Do You Really Need A Vitamin C Serum
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Yes, you do. That is the TL DR version of the rest of this article, so if you came here just for a quick answer there you have it. But if youre interested in actually learning what Vitamin C does for your skin, what type of products you should purchase, and some mistakes to avoid making with Vitamin C, then grab something to drink, settle in, and probably get your wallet ready you know, just in case.
Vitamin C is one of the most universally effective and well-rounded active ingredients in skincare. No matter what type of issues you have with your skin dullness, hyperpigmentation, redness, fine lines, lack of firmness Vitamin C will yield some impressive improvements to the appearance of your complexion once you commit to daily application of it.
Things You Need To Know Before Using Vitamin C For Your Skin
Between brightening dark spots and helping to protect against UV damage, theres a lot vitamin C can do for your skin. But the type of vitamin C serum you select, as well as how you use and store it, can significantly affect how much you actually get out of it.
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that brightens dark spots, smooths fine lines, and, importantly, scavenges free radicals from the environment, pollution, and UV radiation, Sara Hogan, M.D., dermatologist at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, tells SELF. Over time, those free radicals can damage the skin, leading to premature signs of aging, and increase your risk for skin cancer. So protecting against UV damage with an antioxidantand, of course, daily SPFis important.
However, not all vitamin C products are created equaland they can be irritating and finicky to use in some cases, Angela Lamb, M.D., director of Westside Mount Sinai Dermatology Faculty Practice, tells SELF. Its important to read the label on the product and know what youre really getting , especially if you have sensitive skin.
So, before you start going down the path of finding a vitamin C product for your face, peep these expert tips to get the most out of your vitamin C serum.
Does Vitamin C Serum Brighten Skin
Yes, it does. Vitamin C is an effective ingredient for brightening dull skin because it evens out discoloration by reducing melanin production and exfoliating dead skin cells.
It also helps improve skin texture by healing damaged skin tissues and promoting collagen production in the deeper layers of the skin.
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Benefits Of Using Vitamin C Serums
- They suit all skin types.
- They are better than Vitamin C toners or creams since they penetrate deep into the skin.
- Easy to use, only one to two drops a day
- Lightweight, ideal for layering underneath other products
Pro tip:Conduct a patch test first to ensure the serum suits your skin and does not cause redness, tingling, or itching.
One to two drops of the serum are adequate and should be applied once a day, either in the morning or at bedtime. It should be used post cleansing and toning in the morning, layered with moisturiser and sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. At night, it should be applied before your nighttime moisturiser.However, there are numerous debates about whether it is more suitable to use vitamin c serums in the morning or night. Considering its function is to shield the skin from sun damage, people prefer using it in the morning. However, if you possess sensitive skin, you must avoid using it during the daytime since a high concentration of vitamin c can bother sensitive skin when exposed to sun rays.Nevertheless, even if you don’t have sensitive skin, it is suggested to use vitamin c serums at night since vitamin C will make its most substantial impact on your skin when you are asleep, as that is the time your body performs its natural repair process. After a few weeks of consistent use, the results won’t disappoint you.
Pro tip:If your nighttime cream contains retinol, use the serum with it only if it does not irritate.
How To Use Vitamin C Serum With Sunscreen
Layering vitamin C serum under sunscreen on your skin is probably the best thing you can do to protect your skin from sun damages. Use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. Heres how to use vitamin C serum and sunscreen before stepping out for the day.
- Start by washing your skin with a mild cleanser
- Dry your skin using a clean cloth or towel
- Apply the serum
- Apply your sunscreen of SPF 30 and higher
- Go rule the world
- Its best to opt for a serum of high quality
- Keep your serum out of direct sunlight as this can neutralize it
- Discard your serum and get a new one once the one you are using changes color.
- Do not apply too much serum on your skin if you have dry or sensitive skin. Always apply a little amount.
- Be consistent with your application of the serum to achieve better results.
- Ensure that you apply sunscreen after applying the serum on your face in the morning.
