Growing up, your mother probably stressed the importance of taking daily vitamins. Whether or not you listened to her, she was on to something. It turns out Vitamin C is one super vitamin that can work wonders on everything from signs of anti-aging to nail growth.
Since Vitamin C is water-soluble, it’s important to get a daily dose of it by taking a supplement or eating food sources such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, and red and green peppers (that’s in addition to topical treatments) to experience its benefits. Read on to discover all of the different ways Vitamin C can give your beauty routine a boost.
Stronger, Longer Nails
Weak nails that break easily and just won’t seem to grow? Try giving your diet a C boost. Vitamin C is an essential part in the body’s ability to produce collagen, a protein that helps support tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and our skin together. To sum it up: Collagen production will strengthen your nails from the inside out.
Lengthen Your Locks
If you’ve been trying to grow out your hair, Vitamin C and how it affects collagen production plays an important part in stimulating hair follicles, which promotes growth. Enough of the super vitamin is also necessary for absorbing iron to keep hair strong and healthy, and eliminating pesky split-ends.
Here’s an at-home mask that will give strands a healthy dose of the good stuff: use a handful of Vitamin C rich strawberries, and a tablespoon of honey and coconut oil, each. Leave on your hair for 15 minutes, rinse, and voila!
Fight Signs of Aging
Too much time in the sun can result in premature signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. Incorporating a Vitamin C packed product like moisturizer or serum into your skincare lineup can reverse the sun’s unwanted effects to your complexion. “Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and slows the rate of free radical damage that cause damage to collagen and contribute to fine lines and wrinkles,” explains N.Y.C. dermatologist Dr. Michele Green.
Lighten Up Dark Spots
Dark spots are caused by an increase in melanin that produces pigment in the skin and can be caused by hormones, the sun, or the result of inflammation such as acne or eczema. Topical Vitamin C is an effective way to treat hyperpigmentation and early signs of aging caused by overexposure to the sun.
Dr. Green recommends applying a serum like Vita-C Serum ($75; michelegreenmd.com) from her own line every morning and night after cleansing to improve tone, texture and skin’s radiance.
Look (And Feel) Energized
Still looking for a cure to looking and feeling like less of a zombie after a late night? The answer may be as simple as upping your intake of the vitamin. Lack of iron can lead to fatigue and weakness; since Vitamin C is linked to how our bodies absorb iron, getting enough of the nutrient will help improve your energy levels.
This post originally appeared on 5 Ways Vitamin C Can Boost Your Beauty Routine; Erin Lukas: