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Since the discovery of Vitamin C in the 1930s, a whole lot of research has gone into the benefits and uses of vitamin C. We all know the beneficial effect of ingesting vitamin C as our mothers will always remind us to take vitamin C even for common cold and flu.
As humans, we cannot synthesize vitamin C within our bodies. Therefore, we must supplement with foods and diets. Foods such as citrus fruits, black currants, leafy green vegetables, red pepper, and so on. Taking vitamin C has been shown to decrease certain types of cancer, heal wounds, protect the immune system, and reduce cardiovascular disease.
Unfortunately, ingesting vitamin C does not increase the level of vitamin C on the skin because of the limitation of the gastrointestinal tract. Even if little vitamin C gets to the skin, the sun radiation will deplete it. That is why it is important to enhance vitamin C levels in the skin through the topical application of vitamin C serums. Here are my top 5 skincare benefits of vitamin C serum for your face
Top 5 Benefits Of Using Vitamin C Serum For Your Face
1. Promotes the production of collagen and reduces wrinkle formation
Collagen is a protein that is present within the skin’s dermal layer which is the layer beneath the skin you see in the mirror. Collagen is very abundant and makes up 75% of the skin’s dermal layer providing smoothness and elasticity to the skin. But as age progresses, there is the decline of collagen resulting in wrinkles and sagginess.
For collagen to properly form within the skin without breaking down, it needs vitamin C. Without Vitamin C, the formation of collagen is disrupted. Therefore the addition of vitamin C interacts with the amino acid within the collagen and adds hydrogen and oxygen to boost collagen production.
So vitamin C serum generally helps boost collagen levels to give you that bouncier, firmer, and healthy skin.
2. Protects The Skin From Sun Damage
Vitamin C serum is a very powerful antioxidant meaning it neutralizes and removes free radicals that could potentially damage the skin. It protects the skin from toxins from the environment and also UV radiation. Vitamin C has shown to be the most potent in providing antioxidant protection through enzymatic and non-enzymatic ways.
For vitamin C serum to be a very effective antioxidant, it must be used together with vitamin E and/or Ferulic Acid. This combination makes vitamin C able to recycle vitamin E into its active form thereby regenerating the antioxidant protection.
3. Reduce Hyperpigmentation/Dark Spots
Hyperpigmentation is a common skin problem that is very undesirable. It can happen to any skin type but it is more prominent in the skin of colour. The gold standard for treating hyperpigmentation is by using hydroquinone.
However, using vitamin C serum to treat hyperpigmentation also works because the antioxidant effect of vitamin C inhibits melanin production. Also, the application of vitamin C serum on the skin stays on the skin without getting easily washed off like sunscreens. This gives it protection from hyperpigmentation caused by the sun.
4. Hydrates The Skin
As we age, the skin begins to lose its natural moisturizing factors such as ceramides, and cell renewal is reduced. This makes the skin looks dry, dull, and rough. Studies have shown that the addition of vitamin C serum protects the skin from losing water and helps decrease skin roughness.
5. Promotes Wound Healing
Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C and its ability to increase collagen production, it promotes wound healing. It can also be helpful in skin conditions such as acne and rosacea.
Vitamin C Derivative Serums
Now that we know the skincare benefits of vitamin C, it is time to focus on the various derivatives of vitamin C serum. There are lots of vitamin C derivatives in the market but I am only going to mention a few here.
This is the purest form of vitamin C and it works immediately after you apply it to the skin. This makes it a very potent antioxidant. But the problem with this is that it is very unstable and may easily become oxidized making it go bad. It is easily sensitized by oxygen and light within minutes. This is why a lot of skincare brands go for vitamin C serum derivatives.
However, some companies have successfully formulated a product using this derivative with a PH below 3.5
Skinceuticals C E Ferulic is one of the very few companies to formulate L-ascorbic acid is a stable form and it works extraordinarily well in the skin.
Due to the unstable form of L-ascorbic, companies have come up with other derivatives of vitamin C and that is Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THD). This derivative is very promising and it is known to be the “gold standard”.
THD is oil soluble meaning it penetrates deep into the skin where it is converted to the active form of vitamin c (L-ascorbic) to perform its magic. It brightens the skin, gives anti-oxidant protection from UVA and UVB and it increases collagen production.
This derivative can be found in products like Biossance Squalene & Vitamin C Rose Oil
Magnesium Ascorbyl phosphate
This derivative is known to increase skin’s hydration as well as calm the skin from sensitization. It also brightens and evens skin tone. Although this derivative can come as a serum it’s creamy in nature. An example is found in Paula’s Choice Super Antioxidant Serum
This is also a water-soluble derivative that can be paired with niacinamide for the best results. It is very stable and easy to formulate and it also works to boost collagen and other vitamin c benefits. An example is The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside solution
Sodium ascorbyl phosphate
This derivative is one of the most effective neutralizers of free radicals and has the potential to reduce the signs of photoaging. It is a very stable form of vitamin C. When applied to the skin, the enzymes in the skin take it up and activate it to ascorbic acid to do its magic. It can be seen in Ole Henriksen Truth Serum
How To Use Vitamin C Serum In Your Skincare Routine
If you are just starting to use vitamin C serum in your skincare routine, then start with low concentrations of vitamin C and move your way up as your skin begins to tolerate it. I would highly recommend starting with one of the derivatives as it is much less irritating and suitable for sensitive skin.
You should also apply your vitamin C serum during the day before your sunscreen due to its antioxidant property, its ability to fight off free radicals and prevent sun damage.
Vitamin C serum and its derivatives protect against photoaging, improve skin tone and brighten the skin, boost collagen production, and lastly provide antioxidant effects. So adding vitamin C serum to your skincare routine is definitely a plus that makes your face healthy and glowing.