If ever there was a fountain of youth, the elixir flowing out of it would probably be made of Vitamin C and collagen. These two are popular ingredients in skincare products because of their anti-aging, beauty-boosting benefits. Here’s what you need to know about these two skin superstars.


Vitamin C Skin Benefits

This vitamin goes beyond just supercharging your immunity. Studies have shown that it’s also good for your skin. Some of its science-based benefits are:

It may protect your skin from sun damage. Nothing ages skin like ultraviolet (UV) damage, i.e., the harmful rays from the sun. But Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, can protect you from photoaging, or skin damage due to sun exposure: According to a review by the Linus Pauling Institute of Oregon State University, Vitamin C “limits the damage induced by UV light exposure.”

It’s great news but the review also stresses that topical Vitamin C for skin should not be used as a substitute for sunscreen. Instead, treat it as an additional layer of defense.

It can help erase those pesky dark spots and other imperfections. Vitamin C has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers, which help fight dark spots from hyperpigmentation and discoloration. It can also help minimize the formation of raised scars, according to a review published in the journal Nutrients.

It stimulates collagen synthesis. Collagen is the component of skin makes it look plump and flawless. (More on this later.) Collagen production slows as a natural part of aging, so you might notice that your skin appears less plump and supple in your 20s and later, and fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of skin aging start to show.

A 2017 review found that skin depends on Vitamin C to produce collagen as well as to regulate the balance of collagen and elastin—two proteins fundamental to skin structure and elasticity.


Collagen for Skin

As earlier mentioned, collagen gives skin its youthfulness and plumpness. It’s the most abundant protein in the body, making up such parts as your skin, hair, cartilage, and connective issue. Collagen is essentially made up of building blocks that hold up the top layer of the skin, and when you’re young, the old and damaged bits efficiently get replaced by new ones; as you age, this process slows down and you produce new collagen less and less, which means you have less of the material that holds up the top layer of your skin, leading to sagging skin, fine lines, and other signs of aging.

The jury is still out on whether collagen supplementation can slow down the aging process and increase collagen production but some research suggests that oral consumption may have some positive effects. A paper published in the journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, for example, indicated that the intake of collagen for eight weeks reduced wrinkles and improved skin health.

Collagen in topical skincare products have not yet been scientifically proven to help but they do moisturize your skin—and hydration is something your skin really needs more of as you get older.


How to Boost Vitamin C and Collagen for Skin

You can take care of your skin from within by increasing your intake of Vitamin C-rich whole foods such as citrus fruits, strawberries, and red bell peppers. This will not only allow you to reap the benefits of Vitamin C on its own but will also help stimulate collagen production. And  just as important as what you take in is what to avoid: Steer clear of the sun and its skin-damaging UV rays; excessive amounts of sugar, which triggers the production of collagen-damaging enzymes; smoking, which speeds up collagen degradation; and pollution, which has been shown to stress out and age the skin prematurely.

Round out a healthy lifestyle with a skincare routine that keeps your skin moisturized. Derma E has a line of products that can help keep the signs of aging at bay. Start off by cleansing with the no-rinse Micellar Cleansing Water with Vitamin C, which gently rids your skin of makeup and dirt. Follow it up with the Advanced Peptide Collagen Serum or topical Vitamin C for skin like the Vitamin C Concentrated Serum, which uses a stabilized form of Vitamin C. (Many other products use an unstabilized form that more easily degrades before it can be absorbed by your skin, and that quickly go bad when exposed to the sun.) Top that with the Advanced Peptide and Collagen eye cream, for the extra thin skin around your eyes. Then finish it off with the Advanced Peptide Collagen Moisturizer, which has a potent cocktail of ingredients that instantly soften and smoothen your skin.

Derma E products are available at Healthy Options.