Which Vitamin C Serums To Buy Dermatologists Name Their Clients Favorites
SkinBetter Science Alto Defense Serum stars vitamins C and E, along with 17 antioxidants to guard against a range of free radicals and reduce redness.
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum contains 15 percent L-ascorbic acid, plus ferulic acid for a powerful yet lightweight day serum.
Paulas Choice C15 Super Booster is another high-potency pick with 15 percent vitamin C, along with E and ferulic acid, plus hyaluronic acid to attract moisture for supple skin.
Vichy Vitamin C Serum Brightening Skin Corrector boasts minimal ingredients to keep things simple. With ascorbic acid, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid, this serum may boost skin smoothness and radiance.
The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% offers a budget-friendly way to try a vitamin C serum, and also contains alpha-arbutin, another ingredient thats touted for its skin-brightening abilities.
Additional reporting by Jessica Migala.
Does Rosehip Oil Clog Pores
Rosehip oil is very gentle and does not clog pores. It is moisturizing and regulates the skins sebum/oil production. Rosehip oil contains natural oil and prevents future acne breakouts.
To avoid clogging of pores, cleanse your face with a cleanser every day. Good-quality and not-so-harsh cleansers are known to keep the skin healthy.
Using a hydrating face mask and face scrubs is also great for getting rid of dead skin cells or their buildup, which is known to clog pores.
How To Use Vitamin C Serums
First things first, vitamin C serums can be used everyday. And while it is well-loved at all times of the day, vitamin C shines its brightest in the morning. When vitamin C-infused skincare products are applied in the a.m., they have enhanced efficacy in protecting your skin cells from free radicals and UV radiation.Vitamin C is safe to use twice daily and can be applied before bed to guard the skin and support healthy cell maintenance while you sleep.
Cleanse your skin prior to applying any vitamin C serums or moisturizers. When pores are filled with makeup, oil, and dirt, they form a barrier that prevents the effective absorption of the vitamin C skincare product. Ensure your pores are open and ready to soak in the C!
Vitamin C serums should always be applied before moisturizers. The key distinction between the two is that serums are designed to deeply penetrate the skin tissue. They are of a much thinner consistency and this allows for deep absorption. Moisturizers do their work on the top layer of the skin. The work of fighting free radicals occurs deeper in the skin so we generally favor vitamin C in serum form.
Massage the vitamin C serum into your skin with clean hands. Rub the product in using circular motions. Dont neglect the neck, as many of the signs of ageing become visible here first.
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Vitamin C Serum Can And Will Act As A Pro
Ever notice that vitamin C serums turn brown after sitting on the shelf for a month? That brown color happened because the serum oxidized, and oxidation occurs in all serums containing vitamin C. Oxidation is a destructive process , and when you put a vitamin C serum on your skin, it will cause oxidation and skin damage. This is due to the pro-oxidant effect of vitamin C in skin care.
A pro-oxidant is the opposite of an antioxidant. Where an anti-oxidant is a molecule that prevents oxidation of other molecules, and hence protects against the cell-damaging effects of free radical production, a pro-oxidant does the reverse, and induces oxidative stress, either by generating reactive oxygen species or by inhibiting antioxidant systems.
Vitamin C on its own can act as an anti-oxidant. So when you eat foods high in vitamin C, you get the health benefit of the vitamin donating electrons, and thus preventing oxidation of tissue, lipids, protein, and DNA.
When vitamin C acts as a pro-oxidant, the consequences include irritation, inflammation, collagen and elastin breakdown, and acne. So if you have any of these skin ailments, and are using a vitamin C serum, then its time to re-think your regimen.
Vitamin C serum can become a pro-oxidant when exposed to atmospheric oxygen, so just by living on Earth you are putting yourself at risk when wearing a Vitamin C serum. Vitamin C can also become a pro-oxidant when in contact with metal.
Whats A Vitamin C Serum
If you have your head in the skin care game, youve likely heard of vitamin C serums.
Vitamin C is touted as one of the best ingredients on the market for pro-aging support and the key to maintaining a smooth, even, and glowy complexion.
Although youre probably getting vitamin C in your diet, theres no way to guarantee its going straight to your skin. Using serums and other topical products is the most direct way to reap these benefits.
Read on to learn why you should add vitamin C serum to your routine, how to introduce a new product, and more.
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Thats why we rely on a diverse group of writers, educators, and other experts to share their tips on everything from the way product application varies to the best sheet mask for your individual needs.
There are plenty of benefits to using vitamin C on your skin. For example, vitamin C:
- is safe for most skin types
- provides hydration
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Is Vitamin C Good For Acne
People with acne can potentially benefit from adding a vitamin C serum to their routines, but there are a few nuances to consider. A 2013 research review in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology suggests that topical vitamin C can improve acne lesions in up to 77% of patients.²
As for acne scars, its good for that too, thanks to those collagen-boosting and skin-brightening powers that were mentioned earlier.