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The Downsides Of Using Vitamin C At Night
Vitamin C in high concentrations is very acidic which means it could potentially cause irritation or redness if left on too long. The only time that it is recommended to use this product at night is if you suffer from acne or hyper-pigmentation. Using vitamin C serum overnight may be a little too harsh for people who have sensitive skin and can cause irritation, which will trigger redness and flaking. It also contains pure retinol, so it increases the speed of aging and therefore speeds up existing wrinkles and fine lines while making your skin more susceptible to dryness.
Should You Moisturize Your Skin Before Applying Vitamin C Serum
Apply your vitamin C serum first before moisturizing. From thin to thickalways follow this rule of thumb in your skincare routine.
Serums are made to be a thin layer so that they can penetrate deeply into the skin with ease. Apply your vitamin C serum, then seal in the hydration with your moisturizer.
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How Often Should You Be Using Vitamin C Serum
To avail yourself of maximum benefits and see changes on your face, you should use Vitamin C serum every night as your skincare routine. And it is recommended to use 2-4 drops of serum a day.
It is because you also intake Vitamin C through a diet that has positive effects on the skin. That is why few drops of vitamin C serum are more than enough for your skin.
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 youre spending your money wisely.
1. EVENS YOUR SKIN TONE
If youre 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 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 bodys production of collagen 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
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What Are The Benefits Of Using Retinol
Retinol supports our bodys cellular turnover .
How is this beneficial?
It rids old, dead skin cells, which cause the skin to look dull, and replaces them with new, healthy cells, reinvigorating the skin and making it appear radiant.
Remember, our skin cells go through a lot with the pollution and dirt they face every day, which makes the skin dry, flaky, dull, and generally undesirable and prescribed retin A or non-prescription retinol can help.
Should You Use Vitamin C With Retinol
Theres been a lot of uncertainty around using retinol and vitamin C. This hesitation is due to their differing pH levels.
You see, both retinol and vitamin C require a specific pH level to get absorbed into the skin. For vitamin C, its 0 to about 3.5, while retinol requires a higher pH level of 5.5 to 6. And mixing vitamin C and retinol results in an increase in the vitamin Cs pH and a decline in the retinols pH, which is why many believe that the two ingredients render each other ineffective.
However, contrary to this popular belief, the two work brilliantly together. The secret lies in applying the two in succession. Apply vitamin C serum and wait a minimum of 30 minutes to give it time to get absorbed before using retinol.
Its common, though, to experience skin irritation, but you can prevent such a reaction by using them at different times of the day. Ideally, you can use your vitamin C serum in the morning and the retinol at night.
Vitamin C stabilizes retinol, making it more effective. And when applied correctly in the right succession, the two ingredients form a barrier which protects the skin from the adverse effects of the environment that cause skin damage and speed up aging.
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Different Forms Of Vitamin C In Skincare
Its helpful to note that not all forms of vitamin C are created equally. As weve learned already, the pure form of vitamin C is called L-ascorbic acid, or ascorbic acid. You can find many safe, quality skincare products that contain the ideal amount of vitamin C in this form.
But other formulations contain vitamin C that can still be just as effective, even if the ingredients dont contain vitamin Cs purest form. Other forms of vitamin C that show up in skincare ingredients lists include:
- Sodium ascorbyl phosphate
- Retinyl ascorbate
Is There Anything You Cant Use With Vitamin C
A skin care routine doesnt 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 .
Unfortunately, not all of the ingredients used in those products play well together. If youre planning to add vitamin C to your skin care routine, its also essential to know what ingredients you should avoid using.
Luckily, if you know how to incorporate them safely, there arent any off-limits ingredients. The main concern is that vitamin C can make the skin sensitive, especially if youre 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 or retinol. If youre 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.
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The Best Age For Vitamin C Serum For Face
Vitamin C Serum for the Face is a powerful asset in the service of the beauty of the skin and in particular the preservation of his youth. It helps prevent signs of future damage, protect skin health, and correct previous damage. Used in derma cosmetic care, it is found in formulas under the name of ascorbic acid.
