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What are the benefits of Vitamin C, both inside & outside of the body?

Last Updated: July 14, 2021

Parents everywhere have proclaimed the use of vitamin C to thwart illness, but is this vitamin also an effective weapon for your skin?

Vitamin C has made its way into a vast number of skincare products, with their labels touting all the miracles the vitamin renders on your face.

But is all the hype based on truth? Grove is here to disseminate the info out there on vitamin C benefits, and figure out whether the juice is worth the squeeze when it comes to vitamin C skincare.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options.

A refresher: What exactly is vitamin C?

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Otherwise known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants protect our cells from free radicals that float around our systems and cause illness, inflammation, and lack of immunity.

Vitamin C has been widely shown to improve health in many ways. Because our bodies don't make the vitamin on their own, we must get it from food, like citrus fruits, or dietary supplements.

Does vitamin C really affect our health?

Turns out Mom was kind of right. Research shows that while vitamin C doesn't prevent common colds, it does shorten their length.

In addition, it is proven to positively affect an impressive number of health conditions.

Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

What are the benefits of vitamin C inside your body?

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  • It may improve chronic diseases like heart disease.
  • Vitamin C supplements have been shown to lower blood pressure.
  • Taking pure vitamin C has been linked to reduced levels of uric acid and improved inflammatory conditions such as gout.
  • It improves the absorption of iron, especially from poorly absorbed food sources.
  • High intake is linked to protection against dementia and loss of cognitive skills.
  • It has been shown to improve white blood cell function, which helps boost immunity as well as improves wound healing time and the skin's defense systems.
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What does vitamin C do for your skin?

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Topical vitamin C appears to be an effective method to administer the vitamin because skin readily accepts and absorbs the ascorbic acid. So what are the benefits of it on the outside of your body then?

  • Observational studies found that topical applications of 3 to 10% of vitamin C showed notable decreases in wrinkling and increases in overall appearance of skin.
  • Similarly, the use of a 3 to 10% vitamin C application increased collagen production and apparent softness of the skin.
  • Oral supplementation of vitamin C may help prevent UV-related skin damage, especially when combined with vitamin E.
  • It is shown to reduce redness, inflammation, and hyperpigmentation.
  • It has a mild exfoliating effect, which, along with its skin-healing abilities, can contribute to brightening skin and a fresh appearance of skin.

Is vitamin C good for acne?

Vitamin C isn't prescribed as a treatment for acne prone skin, but because it helps banish free radicals and inflammation and promotes healing of skin, the use of it can help your skin's overall health and therefore any acne breakouts.

So, do you need vitamin C in skincare?

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Friends, we're not pushy here at Grove. We're not going to say you must start using products that contain vitamin C.

However, the science clearly shows that the effects of vitamin C are beneficial for your health, so why not give yourself the best chance for your glowiest, best skin and body ever?

What about vitamin C and retinol used together?

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You can use both vitamin C and retinol (synthetic vitamin A, a superstar in fighting the effects of aging skin) in your skincare regimen, but experts recommend using them at different times due to their differing ideal pH levels.

For example, because retinol doesn't fare well in the sun, it's best used at night. So you might apply vitamin C in your morning routine and retinol at bedtime. You can also alternate nights that you use the products, or space them out at least 30 minutes apart.


Test vitamin C skincare before using

Vitamin C usually doesn't cause problems with skin, but best practice is to do a discreet patch test on your forearm, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Apply your vitamin C serum or whatever skincare product you’re using to a very small area and wait 24 hours to see if any allergic reactions or irritation develop.

Where should vitamin C treatments go in a skincare routine?

Experts recommend the following general steps for skincare routines:

  • Cleanser, to remove makeup and debris
  • Toner, to tighten pores and balance the skin's pH level
  • Treatments, such as serums for targeting issues specific to your skin
  • Moisturizer (with sunscreen in a morning routine), to hydrate and protect

Thus, you'd apply a vitamin C treatment after cleansing and toning and before moisturizing (unless it is an ingredient in your moisturizer).


Let's get it on: Vitamin C serums

Brightening serums have become de rigueur in skincare routines because they usually contain fewer but more intense levels of ingredients and are more targeted for areas of your skin.

Find the best vitamin C serums in this list of top-rated products by actual Grove members.

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