Topical vitamin C has been linked with numerous benefits for the skin, including anti-aging effects, wound healing, protection from sun damage, and many more. It also delivers all of the well-documented health benefits of oral vitamin C like improve immunity and increased collagen production. So, why aren’t more people opting for topical vitamin C over tablets? And what exactly are the benefits? In this article, we break down all of the information you need to know about this highly effective nutrient.
Why Choose Topical Vitamin C?
Topical vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is applied to the skin rather than being absorbed through the digestive system. You can find it available in the form of a patch, cream, or serum, depending on its intended use. The best thing about any topical vitamin is that it bypasses the digestive system and is absorbed directly through the skin. If you suffer from digestive issues that affect your ability to absorb nutrients, then topical vitamins can be hugely beneficial. Applying them to the skin ensures that your body gets the vitamins it needs to function at its very best.
People who are wary about taking lots of tablets often prefer topical vitamins too. If your doctor has you taking medications, then you might not be too keen on adding more pills to your routine. Topical vitamin C patches allow your body to absorb a high dose without the need for additional tablets.
Topical Vitamin C Benefits
Unlike other nutrients, our body can’t store vitamin C. This means that we need to absorb it on a daily basis in order to main sufficient levels. Vitamin C plays a vital role in numerous areas of our body, including the immune system, skin health, cardiovascular system, prenatal health, and the eyes. Let’s look at some of the benefits and uses of topical vitamin C in more detail.
Both oral and topical vitamin C are considered an antioxidant. This means that they protect you from damage caused by free radicals. These crazy electrons run riot in our body and bind to anything they can, which leads to cell mutations known as free radical damage. This can cause a wide range of issues, from premature skin aging to different types of cancer.
Antioxidants like vitamin C help to protect cells from free radicals. They effectively bind to them so that they can’t cause trouble and eventually get removed from the body. This antioxidant protection helps your body to repair and maintain itself without damage from free radicals. In fact, a recent study by the University of Iowa found that high-level doses of vitamin C can actually kill cancer cells.
Quercetin is another anti-oxidant that has been found to protect against free radicals. Research shows that it may be beneficial in guarding against a variety of diseases, including cancer. This is why we include it as part of our PMD complex in our Topical Vitamin C patches.
Wrinkle Fighting & Anti-Aging
Topical vitamin C can have dramatic effects on the health and youthfulness of your skin. Although it’s primarily known as an immune-boosting vitamin, it can also increase collagen production. This helps to improve the overall appearance of your skin by aiding its firmness and flexibility.
Vitamin C plays a key role in collagen synthesis which is the process by which it is formed. Collagen production decreases with age, which can reduce the skin’s flexibility and suppleness. This leads to wrinkles which visibly age us and are the basis of an entire range of expensive beauty products. If you’re looking for a more nutritious alternative to hyaluronic acid or ferulic acid, then vitamin C derivatives like sodium ascorbyl phosphate may be the answer.
It’s not just aging that can diminish the healthy appearance of our skin. Weight loss or gain, pregnancy, acne, and sun damage can all play havoc with our natural complexion. If the production of collagen decreases and flexibility disappears, then stretch marks are more likely to occur. It’s harder for the skin to adapt to weight change caused by dieting or pregnancy, which sometimes leaves visible scarring where it has been ‘stretched’ too quickly. Topical vitamin C can boost collagen levels so that your skin is able to adapt quickly, minimizing the likelihood of scars.
Protection from Sun Damage
As well as anti-aging benefits, topical vitamin C may help to protect your skin from sun damage and repair it after the fact. Sun exposure generates free radicals which the vitamin’s antioxidant properties can protect against. Left unchecked, these free radicals can cause damage to skin cells and inhibit their ability to repair themselves. Brown spots are one sign of sun damage, indicating that the skin’s natural pigment has changed. Vitamin C may help your skin to repair these cells and reverse the appearance of sunspots. Some studies have also reported that it helps to reduce the redness and pain that’s commonly associated with sunburn.
Of course, administering topical vitamin C doesn’t replace the need for a good quality sunscreen. These block UVA and UVB rays from penetrating the skin so that damage isn’t caused in the first place. But vitamin C can boost the effectiveness of your sunscreen so that it has greater protective effects. It’s thought that topical vitamin C aids the absorption of other lotions so that they penetrate down to deeper layers of the skin. This enables them to provide a greater amount of protection from damaging UV light.
