Vitamin C is a long-known, well-studied and provenly effective ingredient. Following acids and retinol, it is part of the gold standard of dermatology. This article will find out why vitamin C is needed in cosmetics, what it is, and how to use vitamin C serum correctly.
Why vitamin C is needed in cosmetics
Vitamin C is a truly multifunctional component. As part of cosmetics, he can be active:
- Fight free radicals – vitamin C has the strongest antioxidant properties;
- Stimulating collagen synthesis in the dermal layer is a clinically proven anti-ageing component;
- Reduce hyperpigmentation and improve complexion – vitamin C can inhibit the activity of tyrosinase;
- Strengthen the walls of blood vessels – it has a positive effect on the skin with vitriol;
- Maintain local immunity – Vitamin C enhances the skin’s protective potential.
- Promote natural hydration – it helps to prevent dehydration of the skin.
To fully unlock the full potential of vitamin C, we recommend choosing a serum as the most concentrated product, not cream. And use it every day for at least 2-3 months.
What types of vitamin C in cosmetics exist.
Top vitamin C can be divided into 2 large groups:
- Sour or not stable – Ascorbic acid;
- Not sour or stable – Ascorbil magnesium phosphate, Ascorbyl sodium phosphate, Ascorbyl glucoside, ethyl-ascorbic acid, etc.
Let’s take a quick look at the features of the main types of vitamin C found in serums.
Ascorbic acid (L-Ascorbic Acid) is the most unstable and the only acidic form of vitamin C. It is water-soluble. Works at pH no higher than 3.5. It quickly oxidizes under the influence of air, light, heat. It works best with pigmentation lightening. Because of the low pH, the remedy can cause skin irritation.
Ascorbyl sodium phosphate (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, SAP) is a stable form. Due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can be used to treat the skin with acne. It doesn’t irritate. Effective in low concentrations.
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP) is a stable form. Shown sensitive, distressed, dry skin. It doesn’t irritate. Effective in low concentrations.
Ascorbyl Glucoside is a stable form. Active in small concentrations. It has moisturizing and brightening properties.
Ethyl-ascorbate (3-O-Ethyl Ascorbate) is a stable form. Works in a wide range of pH. It doesn’t even irritate susceptible skin. It is a powerful inhibitor of tyrosinase.
Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is a stable fat-soluble form of vitamin C. Easily penetrates the skin, where it affects the synthesis of collagen. It also has lightening, moisturizing, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant functionality.
Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate is a stable form. Works in a wide range of pH and low concentrations. Soft, non-irritating formula. Efficiency as in ascorbic acid.
9 Tips for Using Vitamin C Serum for Your Face
For the serum with vitamin C to bring only benefits, it should be used correctly. For your convenience, we have prepared the main recommendations:
Morning or evening?
Although there is no strict rule, the best time for vitamin serum is morning. In this case, vitamin C will protect the skin from the harmful effects of free radicals all day long. But! This rule works for a serum with a concentration of ascorbic acid no more than 15%. If the concentration is higher, it is better to use the remedy in evening care.
Dry or wet skin?
To reduce the possible irritating potential of an acidic form of vitamin C, serum with ascorbic acid should be applied to dry skin. If the skin is sensitive, you can first apply a base moisturizer or regenerative toner. Just be sure to wait for its full absorption. And for maximum action, vitamin C should be applied “closer to the skin,” that is, immediately after cleansing, on dry skin.
In this case, the serum with a stable vitamin C works better on a moisturized toner and even slightly moist skin.
Close with cream or not?
The standard recommendation – yes, after the serum, should apply the cream. But first of all, it all depends on the specific remedy and the reaction of the skin. Serums with a light watery texture are usually absorbed “to zero”, so after them, you will feel the need for cream. It will protect the skin from moisture loss and help to maintain comfort.
It’s important to remember! If the serum contains an acidic form of vitamin C, wait 15-30 minutes and bring the cream. If vitamin C is stable, you can immediately use face cream. In the daytime, facial cream can be replaced with sunscreen if you only have enough hydration from it.
Is SPF necessary, or can I do it?
- A wide range of sunscreens should be in your care if:
- Your serum contains acidic vitamin C (same story with acids and retinol);
- Your skin is prone to photo pigmentation;
- You have one or two phototypes.
- THE UV index is above 3.
- You want to preserve your youth and skin health.
5%, 10%, 15% or 20%?
- It is better to start with a small percentage – 5-10% for sensitive skin and for the first acquaintance with ascorbic acid. If the skin is dense, non-reactive or ready for more active action, you can move to the option with a concentration of 15%. Sour vitamin C in concentrations of 20% and above already works as a peeling agent and is not recommended for thin, sensitive and problematic skin.
Exfoliate the skin before or not?
To avoid possible irritation, before applying vitamin serum, it is better not to use enzyme powder, scrub, peeling-stingray, acid-containing toner, retinoids. It is strictly forbidden to apply benzoyl peroxide, as it oxidizes vitamin C. At the same time to apply any of these drugs in the evening is quite acceptable.
Store in the light and the heat or the refrigerator and dark?
Ascorbic acid is volatile. That’s why it’s so important to keep it in the dark, cool place after opening. After each application, remove the serum in a cardboard box (yes, do not throw away the package immediately) and place it on the shelf in the refrigerator.
Serum with stable vitamin C can be stored in a room but away from direct sunlight and heating devices, however, and all other cosmetics.
Do you want to use it quickly or have time to spare?
Serum with an acid form of vitamin C should be used as soon as possible after opening. It is important to hurry to prevent the product from oxidizing. Remember! It is permissible to use a slightly yellowish serum. But if it has become dark yellow/brown and its smell has changed, then vitamin C has oxidized, and it is no longer possible to use such a product.
With stable vitamin C, there are no such problems. However, with regular use every morning, this serum will definitely end in 1-2 months.
Is the result immediately, or need to wait?
Effects that can be seen immediately after application: freshness, increased tone, sometimes radiance.
Effects that appear after 3-8 weeks of regular use: lightening pigmentation, more even tone of the face, improvement of the micro reel.