You might be aware of some fruits and vegetables that contain Vitamin C, however ingesting Vitamin C isn’t the only way to benefit from this powerful vitamin. In fact, researchers have discovered that when it comes to healthy skin, topical vitamin C (something that you put directly onto the skin) is significantly more effective than consuming it.
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C—also known as ascorbic acid—is a water-soluble nutrient that plays an important role in keeping your skin healthy. Ascorbic acid is in a class also known as antioxidants. It is needed by the body to help wounds heal, to enhance the absorption of iron from plant foods, and to support the immune system. It works as an antioxidant to protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.
Vitamin C benefits for skin
- Promotes collagen production – As we get older, the collagen in our skin starts breaking down and decreases in production levels, which results in fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging
- Promotes a healthy skin barrier
- Helps reduce hyperpigmentation and dullness – it helps to decrease melanin formation to help brighten the skin
- Anti-inflammatory – it inhibits the protein complex that begins the inflammation process, making it great for healing acne and preventing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
- Protects from and treats UV damage – Vitamin C can protect against free radicals from UV exposure. It is in no way sunscreen and should always be applied before sunscreen.
Vitamin C: Skincare dermatologists recommend
Topical vitamin C is a science-backed, dermatologist-favorite ingredient because it can help with slowing the early signs of aging, prevent sun damage, improve the appearance of wrinkles, and dark spots, and a whole host of other benefits. Including brightening, firming, protection, and the ability to boost collagen production, leading it to have a plumping effect on the skin.
No matter which skin issues you might have, chances are that your routine could benefit from vitamin C. This anti-aging ingredient comes in a whole host of formulas from creams to serums, with serums notably being the most popular choice for people to weave into their current skincare routine. If you are someone who already has brown spots/hyperpigmentation on the skin due to too much sun exposure, red marks left behind from breakouts that don’t heal as quickly as they used to or your skin just lacks that ‘glow’ then you should definitely consider Vitamin C as a key ingredient to combat these issues.
Vitamin C serums are designed to deliver a high concentration of actives to the skin and are a great addition to add to current skincare routines. Start by incorporating it into your morning skincare routine 2-3 times a week, building up to using it daily. However, if you are someone with sensitive skin it might be beneficial to start mixing your serum with your moisturizer to deliver a more gentle formula to the skin and get your skin used to this new ingredient.
Vitamin C serums come in two forms: water-based and non-water-based. If you are someone with dry/sensitive skin it’s best to select a Vitamin C serum that is water-based because it’s easily absorbed and will help to hydrate the skin.
How to layer Vitamin C in your skincare routine?
It’s best to apply Vitamin C in the morning, because of its skin-protecting and antioxidant properties, meaning that it can help protect skin throughout the skin. It also very cleverly acts as a shield for backing up the protective effects of sunscreen, which is why layering Vitamin C in the morning is very important.
While vitamin C does not make the skin more vulnerable to sunburn, some more powerful forms of Vitamin C are vulnerable to light exposure, therefore the best way to use vitamin C is in the morning and before applying your SPF. By layering Vitamin C underneath your skin it will protect your skin even further because as we have learned Vitamin C helps to protect the skin against free radicals and damage that comes from UV light.
Niacinamide and Vitamin C
Niacinamide and Vitamin C are two trending and popular skincare products right now. Both offer the skin a range of benefits, which is why you can use them both together to maximize the powerful benefits both bring to your skin.
As always if you are ever unsure about a skincare ingredient/product and whether you should be including it in your skincare routine, always consult a doctor/expert in their field for professional advice.
Skincare ingredients not to mix with Vitamin C
As vitamin C is an ingredient that should be used as part of your morning skincare routine, it’s best to not use it alongside certain acid exfoliants. Vitamin C should not be used alongside or at a similar time to Retinol creams or serums (which are traditionally applied in the night, as part of an evening routine) in order to avoid any potential skin irritation and flare-ups.