Squeeeze! What does Vitamin C actually do for the skin? We know there are many health benefits to consuming Vitamin C. It supports healthy brain and nervous system function, assists with iron absorption and is vital to your body's healing process. (Key players for immune health are Vitamin A, Zinc, Vitamin C, Copper, Selenium, and Vitamin D). But for our skin, Vitamin C has an entirely different function. It's a powerful antioxidant that protects healthy skin cells and plays a significant role in collagen production. When we're young, Vitamin C levels in the skin are abundant, but these levels naturally deplete as we age. Serums to the rescue! Molecules in serums are smaller than in creams, allowing active ingredients to penetrate a deeper layer in the skin. A high-quality Vitamin C formula delivers face-brightening and skin-tightening results and is suitable for most skin types, from acne-prone, hyperpigmentation, oily, dry, to sensitive. Vitamin C serums and creams give the skin noticeable benefits and are a key player in helping you reach your skin goals.
Benefits of Vitamin C for the Skin
If there's just one active ingredient needed in your skincare routine, it's Vitamin C. Here's why:
Promotes Collagen Production
Vitamin C is praised by dermatologists for being one of the best anti-aging ingredients on the market. When used regularly, it decreases the appearance of fine lines and sunspots. It does this by promoting collagen production. Collagen is a protein that naturally occurs in the body. As we age, we make less of it. The lack of collagen results in signs of aging like fine lines and skin that has lost some elasticity. Because Vitamin C is highly acidic, it initiates the skin's 'heal' reflex, thus accelerating collagen and elastin production.
3 Ways to Protect Your Natural Collagen for Healthy Skin
🍊 Eating foods high in antioxidants, like fruits and vegetables, and avoiding a diet high in sugar, helps to prevent collagen breakdown.
🍊 Quit smoking. Many chemicals found in tobacco damage collagen and elastin in the skin (amongst other things). Nicotine narrows blood vessels compromising skins health by reducing the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the skin.
Lightens + Brightens
Vitamin C is packed sky-high with antioxidants and promotes healthy skin cell function and better moisture retention. Two things you'll need to get that glowy goodness. You may notice that Vitamin C-rich under-eye creams are buzz-worthy at the moment, and for good reason! While this workhorse ingredient is typically most effective at reducing overall redness, the right Vitamin C eye cream formula can deliver potent antioxidants to thin under-eye skin - brightening discolouration and firming the overall skin texture. Our Fitglow Beauty Eye C Firm has a 5% concentration of bio-available Vitamin C and contains Vitamin C Liposome, which is Vitamin C in its purest form. Pro tip: Keep it in the fridge for extra soothing and firming.
Repairs + Nourishes
Because Vitamin C is an antioxidant, it protects skin cells from sun damage and free radicals. Free radicals are inherently unstable molecules, and their effects are no joke: they damage the dermis of the skin and alter the moisture barrier, skin texture, colour, and cell functioning. So while you can load up on Vitamin C in your diet, the best way to achieve glowy skin results is through application directly to the skin's surface. Not only does a Vitamin C serum act like armour against pollution, it aids in wound healing - good news for those of us who suffer from acne.
Topical Vitamin C's most notable contribution? That oh so dewy, youthful, glowing skin. Use Vitamin C on your skin once, and you'll see it; use it regularly over time, and the radiance is cumulative. Vitamin C softens dark spots by increasing cell turnover, resulting in a brighter, more even complexion. Its' anti-inflammatory properties help reduce redness, dark spots, scars and irritation, making for a clear, silky skin tone and even complexion.
Vitamin C Application
Now that we know the benefits of Vitamin C let's get into the nitty-gritty of how to use this buzzy ingredient. What step in your skincare routine should your Vitamin C serum be applied? After cleansing and toning, your Vitamin C serum should be applied as your third step, followed by a moisturizer. A good rule of thumb for your skincare routine is to apply your products from thinnest to thickest texture; commonly: toner, serum, moisture, SPF. For optimal results, warm a small amount of Vitamin C serum onto your fingers and gently pat it in to your face and neck. If your skin is more on the reactive side, consider a patch test to assess your risk of reaction.
Myth 1: Vitamin C is for Nightime Use Only
Wrongo! You can use Vitamin C morning or evening. Vitamin C in its purest form is acidic, which is why it was once considered to make skin sensitive to the sun. Studies now show this powerful antioxidant can help protect skin against free radical damage from the sun and environmental pollution. Vitamin C contains a small amount of sun protection and helps your sunscreens' potency, though it should never be used alone as a sun barrier. Whichever time of day you choose to use it - consistency is key.
