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The Beauty Bar: Vitamin C
By Lindsay Wilson
This may be the first supplement you reach for when you feel a cold coming on, but it may also be your best ally in the fight against sun-induced aging and wrinkles. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology shows that a topical solution of 15 percent L-ascorbic acid—the most easily absorbed form of vitamin C—combined with vitamin E, protects the skin from UV damage and reduces cell mutations that may lead to skin cancer. “When skin is exposed to the sun, a chemical reaction occurs, creating free radicals that can damage cells and alter DNA,” says Sheldon R. Pinnell, MD, professor of dermatology at Duke University Medical Center. “But vitamin C prevents this reaction from happening.” Vitamin C also stimulates the production of collagen, the structural support that keeps skin plump and supple, and reduces wrinkles. Your skin can benefit from taking a supplement as well, says Lisa Petty, author of Living Beauty: Feel Great, Look Fabulous & Live Well (Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2005). “When taken internally, vitamin C will reach all layers and parts of the skin,” she says.
We like: MegaFood Complex C ($28.95, 60 tablets; megafood.com )
Also try: Devita-C Accelerator ($35.95, 2 oz; devita.net ), which contains 15 percent L-ascorbic acid along with three other forms of vitamin C for maximum absorption; and Healing Anthropology’s Rejuvenating Vitamin C Solution ($55, 1 oz; healinganthropology.com ), which has the extra antioxidant protection of vitamin E and alpha-lipoic acid.
Keep in mind: As vitamin C degrades, it turns from clear to yellow or brown. So if your product turns color, throw it out; the vitamin C in it is useless. —Lindsay Wilson
Author: Lindsay Wilson
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