It seems face serums (and in particular vitamin C serum) are becoming a staple in today’s beauty industry.
Their desirable effects are no small feat and we can’t seem to get enough.
They conveniently address all of our biggest skin concerns and worries.
Face serums benefit all aspects of our skin like with firming, smoothing, hydrating, repairing, brightening, protecting, and rejuvenating.
A very popular item among this new wave of age erasers and beauty boosters is vitamin C serum.
I’m sure you’ve seen it or heard about it by now… it’s literally everywhere!
We know vitamin C is necessary for the body and it does a lot of good in terms of overall health.
But what can it do for the skin?
Vitamin C serum promises some impressive results that have us completely enticed.
But before you run out and buy a lifetime supply, let’s take a deeper look at this particular product…
Is Vitamin C Serum For Real?
There’s really only one thing we want with our skincare solutions and that’s for them to actually work.
It’s disheartening when you come home with a beauty haul and end up hauling half of it to the trash.
Skincare that works, is that really so much to ask?
So, that leads us to Vitamin C Serum…
Does it actually work?
The short and sweet answer is… yes!
Good news, right?
Ok but how does it work and what does it do in terms of skin health?
Before we get to that, let’s go over a quick background of vitamin C.
A Brief Background of Vitamin C
Vitamin c is an essential nutrient and powerful antioxidant.
As mentioned earlier, vitamin C is crucial for our health.
It plays a vital role in our immune function, cardiovascular system, metabolism of fat, formation of collagen, and safeguards us from damaging free radicals.
The protective nature of vitamin c helps strengthen our bones, teeth, and skin.
Most plants and animals are able to produce vitamin c on their own but unfortunately humans lack that ability.
So we must get vitamin C through our diet and supplements.
Vitamin C has been well researched throughout time.
It was in 1937 when Dr. Albert Szent Goyrgi was given the Nobel Prize for being able to separate the particular vitamin c molecule from red peppers and recognizing the part it played in Scurvy.
After that, knowledge and research expanded regarding this essential vitamin.
In 1992, special interest was placed on vitamin c in terms of skin health.
This was in response to the published findings of Dr. Sheldon Pinnell of Duke University that showed L-ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C) was successful at reducing sun damage and minimizing swelling and redness.
This lead to even more research studies that further proved vitamin C’s positive effects on the skin.
Companies began creating skin care products that mainly focused on vitamin C (also known as Ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid).
Now we can fast forward to today’s benefits and use of vitamin C.
Benefits of Vitamin C Serum
It’s no coincidence that a great portion of beauty products, facial creams, and serums include vitamin C in their formulas.
Facial serums are special because they are one of the only products that contain active vitamin C.
It’s also been suggested that topical application of vitamin C is 20 times more effective compared to when it’s taken orally.
Here’s how vitamin C serum can improve your skin.
- Promotes Collagen Production
One of the greatest benefits of vitamin C serum is its ability to boost skin collagen.
It does so by stimulating fibroblast activity.
Other than having a funny name, fibroblasts are the most common cell type of connective tissue and play the biggest role in synthesizing collagen.
So an increase in fibroblast activity leads to more collagen, which firms the skin and fills in any fine lines or wrinkles.
Studies suggest that topical application of vitamin C boosts collagen production in both young and aged skin.
This means you can take advantage of vitamin C benefits at any age!
- Protects Skin From Free Radicals
As we talked about earlier, vitamin C helps reduce sun damage.
This potent antioxidant protects the skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, along with neutralizing free radicals.
It also prevents sunburns from spreading and reduces the amount of sunspots and age spots from forming on the skin.
Many other factors can lead to the formation of free radicals such as pollution, smoking and inhaling cigarette smoke, and stress.
Free radicals can lead to oxidative stress, which wreaks havoc on your body and skin.
It damages the dermis, alters the body’s natural moisture barrier, dehydrates the skin, and causes inflammation.
