There are many different skincare ingredients nowadays. Every day, there seems to be a discovery of what a particular element can do to our skin. But one product that has dominated the beauty and cosmetic world is Vitamin C. It’s a powerful antioxidant that is mostly used in brightening products and treatment. But, before you begin using any effect on your face, it’s always wise to have all the information about it first. Are you thinking of incorporating Vitamin C into your skincare routine? This article talks about all the fundamental things you need to know about this ingredient to help you make an informed decision.
What Is Vitamin C? Vitamin C brings growth and repair to tissues in our body, including the skin. Unfortunately, our bodies cannot produce this vitamin on their own. Luckily, we can quickly get it from fruits and vegetables. It's also found in skin care products like moisturizers, toners, and serums.
L-ascorbic acid is the first form of Vitamin C, which is the most active and studied form. Other Vitamin C derivatives include magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, terehexyldecyl ascorbate, ascorbyl palmitate, and sodium ascorbyl phosphate. But note that these aren’t pure sources of Vitamin C since they’re mixed with other ingredients to ensure the stability of the Vitamin C. But, when applied to the skin, they release Vitamin C in pure form onto it. For instance, a product containing 10% of these derivatives releases 3% of pure Vitamin C onto the skin. Also, note that these variants dissolve in water differently, and they also differ in their pH levels. To understand how Vitamin C works, we need first to know how free radicals damage our skin. While there are three types of free radicals, most are the reactive oxygen species (ROS). We get exposed to ROS from the air we breathe, that is, oxygen. Other sources include cigarettes, the sun’s UV rays, light, and smog. ROS damages our skin’s dermis and alters our DNA. It also prevents moisture absorption, changes the skin color and texture along with cell functioning. Vitamin C, thus, helps correct this reaction, keeping the skin healthy and well-balanced. But, since Vitamin C is reactive, it loses its antioxidant properties when exposed to light, air, heat, or other chemicals. This is why Vitamin C products are air-sealed tightly and come in opaque packages. This prevents it from deactivating or oxidizing. If you notice a brown color on your product, we advise you to throw it away and get a new bottle. This color change indicates that the formula has oxidized; therefore, it will not be sufficient.
How Does Vitamin C Benefit the Skin?
This ingredient benefits our skin in various ways, including:
Gets rid of brown spots-Vitamin C prevents pigment synthesis. As such, this ingredient helps lighten unwanted brown spots or reduce brown discoloration. It is also a brightening booster.
More collagen production. Vitamin C is crucial in collagen synthesis. Note that collagen is responsible for supporting and structuring the skin. But it degrades when we age, which makes wrinkles and lines appear. Vitamin C is a vital ingredient for building collagen; thus, using it helps one remain youthful.
Protects against environmentally related stressors-Normal cellular processes and other environmental components like light and pollution create free radicals on the skin. Since these radicals are unstable molecules, they damage our cells, cause skin dullness, wrinkles, and in extreme cases, cancer. Thankfully, Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that enable it to protect the skin and help as an anti-aging agent. It scavenges the free radicals hence keeping your skin healthy and gets rid of visible aging signs.
Peptides and Vitamin C Work Great Together
Although peptides work fantastic when comes to brightening boosting proteins, they really show what they can do, with mixed with Vitamin C as an active ingredient. The reason for this is that Vitamin C aids in protecting our skin from environmental aggressors culpable for making oxidative stress and free radicals. These hidden bad guys may cause the disintegration of proteins such as collagen and elastin. In a nutshell, Vitamin C helps to protect the cellular structures that peptides are working hard to create.
What Are the Side Effects of Vitamin C?
This product is generally safe for daily use. It can irritate when used in high concentration, especially if it’s combined with other acids. If you have susceptible skin, you may not be able to tolerate this effect. Hence, it would help if you avoided it. Additionally, most Vitamin C products are oily, which can be an issue for those with oily skin. Before using any product, please consult with an expert dermatologist to help you find one suitable for your skin type.
How to Use Vitamin C
When it comes to Vitamin C, the best application times differ among individuals. Some say that it should be applied in the morning to protect the skin. Others argue that one should use it at night since the skin’s Vitamin C is most depleted. Whichever time you decide to apply, you should be very consistent. Therefore, if you cannot use it daily, use it regularly.
And those using a serum, which is the most common Vitamin C product, apply it on clean skin. Also, avoid using this product along with benzoyl peroxide. This is because benzoyl peroxide can oxidize the vitamin C and make it less effective.
