The winter solstice and vitamin C

The winter solstice and vitamin C

Don’t look now but your shadow is about to start shrinking. Right now, just before the winter solstice, your shadow is the longest it will be all year.

Check it out. Go outdoors in the later afternoon and look at your shadow. You’ll be amazed at how long your legs look.

This is because the angle of the sun is at its lowest right now. But that’s about to change.

On Monday, December 21, this year’s winter solstice occurs and the days will start getting longer. Minute by minute. And your shadow will start getting shorter.

The sun will also start getting stronger.

Yay!

I don’t know about you but I’m definitely solar powered. I always feel good when there’s more light.

But more light also means more UV exposure and skin damage

It’s easy to skip sun protection when it’s winter because  (it’s true) the sun isn’t as strong right now as it is in the summer.

While you’re not likely to get a sunburn, I can assure you that the UVA light that penetrates deep into your skin is still doing damage, fading and wrinkling it over time. Just like the sun coming through your windows will fade your furniture and floors.

This is why it’s so important to keep up with your sunscreen, vitamin C and antioxidants. These are all applied in the morning so that they protect your face all day. If you want to learn more about sunscreen, check out this post.

No sunscreen will block all UV rays, so it’s important to bring in the back up team to help clean up the damage. This is where anti oxidants come in. They can help neutralize the free radicals that are produced when cells are damaged. Free radicals are a problem because they steal electrons from healthy cells and cause even more damage, a condition known as oxidative stress.

Free radicals and oxidative stress are a problem because they can damage your skin’s DNA and lead to sagging from collagen breakdown, fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, breakouts, and skin cancer.

Probably the most researched anti-oxidant is vitamin C, both for your insides and your skin. Some other ones are:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A (retinol)
  • Vitamin E
  • Plant polyphenols (green tea and berries are the best known)
  • Vitamin B3
  • Resveratrol
  • CoQ10
  • Curcumin
  • Most adaptogenic herbs are antioxidants (and anti-inflammatory)

Vitamin C isn’t just for colds

Vitamin C. It's what you take when you think we're getting sick.  It's your protector and immunity booster.  But did you know?

Your skin naturally contains high amounts of vitamin C.

Vitamin C supports collagen production, helping to maintain the firmness and keep skin from sagging.

It also acts as a potent antioxidant, helping to protect us from the sun’s rays and fighting the free radicals produced by UV radiation. 

Here’s the bad news: Vitamin C levels become lower in mature and photo-damaged skin. 

Which means as you age, your skin's firmness decreases and sagginess increasesin part because your vitamin C levels in your skin decrease. 

You also have less protection from the sun's rays, which can further damage the skin barrier.

You can (and should) get plenty of vitamin C in your foods, and supplement if necessary.

In studies done at the Linus Pauling Institute at the University of Oregon,  the most beneficial thing for skin happened when vitamin C was taken with another antioxidant, like vitamin E.

More vitamin C in the bloodstream means more can be delivered to the deep layers of the skin to where the blood vessels travel.

The problem is that the outer layers of skin need their vitamin C, too, and this is why adding vitamin C to your skincare routine can really help.

 

Here’s why vitamin C is so good for your skin:

-Vitamin C can help prevent sun damage on your skin.  Vitamin C limits the damage done by UV light exposure of the sun’s rays.  Unlike a sunscreen, it does not absorb UV light, but rather uses its antioxidant activity to fight the damage caused by free radicals.  You still need to wear sunscreen. Vitamin C helps to clean up some the damage even sunscreen can’t prevent.

 -Vitamin C can protect the skin's proteins to keep it looking supple and fresh.  Vitamin C fights the oxidative damage to proteins in the skin that occur with both sun (photo) damage and the normal aging processes. It really is a great antioxidant, especially when there’s vitamin E (tocopherol) in the formula too.

 -Vitamin C can reduce wrinkles and sagging.  Vitamin C regulates the synthesis of collagen which is important for the stability and support of the outer layer of skin (epidermis).

Good collagen production= fewer wrinkles and sagging and firmer skin

Sadly, collagen production declines as we age and too much UV exposure makes that happen even faster (which is why you must wear sunscreen!). Enough vitamin C can help slow this process down and stimulate collagen production.

 -Vitamin C can reduce sun spots and age spots.  It has been shown to help with hyperpigmentation (those brown spots that come with age and time in the sun).

 -Vitamin C can reduce skin dryness.  Several studies shave suggested that topical vitamin C can also help with rough or dry skin.

Before you start washing your face with orange juice, we have a better solution.  Try a serum. 

Vitamin C is best delivered to your skin in a serum

It works best if used in the morning before you are exposed to the sun and environment for the day.

SunWindSnow's DewDrops Serum uses a stable, non-irritating form of vitamin C, along with citrus stem cells, super-hydrating hyaluronic acid, and adaptogenic herbs to deliver a well-absorbed, gentle and effective serum to your skin when it needs it most. And, yes, it has vitamin E in it too.

If you want to really up your skin protection, use DewDrops after you wash your face in the morning, and follow it up with SunUp Antioxidant Day Cream, then top with All Weather Defense SPF 30 sunscreen.

 

 

 


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