Vitamin C is a powerhouse skincare ingredient that can reduce inflammation, brighten skin, diminish photo-aging and wrinkles, and reduce the appearance of discoloration and dark spots caused by prolonged sun exposure. It might sound too good to be true, but after just a few months of regular use, you’ll begin to notice the wondrous effects of this antioxidant-rich elixir on your skin.
The benefits of Vitamin-C for your skin
It makes your SPF more powerful
Sun damage usually takes place due to the presence of free radicals in the atmosphere. These free radicals lack a certain electron that they want to obtain from our skin cells. Once they come in contact with the skin, they can affect it in a negative way. A study by Dr Lucy Chen, Dermatology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA, states that antioxidants found in Vitamin-C can protect healthy skin cells by providing these free radicals with the electrons they’re looking for and rendering them harmless in the process. This is exactly why dermatologists strongly recommend the application of a Vitamin-C serum in the AM before sealing it in with a broad range sunscreen.
It boosts collagen production
Collagen is the most commonly found protein in our body. But as we age, our body starts producing less and less of it,
which can lead to signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles and saggy skin. A research paper by Dr Patricia K Farris,
Department of Dermatology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, USA, states that scientific research
supports the use of skin care products containing Vitamin-C because it promotes collagen synthesis.
It reduces redness and gives you bright, glowing skin
Vitamin-C is a naturally occurring water-soluble antioxidant, which makes it the perfect ingredient to fight skin inflammation and reduce redness. According to the previously mentioned study by Dr Farris, regular application of a Vitamin-C serum has shown to reduce redness and can create a more even skin tone. The study also states that Vitamin-C is a well known skin-brightener and can be used to get rid of dark circles and achieve a healthy glow.
It hydrates your skin
According to research by Dr Pumori Saokar Telang, Consultant Dermatologist, Joshi Hospital Maharashtra Medical Foundation, Jehangir Hospital, Apollo Group, Pune, Maharashtra, topical application of Vitamin-C can also prove to be hydrating for your skin. This is because of magnesium ascorbyl phosphate—one of the main Vitamin-C derivatives used in cosmetic products. The research states that it decreases transepidermal water loss, which allows your skin to get better at retaining moisture.
It reduces hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in colour than the surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin deposits in the skin. According to research by Dr Juliet M Pullar, Department of Pathology, University of Otago, New Zealand, Vitamin C application has been shown to delay melanin production without compromising on the skin’s ability to protect itself from the sun. This can help fade dark spots and lead to a more even-toned complexion.
The correct way to apply a Vitamin-C serum
- Because Vitamin C helps protect your skin from free radicals, it’s always better to use it in the morning rather than in the evening.
- As a rule of thumb, skincare products should typically be applied from “thinnest” to “thickest” in terms of consistency, so apply it after your toner (cleanser if you don’t use a toner) and before your moisturiser.
- While Vitamin-C is compatible with most skincare ingredients, avoid using it at the same time as AHAs, Benzoyl Peroxide and Niacinamide as it can irritate your skin. Retinol and Vitamin-C usually don’t clash because their application is separated by almost twelve hours.
- Always wear a broad range sunscreen while using a Vitamin-C serum.
The Bottom Line
While Vitamin-C can be quite effective at curing a variety of skin-related problems, one should keep in mind that Vitamin-C—in general—is an unstable ingredient. Finding properly formulated serums is extremely important if you want to harness the true power of this antioxidant. Dermatologists recommend products that contain ascorbic acid—the safest and the most active form of Vitamin C. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should always store your serum in an airtight opaque glass bottle, away from sunlight otherwise it might turn brown because of oxidation and lose its potency.