Vitamin C is fantastic for almost all of your skin concerns – it lightens discoloration, produces new collagen (for younger, plumper looking skin) and helps to fight off free-radical damage – and this is also why vitamin C is making it’s mark as a mainstay skin care ingredient. Be warned though, not all vitamin C products are created equal – and they range in strength from mild to abrasive! Those that contain a high concentration of vitamin C can possibly irritate the skin – on the other hand though, if the formula is weak and unstable – no benefits will be rendered (obviously). My favorite vitamin C serum comes in a 20% concentration, doesn’t irritate the skin and can be found here.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, has the ability to control oily skin, hydrates and shields against UV rays that sunscreen can’t. All types of vitamin C act similarly, the question is which are the most stable and best able to penetrate the skin. For vitamin C to be effective it can’t oxidize – unstable vitamin C may promote free-radical formation, actually causing damage. Be cautious – remember to store it in a dry, dark place – once it goes brown (or just really dark) it just isn’t as effective anymore.
L-ascorbic acid is the closest to a natural form of vitamin C found in skin care products today. This is the version found in our diets – it’s too bad that it’s not very stable though. Companies don’t start with vitamin C derived from fruits but rather synthesized production in a manufacturing plant. Regardless of the source – be it extracted from an orange, plant or other natural element – all extracts of vitamin C need to be “processed” to some degree to make them applicable and usable in skin care.
Vitamin C Esters
Some skin care brands choose to use synthetic vitamin C because it may be more readily available, less expensive or more sustainable in formula. Synthetic forms of vitamin C like this tend to break down a bit slower.
Do you already incorporate vitamin C into your beauty routine?