I read a 10-thousand-word scientific article on Vitamin C so you don’t have to.
Since its emergence, Vitamin C has never ceased to be a hype in the beauty community. It is praised by many, experts included, for it’s various benefits when it comes to topical use on the skin. On the other hand, Vitamin C is also a notorious skincare ingredient, which is evident from numerous reports of allergic reaction. So what’s the fuss all about? Let's squeeze the truth out.
Vitamin C used in topical products, namely skin serums, are typically in its ascorbic acid form, so basically an acid. Imagine eating an acidic food on an empty stomach, like a whole ass lime for breakfast. Your stomach will very likely get a little groany. In the same manner, your skin needs to be primed and prepped before you put Vitamin C on it. I’m gonna show you exactly how to do that in a bit, but let’s first get to know this Vitamin C guy a little more and see what good he can bring into your life, before deciding to take him back to your place.
Vitamin C is a naturally occurring nutrient in our body. It has tremendous cells reparation ability, which is precisely why my mom would always make me fresh orange juice when I’m sick. When not busy curing a kid faking her sickness to skip school, Vitamin C can provide a whole lot of benefits to our skin.
Protect against sun exposure and environmental pollutants
Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant, meaning that it’s gonna shield you from external factors that are bad for your skin. Vitamin C is most commonly known for its ability to increase the skin’s resistance against them nasty UV rays, but factually speaking this ability is very minimal if Vitamin C is left to its own device. In order for Vitamin C to maximize its effects, experts advise that it is used in combination with Vitamin E. In addition, taking Vitamin C as an oral or topical supplement can make up for the loss of Vitamin C within the skin cells, which usually comes after prolonged exposure to the sun.
Slow down the skin’s aging process
While Vitamin C is not some sort of dark magic you can practice to stay young forever, it does help you retain a youthful look longer than nature intended. Aging means that your cells take longer to regenerate. Vitamin C can compensate for this process by boosting the production of collagen and elastin in your skin. Both the oral and topical reception of Vitamin C has been proven to tighten the skin and reduce wrinkles, while thickening the skin’s barrier in order to restore moisture loss. This explains why Vitamin C has become a cult-favorite amid growing trends towards bouncy and glowy-looking skin.
Reduce hyperpigmentation and blur scars
Another property found in Vitamin C is the ability to challenge the production of melanin, which prevents discoloration and hyperpigmentation. In plain words, Vitamin C helps erase scars (including acne scars from those times you just couldn’t resist popping those damn pimples), and evens out skin tone with the possibility for skin brightening, too.
So in summary, Vitamin C protects you against the bad guys, keeps you from aging and heals your wounds. Sounds like the perfect (also non-existent) guy to me. But hold up y’all, there are some precautions to take before committing to a relationship with C.
Many have shared their horror stories with Vitamin C: tingling sensation, breakouts, rash, etc. As I’ve mentioned in the beginning, Vitamin C is hella acidic by nature. It is therefore super important to choose a product with the right level of Vitamin C concentration for your skin, and prime your skin before topical Vitamin C application. I would therefore recommend you to first of all use a toner that will balance your skin’s pH level and allow for Vitamin C penetration; and second of all to start out with a Vitamin C serum with lower Vitamin C concentration. The concentration level is shown via the percentage of L- ascorbic acid in the product. 5% is said to be a good start, and 21% should be the max. Any increase in concentration beyond this point is merely a marketing scam and will not translate to any significant increase in effectiveness. Please also remember to do a patch test on your forearm before you slap it all on your face. For those with hypersensitive skin, it’s always best to first consult your doctor.
Most Vitamin C serums are stored in a dark-colored bottle, because exposure to light and air can cause oxidization and discoloration, costing the product its usability. The shelf life of Vitamin C is thus usually on the shorter side. When the serum darkens in color, it is a good indicator that you should throw it away. On the bright side, serums in general comes in small bottles, and you in order to see its benefits will need to use the serum everyday anyways, it is likely that you will have emptied the bottle before it starts going bad.
There are some skincare ingredients that you should avoid if you want Vitamin C to be a part of your routine.
- Vitamin C + Vitamin A (retinol): these two ingredients optimize at totally different pH levels of the skin, so using them together would be a waste of either one of them. We ain’t got no money for that.
- Vitamin C + AHA/BHA: the A’s stand for “acid”. That’s like, two times acid for your face so again, if your skin is sensitive or not yet used to high levels of acidity, it is best to not put these in the same routine.
- Vitamin C + Benzoyl Peroxide: Benzoyl Peroxide can oxidize Vitamin C. Nuff’ said
Wow pheww, that was a lot of information, and it’s only the half of what you need to know about Vitamin C in skin care. If you’ve made it this far in the article, good for you man, you did great! Tune in next time to explore with me how to best utilize the benefits of Vitamin C for our skin, and what products you should consider trying out.
Stay sweet my sugar babies,
Sugar Baby Club
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