Notice If The Product Has Changed Color
Your vitamin C serum should be colorless or a light straw color, Dr. Hogan says. If it is oxidized, it becomes yellow or brown and is likely going to be less effective.
You can still use it if you want, but it wont do as much for your skin and, very rarely, oxidized vitamin C products can even cause slight yellow discoloration of the skin, Dr. Hogan says.
So consider getting rid of any vitamin C products that have dramatically changed color since you bought them. Especially if it is brown, I would say to toss it, Dr. Lamb says.
What To Look For
You can maximize the benefits of vitamin C by combining it with other antioxidants. This works best with vitamin E and ferulic acid, says Chapas. Together, they have optimal absorption benefits when it comes to anti-aging, skin brightening, and protection against free radical damage.
It also plays well with vitamin B and hyaluronic acid. However, do not mix vitamin C with a retinol or niacinamide, because the pH levels are incompatible, says Wexler. If you want to use both, she suggests waiting half an hour between applications.
Also worth noting: Vitamin C is notoriously prone to oxidizing. It can break down when its exposed to light or air, says Chapas. Always check expiration dates on your products, and if you notice a sour smell or discoloration, its most likely breaking down.
Here are some of our favorite products for getting vitamin C into your skin care routine.
BeautyRx Skincare Triple Vitamin C Serum
With three different forms of vitamin C, the formula delivers major brightening and anti-aging benefits. Plus, it feels weightless on skin.
InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum
One of the most affordable serums on the market, this formula includes vitamins C and E, ferulic acid and hyaluronic acid offering you the most brightness for your buck.
Farmacy Very Cherry Bright 15% Clean Vitamin C Serum
This lightweight, natural serum delivers vitamin C derived from cherries, sinks in fast, and even smells like its namesake fruit.
Summer Fridays CC Me Vitamin C Serum
How To Combine Vitamin C Retinol And Hyaluronic Acid
Unless your skincare routine doesnt go beyond using the most basic cleanser and moisturizer , theres already a strong possibility that youre using vitamin C, retinol and/or hyaluronic acid to help keep your skin looking its best. These popular ingredients can be found in loads of skincare products and offer compelling complexion benefits. To find out how to use them together, we consulted with board-certified dermatologists and Skincare.com consultants Dr. Erin Gilbert, Dr. Dendy Engelman, and Dr. Ted Lain.
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How Much Vitamin C Should You Have Every Day
Vitamin C is essential for the body, but having too much of it may cause issues, such as diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, etc. That is why, it is not advisable to consume more than the recommended daily intake.
Recommended daily intake for teens in the age group of 14-18 is 65-75mg of Vitamin C. For adults aged 19 and older, intake of 75-90 mg of Vitamin C is recommended. Pregnant women and breastfeeding women need more intake for obvious reasons, so they can consume up to 120 mg of Vitamin C.
For kids, the requirement of Vitamin C is very less. For kids aged 1-3, 15mg of Vitamin C daily is enough. For slightly older kids in the age group of 4-8, 25mg Vitamin C intake is sufficient. For adolescents from age 9 to 13, 45mg of Vitamin C intake is recommended.
How Does Retinol Work
Retinol, a form of vitamin A, aids the body in cellular turnover which is the biological process by which our bodies are prompted to shed skin cells and regenerate new skin cells. Its the process responsible for ridding our old, dead, dull skin cells and replacing them with new, strong, radiant cells.
Our surface skin cells have been through a lot. Every day, they face pollution, dirt, debris, and grime… all factors that leave our skin cells dry, flaky, discolored, and anything but desirable. Studies have shown that air pollutants are actually linked to a number of skin conditions, like eczema, skin aging, dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis.
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Factors To Consider Before Using Vitamin C Serum
Before you apply a vitamin C serum, remember to follow the instructions given on the products label.
Its vital to check the products expiry date. You also want to ensure the bottle is opaque and airtight, and that the products formulation is water-free. Why? No water means no bacteria, so no preservatives, hence a better product.
If the product has a dark color or a different color, its likely oxidized. And though harmless, oxidized vitamin C no longer carries the same benefits.
Also keep in mind that the best way to use vitamin C serum is to apply it once or twice a day. And a good skincare process starts with cleansing, followed by toning, applying vitamin C serum, and then moisturizing.
Its safe to use it alongside other active ingredients except for niacinamide, which reduces vitamin C effects.
