Let's Talk: Vitamin C
Like an old friend, Vitamin C feels familiar to us. An approachable skincare ingredient that has long been celebrated, finding its way into the skincare routines of experts and novices alike.
Vitamin C is an Antioxidant that helps to stimulate our body's natural production of Collagen, protect against environmental aggressors, and brighten skin for a radiant, even and youthful complexion.
Whether you're looking to support your skin as it ages, diminish fine lines and wrinkles, brighten or lift hyperpigmentation, this powerful Antioxidant could be just what you're looking for.
There's lots of differing opinions on when is best to apply Vitamin C. Some say that using it the morning is a great way to protect your skin throughout the day, working synergistically with SPF to protect against damage whilst others suggest using it in the evenings when your skin is most depleted.
That said, the general consensus seems to be that applying it regularly (everyday) is ultimately more important than the time of day.
It's worth noting that you should avoid using with other acids, Retinoid products or Benzoyl Peroxide and folks with super sensitive skin should seek out gentle formulations.
Vitamin C + Sun Exposure
Since it's pure form is Acidic, many people believe Vitamin C shouldn't be used prior to sun exposure but, unlike other acids Vitamin C isn't known to increase sun sensitivity and has actually be proven to help protect us from free radical damage caused by the sun.
It's the formula itself that's sensitive to temperature, air and light which is why you'll often see Vitamin C products housed in dark/ violet glass containers. You'll want to make sure you keep your Vitamin C in a cool, dark place to maintain its efficacy.
Vitamin C + SPF
Vitamin C + SPF can be a powerful duo. With Vitamin C's Antioxidant protection and SPF's blocking of harmful UVA + UVB rays, skin is taken care of and the function of each product is enhanced.
How does Vitamin C help with Oxidative Stress / Free Radical Damage?
Pollution, Sunlight, Smoke, and Stress all contribute to damage of the dermis. Exposure to these triggers are unavoidable but over time it affects the functions of our cells, can damage the moisture barrier, affect texture and tone and alter the DNA.
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, meaning it has the ability to protect the skin from damage and keep it healthy which is key for improving visible signs of aging caused by that damage.
How can Vitamin C help with Collagen Production / Hyperpigmentation?
Vitamin C plays an essential role in the production of Collagen which slows down as we age. Without it, production would cease and skin would become loose.
When it comes to Pigmentation, Vitamin C can be extremely helpful in lifting it. From sun spots to acne scars, Vitamin C helps to block the pigment synthesis that causes discolouration therefore helping you to achieve a more even skin tone.
Can Vitamin C brighten my skin?
Vitamin C helps to lift hyperpigmentation and fight against free radical damage which contributes to the breaking down of collagen and the formation of fine lines, and wrinkles but it doesn't lighten skin tone. Vitamin C can be beneficial for people of all skin tones, evening skin tone and paving the way for radiant skin.
Inactive Vs Active forms of Vitamin C?
There are both inactive and active forms of Vitamin C meaning that some forms will do very little for skin whereas others will produce noticeable results. L-Absorbic Acid is Vitamin C in it's purest form and is the most well-studied but there are also effective derivatives such sodium ascorbyl phosphate, asascorbyl palmitate, retinyl ascorbate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. These derivatives are often combined with other ingredients to help stabilize the formula.
Start Slow + Steady
In high concentrations, Vitamin C can be irritating to skin so make sure you find a formula that works for you and be consistent. Be sure you're using the correct amount and don't use with other acids.
The Tricky Part
As mentioned, Vitamin C is well-known for being unstable and very reactive. It can easily lose it's Antioxidant (therefore, its potency) properties when exposed to light, heat and air so be sure you're opting for a well-researched, quality product with studies to back it up. Consider the packaging of the product and look at the formulation to see which form of Vitamin C is being used.