Double Defence: Using vitamin C with SPF
The Double Defence Kits from SkinCeuticals are back again this year, so let’s talk about why we should be using a vitamin C serum and SPF together.
Did you know that an antioxidant serum and protective broad-spectrum sunscreen are two of the most powerful products in any skincare routine; and when used together, their effectiveness increases and provides the skin with DOUBLE the DEFENCE against environmental aggressors.
Let’s deep dive into why vitamin C and SPF are so important with Dr. Laura
Why should we use a Vitamin C and SPF every day?
"These are two of my favourite ingredients to use, and an essential part of all skin routines in the clinic. We know so much about how they work, and what results we see on our skin. Vitamin C reduces pigmentation by decreasing melanin formation. Sunlight and its constituent components actively break down collagen fibres and stimulate melanocytes to form pigmentation and uneven skin tone. SPF then not only protects from collagen breakdown and pigmentation, but also supports the full mechanism of action of Vitamin C. And not to forget, that the most important reason to combine both is to protect the skin from cell DNA damage from free radicals that can lead to skin cancers”
How does Vitamin C help protect from environmental factors?
“Vitamin C is an antioxidant and I like to refer to these as the Pacman of the skin. When the skin is exposed to damaging environmental factors, such as UV damage, or pollution, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated. These ROS contribute to inflammation, ageing and sagging skin through elastosis. Vitamin C protects the skin from these oxidative stressors by donating electrons to neutralise the free radicals. Therefore antioxidants like vitamin C combat these important skin health issues.”
Why should vitamin C and SPF always be used together?
“We now know that combining a vitamin C serum with a broad spectrum sunscreen is more effective at neutralising free radical damage than sunscreen alone. The combination has also been shown to significantly reduce UVB induced erythema and sunburn”.
Does vitamin C increase sun sensitivity?
"No Vitamin C provides the skin with sun protection, helping protect against sensitivity. We also know that by combining Vitamin E with the vitamin C it can potentiate the action of vitamin C in the skin. CE Ferulic and Phloretin CF have both been provide to provide up to 8 times the environmental protection.”
What to look for in a vitamin C serum and SPF?
The effectiveness of a vitamin C serum is determined by the formulation. There are a couple of different things to look out for including a low pH, high concentration L-Ascorbic Acid and ideally addition of ingredients like Vitamin E and Ferulic acid. For instance, CE Ferulic contains 15% LAA and is a triple antioxidant as it is combined with 0.5% ferulic acid as well as 1% vitamin E. Phloretin CF contains 10% LAA and 0.5% Ferulic acid but works on pigmentation with 2% Phloretin. Both products are fast absorbed and require only once daily application.
From an SPF you need to look out that it is broad spectrum, providing both UVA and UVB protection. Ideally a minimum of SPF30 but if you can find one you like at SPF50 then all the better. “My best advice is find one that you like, and use it every day”. SOme of our favourite SPFs include Advanced Brightening UV Defense SPF50 as its very lightweight, colourless and is easy to reapply. It also contains 1% Tranexamic Acid to reduce the appearance of pigmentation and 2% Niacinamide (one of Dr. Laura’s favourite ingredients) which has skin barrier function benefits.
When should I use vitamin C in my routine?
The best time to apply Vitamin C is in the AM. This is due to the environmental protection it provides the skin as you go about your day, when UV radiation is at its highest. Use after a gentle cleanser in the AM and follow with your favourite moisturiser and SPF.
Which Vitamin C Serum from SkinCeuticals is the right one for me?
SkinCeuticals have three different Vitamin C options in the Double Defence series for every type of skin type.
CE Ferulic is its first ground breaking high potency triple-antioxidant formula that delivers 8 x the amount of environmental protection. It does this with 15% L-ascorbic acid, 1% Vitamin E an d0.5% ferulic acid that work together to reinforce the skin’s natural defences against aggressors including UV and pollution while improving ageing signs such as lines and wrinkles. WIth the addition of vitamin E it is suitable for more normal to dry skin types, and those whose primary concern is ageing. CE Ferulic is paired with a full size Ultra Facial Defense, definitely one of SkinCeuticals best SPFs.
Silymarin CF is the latest serum to join SKinCeuticals antioxidant family and is an ideal option if you have more of a blemish prone skin type. Formulated with 15% L ascorbic acid, 0.5% ferulic acid, 0.5% salicylic acid and 0.5% silymarin it helps to prevent the free radical damage and reduce oil oxidation. Both of these can play a part in female adult acne, and Dr. Laura has had great success using this product on these patients in clinic. This formula also helps to reduce oiliness, the appearance of and visible signs of ageing. Silymarin is paired with a full size Oil Shield Defense making this the perfect combo for oily / acne prone skin.
Phloretin CF works to protect the skin against enviromnemntal aggressors while also helping to diminish the appearance of hyperpigmentation and improving skin tone for a brighter looking complexion. It does this with a powerful patented combination of 2% Phloretin, 10% L Ascorbic acid and 0.5% ferulic acid. So ideal for those looking to treat pigmentation. Phloretin CF is paired with Advanced Brightening UV Defense which contains both tranexamic acid and niacinamide to help work on reducing pigmentation.