Skincare products containing vitamin C tick all the boxes: they prevent wrinkles, fight acne, even out skin tone, and give your skin a healthy glow. But, does Vitamin C help with sagging skin? Let us find out.

Vitamin C is gaining popularity due to its skin lightening and brightening properties. It is regarded as one of the best vitamins for skin because it firms and tightens the skin, reduces under-eye circles, improves skin texture, and lightens and brightens the skin.

But, do you wonder if Vitamin C can help with sagging skin? When vitamin C is applied to the skin, it stimulates the growth of new collagen, which aids in the treatment of sagging skin. It also helps to keep the existing collagen in good condition and protects it from damage.

Is vitamin C good for sagging skin?

Collagen is a protein that occurs naturally and reduces over time. Collagen deficiency can result in fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C is well known for increasing collagen production via the collagen synthesis process. Collagen synthesis is impossible without vitamin C. [1]

Skin elasticity and firmness are linked to collagen production. When your collagen levels begin to decline, your skin may sag. According to a review, applying a vitamin C serum may increase collagen production, resulting in an overall tightening effect. [2]

This is true for sagging caused by natural aging, oxidative stress, or drastic weight loss. This means it can help reduce the appearance of sagging skin, making it appear firmer and more toned.

Does vitamin C make skin firmer?

Vitamin C improves skin elasticity significantly. The topical application of vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen and elastin in your skin, causing it to tighten and firm.

Benefits of Vitamin C for your skin

Protects against sun damage

Vitamin C’s antioxidants may help in the protection against UV light damage. If UV light penetrates your skin, then vitamin C can help mitigate the damage.

Lightens dark areas

Vitamin C-based skincare products may lighten patches of your skin that are darker than the rest of your skin, a condition known as hyperpigmentation.

Helps in the smoothing of wrinkles

Vitamin C is an effective anti-aging ingredient found in a variety of anti-aging products. When used for at least 12 weeks, it can reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Increases Collagen

Collagen is naturally present in your skin and aids in the prevention of sagging. However, as you age, your body’s collagen production slows. When vitamin C is applied to the skin, it stimulates the growth of new collagen.

Which vitamin is good for skin tightening?

  1. Vitamin A – Vitamin A or retinol is commonly used in anti-aging creams because it increases blood flow to the skin’s surface, stimulates collagen production, and prevents and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Vitamin A reduces wrinkles and tightens sagging skin by improving skin elasticity.
  2. Vitamin B9 – Vitamin B9 (also known as folic acid), promotes collagen production, increases hydration, improves moisture retention, and relieves skin dryness.
  3. Vitamin C – Vitamin C is the best vitamin for skin because it promotes collagen production, which firms and tightens skin, reduces under-eye circles, improves skin texture, and lightens and brightens skin.
  4. Vitamin D – Vitamin D is produced in the body when our skin is exposed to sunlight. Along with immunity, vitamin D has various health benefits ranging from preventing the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, and hyperpigmentation.
  5. Vitamin E – This vitamin contains antioxidants that are beneficial to both the skin and the hair. Vitamin E oil and capsules are widely used to tighten skin all over the world. When applied topically, vitamin E protects the skin from the anti-aging effects of the sun by absorbing harmful UV light from the sun.

How do I get rid of saggy skin?

There are things you can do to reduce or eliminate saggy skin if you are concerned about it.

There are several in-home options you can try on your face and body if you have minor sagging or will be satisfied with modest results. They are as follows:

Exercise

Exercise can help to improve saggy skin on the body caused by moderate weight loss or pregnancy. Any movement that increases muscle mass or tightens muscles can help to reduce the appearance of minor skin sagging.

Supplements

Several studies have discovered that oral supplements containing ingredients like collagen and hyaluronic acid can help reduce age-related sagging skin. [3]

Topical treatments

Retinol-containing creams, lotions, and serums may improve elasticity around the eyes and on facial skin. Both over-the-counter and prescription medications can be beneficial.

Changes in lifestyle

Staying hydrated, wearing sunscreen, and quitting bad habits like smoking can help your skin look younger and less saggy.

What to Look for When Purchasing a Vitamin C product

The problem with vitamin C is that it’s an “unstable” ingredient in liquid form, which means it degrades quickly if it’s not properly formulated or packaged.

This is one of the reasons why vitamin C is often found in small amounts, and why the bottles are airtight and opaque rather than clear. It should be used quickly and should not be exposed to light or air for maximum effectiveness.

