All About Vitamin C for Skin from Product Recommendation to Ingredient Combination | Do & Don't
Vitamin C serums: what they are, and why theyre good for your skin
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- Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, and serums infused with it can make skin brighter, firmer, and more evenly pigmented.
- Vitamin C can also combat environmental stressors, pollution, and free radicals.
- Serums can be high-maintenance, but they're ultimately worth it if you're smart about which one you buy.
If you ever find yourself looking for products that give you the ever-elusive "glow" of glossy magazine fame, you're probably going to run into the conversation regarding vitamin C sooner rather than later.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and it checks many of the foremost "skincare wish list" boxes: reducing inflammation, evening out pigmentation, and bumping up the skin's collagen production. In shorthand, it makes skin brighter, firmer, more even, and combats dark spots. You'll most often find it in products that highlight "brightening" the complexion as their main benefit.
Vitamin C can also protect your skin from pollution, environmental stressors, and free radicals. In the end, this keeps skin looking younger for longer and may protect you from pre-cancerous changes from UV light exposure. (though you should still use sunscreen, too).
For its considerable benefits, though, vitamin C comes with trade-offs that can make using it more high maintenance.
Vitamin C is notoriously unstable, and variables like light and air can be factors in how quickly it breaks down. The rule of thumb is six months of use before it's time to get a new bottle, but general wisdom is that if the contents turn yellow (and have therefore become oxidized), the serum is no longer as effective. You can combat this by storing it in the fridge, buying , and/or opting for those that come in dark bottles to minimize exposure to sunlight.
Vitamin C products can also be pricey. Most of the cult-favorite products land in the - 0 range like with a whopping five forms of vitamin C in it, but you can also find accessible wunderkinds like Maelove's Glow Maker— a serum that has a remarkably similar makeup to the multi-award-winning 6 C E Ferulic serum from SkinCeuticals.
If you know what to look for, you can get comparable results for a lot less investment. If you're going to shop based on ingredients rather than a recommendations list, a good rule of thumb is that studies show vitamin C is more impactful when combined with vitamin E or ferulic acid.
Another common concern is that vitamin C can be drying when applied to the skin universally. To avoid this, look for products that punch up their hydration with ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid can retain over 1,000 times its weight in water within the cells of the skin, making it one of nature's all-time best moisturizers. Products like Vichy's LifeActive Vitamin C Brightening Skin Corrector (), Maelove's Glow Maker () and should feel moisturizing thanks to this addition.
Vitamin C can also come with a smell that ranges from innocuous for some to unusable for the very sensitive. If you're notoriously picky about fragrances, you'll probably want to scan reviews for mentions of smell. Maelove's Glow Maker () is mild, and products like actually have infusions of wild rose oil that cover anything else. NaturaBisse C+C Vitamin Eye () supposedly smells like fresh oranges.
Overall, despite vitamin C serums coming with their own bag of concerns (drying, odor, shelf life, price), you shouldn't have too much difficulty finding a good match for your budget, lifestyle, and skin type. And, in the grand scheme of things, vitamin C serums are a genuinely great tool if used correctly — especially if your concerns are brightening, even pigmentation, and anti-aging effects.
Video: 1 Week of Using Vitamin C Serum Challenge || Ft. StBotanica Vitamin C Facial Serum
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