When we think of vitamin C, bright-coloured lemons and oranges often come to mind. For the skincare enthusiast, it's also a powerful anti-oxidant. Just what are the benefits of vitamin C? Let us break it down for you in this article.
What exactly is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as Ascorbic Acid or L-Ascorbic Acid, is an essential nutrient for humans. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient involved in the repair of tissue, and is important for immune system function. It also functions as an antioxidant. Since humans are unable to produce vitamin C on our own, we get it from food sources and dietary supplements.
What are the benefits for skin?
L-ascorbic acid is the purest form of vitamin C. As a powerful antioxidant, it helps protect the skin from environmental damage while improving the visible signs of aging. So how do antioxidants work? Sun damage occurs when free radicals get into your skin and take electrons from the structures of your skin, resulting in signs of aging. Here's where antioxidants come in. Antioxidants work by providing free radicals with the electrons they need, so that none would be taken from your skin.
Vitamin C also boosts collagen production, which can reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and skin sagging. It can also brighten the skin tone, reduce redness and fade hyperpigmentation.
What's the catch?
Vitamin C is notorious for being an unstable molecule which oxidises quickly on exposure to light. This is why vitamin C serums often come in dark brown bottles to reduce the amount of light that gets to it.
What to look out for when picking Vitamin C serums
There are so many vitamin C serums out there in the market, and picking the right one, especially if it's your first time, can be daunting. Here's what you should look out for:
1. Low pH
Absorption of vitamin C is largely dependent on its pH level. If you have normal skin, look for one with a low pH of approximately 3.5, as it can penetrate the top most layer of skin most effectively. If you have sensitive skin, look for a formula with a pH of 5 to 6. This is the skin's natural pH and will not be as irritating.
2. Percentage of vitamin C
A percentage of 10-15% vitamin C is recommended for the best results. If you are just starting out, don't be afraid to go for one that is on the lower spectrum. It's safer to start out conservatively to prevent irritation.
3. Dark and airtight container
As mentioned earlier, a dark container helps protect the serum from light damage. An airtight container also helps protect the product's longevity.
4. Appearance of the product
Your serum should be white, clear, or a light champagne color. If the product is dark or cloudy in color, the serum may have oxidized and should be returned or gotten rid of. Vitamin C serums should have little to no odor. If you detect any fragrance, check the ingredient list to see if it could be from other ingredients.
5. Check for other stabilizing ingredients
Ingredients like vitamin E and ferulic acid help improve stability of the formula. For first-timers or those with sensitive skin, try looking for a serum with tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, which is a stable form of vitamin C, which is less irritating to the skin and generally tolerated by all skin types.
EunogoShop's Top Vitamin C Picks
2. Yourfit Custom Ampoule Kit (Age-Correcting, Brightening, and Sebum Control ampoules contain sodium ascorbyl phosphate, a gentler form of vitamin C)