Five Things You Don’t Know About Vitamin C
From a collagen boost to redness reduction, this non-stop ingredient is full of surprises!
If you’re looking to build a skincare routine around the bare essentials, vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, should always make the cut. Along with retinol and sunscreen, the ingredient is frequently recommended by dermatologists and esthetic skin experts who say that it’s key to maintaining healthy-looking skin for all skin types. An anti-aging vitamin C serum is a must-have, but why is that? There isn’t just one answer, and that’s a good thing! Water-soluble vitamin C is a major multi-tasking workhorse, and there’s plenty you may not know about it:
1. Vitamin C diminishes signs of aging (and increases collagen production).
2. Vitamin C brightens skin and reduces redness.
3. Vitamin C reduces dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
4. There’s a right vitamin C concentration for your skin type.
5. It’s best to avoid mixing vitamin C with certain skincare ingredients.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the five things. You’ll soon discover the many ways that vitamin C can positively impact your skin and how you can add it to your skincare routine today!
1. It diminishes signs of aging (and increases collagen production).
Good genes certainly play a role in how gracefully you age, but external factors must also be accounted for. Every day we’re exposed to UV rays and environmental aggressors, such as pollution, that can result in free radical damage to our skin cells. That damage can accelerate the breakdown of collagen and increase the development of sagging, fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen is one of the building blocks of the epidermis that contribute to a youthful, plump tone, and it naturally declines over time. It also contributes to your skin’s ability to retain moisture, which is why skin’s texture tends to become drier as we get older. To prevent damage, skin needs antioxidants, which are ingredients that can help neutralize free radicals; vitamin C is a powerful one that can help diminish signs of aging. Using vitamin C for wrinkles, like what’s found in SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic, helps increase collagen production, resulting in a firmer and more hydrated complexion.
2. It brightens skin and reduces redness.
Skin can experience inflammation in different ways, but the outcome tends to look the same: a blotchy, uneven and red appearance. Whether the cause is an inflammatory skin condition (such as eczema or rosacea), a hormonal shift or too much sun exposure, inflammation weakens capillaries, which can contribute to redness. However, vitamin C can help mend those vessels. Applied topically, a vitamin C serum has anti-inflammatory properties that can help brighten and strengthen skin while reducing redness. And that’s not all! You’ll also notice a smoother complexion. Inflammation can compromise the skin’s barrier function, impeding its ability to retain moisture, which leads to a dry, rough texture. With vitamin C in the mix, skin is soothed and better equipped to hold onto much-needed moisture.
3. It reduces dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
The complex cycle of melanin production makes dark spots, hyperpigmentation and melasma among the trickier skin concerns to treat. Impacting melanocyte cells in the deepest layer of the epidermis, exposure to UV rays can trigger tyrosinase activity, which can encourage clusters of melanin to form. Those clusters eventually reach the surface in the form of a dark spot. Preventing excess melanin formation is a big job, but vitamin C is up to the task! Using a vitamin C for dark spots, such as SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF, can help to inhibit melanin production deep within the skin. The superstar ingredient is also a go-to for treating existing spots. You can use vitamin C for hyperpigmentation to fade the look of an uneven skin tone and give your complexion a brightening boost.
4. Different concentrations work for different skin types and concerns
Did you know that vitamin C is available in a range of concentrations? Formulations run the gamut and can include a little of the ingredient (5%) or a lot (30% is the highest concentration of vitamin C). As an active ingredient, vitamin C can be potentially irritating so more doesn’t necessarily mean better. Just like putting the right amount of creamer in your coffee, there’s an amount of vitamin C that will be just right for your skin type and needs. If you have dry or sensitive skin, a lower concentration of around 5% will be less likely to irritate your complexion. Try SkinCeuticals AOX+ Eye Gel, a serum-in-a-gel texture that reduces the look of puffiness and fatigue. Oily or acne-prone skin can manage a higher concentration, such as SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF, which contains 15% L-ascorbic acid. A higher concentration can also be the best bet for anyone who wants to reduce a lot of hyperpigmentation. And 10% vitamin C is an ideal amount for those with normal or combination skin. Look for it in SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF.
5. It’s best to avoid mixing certain ingredients with vitamin C.
The powerhouse ingredient remains among the most studied antioxidants and has been proven to be safe and well tolerated by most skin types. But it can cause some tingling or stinging when it’s applied to sensitive skin. To avoid any potential irritation, it’s best not to use vitamin C at the same time as any chemical or physical exfoliators. That includes any grainy facial scrubs or acid-based creams or treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide. To maintain a healthy and happy skin barrier, try incorporating vitamin C into your morning routine and hold off on using exfoliants until the evening. Now you know everything there is to know about vitamin C—your complexion will thank you!
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