What You Need to Know About Vitamin C
Let’s talk about Vitamin C! Over the last month or so I have been planning a little project. I wanted to create a blog series that would delve into the world of skincare ingredients. The purpose of these posts is to share an easy to digest fact sheet. For instance, talking about what the ingredient actually is, the benefits of using it and the ideal skin types or concerns it can help. These days it almost feels like you have to be a scientist to figure out what to put on your skin. Well I am here to make a little easier.
But to also put this information into a simplistic form. Because guess what I am no scientist either. I am just a normal girl who has had to learn as much as I can about skin to help it the best ways possible. So I wanted to start this series with an ingredient that is hot commodity at the moment. Vitamin C. You may have noticed it everywhere. But it may have got you thinking ‘what is Vitamin C and do I really need it?’
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, and it has more traits than just helping your skin. It is a key nutrient to keeping your body healthy including protecting cells and healing. But it also helps to keep bones, blood vessels and cartilage healthy and above all keeps your skin healthy.
When we talk about Vitamin C in skincare, its main purpose is an antioxidant to protect your skin from free radicals and pollutants in the air. But it is also a collagen builder. This means our skin is encouraged to make more collagen and elastin. Which ultimately means Vitamin C has great anti-aging properties.
You may also see products using the term L-Ascorbic Acid. Don’t be put off by this, it is still Vitamin C. But this name tends to be used on serums with a stronger formula. Usually the formula will have between 10-20% vitamin C. Serums with Vitamin C between these two percentages tend to be more effective. Anything lower than 8% will not be worth using and anything over 20% will more likely cause irritation.
Benefits of Vitamin C
Secondly, there are many benefits to using Vitamin C which makes it a desirable product to use. Some of the key benefits include:
- Fights free radical damage
- Improves skin tone and texture
- Reduces inflammation
- Stimulates collagen production
- Reverses sun damaged skin
- Brightens skin
- Fades hyperpigmentation/acne scars
Who Should Use it
Due to Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties anybody can use it without much irritation. However some people may experience irritation. Firstly, if you have dry, dehydrated or sensitive skin, you may need to find a lighter Vitamin C serum. You could choose a serum that has a percentage under 10% or you could mix a smaller amount of your favourite serum with some moisturiser to dilute the serum.
Secondly, there is a few skin concerns that you may have that you may want consider using Vitamin C for. If you find yourself with dark spots from skin damage. It can also be a good ingredient to help reverse this damage. Another skin concern you may want to tackle, is related to your overall complexion. Do you find yourself with dull, tired looking skin? Or is your youthful glow started to fade? With its anti-aging and brightening properties it may be just what you need.
How to Use it
During my research of wanting to add Vitamin C to my own routine. I found conflicting information of when is the best time of day to apply the ingredient. A few considerations I found was:
- Using it twice a day (day/evening)
- Every 8 hours
- Morning only
- Applying after UV exposure
This is when it becomes more apparent that you must tailor your routine to what works for you. A process of trial and error. Likewise, for myself I have chosen to just use it in my morning routine. As its a antioxidant, it made sense to me to protect my skin for the day ahead. However I’ve excluded it from my evening routine as I use Retinol, and Vitamin C should NOT be mixed with Rentoids. But some of you may find your skin will react better with one of the other methods.
More importantly, you must remember to use SPF if you use Vitamin C. As may experience some sun sensitivity.
What Products Should I Use?
If you choose to add this ingredient to your routine there is a few things you must be aware of. You should keep your product in a cool place that is also away from direct sunlight. Most serums are clear or yellow. However if you start noticing discolouration, for example a clear serum turning yellow or a yellow formula turning brown/orange. So I am afraid this means your product is no longer worth using and should be binned.
There are various styles of products you can purchase with Vitamin C. The most powerful and effective is a serum. The one I am currently using is this Fresh Vitamin Nectar. There are, however, a few others you may wish to concider, like the Sunday Riley C.E.O. Serum and the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum. You will also find Vitamin C products in the form of cleanser, toners and moisturisers. Or even masks like this Evolve Beauty Radiant Glow Mask.
If you would like to add this vitamin into your life naturally also. The best way is through your diet, here is a great article on the best fruit and veg high in the Vit-C.
Vitamin C Fact Sheet
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I hope you enjoyed this post, I have many more ingredients to share with you guys. I can’t wait to have a little skincare encyclopaedia on the go. To sum up, let me know in the comments below if you are now going to add Vitamin C to your skincare routine?
To see my previous post – 3 of My Current Skincare Goals for 2020 – Click Here