Myth 2: Acids and Retinols Don't Mix with Vitamin C
Not true! Vitamin C plays well with other ingredients! In fact, combining Vitamin C with some products like Niacinamide - a form of Vitamin B3 famous for its soothing and healing properties - help to combat skin discolouration. If pigmentation overproduction is your skin concern, Vitamin C helps prevent overproduction, while Niacinamide prevents pigmentation transfer within cells. The ultimate power couple! Vitamin C also pairs nicely with Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E to enhance efficacy. While it can be used alongside retinol, it's best to space out the application over different times of the day or alternate the two in your nighttime routine.
Myth 3: Vitamin C Discolours Skin
Nope! When used over time, Vitamin C evens out and brightens the skin tone. If you're getting a bit of a faux tan look, it means your product has oxidized and will no longer be effective (bummer!). Unfortunately, Vitamin C is notoriously unstable. Exposure to air, light and heat can spoil your product. That is why every Vitamin C product sold at The Green Kiss comes in airtight pumps, opaque, or dark glass packaging. As an alternative to temperamental serums, 100% Pure jumped on the powder form of Vitamin C craze to help improve stability and increase shelf life. As a reminder, store your Vitamin C serum in a cool, dark place. The typical colour of a Vitamin C serum is anywhere from clear to pale yellow. If your product has turned brown, it has oxidized. Don't put oxidized ascorbic acid on your skin - it will work against you.
Myth 4: Sensitive Skin Doesn't Like Vitamin C
False! Vitamin C can still work wonders for you if your skin is highly reactive! Vitamin C serums and creams can be used on all skin types, you just have to find a compatible formulation. First, it is important to patch-test your product. From there, start with a small, spaced-out application, and build up (similar to when using a retinol). None of our products should sting or itch upon application. We recommend using Vitamin C every other day if the ingredient is new to your skincare routine.
Myth 5: 20% or Bust
Ok, we don't love whoever started this rumour; it's just not true! Topical Vitamin C does not need to be 20% to be effective. The efficacy of Vitamin C lies in its pH levels and formulation. What matters most is the serum absorbs well into the skin. If a formula is known to have better absorption, a lower concentration can give more visible results. A higher percentage of L-ascorbic acid doesn't always mean a better product. It can be too strong for your skin, causing it to react.
Slow and steady wins the race - lower concentrations of Vitamin C provide cumulative benefits without the reactions. Lower strengths of Vitamin C can also help enhance the benefits of other youth-preserving ingredients such as retinol and ceramides. When reading your ingredient label, make sure this workhorse vitamin appears close to the top.
Myth 6: Vitamin C Replaces Your Exfoliant
Negative! Unlike traditional exfoliants that use a physical or chemical process to slough away dead cells, Vitamin C promotes healthy cell turnover and, as a result, is mildly exfoliating, leaving skin brighter and smoother. New skin cells = that good glow! That said, Vitamin C does not replace your exfoliant. In fact, if you are not regularly exfoliating your skin before applying your Vitamin C products, you are not getting the full benefits from this rockstar ingredient.
Would eating 50 oranges a day improve the quality of your skin? Yes. But we don't recommend it! There's a serum for that. As a highly-vetted and well-loved ingredient to skincare experts worldwide, it's no surprise there's an overabundance of Vitamin C serums on the market. We've taken our time to vet many different clean and effective Vitamin C serums and have curated a beautiful selection that has something for everyone. If you're overwhelmed by the options, give us a call, or pop into the shop for a complimentary skin consultation.
Add To Cart
Here are some of our favourite, freshly squeezed products starring Vitamin C:
- 100 Percent Pure Vitamin C Serum
- 100 Percent Pure Vitamin C Boost
- 100 Percent Pure Brightening Serum
- Fitglow Beauty Eye C Firm
- Fitglow Beauty Vita-Active Serum
- Glow Jar Beauty AM Vitamin C Serum
- Josh Rosebrook Active Infusion Oil
- Josh Rosebrook C Bright Complex
- Orgaid Youth Serum
- Viva Organics Bio Brightening C Serum
Vitamin C is Not Exclusive to Serums.
The best way to see results from Vitamin C is to use it in a serum form. However, if you're not a serum gal or guy, and want fewer steps in your skincare routine, here are some other great ways to incorporate Vitamin C:
- 100 Percent Pure Bright Eyes Mask
- 100 Percent Pure 50% Vitamin C Mask
- Orgaid Vitamin C & Revitalizing Organic Sheet Mask
The Bottom Line
Like we need any more convincing! Our hero, Vitamin C, known for its brightening, smoothing and firming abilities, is an ingredient that should be a part of everyone's skincare routine. Vitamin C is one of the best tried-and-true ingredients for your skin, with lots of research to back it up. It's strong enough to fight cold symptoms from the inside; and defends skin against dark spots, signs of ageing, air pollution and sun damage from the outside. It helps to heal blemishes and gives your skin that just-right glow. For optimal results, use Vitamin C in conjunction with a proper skincare regime. Pop into the shop, or contact us to schedule a complimentary Zoom consult to discuss your skin type and create a personalized skincare routine that's just right for you.
Copywriter, The Green Kiss