Refrain from getting too vitamin C happy if you have sensitive skin to deal with. Dr. Chiu warns that because vitamin C is a skin-care activemeaning its particularly potentapplying too much of it on your face can potentially lead to more breakouts or irritation. Keep it to a max of two applications a day when a formula that has no more than 10% vitamin C each time. If, after two weeks, your skin hasnt adjusted to the addition of the vitamin C, or worse, your acne has escalated, lay off the product, says Dr. Lamb.
The Physiology Of Vitamin C In Skin
Vitamin C is a simple low-molecular-weight carbohydrate that is essential for the body as a water-soluble vitamin . As an antioxidant, vitamin C has both oxidized and reduced forms in the body: L-dehydroascorbic and L-ascorbic acid. Although vitamin C is an important antioxidant, humans and other primates obtain vitamin C only from their diet, because they have no ability to synthesize it. With blood circulation to all tissues and organs, plasma ascorbate acid concentrations can reach up to 10160 mM after eating a vitamin C diet, and the superfluous vitamin can be excreted by the kidneys . However, there are large differences in the levels of vitamin C in various organs for example, the brain, liver, and skeletal muscle have the highest total content, and the content of testis and thyroid is low .
Vitamin C transporters and their transport mechanisms in skin.
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Aids In Iron Absorption
While vitamin C is a useful, complementary strategy for optimizing iron absorption regardless of your dietary pattern, the synergy becomes even more important for vegetarians and vegans. For those who avoid animal products , vitamin C can play a crucial role in ensuring adequate iron absorption.*
While iron is found in plant-based sources like broccoli and spinach, plants only contain non-heme iron, which is much less bioavailable than heme ironthe kind found solely in animal sources. Luckily, vitamin C can enhance the absorption of nonheme iron, seriously increasing its bioavailability, Johnson explains.*
Benefits Of Vitamin C For Your Skin
- With daily use, vitamin C provides a range of tangible benefits including evening skin tone, improving hydration, promoting wound healing and fighting signs of aging.
- Vitamin C has proven antioxidant properties that protect against sun damage caused by free radicals.
- The popularity of topical vitamin C for skin care has grown due to its high safety profile among users.
Hailed as one of the most effective anti-aging dermatological ingredients available today, topical vitamin C is a mainstay in many womens skin care routine. Vitamin C serums, creams and other products are highly recommended by dermatologists for their ability to maintain a smooth, even complexion.
Although youre likely ingesting vitamin C in your diet, there is another way to benefit from this star ingredient by targeting your skin directly. Topical vitamin C is the most direct way to take advantage of this vitamins many powerful skin care benefits.
Following are 10 highly compelling benefits of vitamin C for your skin:
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Too Much Vitamin C May Cause Digestive Symptoms
The most common side effect of high vitamin C intake is digestive distress.
In general, these side effects do not occur from eating foods that contain vitamin C, but rather from taking the vitamin in supplement form.
Youre most likely to experience digestive symptoms if you consume more than 2,000 mg at once. Thus, a tolerable upper limit of 2,000 mg per day has been established (
Ingesting more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C per day may lead to gastrointestinal upset, including symptoms like diarrhea and nausea.
Vitamin C is known to enhance iron absorption.
It can bind to non-heme iron, which is found in plant foods. Non-heme iron is not absorbed by your body as efficiently as heme iron, the type of iron found in animal products .
Vitamin C binds with non-heme iron, making it much easier for your body to absorb. This is an important function, especially for individuals who get most of their iron from plant-based foods .
One study in adults found that iron absorption increased by 67% when they took 100 mg of vitamin C with a meal .
However, individuals with conditions that increase the risk of iron accumulation in the body, such as hemochromatosis, should be cautious with vitamin C supplements.
Under these circumstances, taking vitamin C in excess may lead to iron overload, which can cause serious damage to your heart, liver, pancreas, thyroid, and central nervous system .
Which Is Better For Reducing Acne And Hyperpigmentation Rosehip Oil Or Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C penetrates the skin the best in the form of ascorbic acid and leaves the skin hydrated. It also allows your skin to hold moisture and prevents or lowers water loss. It repairs and improves the skin barrier as well.
Moreover, vitamin C is helpful in fading dullness or pigmentation, making you look youthful. It inhibits the production of melanin, because of which dark spots and hyperpigmentation can be avoided.
