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Natural Living

Skin-Saving Vitamins

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Vitamins C and E in your skin care products have the power to reverse wrinkles and discoloration associated with aging—plus they help protect your skin against sun damage and skin cancer. These antioxidant vitamins work by speeding up the skin’s natural repair and by preventing further damage.

L-ascorbic acid is the form of topical vitamin C that gets the best results. It helps cells produce collagen fibers that firm skin and it fights free radicals that age skin. Topical vitamin C tends to be very fragile and can become useless in contact with air. Storing vitamin C skin care products properly improves their results.

Natural cosmetic companies maintain the properties of vitamin C either by adding glycerin to prevent its breakdown or by opting for dark colored packaging. Storing in the refrigerator is a good way to extend the life of some cosmetic products, but humidity can affect vitamin C, so choose a dark cool place instead.

Serums contain the most concentrated topical vitamin C. They should have at least 10–15 percent vitamin C to be effective. Vitamin C serum can be drying to your skin, so use a moisturizer after applying.

Vitamins C and E are often used in combination because vitamin C prevents the breakdown of vitamin E, and vitamin E counteracts the dryness vitamin C can cause. Tocopherol is the most effective form of vitamin E in skin care products. It helps neutralize free radicals that damage collagen in your skin causing fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin E helps moisturize skin, repairs and improves damaged skin cells, and when combined with vitamin C, acts as a natural form of sun protection.

Vitamin E oil is the most concentrated form. This natural alternative to skin-brightening creams helps minimize wrinkles, scars, and acne by speeding up cell regeneration. To maximize the skin care perks of vitamin E oil, use it at night in lieu of a cream or moisturizer.

Strengthen, brighten, and protect your skin with MyChelle DermaceuticalsPerfect C Serum. A potent dose of L-ascorbic acid helps to fortify collagen and improve skin texture and tone. Astaxanthin from volcanic seaweed protects collagen, boosts the effects of beta-carotene and coenzyme Q10, and is a potent antioxidant. Buddleja plant stem cells protect against UV damage, inflammation, and collagen breakdown.

Hydrate thirsty skin with KneippJojoba Massage Oil. Rich in vitamin E, as well as emollient jojoba and evening primrose oils, this massage essential softens and protects skin. It spreads easily, absorbs slowly, and has a subtle, fresh green scent for a relaxing massage. Developed for professional massage therapists, it’s now also available for home use.

Nourish your lips with Reviva LabsVitamin E Stick. This popular beauty staple moisturizes lips and helps protect against wind and sun damage with SPF 15. The handy stick tube doubles as an effective under-eye treatment, as it helps soften the delicate skin around the eyes and combat wrinkles and fine lines.

Give your skin a boost of antioxidant protection with SheaTerra OrganicsRooibos Vitamin E Anti-Oxidant Facial Serum. Three powerful antioxidants—aspalathin found in the South African rooibos herb, rare Namibian marula oil, and vitamin E tocopherols—combine to help prevent cell damage, repair collagen, and leave skin smooth and glowing.

Uneven skin tone and/or texture are no match for the skin-brightening power of Derma eEvenly Radiant Brightening Cleanser with Vitamin C. This vegan, sulfate-free cleanser is gentle enough to use daily and boasts vitamins C and B3 (niacin), as well as herbs known to promote a healthy glow—Madonna Lily plant stem cells, bearberry, and licorice. It can be used on all skin types.

Try it!

Derma e is giving away Evenly Radiant Brightening Cleanser with Vitamin C to the first 10 Better Nutrition readers who email Include your full name and address and please write “BN Brightening Cleanser” in the subject line.