Should You Use Vitamin C With Hyaluronic Acid
The simple answer is yes. Its okay to layer the two products but ensure you leave enough time for each of them to dry before applying the next one.
And if youre wondering which one you should apply first, remember the rule of thumb to go from the thinnest to the thickest. So if your HA serum is slightly thicker like mine is, then start with the vitamin C.
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Can I Just Crush Vitamin C Tablets And Use That Instead Of The Powder
I realize that not everyone has vitamin C powder lying around, but I dont recommend crushing up vitamin C tablets you may have at home and using that instead. Vitamin C is an unstable molecule that is affected by light, heat and air, so its extremely important to store it properly in a cool, dry place. If the vitamin c oxidizes, there are no more benefits to the skin.
Powdered vitamin C is better and more stable, which is why its becoming a popular ingredient for DIY skin care made at home.
When To Use Vitamin C Serum: Day Or Night
Since weve covered a lot of the Hows and Whys, it seems to be moment for a When. There are always questions about when and what time of day to apply the various beauty products and in what order. Well, as we mentioned above in #1, you should first wash your face and apply toner, if thats part of your routine.
Then, you can apply your serum and let it set before moving on to your moisturizer with SPF, or your night cream. You can use your serum at any time, day or night, but if you apply your vitamin c products in the evening, you can sleep easy knowing that your serum is working its magic while you dream.
Whether you use it everyday in the morning, at night, or both, your skin says thanks for the love.
In addition to the products we put on our face, its important to remember that there are also simple and effective treatments we often overlook, even though theyre literally at our fingertips. One idea is a do-it-yourself face-massage!
Side effects may include a sense of overall relaxation, loss of headache, and sensation that you should have been doing this every day of your life. Massage can improve blood flow and stimulate the cells that help produce certain connective tissues like elastin and collagen, and as you probably already know, both of those aid in keeping the skin firm. Its advice thats actually easy to take.
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How Do You Make Homemade Vitamin C Serum
Eat Your Fruits And Vegetables
Its not all about lotions and serums. The vitamin C in food helps promote healthy skin, too. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, kiwis and strawberries are all packed with the stuff.
Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin C and Skin Health.
American Osteopathic College of Dermatology: Hyperpigmentation.
The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology: Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications.
Harvard Health Publishing/Harvard Medical School: Skin Serum: What it Can and Cant do.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Dietary Nutrient Intakes and Skin-aging Appearance Among Middle-aged American Women.
Cedars-Sinai: Collagen for Your Skin: Healthy or Hype?
Nutrients: The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health.
Harvard Health Publishing/Harvard Medical School: Finding the Right Serum for Your Skin.
Cleveland Clinic: Understanding the Ingredients in Skin Care Products.
Mayo Clinic: Wrinkle Creams: Your Guide to Younger Looking Skin.
National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin C Fact Sheet for Health Professionals.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Vitamin C To Take
Might Lighten Dark Spots
Vitamin C-based skin care products may lighten patches that are darker than the rest of your skin, called hyperpigmentation. In one study, vitamin C applied to the skin for 16 weeks significantly cut down on these spots. But experts say it will take more research to confirm how well vitamin C creams work.
The Benefits Of Retinol And Vitamin C
Retinol and Vitamin C were basically made to anti-age. Retinol stimulates collagen production, the protein responsible for giving our skin its firmness and suppleness, while Vitamin C essentially provides the glue that holds cells together when collagen is produced. As a combination, Retinol and Vitamin C support collagen production to give us youthful skin with minimal fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and blemishes.
Consistent and proper use of Retinol and vitamin C can benefit your skin by:
Treating acne and acne scars
Providing anti-aging effects by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
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How To Use Vitamin C Serum In Your Skin Care Routine
Vitamin C serum is ‘The’ buzzing product in skincare. Vitamin C is an ingredient in skincare that has been used in various formulations and products. From your moisturiser to night creams, vitamin C is used in many forms. But, the serum remains the favourite. The best part- it can be applied underneath your favourite products to make them work more effectively.
You might have heard people using vitamin C serums and wondered why the serum form is so popular? Well, the reason for that lies in the formulation of the serums. Serums are in a concentrated form and are most likely to tackle a specific skin issue, in most case signs of skin ageing. They come in dropper bottles so you can really limit how much quantity you use, which you don’t need to use much.
Now that you know why vitamin C in serum form is preferred, the next question arises is how to use vitamin C serum the right way. And we are here to tell you that exactly. Before that, let us look at the benefits of vitamin C which make the serum this potent.
