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Vitamin C Serums: What's the evidence?

Vitamin C may boost your immune system, overall health, and apparently your skin too. Vitamin C serums have become a holy grail skincare essential for those searching for a glowy, blemish-free complexion in recent years -- but where does all the hype come from?

The Health Claims

In addition to warding off your winter sniffles, vitamin C boasts skincare claims such as brightening, firming, and collagen-boosting effects. These products usually come in a gel or serum and are marketed as tools to slow skin aging and reduce the appearance of scarring and skin texture.

These claims come from Vitamin C’s powerful antioxidant properties which may help prevent the build-up of free radicals on the skin that can contribute to collagen erosion.

The Evidence

Vitamin C is naturally present in the skin and works to synthesize collagen and provide protection against UV damage. Several studies have demonstrated its benefits in the skin, including a 2017 study in Nutrients which highlighted the fact that the epidermis does not receive nutrients from food as easily, as this outermost layer of skin does not contain blood vessels. Given this, it’s probable that applying Vitamin C topically may have a greater benefit to the skin.

The Verdict

Skincare clinical trials point to vitamin c serums being an effective method of improving skin elasticity and visible brightness. While they may not be the cure-all that many brands seem to claim, there is evidence in favor of their micro-exfoliating and free-radical reducing properties.

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