All of these lead to undesirable skin effects such as wrinkles, flaky skin, uneven skin tone, and age spots.
Vitamin c will help keep your cells healthy and protected from these elements.
- Improves Moisture And Hydration
Vitamin C serum is just what you need for dry, parched skin.
It increases collagen production and makes it easier for your skin to lock in moisture and stay supple and hydrated.
This also softens out unsightly and irritating rough, flaky skin.
- Fades Age Spots And Acne Scars
This serum can help fade preexisting scarring from acne and age spots.
It also helps to speed up the body’s natural healing process.
So blemishes and small cuts heal more quickly.
Vitamin c alleviates redness and swelling.
- Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation leads to a number of skin concerns such as redness, itching, irritated, and dry, flakey patches.
Those with sensitive skin know these uncomfortable effects all too well.
Vitamin c is a very strong anti-inflammatory, thus coming to the rescue for all of your inflammation woes.
This essential nutrient also strengthens blood vessels and reduces broken capillaries in the skin.
Additional benefits provided by vitamin C serum include:
- Brightens complexion
- Reduces under eye circles and puffiness
- Prevents stretch marks
- Slows down aging process
- Smooths skin tone and texture
- Gently exfoliates dead skin cells
- Increases effectiveness of your sunscreen
Helpful Tips for Choosing and Using a Vitamin C Serum
Tip #1 – Look for L-Ascorbic Acid
There are quite a few vitamin C derivatives on the market, all having their own upsides and downsides.
L-Ascorbic Acid comes from natural, pure sources of vitamin C (rather than synthetic).
L-Ascorbic Acid is thought to be the best option because the skin can easily and effectively absorb it.
Tip #2 – Pick the right concentration
Vitamin C works well at higher concentrations of 15% – 20%, especially for spot treating.
However, the higher the concentration, the more irritating it can be.
Anything over 20% won’t get absorbed into your skin.
For more sensitive skin, choose 5% – 15% concentration.
Keep in mind that concentrations as little as 0.6% have shown to be effective.
Tip #3 – Proper Packaging
Vitamin C can be extremely delicate and susceptible to elements depending on the form that’s used in your serum.
Buy a vitamin C serum that’s packaged in an airtight, opaque bottle with a pump.
This keeps the vitamin C safe from air and light.
If your serum ever turns a brownish color that means it’s oxidized and shouldn’t be used on your skin.
Tip #4 – pH Level
The pH level refers to how acidic the serum is.
The lower the pH, the more acidic it is.
Optimal pH levels for L-Ascorbic Acid are between 2.5 – 3.5 pH.
If it’s not acidic enough, it won’t be able to penetrate the skin.
If you have more sensitive skin, opt for the higher pH of 3.5.
Tip #5 – Additional Ingredients
The effects of vitamin C can be enhanced with the addition of ferulic acid, vitamin E, and green tea.
Tip #6 – Application
Apply your vitamin C serum after you’ve washed, cleansed, and/or exfoliated your face.
This helps maximize the effectiveness and absorption of the serum by clearing any buildup of dead skin cells.
Allow your serum to soak in for 2-5 minutes before applying any remaining skin care products such as a daily moisturizer or night cream.
Vitamin C is undoubtedly important in our daily lives.
It promotes the normal functioning and health of our bodily systems.
This powerful and essential antioxidant works to benefit our bodies both inside and out.
Its popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, however it’s been used in skincare products for quite some time.
Vitamin C serum is a skin solution, meaning it really does work.
This product works in a number of ways such as with reducing wrinkles, acne scarring, discoloration, free radical damage, dehydrated skin, and inflammation.
It aids in promoting more youthful, radiant skin that you can visibly see and feel.
Just make sure you keep the 6 tips mentioned above in mind when you’re buying and applying this product.
If you need some more help in your search for a vitamin C serum, or any facial serum for that matter, check out our current list of the 10 best face serums!