How To Use Vitamin C Correctly For Better Looking Skin
Vitamin C can do a lot for your skin, from working as an antidote against dark spots to giving your skin UV protection. But choosing the right type of vitamin C serum and deciding how you use it and how you store it, will significantly determine how much good it will do your skin.
According to a leading dermatologist, vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant molecule capable of brightening dark spots, smoothing fine wrinkles and giving protection against free radicals and environmental pollution, including UV radiation. Free radical exposure is the leading cause of skin damage, including premature signs of ageing and cancer over time. Therefore, combining the daily use of Sun Protection Factor (SPF) and a product containing vitamin C is vital for healthy skin.
Not all vitamin C products are the same, so always read the label instead of just the bold headline. Some serums are finicky to use while others can be irritating, especially if you are battling sensitive skin. Before you go out to shop for your next vitamin C product, read the rest of this article to get some ideas on how to get the most out of it.
#1. Make Vitamin C Part Of Your Morning Routine
There is no hard and fast rule to say you can only use vitamin C serum in the morning. You’re perfectly free to use it before bedtime if you wish. However, use it in the morning and you’ll get the antioxidant benefit and UV protection when the sun is shining during the day. Apply your serum and allow time for your skin to absorb it before heading out. Vitamin C is sensitive to light. That’s why you need to wait until it’s fully absorbed.
#2. Use Vitamin C At The Right Point In Your Routine
According to skincare specialists, the sequence in which you use your skincare products is important. For example, it’s best to apply your vitamin C serum straight after cleansing and before moisturising. On the other hand, if your moisturiser contains vitamin C as an antioxidant ingredient, it makes sense to apply the serum at the end of your routine.
#3. Pick The Right Vitamin C Concentration For Your Skin Type
The concentration of vitamin C in beauty products can range from as low as 5% right up to 30%. This is important to know, as Vitamin C is one of those ingredients which will have different effects at different concentrations. Lower concentrations of around 5% will work for people with sensitive or dry skin without becoming irritating. However, if you have oily skin or darker pigmentation, the higher concentration products will serve you better. There isn’t much noticeable difference when vitamin C concentration exceeds 20%, so there’s usually no need to go higher.
#4. Take Care To Avoid Mixing Vitamin C With Certain Ingredients
Most people can tolerate vitamin C, and it is a pretty safe ingredient. If you have skin that’s a bit sensitive, you may need to keep an eye on the other ingredients you use along with it. For example, you may find using exfoliating acids or scrubs together with vitamin C causes a slight stinging sensation.
Benzoyl peroxide is one ingredient you should avoid using together with vitamin C. An oxidising reaction between vitamin C and benzoyl can make it less potent. Don’t think you have to ditch all your products containing benzoyl peroxide; just make sure you’re not using them in the same part of your routine as the vitamin C. Using vitamin C in the morning and benzoyl peroxide in the evenings is perfectly fine, for example.
#5. Store Your Vitamin C Products Correctly
Vitamin C is one of the most sensitive molecules you will find in amongst the ingredients in your skincare products. For that reason, you need to store it correctly to maintain its efficacy. Protect your topical products from the sun and air to avoid oxidisation to dehydroascorbic acid, a less stable molecule.
Always make sure your product comes in an opaque container and keep it away from the window sill and direct sunlight. Airtight containers with a pump are better than containers with droppers or a tub, so always bear this in mind when you go shopping.
#6. Consider The Overall Formulation Of Your Product
Some types of vitamin C are more stable than others and will not oxidise as quickly. It’s also the case that different types will suit certain skin types better than others. For example:
- L-ascorbic acid and ascorbyl phosphate – water-soluble types of vitamin C commonly found in lighter products are perfectly suited to oily skin.
- Ascorbyl palmitate and tetrahexyldecyl – lipid-soluble vitamin C is more moisturising and therefore ideal for dry and mature skin.
Always read the small print on your product labels so that you pick the right vitamin C product for your skin type.
#7. Keep An Eye Out For Colour Changes
Vitamin C serum is either colourless or a light straw colour under normal circumstances. When it oxidises, it changes colour to brown or yellow and loses its effectiveness. You won’t come to any harm if you continue to use it, but you may not receive its full benefit. Generally, it’s safer to err on the side of caution and toss any products which have been in your bathroom cabinet for long.
Vitamin C is one of a handful of powerful skincare ingredients you can find in topical skin products today. However, you’ll only enjoy the benefits if you follow the tips in this article. If you’d like to improve your skin’s appearance and supplement your beauty regime, Vinci Aesthetics can help. Get in touch with our skincare specialists to help you get your skincare routine on point, or book a free consultation and choose one of our treatments.