Vitamin C is a wonderful antioxidant and a powerful boost to an anti-aging regimen. The nutrient performs a variety of functions within the skin, but it is unique in that it is the only antioxidant that boosts collagen production. In fact, vitamin C is required for collagen synthesis. This is why chemists have battled to create gentle but stable forms like ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate for facial creams and serums. These are exceptional innovations in skin care and there are many great vitamin C treatments based on the man-made versions. However, there are also tons of natural forms of vitamin C that are also impressive.
Fruit-based vitamin C used to mean orange or lemon extracts. These have been elbowed out — a bit unfairly in my opinion — by exotic newcomers that often boast to be the most potent source of C on earth. Since they can’t all be, you should take such claims with a pinch of salt. However, don’t let that deter you from getting to know them. Naturally-sourced vitamin C can help protect skin from environmental damage, lessen the look of discoloration and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Here are some super sources.
This plum from Australia is a classic bush tucker, providing sustaining vitamins to anyone on walkabout. Although called a plum, the kakadu is actually closer to the almond. It leaves oranges in the cold by exceeding their vitamin C content by 100 percent while going head to head with blueberries for phenolic (antioxidant) compounds. One of my new finds, Skin 2 Skin Care, has created an antioxidant SuperOx-C complex from the kakadu. Try Skin 2 Skin 24/7 Rejuvenation Cream ($109 in the shop).
It is ironic that scurvy-ridden sailors were floating on a source of vitamin sea (sorry, I had to). The problem is that you have to eat quite a lot of seaweed and most are unpalatable. Algae extracts in your potions and lotions, however, are both tolerable and good for the skin. A good source of algae extract can be found in Sevani Rapid Renewal Resurfacing Crème ($68 in the shop). Bladderwrack is a seaweed that has an especially high amount of vitamin C. You will find it Skin 2 Skin White Tea Face Wash ($37 in the shop).
One large papaya is packed with 235 milligrams of vitamin C and is also an excellent source of vitamin A and potassium. Papaya enzymes act as a great exfoliator and will dissolve dead skin cells, thus softening and brightening the surface of skin. I like antioxidant-rich Sweetsation Orchidee Vitae Age Defying Facial Oil ($34 in the shop).
All berries have vitamin C, including the most ubiquitous like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. But like those trendy smoothie bowls, more exotic berries are finding their way into skin care. The noni berry, goji, acai and acerola are all very potent sources of vitamin C. Sevani Hyaluronic Wrinkle Defense Serum ($68 in the shop) is chockfull of berries, including goji and acai. Or, try Dawn Lorraine Acai & DMAE Firming Serum ($67 in the shop).
This is one of those fruit extracts that I feel is trending. And with good reason. As well as being jam packed with vitamin C, pomegranates boost sunscreen ingredients and prevent UV damage. They also help promote the growth and thickening of human skin. You will find the fruit extract in Dawn Lorraine Pomegranate Lift Crème ($59 in the shop) and Sevani Ageless Radiance Refining AHA Cleanser ($39 in the shop).
100 grams of fresh cayenne chilies provide about nearly 80 milligrams or about 127 percent of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C. They are also a very important source of vitamin A. Try Sciote Antioxidant Scrub & Masque ($65 in the shop).
Although this antioxidant isn’t a form of vitamin C, ferulic acid acts synergistically with and does render vitamin C more powerful. Look for the two in combination to fast-track results. You will find this combo in products from Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare and Your Best Face.