Skin Damage Happens
Your skin is exposed to various stressors on a daily basis. Oxidative stress is caused by free radicals which are unstable molecules produced in your cells due to your own natural metabolism. But excess free radicals also can be formed by environmental exposure to the ozone, tobacco smoke and sunlight. This repeated free-radical insult causes skin to accumulate damage. As a result, the supportive network of collagen and elastin can become compromised.
That's certainly not what we want, because collagen plays a critical role in strengthening and supporting the skin, while elastin helps it "snap back" after stretching, which happens thousands of times each day with the facial expressions we make. As we age, cells divide more slowly, and the supporting collagen and elastin begin to thin in addition to having accumulated damage – all contributing to unwanted wrinkling and sagging.
Vitamin C to the Rescue
One of the best antioxidants for directly inhibiting free-radical damage is vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid. Over time, humans have lost the ability to naturally synthesize vitamin C, so we must obtain this important vitamin through our diets. Vitamin C is very important to the skin since it directly scavenges free radicals, aids in the synthesis of collagen and defends the supportive network that gives skin its definition and fullness. According to dermatologists, vitamin C plays a critical role in aiding in the production of skin-firming collagen. Since the body can't produce vitamin C on its own, it is beneficial to apply it topically so the skin has a continuous supply.