ASCP Skin Deep

NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2016

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www.ascpskincare.com 25 expertadvice FEED YOUR FACE e Beauty Superfood Vitamin C's skin benefits are great reasons to eat your fruits and veggies by Alex Caspero Vitamin C plays a vital role in maintaining skin, hair, and nail health. As a potent antioxidant, vitamin C slows the rate of free radicals—unstable molecules that promote dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles. Though it sounds too good to be true, study after study confirms that vitamin C is a beauty superfood that keeps skin young, supple, and healthy. SUN DAMAGE The antioxidant properties of vitamin C limit damage induced by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. So, while sunscreen is still your best bet against sun damage, adding some extra vitamin C to your diet during a beach vacation can boost your protection. Studies show that combining both food sources and topical ascorbic acid provide the greatest defense for UV protection. For a vitamin C-rich face mask, puree together one kiwi and a half cup of papaya, then apply the mixture to your face. Leave for 15–20 minutes, then rinse off with cool water. COLLAGEN AND VITAMIN C Vitamin C maintains health by contributing to collagen production, a protein that's found in just about every part of the body. Collagen, essential for healthy hair, skin, joints, and eyes, naturally decreases as we age. While it's impossible to completely stop the decline of collagen, there are a few things that can be done. First, avoid collagen killers. Dehydration, poor diet, stress, tobacco use, and too much time in the sun can increase collagen depletion. A diet rich in plant-based proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, and, of course, vitamin C is the best defense. Just 400 milligrams per day of vitamin C—found in bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, citrus, and pineapple—can help support healthy collagen levels. The best food sources of vitamin C have one thing in common—they are all plants. We tend to associate vitamin C with lemons, limes, and oranges, but it's actually found in most fruits and vegetables—yet another reason to make sure you are getting at least five servings of fruits and veggies a day.

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