Why everyone should use a vitamin C serum
You may think of vitamin C as citrus cold-busting supplement. When applied topically it is by far one of the best antioxidants as well as preventative and restorative for aging. In my opinion, every single skin type, skin condition and age group can benefit from the use of a vitamin C serum.
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a water and oil soluble compound found naturally in fruits and vegetables. It may be synthetically produced as well which is what most vitamin supplements are made out of. There are actually a few forms of pure vitamin C and derivatives typically used in skin care such as ascorbic acid, L-ascorbic acid and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate.
Benefits of vitamin C
Promotes collagen production
One of the biggest benefits of vitamin C is the stimulation of collagen production. Since the molecule of collagen is too large to be absorbed into the surface of the skin, the use of topical ingredients to help stimulate your own collagen is key. The result is preventative for young skin and skin that already has started to age it will reduce the appearance of fine line and wrinkles.
Anti-oxidant + Free radical fighter
We are all subjected to all kinds of toxins in our environments such as pollution, UV rays, cigarette smoke etc. Free radical cells essentially try to steal healthy electrons from healthy molecules and over time this results in cell damage and aging. What vitamin C does is basically it donates an electron to the cell to neutralize the free radical damage protecting it!
Brightening + Scar lightening
Vitamin C is great for hyperpigmentation and freckles from the sun or acne scars. There is an enzyme called tyrosinase which is responsible for converting melanin. Vitamin C inhibits this enzyme hence less melanin is produced. (Melanin is what gives skin, hair and eyes color.)
I hope you don't get a sunburn, but if you do vitamin C will help the skin recover faster. It also helps wounds and scars heal faster since vitamin C is essential for the formation of new connective tissue. This is why it's so great for even acne prone skin to help heal acne lessions.
Improves hydration + moisture
If you suffer from dry or dehydrated skin vitamin C serum will help boost moisture levels in the skin. Ascorbic acid has been shown to help decrease water loss in the skin, allowing the retention of moisture.
Can I just apply citrus fruit to my face?
Even though I love DIY's and homemade skin remedies I wouldn't recommend this. Citrus fruit has a low ph of 2, while the skin's natural ph is around 5.5. This makes citrus fruit too acidic for the skin and may result in burns and irritation especially for sensitive skin types. Also, you simply will not receive enough vitamin C in citrus fruit form for it to have any skin benefits as a concentrated serum meant for the skin would.
Will taking a vitamin C supplement benefit my skin?
While taking a vitamin C supplement is wonderful for overall health, it is not very effective in boosting levels in the skin. The reason being is anything we ingest has to work its way through our hostile and acidic digestive tract plus other tissues and organs in the body. By the time it reaches the skin only about 1% is left resulting in very low levels and not enough to actually benefit the skin. Delivering topical use is the best and most effective way!
How to use vitamin C products
I actually only recommend vitamin C in serum form. There are many products on the market that contain vitamin C, but you will receive the most concentrated unbuffered meaningful amounts in serum form. This equals more noticeable results in the skin.
I recommend using vitamin C serum as your day time serum since it helps fight the free radicals of UV rays. It is used as the very first product on your skin after cleansing and toning. Since it's generally a thinner and lighter product this will allow the best product penetration followed by your moisturizer and sun protection locking it in.
How to pick a great vitamin C serum
To have noticeable results in the skin, a serum with 10-20% is ideal. For sensitive skin types, I recommend a sodium ascorbyl phosphate formula as it's a bit more gentle on the skin.
Unfortunately, vitamin C is a bit unstable of an ingredient. Always look for a vitamin C in a dark brown, amber or blue glass bottle. This will help it from becoming oxidized, going bad quickly and losing its effectiveness. Also, make sure to keep your bottle in a dry dark place and it will help it last longer! When you first open a bottle the serum the color should be a pale yellow or almost clear. As it's exposed to air it becomes a burnt orange color. It's still safe to use but it's losing it effectiveness so start using it quickly!
Here are my clean, green and effective picks!
Andalou Turmeric + C Enlighten Serum