We’ve always been reminded to take our vitamins especially Vitamin C. As a kid, you’d wonder why your mom would always insist this on you aside from eating fruits and vegetables. Little did we know ingesting Vitamin C boosts the immune system to keep us safe from sickness as our bodies then are still in the process of development.
The recommended daily amount for vitamin C for adults is 65 to 90 milligrams (mg) a day, and the upper limit is 2,000 mg a day.
Couple of years later, you found out that Vitamin C is not just the orange-sweet syrup or tablet you always take to fight flu or common cold but it is now an essential ingredient being hyped as a wonder ingredient in skincare. In fact, interest in Vitamin C serums has sky-rocketed in recent years.
Through constant research, Vitamin C, also known as the powerhouse ingredient, is not only beneficial inside of our bodies, but is also helpful on the outside when applied topically. Talk about that total package.
Our skin protects us from the harsh environment, a shield frommechanical and chemical threats, pathogens, ultraviolet rays and even dehydration. Since it is exposed to these factors, it is where signs of aging are visible.
Vitamin C is one of the ingredients in topical creams that will help lighten the skin when hyperpigmentation occurs. When the skin ages or gets photodamaged, Vitamin C levels on the skin becomes lower, that’s why you need to put it back as much as you can, whether incorporating it in your skincare routine or taking it orally.
Popular artists like Lady Gaga and Halle Berry to name a few swear by using it.
Vitamin C can’t do it alone though, it is of course recommended to keep a healthy lifestyle as well.
Vitamin C is no doubt an antioxidant. In fact, it is considered one of the most powerful out there. It helps stimulate collagen production which improves the skin’s quality and texture. No wonder it greatly helps with acne scars as well.
It also reverses skin cell damage which helps in making the skin firm (prevents fine lines and wrinkles), brightens skin and fade dark spots. It fights free radical damage, repairs skin from the harmful effects of the UV rays and sun exposure, and adds an extra layer of protection from these elements. Just to clarify, it doesn’t mean that Vitamin C serums are replacements for sunscreen. Vitamin Chelps boost the deeper layers of your skin, while sunscreen would protect the top layer.
Not only does it help with those skin issues, but It also works best for stretch marks.
Some studies also say that Vitamin C prevents an enzyme called tyrosinase. Which converts tyrosine into melanin, which blocks hyperpigmentation.
When you see Vitamin C or Ascorbic acid on your skin product ingredients list, you don’t have to worry as it is safe, gentle and effective.
However, it is always best to patch test your Vitamin C as you would with any new product. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding for instance, you may also want to consult your doctor first before trying any product on or including something new in your skin care routine. It never hurts to be on the safe side!
There are actually different types of Vitamin C and the most common ones are L-Ascorbic acid,Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Glucosamine, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate and Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate. The reason why there are a lot of Vitamin C derivatives is because they have been processed to make them more stable and less likely to irritate the skin.
Vitamin C serums are acidic, which means that they slough off dead skin cells, leaving the surface smoother and brighter.
It could be the most expensive product in your beauty cabinet because of its instability in its purest form and should be combined with other ingredients to make it stable, like Vitamin E and Ferulic acid. However, not all Vitamin C’s are equal. There are some which has high and low quality or cheap and expensive ones.
It is best to choose one which is formulated without silicones, artificial fragrance, dyes, or preservatives. No animal derived ingredients and is vegan friendly.
Vitamin C serums are used to promote collagen synthesis. They are usually in high concentration to penetrate the skin and target skin issues like hyperpigmentation and acne scars. Concentration simply means the strength of the acid.
The best Vitamin C serum would have a concentration of about 10%-15% or even 20% of L-Ascorbic acid, but if you’re just starting out, it would be best to start with a lower concentration since higher concentration can cause more irritation. Concentration is important but the best Vitamin C serums out there would usually combine it with Vitamin E and Ferulic acid, which are equally potent, increases its value rather than just increasing the concentration alone.
As it is a potent stuff, you would need only a few drops for each application.
It is also important to look for Vitamin C serums which has a lower pH level, around 3-5, so that you’ll be sure that it will be absorbed by the deeper layers of the skin. However, a lower pH level means that it is more acidic, which is not suitable for those who have sensitive skin.
The color of the best Vitamin C serum should be very light and clear.
Whenever you see that the color changes to something yellowish to orange then to brown, it means that it has already oxidized (more like when rust occurs or when a sliced apple turns brown when exposed to air). When this happens, that will be your clue to replace it which should be around every 6 months. However, if you use it regularly as your skin care regimen, then your bottle wouldn’t even last this long.
Another characteristic of the best Vitamin C serum is its smell. which is typically odorless. If it smells sour or rancid, that’s no good.
Vitamin C in its purest form is highly effective yet a tricky ingredient to formulate with as it is unstable due to its properties andexposure to oxygen, light, water and high pH.
You’ll often see thebest Vitamin C serum which contains L-Ascorbic acid stored in dark, brown or amber-colored containers which are airtight. Put the cap back on as soon as you can and make sure that it’s screwed on tight to avoid air from seeping in.
You also need to note that it should be stored in a cool and dark place. This is important to maintain its stability.
There are arguments as to when would be the best time to apply Vitamin C to be most effective. Some experts said that it should be applied at night to help the skin to repair itself. Some said it should be during the day to help fight free radical damage which we accumulate throughout the day.
Well, the answer is… (drum roll)it doesn’t matter! The most important thing to note is that you remember to use it. Using it on a daily basis can benefit your skin. If you’re just starting out, use it every other day with about 3-5 drops for the entire face.
When you pat it on your face, make sure as well that your hands are clean! Another tip is to apply it on your neck to benefit from the same skincare you give your face.
Remember that it could take some time before you see its effectiveness, so patience and consistency plays a big role here. On average, it could take about 1-3 months but still, results do vary from person to person.
There are no known harmful side effects of Vitamin C except the occasional breakouts, redness or irritation which could be a result of a formulation which does not suit your skin or if you have allergies or a sensitive skin type. In this case, you can always try another brand or formulation.
Again, doing a patch test is important to see how your skin will react to it and it is also advisable to check on the list of ingredients first to ensure that you are not sensitive or allergic to any of them.
Watch out for other serums you may have heard of, they could contain an ingredient called Propylene Glycol-- which is not good. This ingredient has been shown to cause allergic reactions to people with skin conditions like eczema, and some studies show that there was a toxic effect when propylene glycol was applied to the skin multiple times.
Avoid mixing together with retinol (Vitamin A) or niacinamide (Vitamin B3) for best effect since these ingredients may cancel each other out. The reaction can also cause redness.
(You can still use them, but wait an hour or more in between application).
There are many Vitamin C serums out there which promises a lot of things. We hope that this article will help you in finding the right formulation that suits your skin type and is worth your money. Listen to what your skin tells you, you will never go wrong.
Maintain a positive outlook in life and if one product doesn’t suit you, move on and find another. It’s more of a trial and error thing until you get to see your match. Most importantly, as much as you would like to see results, be patient! Patience is really a virtue and good things come to those who wait.
Now you know what to look for in a Vitamin C serum which will give you the best results, have you already picked the best Vitamin C serum for your skin?
What Vitamin C serum are you using with your skin care regimen? Feel free to share them down below the comments!
Meanwhile, stay awesome, perfect beauties!