Published on: 12/Jan/2021
We’re sure you have a lot of questions if you’re new to the world of vitamin C in skin care. For example, what percentage of vitamin C should you seek? Or, more specifically, what ingredients should you avoid combining with your vitamin C serum? We answer those questions below, as well as provide some helpful tips on the dos and don’ts of using vitamin C. In addition, we have some exciting news to share – and yes, it is related to vitamin C. Continue reading to find out.
You may associate vitamin C with your morning cup of orange juice, but this ingredient does so much more than provide a refreshing burst of flavor in the morning. Topical vitamin C is arguably one of the best skin care ingredients you can use on a daily basis, and we’re not the only ones who think so. Vitamin C is praised by dermatologists and estheticians alike for its antioxidant power and ability to even out your complexion. We spoke with a few of them, and each was eager to share the benefits of vitamin C as well as tips on how to incorporate it into your daily routine.
How Does Topical Vitamin C Help Your Skin?
Vitamin C is important for skin health because it is an antioxidant as well as a factor in collagen synthesis. It aids in photoprotection, reduces photodamage, and is required for wound healing.
Vitamin C has an ability to protect against free radicals known as photoprotection. In other words, it reduces all sun-induced ageing signs, such as UV-induced fine lines and wrinkles, collagen degradation, and even sun spots and melasma.
The use of vitamin C in topical applications for at least 12 weeks has been shown in studies to reduce wrinkling, reduce protein fibre damage, reduce apparent roughness of skin, and increase collagen production. Furthermore, topical vitamin C has been shown to reverse some of the age-related changes in the skin.
What to Look for When Purchasing a Vitamin C Supplement
The problem with vitamin C is that it is considered a “unstable” ingredient in liquid form, which means it degrades quickly if it is not properly formulated or packaged. This is one of the reasons why vitamin C is often found in small amounts, and why the bottles are airtight and opaque rather than clear. It should be used quickly and should not be exposed to light or air for maximum effectiveness.
The stability of vitamin C in solution has been a source of concern because exposure to air, heat, and light can cause the vitamin to degrade slowly. Although ascorbic acid is the most effective form of vitamin C for topical use, it is also the least stable in solution. Other antioxidants can be added to increase the stability. So, look for ascorbic acid in combination with other antioxidants, as well as packaging that keeps the solution away from air and light.
However, ascorbic acid is stable in powder form. There are a few vitamin C derivatives that are also effective in skin care products. Tetrahexyldecyl (THD) ascorbate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid, and ascorbyl glucoside are examples.
Each of these must be formulated differently, for example, some must be water-soluble while others must be oil-soluble, each must have different concentrations of ascorbic acid, and each must penetrate the skin differently. While ascorbic acid in its purest form is the most potent, these derivatives have the advantage of being more stable.
The concentration of vitamin C in a product is determined by your needs and skin type.
The concentration of vitamin C can range from 10% to 30%. If your skin is sensitive, I would recommend a lower percentage. If you have previously used vitamin C or your skin is accustomed to medical grade products, use the highest strength of 30 percent.
Products containing vitamin C derivatives have a higher concentration, but this does not imply that they are as effective as their ascorbic acid equivalent. What is best for you is a matter of personal preference and overall formulation.
If you’re new to vitamin C and don’t know what type of skin you have, start with a low concentration vitamin C serum.
Dos and Don’ts of Vitamin C
Let’s talk about vitamin C application before we finish. For the best experience, follow these dos and don’ts.
Apply your vitamin C product first thing in the morning. Morning is the best time because a vitamin C serum protects against environmental damage and UV/HEV rays. It can also be used at night, but it should not be combined with certain products.
Don’t combine vitamin C and retinol. Some vitamin C formulations may contribute to retinoid degradation. As a result, I use vitamin C during the day and a retinoid at night. You should also avoid combining vitamin C with AHAs or BHAs, as this can cause irritation.
In the morning, wear SPF along with your vitamin C products. The ingredient can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, and using sunscreen on top of your vitamin C serum can help prevent the ingredient from oxidizing on your skin. Oxidation can reduce the effectiveness of vitamin C and even cause the formation of darker blackheads.
Use a product that has been oxidised in the bottle. The colour of vitamin C serum is generally clear. When it starts to turn yellowish/brown, it means the product has oxidised too much and is no longer effective.
Keep your product in a cool, dark, and dry place. Keep your vitamin C serum out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dark place to avoid accelerated oxidation. Also, make certain that the lid is completely sealed. If your product does not come with a pump, you can purchase one. Of course, this only applies to liquid vitamin C, not powders.
Don’t forget to put on your vitamin C every day. Make vitamin C serum a part of your daily routine to reap the benefits of this brilliant ingredient that the earth has so generously bestowed upon us. If you’re new to the ingredient and/or have sensitive skin, you may need to work your way up to this frequency.