What makes a strong and healthy skin?
Collagen is one of the building blocks of your skin. Found in your dermis (the living layer of your skin), Collagen (Type 1) is the fibre that gives your skin its strength, resilience and structure. It is an essential aspect of healthy skin.
Things go a little bit haywire.
As time goes by, the accumulation of sun exposure and other factors like hormonal changes can lead to bone and fat loss. But there are other dysfunctions such as disruptions to our skin’s protective layer and an activation of free radicals can all leave your skin a little less than the resilient, bouncy skin it should be.
One of the biggest culprits in the breakdown of our collagen is free radicals, which are unstable and random molecules which trigger a cascade of events to disrupt the harmony of our cells. Left unchecked, they will lead to an increase in age activating enzymes which quite literally gobble up the very molecules, (Collagen) that give your skin its integrity. In other words, and I hate to say it, it leads to the formation of wrinkles.
Wrinkled skin is a damaged and dysfunctional skin.
Sadly, wrinkled skin is damaged skin, but it’s not all doom and gloom, there is an upside! There are many things you can do to slow down and prevent the premature formation of wrinkles and in some cases even reverse the appearance of wrinkles in the skin.
Bringing back harmony to your skin.
Today I just want to focus on one action that, when included into your daily life will make a big difference to the integrity of your collagen and it is, L-ascorbic Acid, which you may know as Vitamin C.
Simple enough, right?
Vitamin C is essential to life and can be found in a variety of foods and is one of the most vital nutrients for the health of your skin. It should be simple, just eat more foods with vitamin C and yet, there is a little more to bringing back harmony to your skin than just eating a few more serves of fruit. Although, that’s a very good idea!
The everyday demands of our body.
We are all unique and our needs vary, but if stress, smoking, the sun and the activation of free radicals is in overdrive then your body will use up large amounts of your daily intake of vitamin C and as it’s a water-soluble vitamin your body will not keep much in reserve.
Your body intuitively knows which organs need the most vitamin C support and often this valuable nutrient is withheld from your skin. You could think of this as a small sacrifice for the greater good of your body. But despite the sacrifice, your skin still needs vitamin C to produce healthy collagen.
So why does your skin need so much vitamin C?
You have specialised cells found in your dermis known as fibroblasts, these cells are responsible for the production of collagen and have the potential to repair damaged DNA (the blueprint of your cells). The activity of fibroblasts and the subsequent secretion of healthy collagen proteins is largely dependent on vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid).
Studies carried out and reported in Sciencedaily.com revealed the following results.
“The results demonstrated that vitamin C may improve wound healing by stimulating quiescent fibroblasts to divide and by promoting their migration into the wounded area. Vitamin C could also protect the skin by increasing the capacity of fibroblasts to repair potentially mutagenic DNA lesions.”
What to do next?
It would be nice to think, all you need to do is eat more foods rich in vitamin C and I highly recommend you do that, but it would only be one part of the solution. The answer is twofold.
- Increase your vitamin C content especially from the berry fruits as they’re not only high in vitamin C but are one of the best food sources when it comes to building up an antioxidant network to deactivate free radicals.
- Find a well formulated Vitamin C product. The best on the market will be anhydrous (no water at all) or very low water content with a pH below 3 and if the manufacturer cares enough, will be in packaged in airless tubes or pumps where there is minimal exposure to the air. This is pretty important as vitamin C is not stable and oxidises pretty quickly once exposed to the environment.