When to Use Vitamin C in Your Skincare?
Along with SPF, retinol and a gentle cleanser, here at Dr. Laura’s clinic we cannot stress how important vitamin C is as one of the most beneficial ingredients to add to your everyday skincare routine.
But what exactly does vitamin C do for your skin you may be asking? To keep it short and sweet, Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help to brighten dark areas of skin, aid in smoothing fine lines whilst also neutralising skin harming free radicals from the environment, including the likes of pollution or UV radiation!
Before you pick up your card and buy the first bottle of this incredible orange serum you lay your eyes on, there are some important things to think about here simply because not all vitamin C products are created equally. Depending on the product’s specific formulation and your own personal skin concerns and needs, vitamin C can be irritating or sometimes harsh on your skin.
In this post we are going to have a chat about why and how we think you should incorporate a vitamin C serum into your day to day skincare routine.
What exactly is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is actually found in food and supplements, however it has also had proven skincare benefits when applied on a regular basis to the skin.
What exactly does vitamin C do for your skin?
As we mentioned above, it has the potential to help with a lot of skin issues, especially when applied topically in serum form. It has anti-aging benefits as it can help your skin produce collagen, a protein that gives your complexion a firmer, bouncier feel, which in turn helps to improve the look of those lovely fine lines and wrinkles we all develop over time.
We also mentioned that it can help to brighten dull skin! With consistent use, your skin can achieve a natural healthy glow and become more even in tone! This occurs simply because vitamin C inhibits the over-production of melanin, the substance in your body that produces pigmentation in our hair, eyes, and skin. Different parts of the skin will create too much melanin sometimes which is what leads to hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin C also aids to prevent skin damage that can be caused by environmental aggressors, like UV rays, pollution, or smoke for example. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights free radicals that age our skin. Vitamin C also has anti-inflammatory properties and boosts wound healing by helping cells migrate to the area of the skin injury, let’s just say it’s a game changing product!
Along with every other skincare ingredient on the market, there are possible side effects too which are important to mention, especially if you are using vitamin C for the first time. Some people may experience side effects like skin irritation, for example tingling upon application, redness, and itching, however this usually only happens to those with sensitive or reactive skin. Here at the clinic we always recommend doing a patch test on an area of skin before you try any new product, especially if you’re using a serum. Start off by applying a small amount of the product to your inner arm for a couple of days to see how your skin reacts before going ahead and applying it all over the skin on your face.
How should you use vitamin C?
We get this question a lot here at the clinic and our answer is simple, we also recommend using Vitamin C as a serum. Serums usually contain the right amount of vitamin C and are designed to be used before applying our moisturiser. Although vitamin C can be used in the morning or evening, a lot of people like to apply it during the day since its antioxidant properties tend to act as a shield to deflect pollution and other environmental aggressors. If you’re trying to be a bit more regimented, we would recommend a three-step routine of cleansing, treating, and last but not least, moisturising. As you can probably tell, the second step of your routine here should be using your vitamin C serum to treat the skin, followed by moisturiser, unless you suffer with oilier skin and prefer to use a serum completely on its own which will work perfectly as well.
To get the most out of using vitamin C and to achieve the best results, always make sure to use your Vitamin C serum and SPF everyday.
Ingredients you should avoid when using Vitamin C:
To avoid irritation if you have sensitive or reactive skin, don’t use any exfoliating acids or products straight away after applying your vitamin C serum. We're not saying you can’t use them on the same day, you most certainly can, just not at the exact same time. For example you could use a vitamin C serum in the morning, and then treat your skin to a good exfoliation in the evening on an alternate basis.
It’s important to also be careful with niacinamide when using vitamin C because it inactivates vitamin C if it is in a product that is mainly water based. Once again, we’re not saying to avoid it altogether, if you want to use niacinamide, maybe stick to keeping that as part of your nighttime routine.
An example of a high quality vitamin C serum would be C E Ferulic by Skinceuticals. As stated on the shop page of our website, this product is an antioxidant treatment and skin protector which has been designed to defend against photoaging and reveal more youthful skin. This game changing product by Skinceuticals neutralises free radicals, and promotes collagen production whilst also delivering unmatched antioxidant protection with a formula containing 15% pure L-ascorbic acid and 1% alpha tocopherol, plus ferulic acid for a super-antioxidant combination.
Some of Dr. Laura’s favourite vitamin C products include;
Best for sensitive skin
SkinCeuticals Serum 10, €80. 00
Best for pigmentation
SkinCeuticals, Phloretin CF, €165
Best for all around protection
SkinBetter Science, Alto Defense , €165
Best for anti ageing
SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic , €160
Best for high dose Vitamin C for those accustomed to the product
iS Clinical GenXC, €180, with 20% L Ascorbic acid (highest amount you can get).
Click here to shop our full range of Vitamin C products.