How to Use Vitamin C Products Correctly?

Vitamin C is a powerful ingredient to combat dark spots and dull skin. We figure out how to use it correctly, what concentration to choose and whether it can be combined with other components.

Vitamin C is used in the beauty industry as a powerful antioxidant – it brightens the skin, neutralizes free radicals and reduces pigmentation. Therefore, experts advise including a serum, cream, or procedure with vitamin C in your daily life, mainly since many new products with this vitamin are appearing on store shelves and in pharmacies.

However, reaping the benefits of vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is not as easy as it seems. It is not enough to apply the product and wait for smooth skin and natural radiance to return.

What is vitamin C

Vitamin C is the primary antioxidant in the skin and one of the essential nutrients for overall health. It is involved in many body functions, including the production of collagen, a vital component in many of our tissues, from skin to ligaments and tendons, cartilage and bones, and even the corneas of the eyes. Since vitamin C dissolves in water and is not stored in the body, it must be regularly obtained from external sources, such as food and specialized products.

It is the most abundant antioxidant found naturally in the skin. Still, it is depleted as we get older, as well as due to sun damage and age. One of the most significant benefits of vitamin C products is that they can stimulate collagen and elastin production, as well as reduce collagen damage in the skin’s dermis. Therefore, topical application can help replenish deficiencies, protect the skin from further damage, and also repair past damage. As a result, the skin becomes firmer, smoother, more radiant and elastic.

Vitamin C also serves as a powerful anti-pollution agent. It can neutralize free radicals from UV radiation, blue light pollution, and other aspects of our daily lives. Additionally, vitamin C will help reduce pigmentation and prevent the appearance of dark spots or hyperpigmentation. It reduces melanin production through its action as a tyrosinase inhibitor, brightening the skin and preventing existing pigmentation from oxidizing so it does not become darker.

What skin types is vitamin C suitable for?

When searching for vitamin C, the most common question asked about vitamin C is whether it causes acne or flaking of the skin. Some may experience irritation when first using a product with a high concentration of ascorbic acid, but this should resolve over time as the skin fully adapts.

Be careful with sensitive skin. The expert emphasizes that eczema, dermatitis, rosacea and dry skin may be reasons to avoid products with vitamin C. I always recommend doing a test on a small area of ​​skin using a vitamin C product first. It’s essential to strengthen the skin barrier first before moving on to a product with vitamin C. This is because most topical products have a pH of around 2 (very acidic), which can aggravate acne and eczema.

Regardless of your skin sensitivity, experts recommend gradually testing new ingredients. 

When using any active ingredient, it’s essential to take things gradually and incorporate the ingredients into your daily routine. Experts have seen excellent results in clients who added vitamin C to their routine three times a week and then began using it daily.

Don’t expect immediate results from vitamin C products. It takes several weeks of continuous use to see improvements in skin tone. She adds that since it’s a key ingredient in preventing age-related skin changes, some of the benefits of vitamin C won’t be noticeable.

What forms of vitamin C exist?

L-ascorbic acid is pure vitamin C and is the most stable and effective form you will most often find in skincare products. However, the expert’s choice brand also advises paying attention to ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, retinyl ascorbate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate in the product composition.

Vitamin C is an unstable ingredient. It is affected by heat, light and air, which can quickly reduce its effectiveness. In addition, it is not the most accessible component to digest. Vitamin C is water soluble and is therefore repelled by the waterproof skin barrier. It is absorbed by the skin only when the pH level of the product is below 4.

Today, most brands are addressing the issue of vitamin C stability and absorption by creating innovative formulations and special packaging to ensure the active ingredients remain in optimal form until they reach the skin.

What Percentage of Vitamin C Should You Use?

The right concentration for your skin type is critical to how effective a topical vitamin C supplement will be. Start with a low concentration of 10% and increase to 15% or 20% depending. Depending on tolerance. For oily or normal skin, L-ascorbic acid is the most potent form of vitamin C. It may be the most beneficial, while for dry and sensitive skin, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (a water-soluble form of vitamin C) is less irritating.

The absorption of vitamin C largely depends on the pH level of the product. For normal skin, products with a low pH (around 3.5) are suitable, while for sensitive skin, use a formula with a pH of 5-6. It’s the skin’s natural pH, and the product won’t be as irritating.

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