Vitamin C isn’t just for your immune system; it also has many benefits for your skin.
If you’re looking for ways to even your skin tone, reduce free radical damage and promote collagen production, look no further than this beneficial ingredient.
We’ll give you a quick overview of exactly what vitamin C is, our favorite vitamin C serum benefits and how you can use the product most effectively.
Okay, so what is vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a nutrient the body requires to help its tissues grow, develop and repair themselves. However, as crucial as it is, our bodies can’t make it on their own, and we need to supplement it through our diet — either through foods like oranges or a vitamin supplement.
When using vitamin C for the skin, the ingredient doesn’t come from fresh fruits and vegetables and is created synthetically in a lab. That doesn’t make it any less effective, though!
Regardless of where it's made, vitamin C functions as an antioxidant. Its main job is to protect the body against dangerous free radicals, which are unstable molecules that float around inside the body trying to find their missing electron.
Free radicals are formed due to several triggers, primarily chronic sun exposure and sun damage. If too many free radicals exist in the body, a process known as oxidative stress occurs, leading to harmful side effects such as illness and premature signs of aging.
Depending on the form of vitamin C, you may see it listed on an ingredient label using various names. Ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid (its most pure form) are common, as are derivatives like magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP), tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THD) and sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP).
Skin Pharm’s Glow Factor vitamin C serum is formulated with L-ascorbic acid. It comes with two components — serum and powder additive — that you compound yourself before using. (This ensures peak efficacy!)
Can I just eat oranges to get my vitamin C?
Because vitamin C is so prevalent in our foods, people often wonder if they can get the same skin-positive benefits by increasing the amount of vitamin C in their diet.
While there’s no argument that vitamin C is excellent for boosting immune system health, you won’t be able to get the same results by simply drinking more juice. Vitamin C needs to be applied directly to the skin for optimal benefits.
However, if you want to incorporate natural products into your skin care routine, you can start by rinsing your skin with lemon water. Doing this not only preps your skin but also gives it a quick boost of additional vitamin C before the main event.
What are the benefits of using a vitamin C serum?
While there are many vitamin C serum benefits, we focused on three that we believe are most impressive. Each has been backed by scientific research, so you can be confident you’re spending your money wisely.
1. EVENS YOUR SKIN TONE—
If you’re one of the many people who deal with hyperpigmentation, vitamin C may be able to help. Although it takes weeks of consistent use to see a difference, applying topical vitamin C can help slowly fade dark spots (areas of darker pigmentation) and redness, leaving you with an even skin tone.
Vitamin C can help with discoloration because it inhibits the production of an enzyme called tyrosinase, which is crucial in melanin production. Dark spots naturally become less and less visible with less melanin being produced.
2. PROMOTES COLLAGEN PRODUCTION—
As we age, our body’s production of collagen (the main protein that makes up the skin) naturally starts to slow down. Eventually, as our collagen stores get lower and lower, we notice an increase in the visibility of fine lines, wrinkles and other skin aging concerns.
Because of the role that vitamin C plays in collagen synthesis, one of the top vitamin C serum benefits is that it can promote collagen production. Increasing the amount of collagen in the skin is one of the best anti-aging techniques, as it can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and firm the skin.
3. BRIGHTENS YOUR COMPLEXION OVERALL—
In addition to helping reduce the appearance of age spots and other areas of hyperpigmentation, vitamin C can also help brighten the skin and counteract dullness. While it isn’t as strong as other exfoliants, like alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids, vitamin C can also help slough off dead skin cells and increase skin cell turnover. The skin then appears more radiant, healthier and brighter.
Is there anything you can’t use with vitamin C?
A skin care routine doesn’t consist of a single product with a single main ingredient. To create a quality routine that supports your skin and tackles your specific issues, you need a combination of products, such as a cleanser and hydrating moisturizer, with other targeted products filling it in (like toners and serums).
Unfortunately, not all of the ingredients used in those products play well together. If you’re planning to add vitamin C to your skin care routine, it’s also essential to know what ingredients you should avoid using.
Luckily, if you know how to incorporate them safely, there aren’t any off-limits ingredients. The main concern is that vitamin C can make the skin sensitive, especially if you’re new to the ingredient or using it in a high concentration.
This irritation is more pronounced in people with sensitive skin or using hydroxy acids (like glycolic acid or salicylic acid) or retinol. If you’re prone to sensitivity, use your vitamin C serum only once or twice a week and increase the frequency as your skin adjusts.
When using a vitamin C serum, it should always be applied after thoroughly cleansing your skin but before applying your moisturizer or sunscreen. Let each of your skin care products dry completely before using the next one to give them enough time to absorb.
Combine vitamin C with other antioxidants for an even more effective skin care routine
Although the vitamin C serum benefits are impressive, vitamin C tends to be unstable and quickly loses effectiveness when stored incorrectly. Combining your vitamin C serum with other skin care products that use vitamin E or ferulic acid increases its efficacy.
In addition, if you want to keep your vitamin C serum around as long as possible, make sure to store it in an air-tight, dark container out of direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.
Both sunlight and oxygen can break down vitamin C prematurely, which causes the serum to turn dark yellow, brown or orange. While this isn’t dangerous, it means that your vitamin C is likely not doing anything for your skin.
Don’t forget your sunscreen!
Yes, many vitamin C serum benefits reduce the signs of sun damage. However, as with most things in life, prevention is always the best treatment. Any time you’ll be out in the sun, even for short periods, wear sunscreen.
During our lives, we’re subjected to an immeasurable amount of ultraviolet radiation as a result of seemingly benign time spent outdoors. Unfortunately, while sunburn is uncomfortable, radiation's longer-term impact is the real issue.
If you want to prevent the onset of issues like premature aging, sunscreen is non-negotiable. Look for a sunscreen that protects the skin from UVA and UVB radiation, is water-resistant and has an SPF of at least 35. If you’re outdoors for more than an hour or two, if you’re in the water or sweating more than usual, reapply. It’s never too late to start taking care of your skin!
To wrap things up...
There is no doubt that the vitamin C serum benefits sound too good to be true. The great news is that there is plenty of scientific evidence to back them up! If you’d like to reduce the appearance of dark spots, increase the amount of collagen in your skin or make your skin appear healthier and more radiant, why not give a vitamin C serum a try?