The Ultimate Guide to Vitamin C: The Miracle Antioxidant for Healthy Skin, Hair, and Body
Vitamin C sees us through it all—sun, wind, exhaustion, illness, depletion—to keep us looking dewy and healthy, and feeling our best. Which is why it's long been hailed as the key to fighting off pesky colds, enhancing immune function, and for keeping the skin bright and glowy. But still: Why is it so important? This comprehensive guide to Vitamin C will unlock all of Vitamin C's necessary importance for internal and external wellness.
Why is vitamin C important?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for the body to function. Also referred to as L-ascorbic acid (you'll often it see it labeled this way on certain products), vitamin C is a critical component in the body's ability to form muscle, collagen, connective tissue, blood vessels, and cartilage, as well as to properly heal from trauma and wounds, illness, and other issues. It is an antioxidant, which means is can help the body beat the negative effects of free radicals and toxins. It can help to preserve cardiovascular and immune health and act as an anti-inflammatory, essential in treating chronic diseases and preventing episodes like heart failure and stroke.
Where is vitamin C found?
The human body does not produce or store Vitamin C on its own. (Interestingly, other living creatures naturally do synthetize it.) This means it is essential to obtain vitamin C through elements where it naturally occurs. Kiwifruit, spinach, kale, cherries, broccoli, strawberries, and yellow peppers are all examples of fruits and vegetable naturally high in Vitamin C. If you want a change of pace, tropical fruits like papaya and guava are great sources of it, as well. And, of course, there are the well-known citrus fruit stars—lemons, oranges, limes, and grapefruit (among others)—that contain robust levels of the antioxidant.
Many foods rich in vitamin C are light and easy to digest, which makes them even easier to incorporate into daily snacks and meals. Always make sure not to overcook these fruits and vegetables, as excessive heat can minimize the potency of the vitamin C content.
How does vitamin C keep the body strong?
As most of us know, vitamin C helps to alleviate symptoms of the common cold by acting as an antihistamine. Studies also show it to help in treatment of allergies and respiratory conditions like asthma. Vitamin C also enhances the body’s ability to absorb iron. Studies have shown that people who are anemic or pregnant may benefit from increased vitamin C in order to boost their iron levels.
How does vitamin C support healthy skin and hair?
All skin types can benefit from vitamin C—both from a healthy Vitamin C-rich diet and an external skin care treatment.
Vitamin C promotes collagen production, which aids the body in repairing tissue and supporting bones and organs. Collagen also gives skin its elasticity and plumpness, keeping it youthful looking and supple. Regular vitamin C intake is essential in fighting off free radicals in the environment and mitigating skin damage and discoloration caused by the sun. The antioxidant can be incredibly smoothing and brightening when applied topically. (Vitamin C is naturally a very mild exfoliant, which means it can help to even skin tone, brighten hyperpigmentation, and reduce the appearance of fine lines.) It enhances oxygen absorption into the bloodstream, helping to minimize blemishes and breakouts. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C also promote healthy hair and, in turn, ensure consistent hair growth.
You'll likely notice a visible difference—a complexion that's clearer, glowier, brighter–after consistent use.
How do essentials oils boost vitamin C?
While citrus essential oils have relatively low amounts of vitamin C in and of themselves, research indicates that they can boost the absorption of Vitamin C within the body and are excellent compliments to your natural Vitamin-C intake.
Neroli is an essential oil that is renowned for its anti-aging properties when used on the skin. To begin with, its aromatherapy effect soothes the mind and minimizes physical tension, meaning a reduction in wrinkles and frown lines. It is a strong anti-inflammatory agent, and it also has an antiseptic effect on the skin, for blemish and acne fighting. Neroli is also a great way to minimize scarring and signs of trauma, such as acne scars and stretch marks.
Orange essential oil is becoming increasingly popular amongst health aficionados looking for ways to boost their immune system. A drop of orange oil added to food or beverages is shown to reduce stress and anxiety, helping to calm both the mind and the body. Applied directly onto skin, orange oil helps to remove dead skin and provide the nutrients the skin needs to retain moisture.
UMA's Favorite Vitamin-C Packed Products
This ultra-luxurious blend combines nature’s most potent botanicals to reduce visible signs of aging and transform dry or damaged-looking skin. A powerhouse blend of Vitamin C-rich pomegranate seed oil, orange essential oil (neroli), sweet orange peel oil work with the other botanicals to keep skin bright, dewy, and youthful.
This triple-action brightening blend is rich in sandalwood and rose essential oils, which deliver rich hydration for a more luminous complexion, and is especially effective for those with dry skin. Orange and neroli essential oils, along with frankincense essential oil, diminish visible signs of fatigue and even out skin tone
This soothing toner— made of legendary fruit extracts and UMA's most precious essential oils—is overflowing with vitamin C goodness, thanks to the rose, tomato, watermelon, and papaya.