Dietary vs. Topical: How the Benefits of Vitamin C Differ

You know that Vitamin C is good for you. And you know that it can either be eaten as a delicious snack (oh hey, strawberries), or applied topically to the skin. But how exactly do these two totally different formats tango together?

Dietary benefits

Humans one of the few mammals on the planet whose bodies do not produce their own Vitamin C. Instead, we need to rely on dietary sources. Luckily for us, these sources are plentiful and delicious, and they come with a heap of benefits!

1. Protects skin from sun damage

Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants available to us. And when delivered via the bloodstream, it can help fight off free radicals and speed up cell generation—two essential functions for reducing the appearance of wrinkles (hurrah!).

But more exciting is the role these processes play in shielding our skin from the sun. Research also shows that when taken orally, Vitamin C can actually limit the damage caused by UV exposure, a phenomenon owing to its ability to protect and repair skin cells. So when if you’re planning on catching some rays this summer, make sure you keep your Vit C intake up!

2. Ramps up immunity

You probably know that Vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system. But let us break down why that is.

Firstly, Vitamin C helps your body produce and protecting white blood cells which play a vital role in fending off viruses and bacteria on a day to day basis.

Perhaps more interesting though, is the role Vitamin C plays in supporting your adrenal glands, the part of your body responsible for managing stress. When your body is under stress, your adrenal glands eat up a significant amount of Vitamin C, leaving your body vulnerable and prone to getting sick. So, if you’re ever going through a stressful period, don’t forget to up your dose of Vit C with these rich dietary sources.

3. Speeds up post-exercise recovery

There is now evidence to suggest that taking vitamin C thirty minutes before exercising can help increase antioxidant capacity in the body. A 2019 paper published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that women who ingested 1000mg of vitamin C before cycling improved their level of antioxidant power in the blood while simultaneously mitigating the degree of exercise-induced oxidative stress on the body. This suggests that pairing Vitamin C with exercise may help aid the body’s recovery after an intense workout.

Topical benefits

No longer do you need to rely on your fruit juicer to reap the many skin benefits of Vitamin C. As a surge of serums and cream are showing us, beauty doesn’t always have to come from within.

1. Keeps skin looking fab

In the same way that ingesting Vitamin C can help neutralize free radicals and support collagen synthesis, so too can topical Vitamin C treatments such as creams and serums. When applied directly to the skin, Vitamin C has been shown to similarly fend off the signs of aging and offset the damage caused by UV rays and pollution.

Note: If you’re going to opt for a Vitamin C serum or cream, make sure its ascorbic acid with a pH level of 4 or lower as this is the only form that has been proven to work topically.

2. Prevents dark spots and discolouration

Along with keeping your skin looking smooth and radiant, Vitamin C can also help ease discoloration and hyperpigmentation. Research shows that Vitamin C inhibits a particular enzyme known as tyrosinase which stunts the production of melanin.

Since melanin is largely responsible for any dark spots and discoloration on our skin (panda eyes included), stamping it out can help fade spots and lighten pigmentation, leading to a more balanced complexion.

3. Delivers hyper-targeted support for skin

Without a doubt, the best thing about topical Vitamin C is that it targeted. Where oral Vitamin C enters the bloodstream and works its magic indiscriminately throughout your entire body, topical creams and serums can be applied to the specific areas of your face or body where you want to bring about change, hence why it’s become such an anti-aging miracle!

That said, topical use of Vitamin C should never be used as an excuse to replace your dietary dose. Taking Vitamin C orally has a number of vital health benefits that cannot be attained through any other method. So for maximum results make sure you double up on both!

Check out our range of Vitamin C skin saviours HERE.

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