How to Use Vitamin C for Skin Care

Whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin, vitamin C is beneficial to skin health. Vitamin C can be used for skincare in two ways: nutritionally and topically.

Intake of Nutrients

Vitamin C-rich foods, such as oranges and berries, have numerous health benefits. While eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will provide you with plenty of vitamin C, it will not provide you with enough quantity to see a noticeable improvement in your skin.

This is because dietary vitamin C is sufficient to reach lower levels of your skin but does not generally reach the top layers of the skin. That’s where topical vitamins come in.

Topical application

Topical vitamin C is absorbed directly into the top layers of the skin, allowing it to begin working on smoothing the skin, reducing fine lines and dark spots, and protecting against free radicals right away.

Vitamin C can be found in facial moisturizers and serums. Because serums are more concentrated than moisturizers and absorb more easily into the skin, most skincare professionals recommend vitamin C serums.

How to apply Vitamin C Serum 

Simply follow the steps outlined on the product’s label. Typically, vitamin C serum is applied once or twice per day. As a general rule, cleanse, tone, apply vitamin C serum, and then moisturize.

It can be used safely with other active ingredients, though using it alongside niacinamide may reduce the effectiveness of vitamin C.

A review found that combining tyrosine, zinc, and vitamin C increased vitamin C bioavailability by 20 times over just vitamin C alone. [4]

Risks and potential side effects

Although irritation is unlikely, a patch test should always be performed before full application. This is the only way to see how your skin will respond to the serum.

Avoid products containing L-ascorbic acid if your skin is particularly sensitive. Products containing magnesium ascorbyl phosphate may be less prone to irritation.

Vitamin C Dos and Don’ts

Let’s talk about vitamin C application before we finish. For the best experience, follow these do’s and don’ts.

  • Apply your vitamin C product first thing in the morning. Morning is the best time because vitamin C protects against environmental damage and UV rays.
  • Don’t combine vitamin C and retinol. You should also avoid combining vitamin C with AHAs or BHAs as it can cause severe irritation. 
  • In the morning, wear SPF along with your vitamin C products.
  • Avoid using a product that has oxidized in the bottle. When products begin to turn yellowish/brown, it indicates that they have oxidized too much and are no longer effective.
  • Keep your product in a cool, dark, and dry place. Keep your vitamin C serum out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dark place to avoid accelerated oxidation.

FAQs

Can I use vitamin C on my skin every day?

It is suggested that you apply vitamin C twice daily. Some people, however, have sensitive skin that can be irritated by that much vitamin C. If you have a reaction, try taking vitamin C products every other day or a few times a week. As your skin adjusts, you may be able to progress to daily applications.

Is it true that applying vitamin C to your skin protects you from skin cancer?

It could, but for some people, it could cause more harm than good. Some studies suggest that high levels of vitamin C may promote cancer, while others suggest that it may protect against cancer. [5]

Other substances used on the skin, as well as your risk of skin cancer, may have an impact on the results.

What antioxidants are beneficial to the skin?

Vitamin C is one of the most effective antioxidants for protecting the skin and promoting a healthy appearance. Niacinamide is another antioxidant that can help to reduce wrinkles and brighten the skin. [6]

Conclusion

Vitamin C can aid in the healing of blemishes, the reduction of hyperpigmentation, and the creation of an out-of-this-world glow on your skin. Vitamin C can promote collagen synthesis and help with sagging skin. Consistency is essential for maximum effect, so incorporate it into your skincare routine in a way that works for you.

Some people use it in the morning to benefit from its UV-protectant properties, while others prefer it as a night serum. Simply stop using it if you start to feel irritated or uncomfortable.

References

  1. National Library of Medicine. “Topical vitamin C: a useful agent for treating photoaging and other dermatologic conditions”. PubMed.gov
  2. National Library of Medicine. “The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health”. PubMed.gov
  3. Flávia Alvim Sant’Anna Addor. “Improvement of dermal parameters in aged skin after oral use of a nutrient supplement”.  Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol vol 11 (2018). 195-201
  4. Rizwan M Sanadi. “The effect of Vitamin C on melanin pigmentation – A systematic review”.  J Oral Maxillofac Pathol vol 24(2) (2020). 374-382
  5. Guang Yang. “Vitamin C at high concentrations induces cytotoxicity in malignant melanoma but promotes tumor growth at low concentrations”.  Mol Carcinog vol 56(8) (2017). 1965-1976 
  6. Johannes Wohlrab. “Niacinamide – mechanisms of action and its topical use in dermatology”.  Skin Pharmacol Physiol vol 27(6) (2014). 5-311