Vitamin C 101

What Is Vitamin C Serum and How Does It Work?

Vitamin C serums are skincare products with a high concentration of vitamin C that are used to address ageing signs such as fine lines and sagging skin, brighten complexion, improve red or dark spots, level out skin tone, and control breakouts. 

Let's Take a Look At The Vitamin C Family

There are several types of vitamin C found in cosmetics, the most researched one being the ascorbic acid, also known as l-ascorbic acid. Sodium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, retinyl ascorbate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate are all vitamin C derivatives.

While less researched than l-ascorbic acid, these anti-oxidants are still scientifically supported and considered effective anti-oxidants with anti-inflammatory and skin-lightening benefits. According to Paula's Choice, these additional types of vitamin C are more helpful when combined with other powerful antioxidants like ascorbic acid, green tea, or retinol.

What Can Vitamin C Serums Do For My Skin?

It's crucial to understand that the suggested strength of vitamin C for effectiveness is up to 20%. Also, for optimal absorption, a pH of less than 3.5 is recommended, though this is difficult to verify because most products do not mention their pH.

Back to Vitamin C's benefits, here's a quick rundown of what science suggests it can help you with:

Photo-protection: A concentration of 15 percent to 20% l-ascorbic acid can diminish the signs of photo-ageing and give free radical protection. Although vitamin C can protect against UV damage on its own, it is most effective when combined with vitamin E.

Collagen formation: L-ascorbic acid boosts collagen production. This, combined with its anti-oxidant properties, leads in fine line reduction, improved skin suppleness, and a brighter complexion.

Depigmentation: Vitamin C inhibits the tyrosinase enzyme, which helps to prevent melanin synthesis. Hyperpigmentation, red/dark patches, and uneven skin tone might all benefit from this.

Inflammatory skin conditions: Its anti-inflammatory properties makes it a good adjuvant in treating rosacea or acne vulgaris.

Recommended Vitamin C Serum

  1. The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%
  2. The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%
  3. Some By Mi Galactomyces Pure Vitamin C Glow Serum
  4. Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop
  5. The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% In Silicone
  6. The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + Ha Spheres 2%

Bottom Line

Remember that, despite the seemingly endless skin benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone. If you have sensitive skin or can't tolerate Vitamin C, don't worry; there are a variety of other skincare ingredients that may be better for you. Always remember to run a patch test before trying out new products!

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