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Vitamin C: A Hero Ingredient To Include In Your Skincare Routine

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When it comes to multitasking skincare heroes, vitamin C is definitely taking the spotlight. Whether you’re a skincare obsessive or a moisturize-and-go type of person, it’s impossible you haven’t heard about vitamin C. This impressive all-rounder it’s been under the radar for a while, and sincerely, all skin types need it. Its ability to fight free radicals makes it one of the most potent antioxidants, but its benefits don’t stop here. Vitamin C tackles fine lines and wrinkles, brightens dark spots, and keeps the skin protected against free radicals damage. Yes, vitamin C is a supreme antioxidant, and there’s much more you should know about it. Stay tuned.

What is vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vital nutrient, needed for cell growth and repair, present in citrus and some vegetables, that the human body can’t produce. The only way to get vitamin C is by including it in your diet, skincare products, or taking it as a supplement.

Although you can get this vitamin from foods, your skin benefits a whole lot more if you apply it topically or take it as a supplement.  

Benefits of vitamin C in skincare

If you’re still confused about vitamin C’s effectiveness as a protective and corrective agent, read on to clear your doubts.

Protects the skin

Free radicals (UV, pollution, smoke, dust) are the primary causes of premature skin aging. So, to keep oxidative stress at bay, you need to replenish your skin with antioxidants every single day. As one of the most potent antioxidants, vitamin C scavenges free radicals, defending skin against dark spots and early wrinkles. P.S.: This study reveals that topically vitamin C has better photoprotection benefits when used in combination with vitamin E, than either vitamin alone.

Boosts collagen production

Vitamin C is considered one of the most potent anti-agers thanks to its ability to protect the existing collagen and encourage new collagen to form. So, diligently using vitamin C in your skincare routine leads to increased plumpness, firmness, and elasticity. By the same token, vitamin C is great at speeding up wound healing too. More collagen provides a better framework for skin repair, making vitamin C a go-to for acne sufferers as well.

Fades hyperpigmentation

Not only does vitamin C prevents hyperpigmentation by shielding the skin against UV damage, but it actually brightens dark spots. Vitamin C inhibits the activity of tyrosinase (the enzyme responsible for pigment production), brightening dark patches and evening skin tone.

Reduces redness and skin inflammation

Whether you struggle with breakouts, sun damage, or irritations, vitamin C can help. As a supreme antioxidant, vitamin C also has anti-inflammatory benefits, calming the skin and reducing redness.

Who can use vitamin C?

If you’ve been having problems with your skincare because of your skin type, vitamin C  could be the ideal ingredient for you. It doesn’t matter whether you have normal, dry, or oily skin. You can use vitamin C for a long time without having any adverse effects on your skin — more on which form of vitamin C to use depending on your skin type later on. As an aside, if your skin is on the easily reactive side, you should start with a low concentrated product to avoid possible irritations.

How to use vitamin C 

For boosted effects, use vitamin C serums — thanks to their watery consistencies, serums sink actives right into the skin for transformative benefits. To get most of your vitamin C serum, layer it twice daily, in your AM and PM routine, after cleansing and toning, and before moisturizer and sunscreen. This is how you get baby-soft skin!

What ingredients does vitamin C pair well with

In general, vitamin C works wonders with other antioxidants such as vitamin E and ferulic acid, as well as with hydrating and replenishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, peptides, and squalane. On the other hand, you should avoid mixing vitamin C with less skin-friendly actives such as retinol and glycolic acid.

Still, you can use vitamin C with retinol or vitamin C with glycolic acid by alternating their use, one in the morning and the other at night, so you can reap all the benefits of these superpower ingredients. Actually, our skincare dictionary and ingredients cheat list are great places to keep an eye on all skincare actives and learn how you can mix them for dramatic results.

How to choose the best vitamin C

If your skin is normal or oily, opt for products enhanced with L-ascorbic acid, the most active form of vitamin C. For dry and mature skin, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP) is the most beneficial. It’s made by combining pure vitamin C with a magnesium salt that promotes deeper hydration, yet it has less antioxidant power than pure vitamin C.

Look for products with airtight containers

When shopping for vitamin C products, always go for opaque, airtight bottles because vitamin C can lose its potency if exposed to air or heat. This also means that you should store it in a cool place, like a fridge, for instance, to prevent it from coming in contact with sun rays.

The takeaway

There’s a reason vitamin C is one of the most hailed skincare ingredients — because it works. Adding vitamin C products to your routine is nothing but a brilliant idea as it packs all the good stuff for keeping skin healthy.

Who wrote this?
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu
Ana is a sociologist and feminist with a shared passion for literature, psychology, and skincare, the combo that made her determined to start Women's Concepts. With over five years of experience in dermatological research, she has now become a certified skincare consultant keen to convince others of the importance of a diligent routine. Her close relationships with dermatologists around the globe, along with years of researching, analyzing studies, and hand-testing products on a daily basis, made Ana one of the best persons you can get advice from.
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Women's Concepts relies on the latest scientific research to provide accurate, complete, and fact-based information in skincare, on which we're willing to stake our reputation. Our team includes skincare experts who are highly regarded in their fields and committed to upholding the best standards of research. We spend quality time vetting every single product we recommend and double-checking all the facts shared on Women's Concepts. We always stand on the side of inclusivity, and our mission is to help everyone fix their skin issues as they arise and leverage the products they buy to achieve their goals. You can view our expert review board and everything about our editorial guidelines here.
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