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The Importance of Vitamin C!

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The Importance of Vitamin C!

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I think it is safe to say that most of us know the importance of Vitamin C, especially in relation to supporting our immune system and thus staving off colds and flues. With winter winding down (soon I hope) this is one supplement I would encourage everyone to be taking year round, and the more the better. You can’t OD on Vitamin C as your body will just dispel what it doesn’t need.

So we know we are good to go from the inside with taking vitamin C but what about the outside, for our skin? Why does vitamin C matter? Vitamin C has a quality often overlooked by dermatologists and the skin-care industry; it could be one of the most under-rated skin enhancers today.

Vitamin C protects skin from free radical damage to help keep your face smooth and even-toned and it also helps your body create the telltale youth marker – collagen. Ah yes, collagen, something we don’t think about much until we see it disappearing. Collagen is the substance that keeps our skin soft, plump and springy… like when we were 16! As we age, the amount of collagen our body produces drops drastically. This is when we start to notice thinning skin, less elasticity and fine lines.

Many beauty and cosmetic experts think that collagen cannot be restored and suggest things like botox, fillers and surgery. Well these options are short-term and are just not what a lot of people want.

Topical collagen is not really the answer either as it is dense and difficult to absorb. Consuming vitamin C-rich foods though will help immensely with elasticity and the overall feel of your skin. Ensure you are eating foods rich in Vitamin C; bell peppers, papayas, berries, pineapple, cherries and strawberries are good examples. It is also a good idea to supplement with either a multi-vitamin or at least 1000 mg of vitamin C daily.

If you are showing any telltale signs of collagen depletion, here are some treatment options:

  • Minimal damage: i.e. fine lines around the eyes and mouth (without sagging cheeks), and wrinkles that are a hair-line in depth.
    • Topical treatment:
      • Peel: Either Salicylic Acid or Lactic Acid monthly (for 3 months) and then every 2 months.
      • Use a night cream with 0.1–0.5% Retinol and Vitamin C at 3–5%, and a Collagenase inhibitor, such as Proanthocyanidins (OPC).
      • During the day, use 5–10% Vitamin C in a serum or cream, along with vitamin E and OPC
      • SPF of least 15 – Note: Vitamin C will slow down sun damage.
      • Stop smoking if you smoke!
  • Moderate damage: i.e. deeper, longer, string-like lines around the eyes, with more pronounced naso-labial folds and the accentuation of the labio-mental fold, as well as pigmentation changes as colored spots here and there, sagging cheeks and forehead wrinkles.
    • Topical treatment: Stop the damage and then reverse it. This will take some time, and perhaps a life change:
      • Start with a salicylic acid peel for 1st month
      • The day and night regimen as above for minimal damage treatment
      • 2nd visit: (in one month), do a Green or Alex Peel (mini or moderate)
      • 3rd treatment: Oxygen treatment with an enzyme peel treatment.
      • Repeat the Green or Alex Peel in three to six months
      • Vitamin C serum for daily use
  • Severe damage: i.e. very deep and long wrinkles everywhere on the face, a lot of sagging, discoloration of all types and pigmentation disorders, eyes beginning to sink, deep folds of naso-labial and labio-mental wrinkles, and a turkey neck.
    • Topical treatment: Severely damaged skin is a real challenge. If the wrinkles are deep enough to hold a straw:
      • Green or Alex Peel Classic
      • Follow protocol above under moderate damage
      • Retinol treatment levels may need to be increased to 1–2%.

It is never too late to re-vamp your skin care routine. At Derma Bright Clinic we have a wonderful Vitamin C Serum by iS Clinical. We do offer the Green Peel program and a complimentary skin assessment with our aesthetician to see if you are doing everything you can to bring out your best and brightest skin!

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