Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency in Skin

In skincare we talk a lot about using vitamin C topically for its antioxidant benefits as well as it ability to brighten dull complexions. However, did you know that not getting enough vitamin C in your diet can also effect your skin from the inside out?


Unlike many other nutrients, vitamin C cannot be self-generated by the human body, which means we need to consume it. Signs of vitamin C deficiency can show up in the skin, and if its showing up there you can bet your other bodily systems are suffering from this deficiency as well.

Here are the most common signs we see in the skin that may be associated with a vitamin C deficiency:

    1. Chronic inflammation + oxidative stress

You should already be aware of the antioxidant properties of vitamin C in skincare, however, vitamin C also fights free radicals and protects against cellular damage from the inside out when ingested internally. 

    2. Rough, dry and textured skin

A lack of vitamin C in our diets can leave our skin more vulnerable to environmental stressors, as well as slow down collagen production resulting in dry skin and conditions like keratosis pilaris.

   3. Redness and telangiectasia 

Slowed collagen production, less antioxidant protection and weakened blood vessels caused by vitamin C deficiency can contribute to redness and more visible and/or broken blood vessels. 

    4. Slowed wound-healing response

Collagen synthesis is a key aspect of wound-healing, so a slowed rate caused by vitamin C deficiency can also cause breakouts and pigmentation to stick around longer and accelerate premature aging.

Vitamin C is found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.

Good sources include:

  • citrus fruit, such as oranges and orange juice
  • peppers
  • strawberries
  • blackcurrants
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • potatoes

How much Vitamin c do you need? Adults aged 19 to 64 need 40mg of vitamin C a day.

You should be able to get all the vitamin C you need from your daily diet although supplements are an option as well.

Hopefully this information will help motivate you to include plenty of vitamin C in your diet as well as in your skincare routine!


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