Tips for Adding Vitamin C into Your Skincare Routine
Regardless of the product, you are using, you should pay attention to the Vitamin C you are applying. Look for products with ascorbic/L-ascorbic acid as this is the most stable form of Vitamin C in skincare. We also recommend using Vitamin C serums since they are more effective than creams and toners. Additionally, you can also add vitamin E to your Vitamin C products. Use a 1:2 punch ratio to smooth and healthy skin.
We also advise you to opt for products with pure ascorbic acid as it can penetrate the skin’s barrier faster. Also, note that combining Vitamin C with other antioxidants like Vitamin E increases its effectiveness. Therefore, the mixture can offer a higher level of protection against free radical damage. It’s why most serums have these two ingredients in their formula.
Again, bear in mind that Vitamin C tends to break down when exposed to light or air. As such, it is stored in dark glass bottles to help it remain stable and efficient. We advise that you apply your serum underneath your moisturizer.
Additionally, beginners should start with few drops. Note that this vitamin is potent; thus, a few drops are enough for each application. Experts advise that you start with low concentration products and gradually build up as your skin familiarizes itself with this ingredient. Additionally, those with sensitive skin should start with serums with a 5% concentration and can later increase it to 20%, which brightens and improves the skin pigmentation faster.
Other forms of Vitamin C you will find in skincare products include magnesium ascorbyl, ethysilanol ascorbate, and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. But even though Vitamin C is a great ingredient, it comes with some obstacles. For instance, it’s unstable and reactive and loses its antioxidant properties when exposed to light, heat, and air. To fix this, individuals have been using Vitamin C in powder form, which in theory helps it remain more stable, thus increasing its shelf life.
Does this mean that I can easily mix some Vitamin C powder with my favorite moisturizer for a powerful product? No. Bear in mind that Vitamin C doesn’t penetrate easily into your skin’s barrier. It’s why experts recommend using it at a concentration of at least 10% and ensure that the pH you are adding it to is acidic to boost absorption. However, it’s not easy to tell the pH of a product. Even if you determine it, the powder can quickly crystalize into your skin before Vitamin C is absorbed, reducing its efficiency.
We, therefore, discourage the DIY trends. It’s better to use high-quality products that have extensively been researched and keenly developed as their Vitamin C is made available in an optimal formulation, which helps it remain stable and penetrate quickly into the skin. We should also mention that some people consume Vitamin C orally. However, because significant skin improvement requires a high Vitamin C level, you should apply it topically. Ingesting it will not likely provide enough of it.
Should I Use Vitamin C?
Well, this is generally a safe ingredient. However, for those with sensitive skin, it can cause redness and allergic reactions. If your skin is sensitive, we recommend starting with a low concentration and patch test your skin to ensure that you are not allergic.
What Should I Know about Vitamin C Supplements?
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin. Unfortunately, our bodies cannot produce it. But it plays a vital key role in our overall health, which means our bodies must have it. We can find it in many fruits and vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, bell peppers, kiwi, strawberries, and oranges. Although experts advise us to get our Vitamin C from foods, we can also purchase Vitamin C supplements. If you’re using these supplements, take 75mg if you’re a woman and 90 mg if you’re a man, daily. Scientific evidence claims that taking Vitamin C supplements offers the following benefits.
- It may help prevent iron-deficiency.
- Boost your immunity.
- Can reduce blood uric acid levels, which helps prevent gout issues.
- Can lower a person’s risk of heart disease.
- Can be used for managing high blood pressure.
- Can reduce one’s risk of chronic diseases.
- Protects our memory and thinking as we age.
One can also get this vitamin from dietary supplements, which are available in various forms, including oral tablets, chewable tablets, extended-release tablets, and capsules. You can also decide to apply anointed Vitamin C topically, such as moisturizers, serums, oils, and cleaners. Anointed Vitamin C is mostly used in the beauty and cosmetic industry.
Vitamin C for Different Skin Types
Apart from sensitive skin, this ingredient is safe to use on most skin types. Some of the conditions it can fight include.
- Dark circles, crow’s feet, and puffy eyes
- Acne inflammation
- UV damage
- Wrinkles and fine lines
- Sagging skin
- Uneven skin tone
Dry skin– intake of this vitamin can help repair and prevent dryness. You can get this nutrient from over-the-counter products, foods, and dietary supplements.
Oily acne prone skin- Vitamin C is said to be effective in treating acne. It acts as an antioxidant to expel free radicals, grime, toxins, etc., from the skin, which fights acne. Also, it helps in collagen and skin cell production. Therefore, it promotes the skin’s ability to repair and heal from acne and acne scars. However, ensure that the intensity of the product you are using doesn’t inflame your hyperactive sebaceous glands, as it can cancel Vitamin C’s acne-fighting benefits.
