Repair Summer Skin Damage With Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a hero ingredient, and that’s especially true as we transition out of summer and all the harsh aggressors that come with it. We’re talking sun, chlorine, pollution, smoke and of course, omnipresent blue light and stress, all of which wreak havoc on skin. 

Image: Getty

So, what’s so special about vitamin C?

Not only does it work to fight the free radicals that contribute to signs of aging, but it stimulates collagen. According to dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross our skin cells have receptors for specific ingredients, and vitamin C is one of them, which allows for that collagen stimulation and, as a result, younger looking skin. As for the free radicals, vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects skin from free radicals before they can do any damage, meaning you’re basically attacking aging from both fronts. 

If you’re thinking right about now ‘why not drink a big ‘ol glass of OJ’… not so fast.

Dr. Gross underlines that the most effective way to help your skin fight signs of aging is to apply vitamin C topically. In fact he says that it’s impossible to ingest enough vitamin C to get an effective concentration into the skin. It’s also important to note that while vitamin C is a miracle ingredient, there’s nothing that will protect your skin as effectively as wearing physical sunscreen 365 days a year. Without sunscreen you’ll be creating damage faster than any product can repair, not to mention putting yourself at risk for skin cancer.

With your sunscreen firmly incorporated into your routine (EltaMD’s tinted ones are a personal favorite because they impart coverage and natural-looking color without feeling like makeup/foundation), you can work a vitamin C product into your routine. Dr. Gross, who has a whole line dedicated to the ingredient, recommends vitamin C serum during the day and retinol (another fantastic anti-ager) at night.

While the serum is the “hero” product, I would highly recommend pairing it with the vitamin C moisturizer from the Dr. Gross range, which is safe even for acne-prone skin. It’s worth noting that a few years ago two dermatologists suggests I go on Accutane. Then, I saw Dr. Gross who simply told me to cut oil out of my skincare routine – less than two weeks later my skin was completely cleared. Needless to say I trust him completely and there is, in my opinion, no better product formulator out there (for more proof checkout his tanning wipes and daily peel wipes).

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