We told you about Vitamin C and its role as a supplement in this post. Now we explain the great role and benefits of vitamin C for skin, and in particular the best vitamin c for face.
Vitamin C: what it is
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin derived from the metabolism of glucose. It is contained at high levels in tomatoes, potatoes and citrus fruits such as limes, oranges and lemons. Very used for oral use (we talk about it here), however, few know that vitamin C also has incredible benefits on the skin: these can be appreciated both with the intake of vitamin C in the diet and with vitamin C in cosmetics.
The skin: structure and main functions
The primary function of the skin is to act as a barrier against the insults of the environment and its unique structure reflects this. Our skin is composed of two main layers with very different underlying structures: the outermost epidermis and the deeper dermis; between the two main layers is the dermal-epidermal junction, a specialized basement membrane structure that fixes the epidermis to the underlying dermis. Particularly:
Epidermis: functions and structure
The epidermis performs most of the skin’s barrier functions and is predominantly made up of cells, mainly keratinocytes. The keratinocytes are arranged in layers throughout the epidermis; when these cells divide and proliferate away from the basal layer (closest to the dermis), they begin to differentiate. This process is called keratinization and involves the production of specialized structural proteins, the secretion of lipids and the formation of a cell envelope of cross-linked proteins. During differentiation, virtually all subcellular organelles disappear, including the nucleus and cytoplasm. Thus, the uppermost layer of the epidermis that interacts with the external environment is composed of flattened metabolically “dead” cells (the terminally differentiated keratinocytes). These cells are sealed together with lipid-rich domains, forming an impermeable barrier to water. This layer is known as the stratum corneum and performs the primary barrier function of the epidermis, although the lower epidermal layers also contribute.
Dermis: functions and structure
The dermis provides strength and elasticity and contains in its structure the systems: vascular, lymphatic and neuronal. It consists mainly of complex proteins of the extracellular matrix, being particularly rich in collagen fibers, which make up about 75% of the dry weight of the dermis. The main cell type present in the dermis are fibroblasts, which are heavily involved in the synthesis of many of the components of the extracellular matrix.
Skin Health: vitamin C taken with the diet and skin benefits
It is accepted that our nutritional status is:
- important for the health and appearance of the skin. Evidence of this is provided by the numerous vitamin deficiency diseases that result in significant skin disorders. Scurvy, for example, is a vitamin C deficiency disease characterized by skin fragility, bleeding of the gums and corkscrew hair, as well as impaired wound healing;
- vital for maintaining normal skin functioning during collagen synthesis and keratinocyte differentiation;
and especially many of the components of our antioxidant defenses such as vitamins C and E and selenium obtained from the diet, are probably important for the protection against damage induced by UV rays.
Vitamin C from diet:
- is not easily able to reach the cells in the outermost layers (the epidermis is a difficult environment for the delivery of nutrients: it lacks blood vessels and there is little movement of extracellular fluid between the cells),
- however, it can support the functions of the dermal layer through the bloodstream. Absorption of vitamin C from plasma and transport through the skin layers is mediated by specific sodium-dependent vitamin C transporters (SVCT); in addition to the affinity of the transporter, the transport of vitamin C is also regulated by the availability of SVCT proteins on the plasma membrane.
Vitamin C skin properties: Vitamin C for face
Our skin, under normal conditions, contains good concentrations of vitamin C (in millimoles), which supports important functions. In fact, vitamin C seems to:
- stimulate collagen synthesis;
- help in antioxidant protection against UV-induced photo-damage.
For this reason many trainers would like to add vitamin C to topical applications as well, but this vitamin in a cream would have little stability.
A recent scientific article also published on PbMed, entitled “The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health“, took the trouble to investigate in detail the effectiveness of vitamin C treatment on the skin compared to the results obtained with dietary vitamin C intake and the potential roles of vitamin C in skin health. Here are the results on vitamin C: cosmetic properties and benefits of vitamin C for skin.
Vitamin C skin properties: Vitamin C promotes collagen formation
This Vitamin acts as a cofactor for proline and lysine hydroxylase which stabilize the tertiary structure of the collagen molecule and also promotes the gene expression of collagen. In the skin, collagen formation is mainly carried out by fibroblasts in the dermis, resulting in the generation of the basement membrane and the dermal collagen matrix.
The dependence of collagen hydroxylase enzymes on vitamin C has been demonstrated in numerous studies with fibroblast cells in vitro, both with reduced total synthesis and with reduced cross-linking when vitamin C is absent. The activity of hydroxylases is much more difficult to measure in vivo, as the amount of synthesized collagen can vary only slightly. In addition to stabilizing the collagen molecule by hydroxylation, vitamin C also stimulates the production of collagen mRNA by fibroblasts.