Aging skin- oxidative stress caused by free radicals is among the factors that cause aging signs’ appearance such as wrinkles, fine lines, saggy skin and, dark circles. Thankfully, Vitamin C neutralizes those radicals in our bodies, preventing premature aging while delaying visible aging signs from appearing. Oxidative stress can make your skin look tired and dull. But, Vitamin C gives it the boost it needs to look younger and fresher.
Vitamin C and Collagen
Collagen is a natural filler substance in our skin. It makes the skin firmer and gives it an even appearance. But it decreases with age, and with time this decrease can cause fine lines and wrinkles to form. It can also lead to loss of volume and contours. Using Vitamin C can help fight this as it promotes collagen production. Plus, it also has antioxidant properties that protect the skin from free radicals that causes oxidative stress.
Vitamin C and Retinol
These ingredients are highly used for skincare. Experts say that they can restore and repair skin. You can use retinol as a standalone treatment for acne, wrinkles, dry skin, and pigmentation. Also, Vitamin C on its own can be used to brighten spots, reduce redness, hyperpigmentation, and inflammation. When used separately, these ingredients can help heal certain conditions. But when combined, it creates a powerful formula that can be used for beautifying all skin types.
Retinol and Vitamin C can help reduce the signs of aging. When you apply them correctly, they can protect the skin from harmful environmental factors that damage the skin and cause premature aging. Here is how proper use of retinol and Vitamin C can benefit the skin:
- Tightens and makes it firm.
- Treats acne and acne scars.
- Promotes an even tone.
- Lightens hyperpigmentation.
- Reverses natural aging.
There is also a new kid on the block when it comes to all-star skincare. Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR) is FDA approved agent for aging skin, with Vitamin A and C ingredient benefits. HPR (Hydroxypinacolone retinoate) is an ester of retinoic acid that works similarly to Retin-A (prescription grade) and tretinoin. However, it is much gentler and causes very little to no skin irritation.
Natural or Synthetic Vitamin C?
The source of Vitamin C is not relevant in determining its potent. Vitamin C made from laboratories has the same atoms formulated similarly as Vitamin C from an orange or a rosehip bush. Natural Vitamin C sources include broccoli, papaya, lemons, oranges, American persimmons, lynches, strawberries, and Brussel sprouts.
The 4 Best Vitamin C Products
- Retinoid & Vitamin C Serum from Zion Health- great for reducing wrinkles and fine lines. It helps brighten, hydrate, and keep the skin plump. It also helps tighten your skin while reducing discoloration. This formula includes ionic clay minerals, aloe, apple stem cells, Vitamin E acetate, and other potent ingredients.
- Vitamin C Serum from Adama Minerals- this is an anti-aging remedy that helps reduce wrinkles, repair damages from the sun, boost production of collagen, brighten and evens the skin tone along with fading dark spots, and reducing hyperpigmentation. Ingredients include l-ascorbic, sunflower oil, rosehip oil, aloe, glycerin, etc.
- Day for Myself Kit– includes a cleansing oil make up remover, Vitamin C serum, and a daily perfection serum. It helps give your skin subtle radiance and an intense glow. It contains natural ingredients that keep the skin soft, clean, and beautifully nourished. It’s suitable for all skin types, and thanks to its components, it can remove dirt without leaving an oily residue or stripping the skin’s natural protective barriers.
- Daily Perfection Serum Oil- this product effectively cleans the skin to leave a bright, fresh complexion. It uses natural ingredients suitable for all skin types.
Get Healthier and Glowing Skin with the Use of Vitamin C Products from Zion Health
When you have healthy skin, your whole presence is lustrous. Vitamin C is jampacked with antioxidants that improve your physical and skin health while giving you an added extra benefit of glowing skin.
Has your skin been experiencing premature signs of aging, sun damage, dark patches hyperpigmentation, and dark spots? The four products mentioned above from Zion Health can make your skin healthy and vibrant once again. Meanwhile, restoring your self-confidence due to that natural glow that Vitamin C gives your skin.
All Zion Health products are vegan, organic, contain no parabens, are made with all-natural ingredients and are cruelty-free.
The benefits Vitamin C offers us are unmatched. However, because our bodies don’t produce it naturally, we can get it in various ways, apart from foods. Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin C in Skincare has been delivered. Take advantage now, so you can have youthful, glowing skin just in time for Valentine’s Day!