When you sense a cold coming on, you search for vitamin C, but did you know it plays a role in delivering a smooth, radiant complexion as well?
In recent years, it's become a holy-grail object for the skin-obsessed.
Vitamin C is a hot subject and is buzzworthy since, according to many skincare experts, it has so many preventive and maintenance benefits.
Here, dive into everything about vitamin C serums you need to know, including why to use one, how to apply it, and what to look out for.
- It makes sun damage and surface pigment spots less visible and brightens dull, blotchy skin.
- It is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from irritation, inflammation and environmental pollution.
- It reduces red blotches left after spots by improving the skin’s natural healing process.
- It increases the effectiveness of sunscreen and gives the skin better protection from UV rays.
What is a Vitamin C Serum Exactly, and What’s In It?
A serum of vitamin C is a vitamin C-packed skincare product. It has the consistency of a gel or liquid and is topically applied to the skin. Wherever you usually buy skin-care items at department stores, cosmetics stores, and some drug stores, you'll find these serums. You'll probably see terms advertising skin benefits on the packaging, such as "firming," "brightening," and "collagen boosting". The main reason for adding a vitamin C serum to your skincare routine is to tap into those advantages.
Vitamin C's advantage is that it's an antioxidant, so it helps keep free radicals from developing, which begin to break down collagen and elastin. Glowing, youthful skin is the result.
For a cause, vitamin C serums are legendary: They really work. Uneven colour of the skin, rough texture, fine lines, acne marks, dullness in general. You can name just about any common complexion issue and there is a fair chance that a prescribed treatment is vitamin C (and the skin-care items in which it is featured). However, how does the ingredient work on the skin? Are the brighter, smoother results thanks to the same potent antioxidant found in the orange juice you drink when you have a cold?
Given that interest in the ingredient is seemingly at an all-time high, we felt a deeper dive into the wonders of vitamin C was warranted.
What really makes vitamin C such a sought-after skin-care ingredient, as well as the best ways to reap its many benefits?
First off, what is vitamin C?
As far as your skin is concerned, vitamin C is "a potent antioxidant that can neutralise free radicals". Vitamin C aids in the natural healing process of your skin due to its antioxidant properties, which helps your body regenerate damaged skin cells.
So, in the same way, that eating foods rich in antioxidants helps your body battle free radicals, topical antioxidants do the same for your skin by helping to offset everyday aggressors such as UV damage and air pollution exposure.
A fast refresher course on antioxidants: by neutralising the development of highly reactive molecules called free radicals, they stop or minimise damage to our cells. Antioxidants, in other words, help keep our body and our skin cells safe.
To help keep signs of premature ageing at bay, this free-radical-fighting power is not just necessary. Vitamin C can also help protect the skin from precancerous changes caused by UV exposure when neutralising these free radicals.
How else does vitamin C benefit the skin?
Amazingly, the skin-saving advantages of vitamin C are not restricted to its antioxidant status. It has plenty of other skin-healing properties that make your medicine cabinet worthy of a permanent position. For one, that when vitamin C is used topically, it is highly acidic, "the skin is caused to heal itself by speeding up the development of collagen and elastin."
Remember: Collagen and elastin are both naturally occurring protein fibres that help keep skin plump and firm. So, in helping to promote collagen production, topical vitamin C can help prevent premature ageing of the skin.
Another cool thing about the ingredient: it contains a property that prevents your skin from developing melanin, which is characterised as causing decolouration of the skin, such as dark spots and hyperpigmentation. With continued topical use, vitamin C will help avoid dark spots from forming in the first place.
It's a superior brightening agent that works to fade brown spots without altering normal skin pigmentation.
How can you add vitamin C into your daily skin-care routine?
"The key is not the vehicle that vitamin C comes in, but the form of vitamin C that is being applied,".
Ascorbic acid (also known as L-ascorbic acid), which is the most stable and efficient source of vitamin C in skincare, is the word to search for.
Having said that, dermatologists believe that serum is the best vitamin C skincare product to use, as "serums are more effective than creams or toners." Moreover, it is like a one-two punch of skin-saving goodness to add vitamin E into the mix.
"The most effective in breaching the skin barrier has consistently been shown to be pure ascorbic acid," When combined with other antioxidants, such as vitamin E, the effectiveness of vitamin C also increases, and together they can double the protection against free radical damage.
This is why the two antioxidants formulated together in serums, such as the willow trader vitamin c serum, are so commonly found.
Also, you'll note that both of these bottles of serum are dark and that's on purpose. When exposed to light or air, vitamin C actually breaks down, so dark glass bottles help preserve its stability and, thus, effectiveness.
Serums should be layered beneath the moisturiser, as a general rule.
If you are new to using this skin ingredient, we advise you to start slowly. "It's potent stuff, so you only need a few drops for each application,".
It's best to start out with a low concentration and work your way up as your skin grows more accustomed to the ingredient.
In general, five percent of serums are gentle enough for delicate skin, and you can go all the way up to 20 percent, which will work better to brighten and enhance the pigmentation of the skin. Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, and methylsilanol ascorbate are other sources of vitamin C that you may come across in skincare products.
Who should avoid vitamin C?
"Those with sensitive skin may suffer from vitamin C allergies or redness." We suggest that you start with a lower concentration if you happen to have sensitive skin, and also try a test area first to ensure that there is no allergy. Only then is it safe to keep on applying it at a greater vitamin C concentration?
How often should I use Vitamin C serum?
Vitamin C serum can be very potent and so with it being effective, it is only really necessary to use it twice a week before your moisturiser and after cleansing and toner. However, if you feel like you are not seeing any result then perhaps up the dosage to 3 times a week and around 5 drops.
Where should I store my vitamin c serum?
Vitamin c is an active ingredient so it is best kept in the fridge or a cool area so that its effectiveness lasts. however, if this is too tedious just keep it at room temperature. Essentially as long as the room is not warm your vitamin c will still be effective.
At what age should I start using vitamin c?
As soon as you start skincare. Not only is vitamin c serum great for anti-ageing it's also great for brightening and at any age, but brightening can also be super important in order to make yourself appear more awake.