From the age of 30,
The use of the best Vitamin C Serum is timely to prevent signs of future damage. It ensures the longevity of the skin cells, thus delaying the appearance of wrinkles.
How? Or What? Thanks to its antioxidant benefits, vitamin C effectively neutralizes free radicals responsible for anti-aging. It strengthens the skin cells, which are thus more resistant to attacks from free radicals.
Result: the lifespan of cells lengthens and the skin starts looking old.
From the age of 50,
The use of Vitamin C Serums helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. At the onset of menopause, the skin undergoes a significant loss of collagen: up to 30% during the first five years and 2% in the following years.
Located in the dermis, collagen is nevertheless an essential protein for the youthfulness of the skin. It guarantees tissue regeneration, thus ensuring the firmness and elasticity of the skin. Also, when it is in insufficient quantity, the skin becomes thinner, saggy and wrinkles appear.
Result: wrinkles are reduced and the skin is firmer.
Result: the complexion is even and radiant.
When And How To Use Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Gentle to the skin and largely non-irritating, a hyaluronic acid serum can be applied twice a day as part of a morning and evening skincare routine.
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Can You Use Vitamin C Serum With Other Active Ingredients
Yes, you can. Vitamin C serum works well with other active ingredients, such as retinol or niacinamide. It also works well with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.
If you choose to do this, its important to alternate days. For example, you would use your vitamin C serum on Monday and Thursday and your other product on Tuesday and Friday. This prevents irritation to the skin.
How Often Should You Be Using It
For optimal results, you should use Vitamin C serum every single day.
Its worth noting that Vitamin C serum are most effective when your skin is properly exfoliated. The build-up of dead skin cells due to lack of exfoliation can make it difficult for products to penetrate.
However, keep in mind that exfoliating can cause some sensitivityparticularly if youre using a chemical exfoliant that contains acids like AHA and BHAso be sure to use your Vitamin C serum and acids at different times of day.
I personally apply my Vitamin C serum every morning, and then use my AHAs and BHAs at night a few times a week.
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Follow Up With Moisturizer
After youre all serumd up, its recommended that you follow up with a moisturizing oil or face cream. This will help seal in all the goodness from the vitamin C serum and ensure your face stays hydrated and smooth.
You can absolutely use vitamin C serum in your morning routine before you put on your makeup. Its safe to use all-natural vitamin C serum underneath makeup throughout the day, as it will still give you all the benefits you need.
What Do Vitamin C Serums Doand How
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals, which are generated by our bodies when exposed to certain conditions, including pollution and UV rays. A balance between free radicals and antioxidants is importantif the free radicals inundate the body and prevent its ability to regulate them, oxidative stress can occur. Free radicals can negatively impact DNA, lipids, and proteins cause a variety of diseases damage our cells and disrupt the skins ability to repair itself and slow down collagen production.
Applying antioxidants like vitamin C can help your body cope with this stress so what are the resulting benefits?
Serums with vitamin C also stimulate collagen production, which slows as we age, says Debra Jaliman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and author of the bookSkin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist. Collagen is a structural protein that holds cells together, strengthens skin, and gives it elasticityall of which are important for a healthy, toned complexion. By boosting our skins ability to make collagen, a Vitamin C serum helps soften existing fine lines and wrinkleswhile preventing new ones from forming.
Fight Against Hyperpigmentation
Vitamin C serums fight hyperpigmentation by inhibiting the tyrosinase enzyme and preventing melanin production, says Rhonda Q. Klein, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist. The process brightens dark spots without lightening skin tone overall.
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Use The Right Concentration Vitamin C For Your Skin Type And Concerns
Different products may contain a wide variety of concentrations of vitamin C. In general, they range from below 5% all the way up to 30%, Dr. Hogan says, and this ingredient can have different effects at those concentrations.
Those with dry or sensitive skin probably want to stick with lower concentrations, around 5%, which are less likely to be irritating. But those with more oily skin or with more extensive pigmentation issues to tackle can handle higher concentrations. However, as SELF explained previously, the effects begin to plateau after 20%, so theres usually no need to go higher than that.