May 13, 2008 03:00 ET

Vitamin C Fights Aging Skin

Vitamin C Is Vital for Collagen Production and Reduces Damaging Free Radicals

PASADENA, CA--(Marketwire - May 13, 2008) - Several studies have shown that Vitamin C, or L-ascorbic acid, can be an effective topical agent for use against wrinkles and fine lines. It's vital for collagen production and the reduction of free radicals -- natural by-products of oxidation. Left untreated, free radicals damage surrounding healthy cells and cause accelerated aging. Oxidation can be triggered by pollutants, sunlight, stress, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption. discusses how to naturally combat these health threats.

Water-soluble L-ascorbic acid is considered the most active form of the vitamin, but it is notoriously unstable in topical preparations. Fat soluble vitamin C (or ascorbyl palmitate) is more stable. It also tends to be somewhat less irritating.

"There is evidence that certain vitamin and antioxidant extracts, when applied topically, improve the health and appearance of the skin," says skin care expert Dr. Lisa Benest. "Vitamins C & E can not only improve the skin's appearance, but also protect the skin from precancerous spots."

Nutritional epidemiologist Maeve C. Cosgrove and other researchers found that vitamin C also aids in skin health when ingested. People who ate plenty of Vitamin C-rich foods had fewer wrinkles than people whose diets contained little of the vitamin. Higher Vitamin C intakes were associated with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance. The study was published in the October issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

And there are many other health benefits to getting sufficient vitamin C. Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University made a major discovery about the way vitamin C functions in the human body that explained for the first time how vitamin C can neutralize the toxic byproducts in the human body. Vitamin C is known as an antioxidant that can help neutralize free radicals, but the new discovery indicates it has a complex protective role against toxic compounds formed from oxidized lipids, preventing genetic damage or inflammation they can cause.

Tips for improving skin health with nutrition and natural products can be found at

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