Skincare experts and aficionados alike praise topical vitamin C as a must-have in every regimen. But what is it and why is it so important?
For starters, it’s a powerful ingredient that tackles multiple skin concerns all at once. Want to get rid of dark spots? Want to put a youthful glow back into your skin? Want to reduce inflammation? Vitamin C tackles these concerns and many more. So if you’re looking for a simple yet effective skincare routine, chances are, vitamin C will play a huge part in it.
Not sure where to start? No problem. Here, we’ll discuss what vitamin C does, why it’s so beneficial to your skin, and how to incorporate it into any regimen.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that’s celebrated for the anti-aging and rejuvenating effects it brings. By reducing the damage caused by free radicals and UV radiation, this ingredient slows the onset of aging and helps with skin cell regeneration. Essentially, it keeps your skin looking youthful and lively!
Free radicals -- molecules that wreak havoc on healthy skin cells by stealing an electron from them -- change their internal structure and can even cause skin cancer. Antioxidants like vitamin C neutralize them by giving them an electron.
4 More Benefits of Adding Vitamin C to Your Skincare Lineup
And if that weren’t enough, vitamin C still has so much more to offer. This ingredient is ideal for every skin type, meaning that anyone can take advantage of the following four benefits.
Vitamin C increases collagen production in the skin.
By activating the skin’s production of collagen and elastin, vitamin C helps delay the effects of aging. Collagen production increases the skin’s firmness and elasticity, which prevents sagging and reduces the look of wrinkles.
It also accelerates skin cell turnover, so that dull, dead skin calls can be replaced with new healthy ones. This results in younger-looking, firmer, and thicker skin.
It fights hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation occurs when your skin overproduces melanin in certain areas. Usually, this happens because of sun damage, hormonal changes, or acne. Vitamin C stops hyperpigmentation from taking place by decreasing the production of melanin.
Consistent use of topical vitamin C fades dark spots and can even prevent future ones. Talk about thorough!
Vitamin C minimizes redness and inflammation.
This ingredient also works great for redness and inflammation. So if you have acne-prone skin, not only does vitamin C reduce the look of acne scars, it works against active acne blemishes too.
It helps protect your skin against sun damage.
Here’s an unfortunate truth: No matter how well you apply sunscreen, it can only protect you from 55% of free radical damage. Because antioxidants help fight the effects of free radicals, your best bet when it comes to sun protection is to pair your sunscreen with vitamin C.
Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Ferulic Acid: An Anti-Aging Triple Threat
As if that weren’t enough, vitamin C works even better when it’s mixed with vitamin E and ferulic acid. This formidable combination, found in our C E Ferulic serum, increases the effectiveness of topical vitamin C to ensure that you’re using it to its fullest extent.
Vitamin C plays well with other antioxidants, so blending it with vitamin E increases its performance against free radicals. These two ingredients amplify the other as well; vitamin C helps restore vitamin E in the skin, while the presence of vitamin E makes vitamin C up to four times more effective.
Additionally, ferulic acid works to make vitamin C more stable -- more on that below -- and more easily absorbed into the skin. By keeping the formulation at a pH level below 3.5, ferulic acid also ensures that vitamin C remains in its most effective state.
This overview of the role antioxidants play in skincare goes over this dynamic trio in more detail.
How to Add Topical Vitamin C into Your Daily Routine
Look for serum formulations containing ascorbic acid.
Ascorbic acid, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is the most stable and effective version of vitamin C used in skincare. Serum formulas take this ingredient to new heights, as manufacturers are able to increase the concentration of vitamin C in a way that absorbs into the skin quickly. Take advantage of these benefits by applying your serum right after you wash your face and before you layer on your moisturizer.
You’ll also want to look for products that list ascorbic acid or other vitamin C formulations as one of the first five ingredients on the ingredients list; this shows that it makes up a large percentage of the overall formula.
Choose products with the right packaging.
Packaging matters, and not just for the aesthetics. For active, unstable ingredients like vitamin C, you’ll need to take extra precautions to make sure that your serum doesn’t lose its effectiveness.
Because vitamin C is relatively unstable compared to other skincare ingredients, contact with light or air can break down its molecules. To counteract this, choose packaged products that limit the amount of sunlight or oxygen that gets into it. Think dark UV-resistant bottles, pump containers, and air-restrictive packaging. If your serum comes in a dropper bottle, keep it tightly closed between applications.
And if your product changes color? Most likely it has already oxidized. It won’t be harmful to your skin, but it won’t be as effective either.
Introduce it gradually into your routine.
Because vitamin C is a relatively acidic formulation -- going lower than 3.5 pH in some formulations -- it can be irritating for more sensitive skin types.
Patch test your vitamin C product on the inside of your wrist first to make sure that you’re not allergic to it. If you find no signs of irritation after 24 hours, gradually incorporate it into your routine by applying it every other day.
However, you may find that applying it on alternate days still causes a bit of irritation. In this case, consider mixing it with a light moisturizer to dilute its strength until your skin builds a tolerance to it.
Use vitamin C products consistently for best results.
Apply your vitamin C serum at least once every day, and even twice a day if you want to see results quicker. Use it in your morning routine to capitalize on its UV-protecting capabilities, or apply it at night if your skin finds it slightly irritating.
Remember: Vitamin C works in part by jumpstarting the skin cell turnover process, so it will take some time for new skin cells to replace the old ones. But stick to your routine, and soon enough, your dark spots will fade and your skin will appear younger and brighter.
As an antioxidant with almost-magical properties, vitamin C is a huge asset to any skincare regimen. However, not all formulations are made equal. Here are five reasons why people choose our C E Ferulic serum over other popular vitamin C products.