Vitamin C is a popular antioxidant used in skin care for its skin lightening, anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory properties. Apart from maintaining a healthy glow, vitamin C can help improve sun damage, pigmentation and acne. It can decrease UVB inducted erythema (sun burn).
Free Radicals are highly-reactive chemical compounds produced by the body during the metabolism of food, air exposure or sunlight to rid the body of harmful toxins, maintain the immune system and metabolism, and collagen production. When produced in normal amounts, free radicals are essential, however when produced in excessive amounts the unpaired oxygen electrons kill healthy cells and damage DNA and surrounding tissue. This can affect the skin by causing the appearance of wrinkles, pigmentation and decreasing firmness and elasticity.
Smoking, drugs, sun exposure, pollution, stress, fried/grilled food can increase the amount of free radicals produced within our bodies. Vitamin C is recognised for its ability to protect against oxidative damage – an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralisation by antioxidants. Antioxidants are chemicals that interact with and neutralise free radicals, thus preventing them from causing damage.