WHY VITAMIN C SHOULD BE YOUR GO-TO THIS SUMMER

  • Summer has a rep for being the laid back, carefree season. But if you care about your skin, you probably already know it’s not the time to relax when it comes to your skin-care routine.

    Summer is prime time for sun damage—and all the spots, wrinkles, and texture changes that come along with it.

    It’s not that you can’t have your fun in the sun. You can. But you also need to protect your skin—and counteract any potential damage—with the right ingredients (like vitamin c).

    BUT FIRST, LET’S TALK ABOUT THAT SUMMER SUN DAMAGE.

    Why does it happen? UV rays from the sun can cause some pretty dramatic changes to your cells beneath the skin's surface.

    Your skin cells do have a protection plan in place to scatter and absorb the light before it can cause trouble: it’s called melanin.
    Yes, the same stuff responsible for a dark skin tone, a tan, or freckles also exist to protect your cells from UV damage. But it’s not 100 percent effective. Research suggests that melanin only has the protective equivalent of an SPF 4, absorbing 50 to 75 percent of UV rays. Plus, some people just make less of it. They’re the ones who turn pink and burn in the sun.

    When triggered by UV light, melanin production can also misfire, causing an overproduction of pigment, a.k.a., hyperpigmentation. As a result, you’re left with a splotchy, uneven complexion and dark spots that don’t fade away over time.

    So, what happens to the UV rays that don’t get absorbed by your skin’s melanin? They can wreak havoc on a cellular level. UV light gives way to what’s called reactive oxygen species, or free radicals. Free radicals are highly unstable molecules looking to neutralize themselves, latching onto whatever they can in order to do this, including healthy skin molecules. That’s where the damage happens. If free radicals attack the skin's support system—collagen and elastin, the stuff that helps keep skin firm and smooth—skin’s structure can start to break down. Over time, you’re left with thin, fragile, and crepey-looking skin and fine lines and wrinkles.

    Bottom line: The sun’s rays can damage your skin, and contrary to popular belief, a deep tan doesn’t necessarily protect you from cellular damage.

    HOW CAN YOU PREVENT AND REVERSE THE DAMAGE?
    Aside from being smart about your time in the sun during summer months (and, really, all year long)—avoiding the strongest rays of the day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., wearing sun protective clothing and hats, and always wearing sunscreen (the best way to prevent the sun’s damaging effects on your skin)—you should also include a very specific superhero ingredient in your summertime regimen: vitamin C.

    The vitamin is the ultimate multitasker and a powerful antidote to sun damage. Here’s why vitamin C should be your go-to this summer:
    IT’S A GLOW-GETTER:
    When applied topically, it can help visibly brighten and even out your complexion, softening the look of discoloration, dark spots, and redness. It leaves skin looking more radiant.

    IT HELPS VISIBLY FIRM SKIN:
    Topical vitamin C also promotes the appearance of firmer and smoother skin. It’s essential for the look of collagen-rich skin.

    IT’S PROTECTIVE:
    Vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant, which means it neutralizes free radicals before they can damage skin cells. A study in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology has shown that when combined with vitamin E, vitamin C is even more effective at protecting your skin from UV rays.

    Bottom line: There’s no question the importance of using a daily sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF (like that found in TanyaMarie Naturals Solar Defense Tinted Broad Spectrum), but it’s equally important to incorporate vitamin C as an essential part of your summer skin-care regimen to protect skin and visibly reverse the signs of sun damage.