Often people overlook natural skincare thinking that it doesn’t contain all the potent vitamins conventional products boast about. Granted it can be a bit confusing. Many natural skincare brands won’t list vitamins on the label – instead they are part of the plant ingredients in a more complete form, hidden under their botanical plant names. Still confused? It’s a bit like getting your vitamin C from an orange (complete plant form) versus a vitamin C supplement (isolated form). Once you know which plant ingredients contain which vitamins (and most include a variety), you can still get all the vitamins any mainstream product may have had added to them – by eating them and/or applying them topically to your skin.
For decades we have known vitamin C plays a crucial role in the regulation of collagen production, but it also has benefits for skin healing and the health of hair and nails. As a potent antioxidant, increasing the amount of vitamin C in the diet (we love two food-state supplements Synergy Co. Pure Radiance C or Wild Nutrition Vitamin C & Bioflavonoids) can contribute to slowing the damage from free radicals, postponing the usual signs of ageing and protecting against UV damage (pesky pigmentation). It is very easily destroyed by smoke, pollution and UV exposure, so this one is important to replenish topically as well as internally.
Eat: Get it in your fruits and vegetables. It is particularly high in papaya, peppers, broccoli, strawberries, oranges and kiwifruit.
Apply: Vitamin C has the potential to be unstable in skincare formulations; some brands use a stabilised form (see below how Nuori get around this issue with a clever solution) but you can look for it in food-state skincare ingredients such as acerola cherry, baobab, broccoli oil, camu camu and seaweeds. Interestingly, one study showed levels of vitamin C attained in the skin by topical application to be 20–40 times higher than when vitamin C was taken orally.
Vitamin C For Brighter Skin
Amala Advanced Firming Concentrate: This science-backed formula with potent pro-collagen plant peptides restores resilience and firmness from the outside in. Vitamin C is one of the factors in stabilising and creating collagen molecules. This means that it is one of the most reliable anti-ageing skincare ingredients available to us.
Antipodes Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream: This popular natural eye cream contains Vitamin C from the seed of New Zealand kiwifruit. This unique oil also contains around 60% of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), as well as being a rich source of Vitamins C and E.
Dr Alkaitis Organic Night Cream: As Vitamin C can aid in the skin’s ability to heal itself, it should be your go-to when looking to repair skin or reduce red and brown spots while you sleep. It’s anti-inflammatory properties is also useful if you’re struggling with acne or rosacea.
May Lindstrom The Clean Dirt: This energising cleanser comes in a powder form and transforms to a lovely mousse texture when mixed with water. Powdered cleansing clays, warming spices and restorative salts lift pollution and dirt from the skin, while a surge of H20-activated Vitamin C encourages cellular rejuvenation and skin luminosity.
Nuori Supreme-C Serum Treatment: A unique dispensing mechanism allows 100% pure vitamin C powder to be mixed into one of the two serums immediately before the first application. Each bottle lasts 15 days to ensure the Vitamin C remains potent and active.
Parts of this post were adapted from sections of The Nature of Beauty book by CONTENT founder Imelda Burke.