IS VITAMIN C THE NEW SKINCARE MIRACLE INGREDIENT?
Vitamin C has been a trendy ingredient in skincare for the last few years. Properly formulated topical vitamin C delivers the ingredient to the skin in doses that can never be achieved by diet.
Experts agree that vitamin C is a high-quality antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals. And because of its antioxidant properties, vitamin C can also help your skin repair damaged cells and protect skin from precancerous changes caused by UV rays.
Since vitamin C is highly acidic, when applied topically, it can accelerate the production of collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are both components that help keep skin firm, plump, and youthful. Studies also show that topical vitamin C also seems to be useful in speeding wound healing, reducing wrinkling, and preventing the erythema associated with laser resurfacing.
Vitamin C containing products often claim to be brightening. This is because vitamin C contains a property that inhibits melanin production. And this can prevent skin discoloration like dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C is a brightening agent that can fade brown spots but will not alter normal skin pigmentation.
The bad news is that the most common form of topical vitamin C is L-ascorbic acid, which is very unstable and has a difficult time penetrating through the outer layer of skin. Since L-ascorbic acid is water-soluble and a charged molecule, our skin has a tendency to repel it.
However, the stability and penetration ability of L-ascorbic acid can be increased with the correct formulation and lower pH.
For the best quality topical vitamin C, look for products that have a pH around 3.5 and add ferulic acid, which can further stabilize the ingredient. Also be careful that you are not using a product that has oxidized, as this is ineffective and a waste of your time. You can tell if your vitamin C serum has oxidized if it’s turning yellow-orange in color.
Overall, if you use a properly formulated skincare product including vitamin C, you should benefit from the wonderful anti-aging and brightening effects of the ingredient. We recommend using products containing vitamin C in the morning. Apply your vitamin C as the first product you put on your skin — before your moisturizer and sunscreen.
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