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Natural Repair: Vitamin A and Vitamin C for Skin

January 03, 2022

Natural Repair: Vitamin A and Vitamin C for Skin

As the barrier between the outside world and your body, your skin bears the brunt of your daily activities. Ultraviolet rays, wind, free radicals, and acne are just a few of the many elements that can damage and age your skin. Using vitamin A and vitamin C for skin can naturally and effectively heal this damage.

Your Skin’s Enemies

Knowing your skin’s enemies will help you understand how vitamins A and C benefit your skin. Cuts, scrapes, and acne obviously damage—and may scar—your skin, but there are other invisible forces at work, too. 

Ultraviolet Radiation

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays damages skin cells. Getting sunburned occasionally or keeping a summer tan might not seem like a big deal, but accumulated UV exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots (patches of darker skin), actinic keratosis (rough scaly patches on the skin), and solar elastosis (thickened, yellow, wrinkled skin), and, in some cases, cancer.

Air Pollution

Polluted air is full of free radicals. These unstable atoms are in a frantic search for a stabilizing electron. In their volatile state, they react quickly with other substances. This creates a process called oxidative stress, which damages your body’s cells (including skin) over time. This damage produces visible signs of aging and may initiate serious medical conditions.  

Aging

Your body’s ability to fight free radicals and produce collagen slows as you age. Accumulated skin damage becomes more visible and can be more difficult to repair. 

Benefits of Vitamin C for Skin 

Your skin is under a constant barrage of damaging agents, so it needs a hero. Enter vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful, water-soluble antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals and regenerate your skin cells, resolving common skin problems, including:

  • Dark undereye circles. Vitamin C strengthens the skin under your eyes, concealing the blood vessels beneath.
  • Age spots. Vitamin C can fade dark spots. 
  • Sagging skin. Vitamin C accelerates collagen and elastin production, which helps keep your skin firm and plump.
  • Dehydration. Vitamin C helps your skin retain moisture and balance. 
  • Wounds. Vitamin C stimulates skin cell regeneration, helping wounds heal faster. 

Vitamin C does more than improve your skin’s appearance. It may also protect your skin from more serious changes. 

Vitamin C is helpful for all skin types and it is generally safe to use. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, you might notice a yellowish discoloration of your skin when you use vitamin C. Begin with a low concentration of vitamin C and increase it gradually. 

You can also test for vitamin C sensitivity by applying it on the thin skin of your wrist before you apply it to your face. Once you apply vitamin C to your face the first time, wait a couple of days to see how your skin feels. 

You can add vitamin C by: 

  1. Adding more vitamin C-rich foods to your diet. These include citrus fruits, peppers, berries, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and potatoes. These dietary additions may  improve your overall health, but you probably won’t notice much change in your skin. The downside to working from the inside out is that the nutrients usually don’t reach the top, visible layers of skin in the absorption process. 
  2. Taking a vitamin C supplement. These come in tablets, capsules, liquids, or powders. They are often marketed for immune-boosting properties. Again, while this may be beneficial to your overall health, it won’t quickly produce noticeable results with your skin.  
  3. Using a vitamin C topical serum. Applying vitamin C directly to the top layer of your skin is the best way to make sure your skin benefits from it. Use it in the morning (for protection from UV rays throughout the day) after you cleanse but before you moisturize. The serum will absorb better into clean skin, and applying a moisturizer will help soothe any irritation. Use a moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher. If you use benzoyl peroxide in your skincare routine, avoid using it at the same time as a vitamin C serum. You can use one in the morning and the other at night, or you can use each on alternate days. 

Your vitamin C serum should contain ascorbic acid. This is the most effective form of vitamin C for skin care. Additionally, vitamin C will work better when combined with vitamin E (tocopherol). If you add vitamin C-rich foods to your diet, be sure to also add vitamin E-rich foods such as nuts and seeds for added potency. When you are shopping for serums, check the ingredients for both vitamin C and E. Our Vitamin C Complex Serum has both, plus many other natural ingredients to soothe and repair your skin. 

Benefits of Vitamin A for Skin

Vitamin A is your skin’s superhero. The most common form of vitamin A is its active form: retinol. Vitamin A has three states: retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid. Each has the same benefits but each has a different potency and slightly different absorption process. Retinol, the least potent of the three, is commonly found in commercial cosmetics. Retinoic acid is prescription strength. 

Vitamin A supports many body functions including vision, cell division, reproduction, and immunity. When you apply vitamin A to your skin, it stimulates collagen production and cell turnover, slows oil production, and reduces inflammation. What does this mean for your skin?

  • Fewer fine lines and wrinkles
  • Less discoloration
  • Better skin texture
  • Less acne
  • More healthy, youthful skin

The only caveat with vitamin A is that consuming too much of it can be toxic. Most people get all the vitamin A they need through their diet. Because of the toxicity risk, capsule supplements are not recommended unless you have a specific medical need. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take any vitamin A supplements. Here are some tips to get adequate amounts of vitamin A for your skin:  

  1. Add more vitamin A-rich foods to your diet. These include leafy greens, carrots, orange peppers, sweet potatoes, cheese, eggs, oily fish, milk, and yogurt. Think red, orange, green, and dairy. You don’t need to go overboard and stuff your refrigerator with these items; adding a little here and there to your normal meals should be plenty. 
  2. Use our most popular serum: Vitamin A Liposome Serum. Customers love it because it works, but it is gentle. It includes soothing agents such as chamomile and white tea and natural sunscreen for added protection. To reduce the risk of irritation, add it gradually to your skincare routine. Wait a few days after applying it the first time. If you don’t see any signs of irritation, start applying it every other night. If your skin handles that well after a few applications, you can start applying it every night. If it irritates your skin at any point, stop using it immediately and look for more gentle alternatives such as vitamin C.

Using Vitamin A and C Serums Together

While it might seem that combining vitamin A and C serums would create a super-serum, most experts advise against them together because their effectiveness may decrease and your skin irritation may increase. If you want to use them both, the best method is to use vitamin C products on your skin in the morning, and vitamin A products on your skin at night. 

How To Tell If a Serum is Working

Vitamin A and C serums take time and consistent use to repair your skin. Numerous studies show that topical vitamin C and A application can dramatically improve the texture, tone, and elasticity of your skin and further protect it from environmental damage. 

So, how will you know if it’s working? Remove all your makeup, and take a picture before your first application. Set a reminder on your phone to take another picture each week, at the same time of day, using the same lighting. Skin repair won’t be immediate, but if you are consistent, you will gradually see wrinkles and dark circles fade—and brighter, plumper skin emerge. 



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