melon
[135%] 1 Orange
[130%] 1 Cup Broccoli
[100%] 1 Kiwi
[100%] 10 Strawberries
[ 40%] 1 Tomato
[ 30%] 1 Cup Kale
[ 15%] 1 Cup Spinach
This list is far from exhaustive and, in general, eating a lot of fruits and vegetables will provide you will all the vitamin C you need. However, how do we ensure that all this vitamin C we're eating is going to our skin? Applying vitamin C topically is the best way.
VITAMIN C IN SKINCARE
Vitamin C in its ascorbic acid form is very unstable. It's the reason fruits and vegetables turn brown. That said, using more stable forms like the oil soluble ascorbyl palmitate found in our face balm and the water soluble sodium ascorbyl phosphate found in our Neroli Clarifying Toner with Vitamin C + Green Tea are best way to ensure the vitamin C in your skincare remains intact. Daily use of either forms of the vitamin saturates your skin with vitamin C to ensure ample collagen production and protection from free radicals. Personally, I like to use the Neroli Clarifying Toner throughout the day by misting myself whenever I feel the need to refresh.
It's also important to note that vitamin C degrades when exposed to light. Look for products that are packaged in dark containers (we love glass!) to limit exposure to light. This will ensure that you get a high quality product with potent and effective vitamin C.
THE TAKE AWAY
Vitamin C helps your skin heal and protect itself which makes it a key player in any skincare ritual. Healthy skin is achieved from the inside as well as the outside so eat tons of fruits and vegetables and use vitamin C skincare products like our face balm and Neroli Clarifying Toner. Lastly, the intake cap for vitamin C is around what you would get if you ate 15 large papayas in one day and even then the effect would only be gastric stress. So eat away!
written by Sacha Caron
Photo of oranges by Brian Jimenez