Vitamin C is a powerful agent known for many health benefits, including protecting and preserving your skin. This powerful antioxidant provides a barrier to your skin that shields against environmental aggressors that tend to accelerate your skin’s aging process or worsen skin conditions like blemishes or dark spots.
Choosing products that contain vitamin C can help keep your skin healthy and protected while retaining youthfulness and evenness. There are countless vitamin C serums and moisturizers on the market today - but which one is right for you?
We have created a guide on how and when to use vitamin C to maximize benefits and our best recommendations to find the right vitamin Cproduct for you!
What Is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid, is a potent vitamin with antioxidant properties. Vitamin C can be found in many foods and supplements to support your immune system — but the benefits don’t end there.
As a skincare ingredient, vitamin C in serums or moisturizers could be the key to addressing many main skin concerns.
What Are the Benefits of Vitamin C Skincare?
Here are four of the most commonly touted benefits of applying vitamin C to your skin:
Protects Against Environmental Aggressors
Free radicals are unstable molecules that come from chemical changes in a cell (cell metabolism), which can build up in skin cells and cause damage to your overall skin health.
Air pollution and ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) can contribute to free radical exposure. Antioxidants such as vitamin C can help protect your skin against these aggressors and may even work with sunscreen by providing an extra layer of support against sun damage.
Supports Youthful-Looking Skin
Collagen is an essential protein responsible for skin elasticity and wound healing. As you age, your body has a more challenging time producing collagen, and your body’s existing collagen begins to break down. Together, this can lead to signs of aging that are more readily apparent and pronounced.
Vitamin C has been shown to help support overall youthful-looking skin, even as collagen production declines.
It helps Fade the Look of Dark Spots.
Vitamin C is a brightening ingredient that can help even skin tone by reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation, dark spots caused by sun damage, and spots left behind by blemishes.
Vitamin C works best over time, so staying consistent is essential to see real results!
Reduces the Appearance of Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Vitamin C is effective at hydrating and refreshing your skin, which can help firm skin and minimize the look of fine lines. So if you’re looking for a plump, glowy finish, vitamin C could be the new star of your skincare lineup.
How Should You Choose a Vitamin C Serum?
With so many vitamin c skincare products available, choosing the right product for your skin concerns and needs can take time.
When choosing a vitamin C serum, be on the lookout for a product with the following characteristics to get the most out of your skincare routine:
- Serums with a 10-20% concentration are the most effective vitamin C application. However, most products with a concentration under 10% likely won’t be strong enough for your desired results, and products above 20% might be too potent and lead to side effects.
- Formulations combined with tocopherol (vitamin E) and ferulic acid may work best for topical application. Vitamin E helps stabilize L-ascorbic acid, and ferulic acid helps lower the pH level, aiding absorption.
- Your vitamin C serum bottle should be tinted or dark. Like your skin, vitamin C is sensitive to the environment, like air, heat, and sunlight, and a tinted bottle helps protect the formula from these factors.
Pro tip: Vitamin C is a potent ingredient, and while it is generally safe for most skin types, those with sensitive skin may want to proceed with caution. Aim to try a mild concentration a couple of times a week and see how your skin reacts.
How Should You Use Vitamin C in a Skincare Routine?
Vitamin C serums can be applied both in the morning and nighttime routine. However, because of its potency, we suggest you gradually incorporate treatment with a lower concentration and staggered applications until you determine your skin’s tolerance.
Once you know how your skin responds to vitamin C, you can apply it during your morning and night skincare regimen for optimal results. The daytime application will lend itself to protecting your skin from UV rays and free radicals, while applying at night gives you a radiance boost while you sleep.
Example Skincare Routine
Using a mild cleanser, cleanse your skin thoroughly for the best product absorption. We recommend using our dual-sided Prep-N-Glow® Exfoliating & Hydrating Facial Wipes to maximize the removal of dirt, makeup, oil, and impurities.
Follow up with your favorite toner, then apply a vitamin C serum, such as our Super Vita-C Booster Serum. This serum was formulated by estheticians to visibly reduce discoloration while protecting your skin from sun damage and inconsistencies in tone.
Let your serum absorb, and layer on your microcurrent activator then proceed to lift with your NuFACE Microcurrent Device - or finish your skincare routine with eye cream, moisturizer, and SPF!
Consistency Is Key
Consistency is everything for any skincare product, and topical vitamin C products are no different. Generally, it takes a few weeks, or even a few months, of consistent use to see accurate results — so make sure to dedicate yourself to a well-crafted routine.
Pro-tip: To optimize and potentially fast-track your results, try our award-winning microcurrent device, the NuFACE® Mini. Microcurrent treatment has been clinically proven to be a safe and effective solution for many skin concerns. In just five minutes, the microcurrent tones and contours down to the muscular level of the skin for a more lifted and smooth appearance.
When used correctly, consistent vitamin C serums can be a powerful addition to your skincare regimen. This potent antioxidant can protect your skin from environmental damage, boost collagen production, lift signs of aging, even your skin tone, and retain your skin’s elasticity and overall youthfulness.
To avoid skin irritation, start with a mild concentration, then gradually increase treatment. Soon, you will equate your skin barrier with the protection it needs to stay smooth and radiant.
What Can Vitamin C Do for Your Skin? - Cleveland Clinic
Vitamin C and Skin Health | Oregon State University
Definition of free radical | National Cancer Institute Glossary