Scientific Name: Ascorbic Acid
Natural or Synthetic: Both
The Science: Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is found in certain foods. We don't store or accumulate vitamin C in our bodies, so we have to get it from food and other sources. Foods high in vitamin C include berries, kale, broccoli, citrus fruits and tomatoes. Although vitamin C is found naturally, it can also be produced in a laboratory.
Vitamin C is essential for overall body health; it helps protect cells and keeps them healthy and it helps to repair and regenerate tissues. Vitamin C also protects against heart disease and cancers, aids in the absorption of iron, helps wound healing and supports a healthy immune system.
Beauty Benefits: Vitamin C is a big skin healer, helping to repair damaged and dry skin. The hero ingredient also plays a major role in the production of collagen. As you know, when you age, collagen breaks down and wrinkles begin to form. So getting your vitamin C fix, both internally and topically, helps to keep premature skin-ageing at bay. Vitamin C is also known to treat UV damage and lighten dark discolouration, such as skin freckles and age spots.
Finally, vitamin C is one of the most effective nutrients at helping to grow and strengthen hair. It also strengthens nails and helps them grow.
Warnings: Vitamin C is considered safe to use topically
Found in: Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate 50ml (£49.00 John Lewis / $60.00 Nordstrom). This super serum contains an impressive 10.5% pure vitamin C, helping to create a smoother, clearer and refreshed appearance. It has a thick consistency (well, thick for a serum) that applies easily and leaves skin with a velvety smooth finish. The best thing about this treatment is that it makes good on its promise; it really does reduce my fine lines!