Vitamin C skin properties: Vitamin C eliminates free radicals and disposes of toxic oxidants
This Vitamin is a powerful antioxidant capable of neutralizing and removing oxidants, such as those found in environmental pollutants and after exposure to ultraviolet radiation. This activity appears to be of particular importance in the epidermis, where vitamin C is concentrated in the skin. However, vitamin C is only one player in the antioxidant arsenal which includes enzymatic defenses (catalase, glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase) as well as other non-enzymatic defenses (vitamin E, glutathione, uric acid and other purported antioxidants such as carotenoids).
Most intervention studies performed to determine the ability of antioxidants to prevent oxidative skin damage have used a cocktail of these compounds. Vitamin C is particularly effective in reducing oxidative skin damage when used in combination with vitamin E. This is in accordance with its known regenerative function of oxidized vitamin E, thus effectively recycling this important fat-soluble radical scavenger and limiting oxidative damage to cell membrane structures.
Vitamin C skin properties: Vitamin C inhibits melanogenesis
Vitamin C derivatives have been shown to reduce melanin synthesis in both cultured and in vivo melanocytes. This activity should be due to its ability to interfere with the action of tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme in melanogenesis. Tyrosinase catalyzes the hydroxylation of tyrosine to dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) and the oxidation of DOPA to its corresponding orthquinone. The inhibition of melanin production by vitamin C is thought to be due to the vitamin’s ability to reduce orthquinones generated by tyrosinase, although other mechanisms are also possible. Agents that reduce melanogenesis are used to treat skin hyper-pigmentation in conditions such as melisma or age spots.
Vitamin C skin properties: Vitamin C Interacts with cell signaling pathways
In vitro studies clearly show that vitamin C:
- can play a role in keratinocyte differentiation. For example, vitamin C enhanced the differentiation of rat epidermal keratinocyte cells in an organotypic culture model, with significantly improved ultrastructural organization of the stratum corneum, accompanied by an increased barrier function;
- increased the number of keratoyalin granules and levels of the late differentiation marker filaggrin, which appeared to be due to altered gene expression;
- promotes the synthesis and organization of barrier lipids and increases cornified envelope formation during differentiation. The mechanism or mechanisms by which vitamin C modulates keratinocyte differentiation has not yet been elucidated; however, it has been hypothesized that it is under the control of protein kinase C and AP-1.
Best vitamin c for face: the solution of Erboristeria Como
When plasma levels are low, some of the vitamin C can be released to the epidermal layer by topical application, although the effectiveness of this depends on the formulation of the cream or serum used on the skin.
Vitamin c for face: the problem
The Vitamin C, as a water-soluble and charged molecule, is rejected by the physical barrier of end-differentiated epidermal cells. It is only when the pH levels are below 4 and vitamin C is present as ascorbic acid that some penetration occurs. However, ascorbic acid is delicate and unstable in aqueous solution and degrades quickly (also due to the effect of light and contact with air). For this reason its use in traditional cosmetics is rather complicated. A great deal of effort was therefore put into the development of ascorbic acid derivatives for topical application. These derivatives must guarantee the stabilization of the molecule from oxidation and also overcome the significant challenge of skin penetration. Furthermore, they must be converted to ascorbic acid in vivo to be effective.
Vitamin c on the face: our solution for the best vitamin c for face
As mentioned, traditional vitamin C is subject to degradation phenomena following oxidation reactions and interactions with metal ions often present in cosmetic products, with consequent problems of stability and decreased activity. To overcome this important limitation, the research of our laboratories aimed at formulating our regenerating serum and eye and lip contour cream, has led to the development of an innovative stabilized vitamin C, known as Ascorbyl glucoside.
The best vitamin c for face was obtained through the reaction of a glucose molecule, deriving from starch, with vitamin C, thus protecting it from degradation and relative oxidation. Thanks to the protection of the glucose molecule:
- vitamin C is able to remain stable within the formulation until its expiration;
- once applied to the skin, thanks to the alpha-glucosidase enzyme and a hydrolysis reaction that occurs at the level of the epidermis, vitamin C is released and penetrates intracellularly, carrying out its actions.
Vitamin c for face: what we can offer you on Erboristeriacomo.it
Through a simple reaction, we have a 100% natural vitamin C, with 29 supporting clinical studies and the only one with proven stability and consequent guaranteed efficacy. Here, on the basis of in vitro and in vivo studies, the main actions of stabilized vitamin C:
- stimulates cell renewal;
- reduces the depth of wrinkles and fine lines;
- increases the production of collagen IV by preventing the formation of fine lines;
- reduces damage from UVA and UVB rays and inhibits the production of melanin: antioxidant and lightening action!
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