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How Vitamin C Supports Skin Care
Vitamin Calso known as ascorbic acidis a water-soluble nutrient that plays an important role in keeping your skin healthy. Topical vitamin C is clinically proven to have a wide range of clinical applications thanks to its antioxidant, antiaging, antipigmentary properties. This potent nutrient offers many benefits for the skin, including the potential to:
- Make collagen, used to keep skin youthful and plump
- Reduce the appearance of dark spots
- Prevent premature aging
What Are The Skin Benefits Of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant in skincare, says Lian Mack, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. In skin, this antioxidant has several functions including playing a role in the production of collagen, improving hyperpigmentation and neutralizing free radicals. Here are the primary benefits of vitamin C when applied topically to the skin:
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Its Safe For Most Skin Types
Vitamin C has an excellent . Most people can use topical vitamin C for an extended period of time without experiencing any adverse reactions.
A 2017 review of research notes that vitamin C may cause minor skin irritation in concentrations above 20%. Because of this, its concentration often ranges between 10% and 20% in skin care products.
It Firms Skin And Promotes Collagen Production
Our skin is made of collagen and elastin, which are proteins that give it structure and elasticity. As we age, the production of collagen decreases and our skin beings to look and feel less firm. Daily application of vitamin C helps to maintain the integrity of the collagen that we have, prevents rapid breakdown and promotes collagen production, Dr. Mack says.
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Does Rosehip Oil Make The Skin Oily
Rosehip oil, derived from natural sources, will reduce oil or sebum production and thus will not make your skin oily. It also fights free radicals and is good for people with oily skin.
This oil is also known to have an extremely amazing effect on acne scars and other skin problems. You just have to make sure you apply it evenly on your face.
What Ingredients Shouldnt Be Mixed With Vitamin C
Though vitamin C is generally safe to use in most circumstances, there are a few ingredients youll want to avoid cocktailing it with. Because vitamin C is an acid, you shouldnt combine it with other skin-care acids such as alpha-hydroxy acids like salicylic acid, and beta-hydroxy acids like lactic and glycolic acids. Mixing with other acids at the same time can change the vitamin Cs pH and render it useless, Dr. Chiu says. Plus, using multiple acids on your face all at once is a recipe for angry skin.
For similar reasons, youll also want to avoid using benzoyl peroxidea well-known acne fighterat the same time as vitamin C. Benzoyl peroxide oxidizes the vitamin C and also makes it less effective, says Dr. Chiu. Instead, use benzoyl peroxide at night and vitamin C in the morning, or use them on different daysthey just shouldnt be layered onto your skin at the same time.
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Pay Attention To The Potency
For the best results, look for products that contain a concentration between 10-20%. Any formula that contains 3-10% concentration will still be effective over time but will work less rapidly.
Most popular commercial vitamin C skincare products will contain the desirable concentration but a little label reading goes a long way. For women with more sensitive skin profiles, a concentration between 8-12% will be a wiser choice.
Although slightly less powerful than their higher percentage counterparts, these blends will be far less likely to create redness or irritation. Feel free to experiment with a lower concentration if you have sensitive skin, or if you are a newcomer to the world of vitamin C for skin.
How To Use Vitamin C In Your Skin Care Routine
Jamal recommends using a vitamin C serum in the morning under a basic moisturizer but unfortunately, you cant just slather it on and go about the rest of your usual skin care routine. Certain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide can oxidize vitamin C, rendering it useless while other ingredients like alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids can alter the pH of the vitamin C and reduce efficacy, Jamal says. Basically, you dont want to layer a vitamin C moisturizer over a product with lactic or glycolic acid unless you want them to cancel each other out or worse, cause irritation or redness. Additionally, ingredients with a high potential for skin irritation such as retinoids may cause more irritation if combined with vitamin C.
The only exception to the rule, Jamal says, is any product thats been specifically formulated with both vitamin C and an AHA or BHA, as the brand likely tested it for efficacy or included other stabilizers, like ferulic acid. As with any product that can brighten skin, be sure to wear sunscreen and limit sun exposure.
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Should You Keep Using Vitamin C If It Changes Colors
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. Your vitamin C serum should be colorless or a light straw color if it oxidizes, it becomes yellow or brown and is likely going to be less effective. You can still use it if you want, but it probably wont do as much for your skin and, very rarely, oxidized vitamin C products can even cause slight yellow discoloration of the skin, particularly if you have fair skin, Dr. Hogan adds. So consider getting rid of any vitamin C products that have dramatically changed in color or smell since you bought them. Especially if it is brown, I would say to toss it, Dr. Lamb says.
If you cant find an expiration date and youre unsure of how long its been in the back of your cabinet, its probably best to get rid of it. Dr. Lamb says you shouldnt use active ingredients a year after they have been opened because theyre just no longer effective at that point. Will it harm your skin to use it? Probably not. But you may notice that a trusty vitamin C serum can be pricey, so taking care of your bottle will also help take care of your wallet.
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