Is It Safe To Use Vitamin C In Skincare During Pregnancy
With all the no-nos you run up against while pregnant, were happy to tell you that, yes, you can use vitamin C serums while pregnant, as well as other vitamin C skincare formulations. In order for it to become harmful in any way, youd have to apply 100 to 200 times the recommended daily dose on your product labelsand youd likely need to use many, many vitamin C skincare products simultaneously to reach that amount.
“Vitamin C is a great and safe ingredient to use while pregnant, confirms Dr. Nazarian. Thankfully, its a super safe ingredient, and works well with other products in most basic skincare regimens, such as sunscreen.
She goes on to explain that both vitamin C and sunscreen will protect against premature aging and oxidative stressors in the environment. And advises looking for reputable, research-backed brands and products that are formulated for sensitive skin. Always be sure to use sunscreenas you should every day, year-roundsince topical vitamin C can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and UV damage.
Every pregnancy is different. Be sure to consult with a healthcare provider about your circumstances if you have any questions about using vitamin C skincare while pregnant.
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Do I Need To Introduce It Into My Skincare Routine Slowly
While some more potentially irritating skincare ingredients like retinol require a slow introduction to your skincare routine, vitamin C doesnt require quite as much caution. Though vitamin C isnt a common irritant for most skin types, DuPéré still advises using products infused with the ingredients just a few times a week to start with and working up to a daily routine.
If you feel a slight tingling sensation upon application, its completely normal. Vitamin C can be used on all skin types but because the PH of the product is low, sometimes it can have a slight stinging sensation, says Humphrey. with sensitive skin may feel that more than others, but all patients can benefit from adding a vitamin C into their regime. It just comes down to finding the formulation thats best for your skin.
Dont Limit Yourself To Serums
The most common way to get vitamin C in a skin-care routine is in a serum. But you dont have to limit yourself! If youd rather not add an extra step to your regimen, know that you can also get vitamin C in cleansers, moisturizers, exfoliants, and even sunscreens, Dr. Hogan says.
Some of her favorite non-serum ways to get vitamin C include Ole Henriksen the Clean Truth Foaming Cleanser , Clinique Fresh Pressed Pure Vitamin C Powder , and Revision Vitamin C Lotion 30% .
All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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Choose The Right Concentration
Identifying the right concentration for your skin type is essential to how effective your topical vitamin C will be, says New York City dermatologist Dr. Patricia Wexler. “Begin with a low concentration of 10% and increase to 15% or 20% as tolerated,” she instructs. For oily or normal skin, L-ascorbic acid is the most potent form of vitamin C and can be the most beneficial, while for dry and sensitive skin, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, a water-soluble vitamin C, is less irritating.
Protects Against Uv Damage
Along with your daily sunscreen, the antioxidant action of vitamin C can help protect your skin against UV rays emitted by the sun and blue light, as well as pollution. It does this by neutralizing free radicals , which, left unchecked, can result in premature skin aging, like fine lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation. Bottom line: the beauty of vitamin C in skincare is that it can help both repair and defend your skin.
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Make Sure To Store Your Vitamin C Products Correctly
In topical skin-care products, vitamin C is sensitive to light and air. When exposed to these factors, it becomes oxidized to dehydroascorbic acid, which is less stable and less efficacious, Dr. Hogan explains. So these products should be stored in opaque containers that are either air-restrictive or air-tight, she says, like an airless pump rather than a tub or dropper bottle that requires being opened all the way.
Luckily, many vitamin C products already come in opaque containers for this exact reason, Dr. Lamb says.
How Vitamin C Works For Youthful Skin
Vitamin C is one of natures amazing and naturally occurring antioxidants in nature. While plants can synthesize the vitamin C into useful form, our bodies cannot because we are missing the enzyme L-glucono-gamma lactone oxidase that is required for the synthesis of vitamin C.
That is why we have to obtain our vitamin C from citrus fruits, strawberries, raspberries, papaya and vegetables, like leafy greens and broccoli. Sailors knew this having carried vitamin C-rich foods during their travels to help them avoid scurvy and other diseases. Eating forms of vitamin C is definitely crucial in good health, but absorption of it is limited.
Therefore, applying a DIY vitamin C serum topically can be of great benefit to the skin and can become a part of your natural skin care routine.
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How To Apply Vitamin C Serum
Follow these steps for vitamin C serum application: