And Why It Should Be an Important Part of It
Vitamin C is one of the five most important ingredients you must have in your skincare routine. Here’s why!
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is one of the most important vitamins needed for our health and body. Both on the inside and outside.
It is important for blood vessels, cartilage, general recovery and healing of the body, muscles, and collagen in bones. In addition to that, this vitamin is also extremely important for our skin.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant. We need them for prevention to fight against free radicals (toxins). We also need antioxidants for the treatment of already existing diseases.
Today’s way of life is very stressful. We don’t get enough sleep (all mommas out there, raise your hand). And then we try to indulge in hedonism by enjoying excessive amounts of alcohol, coffee, sugar, and even cigarettes.
On top of that, we don’t eat versatile foods and generally eat an unhealthy diet. And, if we’re PMS-ing — we eat tons of sweets. Oh, and let’s not forget about polluted air as well.
All this greatly contributes to the increase of oxidative stress in our bodies. Such a lifestyle reflects on our organism from the inside and outside. It damages our skin and is accelerating its aging.
You may wonder how to prevent oxidative stress. With antioxidants, of course! 😊
Antioxidants are used in the cosmetics industry as preservatives to extend the product’s shelf life. However, vitamin C has a much wider spectrum of action.
Benefits of Vitamin C in Skincare
Vitamin C is one of the favorite ingredients of every dermatologist. Numerous studies and researches are behind its diverse and successful benefits.
• It slows down the signs of skin aging.
• It reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
• It helps prevent skin damage due to exposure to the sun’s rays (and I know that you really like to sunbathe, not to mention fry).
• It helps in the fight against acne and hyperpigmentation.
• It brightens and evens out the complexion.
In combination with broad-spectrum protective factors, it protects against ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB labels on products — I’ll write about that in more detail soon).
Moreover, if you use vitamin C, it is NECESSARY to apply SPF on your face. Aim for a minimum SPF30!
And you should apply SPF religiously to your skin anyway. Throughout the year!!! I cannot emphasize this enough, yet it seems people still take it lightly.
Due to its corrosive function, since it’s an acid, vitamin C actually sloughs away dead and damaged skin cells, thereby speeding up the skin’s natural turnover process.
I know what you’re thinking right now, “Ok, ok, ok, vitamin C is great. Does that mean I need to squeeze a lemon and put it on my face“?
NO WAY!!! Unless your goal is to go to a Halloween party as Freddie from A Nightmare on Elm Street and win the contest for the most convincing mask.
Meaning, if you were to squeeze a lemon like that and smear yourself with it, you would totally burn your skin because ascorbic acid is extremely corrosive. It can remove stains and has bleaching properties.
Listen, I know (boy do I know) how expensive skin care products and makeup can be. All you need is a good financial strategy.
I will help you with advice on which products you should splurge. Even if it means giving up on the unnecessary 18th t-shirt. 🙈 And which products you can completely skip, like facial toner for example.
I would definitely put Vitamin C on the mandatory list. However, it shouldn’t be the most expensive product on your shelf or in your beauty fridge (if you don’t have it and read my blog you will surely get one…lol).
Also, there are some guidelines about the percentage (aka potency) of pure vitamin C that you have to pay attention to when choosing the right Vitamin C serum. But more on that later in the post.
When and how to apply vitamin C
Vitamin C is best applied to the face in the morning. Before or after the serum, depending on the density of both products. As a rule, the products are applied from the thinnest to the thickest.
Then apply your moisturizer, and then top it off with SPF 30, or preferably higher.
After that, you can go in with your makeup…primer, foundation, powder, etc. That is if you even wear make-up.
Please note it is best to wait at least 20 minutes after applying SPF and before applying makeup. But that will also be one of the topics in the blog… so be prepared 😉
Which vitamin C serum to choose
So, you’ve read everything and now you know why it’s important to include vitamin C in your skincare. Great! But how do you know which vitamin C to choose?
The most important thing to know is that for vitamin C to have any effect, it needs a concentration of at least 10%.
It’s also important to know that all those advertised as having over 20% are fake and could actually irritate your skin. So aim between 10 and 20%.
Those of you with more sensitive skin should start with a lower concentration and develop a tolerance — then move to a higher one. With some skin care products, like vitamin C, apply the rule of consistency over intensity.
For people with normal, mixed, and/or oily skin, L-ascorbic acid (the strongest derivative of vitamin C) is recommended.
While people with dry and sensitive skin are recommended to use Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, or SAP. It is soluble in water and much more stable than L-ascorbic acid, but is also less potent. Or even a weaker derivative of vitamin C, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate or MAP (Magnesium-L-ascorbyl-2-phosphate). Which is also soluble in water and less irritating.
I personally have dry and sensitive skin, but I use L-ascorbic acid and haven’t had any problems with irritation (knock on wood).
The rule of thumb is to always get a sample if you can before purchasing anything. Especially if you’re gonna spend a lot of money on a product.
Below is a list of my favorites. I’ve tried to add something for everyone’s budget. The most important thing is to find one that will suit your skin needs.
These links are NOT affiliate links and I DON’T make any money if you choose to purchase the listed products.
Truth Serum Vitamin C Serum
This one is probably my favorite of them all. The texture is a bit “sticky” but absorbs very well and doesn’t feel tacky on the skin. I saw changes in my skin after just two weeks. And whenever I’d switch to a different one and go back to it I remembered why it was my favorite. After this one I do, however, put another serum on top of it, as it’s primarily “just” a vitamin C serum for me.
Rénergie H.C.F. Triple Serum: For Plumping & Anti-Aging
This gem is very pricey but worth every penny. I mean it! Not to mention it’s a 1.7 oz/ 50 mL bottle so it actually isn’t that much more expensive per fluid ounce. It’s just hard to look at that price and pay it at once. The best thing about it is it’s a triple serum, or what I like to call a time-saver product. So you put that on and you got rid of 2 extra steps in your skincare routine. Also, all Lancome products have fragrances in them and this one is no exception. I don’t mind but I know a lot of people don’t like that or have a reaction to fragrances in products.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
Vitamin C Lactic 15% Firm & Bright Serum
Another time-saver product as you can skip on another serum is you use this one. It has a funky smell, so be warned! But the benefits outweigh it all.
Liftactiv Vitamin C Serum
The “cheapest” in the bunch but equally as good. They used to sell it in individual ampoules that would last you 2-3 applications (you’d get 20 in the package) but it got discontinued on the USA market. If you know someone in Europe, or you travel there, make sure to try this one out. I top it with another serum as it’s just a vitamin C serum.
Storing your Vitamin C serum
Lastly, I just have to emphasize that you must protect your vitamin C from light so it doesn’t oxidize. That is why it is usually packaged in dark, non-transparent, bottles.
Vitamin C itself, though, should be transparent. Unless it comes as a multi-serum (with other active ingredients), so it already has some color or tint. And if it turns yellow at some point, it means it has oxidized and you should throw it away.
So store it in a dry and dark place (hey beauty fridge!).
That’s it! I hope this article was of value to you and that you have a better understanding of the amazing benefits vitamin C can have for your skin. I also hope you will incorporate it into your skincare routine.
- choose the right kind depending on your skin type
- aim for a concentration of 10% or higher (after you build your skin tolerance)
- apply in the morning before moisturizer
- top up with a minimum SPF 30 (preferably higher)
- store in a cool, dark place and watch if it becomes yellow (means it has oxidized and you need to throw it away)
Remember, if you do good by your skin she will do good by you in return!
Now I would like to hear in the comments below if you use vitamin C and which one has proven to be the best for you.
It would be helpful to comment on your skin type and age range (“dry and sensitive skin/early 20’s”, “oily skin/late 50’s”, etc.) to facilitate and help other readers with your experience. Thank you. My deep bow 😊
2 thoughts on “Vitamin C in Skincare”
Thanks for the recommendation, always good to have another input!
I am one of those who can only go clean, so Ole is great!
Lancome, Vichy even, both make me break out like an adolescent 😵💫
Dr.Gross does smell bad so a no-go for me personally!
Keep us up with the new trends in the skincare& thanks for the informative read! Godspeed!
Thank you for the feedback. It’s true heavily fragranced products often make people react like that. So be in tune with your skin, as I’m sure you are 😉
And yes, Ole is an amazing one. It’s my fav for a reason. More content coming soon so stay tuned 🙂