Immune-Boosting Benefits of Topical Vitamin C
The health benefits of topical vitamin C aren’t limited to the skin or its antioxidant properties. Just like oral vitamin C, topical forms are absorbed by the body and play a vital role in controlling infection and maintaining healthy bones, teeth, blood vessels, and gums. Whether you apply vitamin creams, patches, or take them in tablet form, it’s crucial that you consume it daily. Since your body can’t store vitamin C, you will quickly find yourself depleted unless you replenish your nutrient levels.
Vitamin C doesn’t just help you fight infections, it also aids the healing of wounds. This means that they are less likely to become infected and your skin will be good as new much more quickly. Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy and has been linked to symptoms like:
- Frequent illnesses
- Scaly, rough, or dry skin
- Dry hair
- Inflamed gums
- Slow-healing cuts and scrapes
Aiding Iron Absorption
According to the CDC, iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world and is most prevalent in women and pre-school children. But did you know that vitamin C is required to absorb it? When you consume iron, your body converts it from ‘ferric’ to ‘ferrous’ form (and back) which allows it to be absorbed and transported through the bloodstream without causing toxicity. Vitamin C is a key enzyme in this process, without which iron cannot be properly absorbed.
A lack of vitamin C can, therefore, inhibit your iron absorption, even if you’re consuming plenty of the mineral. This can lead to anemia which causes tiredness, difficulty exerting effort, and heart failure in severe cases. So, as well as the inherent health benefits of vitamin C, it’s also a catalyst for the wider nutritional benefits of iron.
Combining Topical Vitamin C with Other Antioxidants
It is also possible to combine topical vitamin C with other antioxidants for even greater effect. Tea extracts are a particularly popular option since they can a particularly high volume. Red, white, or green tea can be combined with vitamin C to super-charge your antioxidant intake.
Green tea, in particular, has a reputation for fighting UV damage. It can help to protect the skin against the sun’s rays and reduce the development of pigmentation. The antioxidant effects of pure green tea are well documented so why not try it in combination with vitamin C.
Red tea offers many of the same benefits as green tea as it’s also packed with high levels of antioxidants. It can promote skin healing which is ideal if you have wounds, scars, or suffer from acne. White tea is also growing in popularity, thanks to its large volume of antioxidants combine with low caffeine content. It actually has the highest antioxidant content of any tea and has been associated with preventing cancer, strokes, and heart attacks.
Topical Vitamin C Benefits – Summary
Topical vitamin C can have a profound effect on the appearance of your skin as well as overall health. As a high-dose antioxidant, it protects your cells from damage caused by free radicals and enables them to repair themselves naturally. Its anti-aging effects offer a cheaper alternative to expensive creams and serums. By increasing collagen formation, it can plump up the skin and improve its firmness too. This also enhances suppleness and flexibility, so that your skin can bounce back from scars or stretch marks.
Since your body can’t produce or store vitamin C, it’s essential that you get enough of it on a daily basis. Without it, your levels can quickly become depleted and deficiency may set in. As a key player in supporting your immune system, low levels may lead to you getting sick more frequently. It can also impact the absorption of iron levels and have a detrimental effect on your health in that way too. So, if you’re considering adding nutritional supplements to your daily routine, then vitamin C should be at the very top of the list.
Topical Vitamin C Supplements
Our topical vitamin C patch can help you benefit from the many health properties discussed above. It contains a high dose of vitamin C, along with quercetin and citrus bioflavonoid complex. So, if you’re looking to support your immune system, improve your skin health, or get some extra antioxidants into your body, then this is the patch for you.
Each patch provides 2000mg of vitamin C to ensure your body absorbs a large amount on a daily basis. It also contains quercetin, an antioxidant that has been shown to protect against damaging free radicals. Another key ingredient is citrus bioflavonoid complex which is thought to aid absorption of vitamin C. Together, these three ingredients are a powerhouse of antioxidants to help you look and feel your best.
The Vitamin C Topical Plus Patch is available in packs of 30 so that you have a supply to last the entire month. Since your body can’t store vitamin C it’s crucial that you replenish your levels daily. If you are someone who gets run down or ill frequently, then vitamin C patches may help support your overloaded immune system. For people who suffer from skin conditions or want to improve the overall appearance, high dose vitamin C can boost your collagen production and relieve unwanted symptoms.