The main function of our skin is to act as a barrier against environmental damage. The outer layer is highly cellular and provides the barrier function and the inner layer keeps the strength and elasticity, both start to diminish with as we go through life or over-expose ourselves to UV radiation.
When you are children or young adults the skin naturally contains high levels of Vitamin C which supports the collagen but also offers antioxidant protection. As we age these concentrations weaken and the need to supplement them becomes necessary – this is why we apply topical Vitamin C.
Here are some of the benefits using this powerful antioxidant will provide:
Reduced Dark Spots
Vitamin C inhibits the cells that produce melanin which over time will reduce dark spots and pigmentation but also prevent it occurring. This in turn will even out skin tone and give it renewed radiance. This is why brands use the word “brightening” in the name on Vitamin C products.
UV damage is the number one environmental aggressor that diminishes the structure of our skin. This is why Sunscreen is hailed as the most powerful anti-aging product we can use to combat this. That being said, applying Vitamin C daily can shield the skin even more and offer protection against free radical damage, and it works so well combined with your SPF. Think of it as your skin’s protection duo – this is why I always recommend using Vitamin C in the mornings.
Vitamin C can stabilize collagen and elastin in our skin keeping it plump and youthful longer.
With consistent daily use expect reduced dark spots and pigmentation, fewer fine lines and wrinkles but also a much more radiant, even skin tone.
Things to note:
- Vitamin C is very sensitive to air and light so always look for an airtight pump or bottle and never leave the lid off or in direct sunlight. It will oxidize and the benefits of that product will be gone.
- Look for a Vitamin C of around 10-15% in a serum or booster. Vitamin C that is formulated in a cream or sheet mask are typically lower dose derivatives that will give you the same benefits but just over a longer period of time.
- Vitamin C is an acid but not an exfoliating one so can be used alongside exfoliants. That being said, it does have a lower PH level so can cause skin barrier issues (sensitivity) in some so I recommend using it in your morning routine and exfoliants at night. Like I said it has powerful protecting and shielding abilities so should be fit into this routine alongside your sunscreen for the best results.
- Pregnancy – there is no evidence that Vitamin C is not safe to use whilst pregnant but like I always recommend. Seek your GP advice on anything if you’re unsure.
How to apply
I use Vitamin C in my morning routines and apply straight onto clean skin, after cleansing. This is an “active” ingredient with powerful antioxidant properties so I want my skin to get the best possible results from using it. By layering it on top of another serum or cream you are effectively buffering its ability to penetrate the skin and not gaining all of its wonderful benefits.
A few of my favorite Vitamins C’s are the Paula’s Choice C15 Booster, Skinceuticals C E Ferulic, Oskia Super C Capsules, Murad Environmental Shield, Drunk Elephant C-Firma & Estee Lauder Rapid Brightening Treatment.
Some other products I highly recommend below