Vitamin C and Your Skin: Why Include It in Your Skincare Routine?

If you have even a passing interest in skincare, you’ve probably heard of vitamin C. It is often called the holy grail of skincare ingredients, one that can produce dramatic results. Whether it is fine lines, rough texture, uneven skin tone, acne scars, dryness, or dullness, a vitamin C serum can improve just about any skin imperfection. Today, we’re exploring all the benefits of this legendary ingredient – what it is, how it works, and what makes it so effective. We’ll also give you some tips on how to choose and use the right vitamin C skincare products.

What is a vitamin C skin serum?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally found in many fruits and vegetables. It is known to be a potent antioxidant and immunity booster. That’s why you see so many immune and “cold fighting” supplements filled with vitamin C.

Vitamin C also has a remarkable impact on your skin. It is present in high concentrations in both the epidermis and dermis (the upper and middle layers of skin). With age, however, the vitamin C content of the skin declines. Exposure to UV light, environmental toxins, pollutants, and cigarette smoke can lower vitamin C levels in the skin.

The body cannot make vitamin C, so you have to get it from your diet. But here’s the thing. Even if you’re eating a well-balanced, healthy diet, there’s no guarantee that the vitamin C in your food will go straight to your skin. A vitamin C serum is a topical product that you apply directly to the skin. It is the easiest and most direct way to reap the benefits of vitamin C for your skin.

How does vitamin C benefit my skin?

Vitamin C works to make your skin healthy and beautiful in many different ways. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C protect the skin against UV damage. This doesn’t mean you can replace your sunblock cream with a vitamin C serum. You need to continue using sunscreen to block UV rays. However, using a vitamin C serum can help reduce the harm caused by the UV light that does get into the skin.

Studies have shown that vitamin C serums applied to the skin can help to fade hyperpigmentation (age spots and sun spots). Vitamin C can also reduce other signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. Topical products containing vitamin C can give you a more even skin tone and brighten your complexion. This is because vitamin C works as a scavenger alongside other antioxidants like vitamin E, disposing of toxic free radicals in the skin that are formed due to exposure to environmental pollutants and UV radiation. This is the property of vitamin C that makes it such an effective anti-aging product.

But that’s not all. Vitamin C hydrates the skin and boosts collagen production. Collagen is the protein that gives the skin its smooth appearance and keeps it from sagging. Vitamin C has been shown to promote wound healing, also by contributing to collagen formation. Mild to moderate acne scars as well as surgical scars can benefit from a vitamin C application.

As you can see, vitamin C is a multi-tasking workhorse that can protect, repair, and rejuvenate your skin.

The type of vitamin C you use is important

There are literally hundreds of vitamin C topical products on the market. But not all vitamin C serums are created equal.

Form: You should choose a skincare product that contains L-ascorbic acid or THD ascorbate. These are the most stable forms of vitamin C (THD ascorbate more so than L-ascorbic acid). They are the most active forms of ascorbic acid and have shown the maximum benefits for the skin based on research. Some other forms of vitamin C, such as ascorbyl palmitate or magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, may not be as effective.

Concentration: Look for serums that contain at least 10-20 percent vitamin C. A higher concentration (30%) is even better. Lower concentrations may not produce a noticeable improvement in your skin. But any higher than this and it could irritate your skin.

Combinations: A product that contains additional antioxidant ingredients like vitamin E (tocopherol) and coenzyme Q10 can boost your skin health and appearance even more.

Packaging: Your vitamin C serum needs to be kept away from light and air. Look for products that come in dark or tinted packaging and provide airless delivery.

The Revision Skincare line ticks all the boxes, which is our go-to for Vitamin C here at Pittman Plastic Surgery. Formulated for daily use, the Vitamin C Lotion 30%, for example, can improve fine lines and smoothness, reduce photodamage, and enhance overall skin radiance. What’s more, it is safe and suitable for all skin types, including dry, oily, and combination skins.

How to use vitamin C topical products?

You should apply your vitamin C serum after cleansing your skin and before applying your moisturizing lotion and sunscreen. Always test a new product on a small patch of skin first before applying it to the whole face. Don’t be alarmed if the vitamin C serum stings a little or makes your skin mildly red. These effects will go away with continued use.

Be careful about using vitamin C skincare products with other products that can irritate the skin, such as retinol. Ask our aesthetician, Tabatha, to give you recommendations. For instance, she may recommend using vitamin C and retinol on alternate days.

Store your vitamin C serum carefully to maintain its potency. Be sure to seal the lid tightly and store the package in a cool, dry, dark place.

Don’t forget to eat your fruits and veggies

Don’t restrict yourself to using skincare products containing vitamin C. Remember, nutrition plays a big role in skin health. The vitamin C in your diet promotes healthy skin, so be sure to include lots of fruits and vegetables. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis, broccoli, spinach, red peppers, and tomatoes.