Is Vitamin C Essential In Skincare?
Everyone knows that Vitamin C is good for wellness and our overall health. Even so, only a few people are aware of how topical Vitamin C products can boost good and healthy skin looks. Not surprisingly, Vitamin C is one of the most potent additives of topical skin serums, facial moisturizers, and cleansers, tailored to meet the needs of people with different skin types and problems.
In this post, I’ll explain what Vitamin C does to our skin and what concentrations we should use to get the best results. In addition, I’ll go over some of the most popular types of Vitamin C products, as well as the potential side effects for certain skin types.
Benefits of Vitamin C
Compared with other topical products, skincare essentials containing Vitamin C are usually very effective. This is due to our skin’s ability to absorb the Vitamin C molecules more easily, compared to other skin products. In this fashion, Vitamin C serums have proved as the most effective skincare essentials for people with different skin types, ranging from dry and irritable to oily.
Depending on our preferences, we can also select from a variety of product types that contain Vitamin C in different forms and concentrations. No matter our skin type, Vitamin C can fight the toxicity of free radicles from the environment by not letting them affect the epidermis of our skin. Also, topical Vitamin C products can help reduce scar and wrinkles, make us look younger, and even heal deeper wounds.
Topical vitamin C can increase the bioavailability of collagen and elastin in our skin, improving moisture and hydration while reducing fine lines and scars. However, this is not the end of the story. Vitamin C in our skincare routine can also brighten up and clarify our skin, and reduce the development of dark spots by inhibiting the enzymes that increase melanin production.
Types of Vitamin C products
Since almost any skincare product, ranging from facial cleanser to moisturizing cream, may contain Vitamin C, it is essential to consider what type of skincare product we actually need. While most cleansers don’t contain much Vitamin C, facial creams and serums retain a higher amount of Vitamin C. We may have to wait a few months before we notice the effects of facial cleansers on our skin, but the effect of Vitamin C serums is usually visible after a few weeks of consistent use.
L-ascorbic acid (LAA) form of Vitamin C
L-ascorbic acid (LAA) is the most expensive, yet most effective, form of Vitamin C additives in cosmetics. Although effective, LAA can pose a number of risks to people with sensitive skin or those who expose their faces to sunlight without first allowing their skin to fully absorb the acid. However, if used correctly, the LAA-based skincare routine will definitely pay the price later.
If you have ever purchased LAA facial serum, you have perhaps noticed that most brands sell their products in dark, enclosed bottles. In fact, if LAA is exposed to the sun or even air for too long, it will oxidize and become ineffective. For this reason, it is always a good idea to make sure that our skin has fully absorbed the Vitamin C product, before heading outside in the sun.
LAA skincare products are typically oil-based and have a low PH. Many products contain a combination of LAA, Vitamin E, and other acids. Realistically, Vitamin E is an eminently beneficial skin additive, so combining it with LAA is the ultimate beauty booster for anyone.
Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP) and Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP)
In contrast to LLA, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate SAP and Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate MAP are naturally occurring water-soluble forms of Vitamin C. The concentration of Vitamin C is also lower, which makes them a better solution for people with irritable or very dry skin. SAP is a more stable and bio-available solution than MAP, which makes it a great and less expensive choice than LAA, too.
SAP and MAP solutions can help us achieve brighter and healthy-looking skin. In addition, they will speed up the synthesis of natural collagen, which is almost similar to the function of collagen supplements. Since topical collagen can’t fully penetrate the skin’s epidermis, water-soluble Vitamin C serums are the best alternative for people willing to boost their skin moisture.
In fact, UV radiation from the sun is a well-recognized danger for our skin. SAP and MAP skincare products can prevent and minimize the skin degradation that is often caused by radiation. Simultaneously, SAP water-soluble skincare solutions can protect acne-prone skin and stop the development of acne by fighting against the toxic radicals that our skin absorbs from dirty air.
Foods sources of Vitamin C
As usual, many people will prefer to substitute topical Vitamin C and soluble supplements with natural sources. Before embarking on this optimistic journey, however, it’s wise to check if topical Vitamin C and soluble forms can affect our skin in exactly the same way. In regards to topical Vitamin C, it showed to be more beneficial for our skin than eating Vitamin C-rich foods.
This is not to say that foods high in Vitamin C should be avoided because they are less good for our skin. It rather implies that the Vitamin C we get from food serves a completely different purpose, which is to support and protect our immune system. However, topical Vitamin C has proven to be far more effective in skincare.
There are plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C, and according to our personal preferences, we can decide what we should add to our shopping list. Among the best options are citrus fruits (orange, lemon, and tangerine), broccoli, sweet yellow peppers, brussels sprouts, strawberries, and potatoes.
How to chose and use Vitamin C Products
There is no unified recipe for topical Vitamin C products. Let’s don’t forget that they also come in different forms and shapes. Today, we can even find face mask sheets with Vitamin C ampule serum, and they are in fact off the charts in South Korea where almost everyone is obsessed with skin brightening and pores reduction.
In recent times, a lot of Vitamin C-based skincare products became equally popular in other parts of the world. From facial cleansers to body lotions, many cosmetic lines incorporated Vitamin C in magical, yet very successful, cosmetic blends. Still, the right use and dosage of Vitamin C will depend on many factors such as our skin type, the purpose of the product, and its ingredients.
Facial Vitamin C serums are the most effective skincare product containing Vitamin C. We usually apply the serum by rubbing a small amount of 3-4 drops into our skin. We repeat this procedure for 2 to 3 times per week, although there are some soluble SAP solutions that we can apply daily.
The concentration of Vitamin C determines whether we can use our Vitamin C solution on a daily basis, and the stronger the concentration, the more cautiously we should use this solution. Also, before exposing ourselves to the sun, we must allow our skin to fully absorb the topical Vitamin C substance.
Application and effect
The effect of Vitamin C-based skincare doesn’t show overnight. Some products such as facial cleansers and facial toners may take months of consistent use before visible effects. Other products like facial creams and serums usually show results within 1 to 3 weeks.
Like with literally any skincare product, it is important that we first clean our skin thoroughly, and using a Vitamin C cleanser will do just the right job. After drying our skin out, we should apply the facial cream or serum. A facial Vitamin C mask with an ampule shot to moisturize it, will be the best solution to apply and let stay for 20 to 30 min before applying the facial cream.