Are you using Vitamin C on your face? You might want to start now. Every day our skin is exposed to stress factors (pollution, UV, ..) that cause damage to the skin. One ingredient that has proven to be very effective in combatting these when added to your daily routine is Vitamin C, a natural skin component and powerful antioxidant.
Vitamin C is beneficial to your skin in different ways:
- Fades spots and brightens skin. Vitamin C serums brighten age spots and help reduce the appearance of hyper pigmentation and discolouration (from acne scars for example).
- Makes sunscreen more effective and boosts the skin’s defense against UV exposure. Do note that Vitamin C cannot replace sunscreen. Sunscreen will protect the outer layer of the skin while the vitamin C serum will act as a sun barrier from within.
- Makes skin firmer and younger looking. Vitamin C stimulates the synthesis of collagen, the protein that keeps skin looking younger and suppler.
- Stops premature ageing and wrinkling. Vitamin C gives antioxidant protection from free radicals which can make you look older. It neutralizes these free radicals by creating a protective barrier. It’s a good first-step solution to treat the onset of wrinkles.
One important thing to note is that Ascorbic Acid (natural form of Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid) is very unstable which will cause oxidation when improperly stored. You can clearly notice this as the product will change colour overtime. This instability can cause the product to be ineffective or worse, increase the number of free radicals.
When purchasing a Vitamin C serum, look for non-transparent (amber bottles) and air-tight packaging (pumps or droppers). Start using it immediately to enjoy its full potential and store it in a dark and cool place; ideally the refrigerator.
How to use Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is a treatment, so use it in the morning and evening after cleansing, toning and exfoliating, and before your moisturizer.
You need a high percentage of Vitamin C to be effective but if your skin is really sensitive it might cause irritation. If you have normal to oily skin; choose a product with Ascorbic Acid. If your skin is more dry or sensitive: use a vitamin C derivative like Sodium or Magnesium Ascorbic Phosphate (less irritating and more stable). The amount you need depends on the product: Ascorbic Acid (5-15%) or Magnesium / Sodium Ascorbic Phosphate (1-20%).
When you’re just starting out with Vitamin C, it’s a good idea to start out with a product that has lower concentration, especially when dealing with a pure Vitamin C form like Ascorbic Acid. As your skin gets more accustomed to Vitamin C, you can increase to a product with a higher concentration. Overexposing your skin to high concentrations can make it dry out and peel, so be cautious!
Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate
Although I haven’t tested that many Vitamin C products, this concentrate from Kiehl’s is worth a mention because it’s what initially got me on the Vitamin C train back in the day. This popular serum has a concentration of 10.5% pure Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) and comes in a thick white formula which feels almost like a primer. I use 2 pumps in the morning for my face and neck. It gives a slightly warm and tingly sensation when applied.
Ingredients: Propylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ascorbic Acid, Glycerin, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Lauroyl Lysine, Acrylates Copolymer, Adenosine
After a couple of weeks my skin tone looked brighter and my skin’s texture more even. Another great thing about this product is its stability. It takes longer for it to oxidize, which comes in handy as there’s quite a big amount in the bottle compared to other brands. There’s a reason this is a Kiehl’s bestseller. Love this.
Are you using a Vitamin C serum? Any recommendations?
Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate (50 ml) – € 55 / £ 50 / $ 60
Available at Kiehl’s stores, counters & online
Disclaimer: PR sample offered for consideration