30th April 2022

What Vitamin C Can and Can’t Do For Your Skin

Last Modified: April 18, 2024

Everyone has heard about Vitamin C and how it’s one of the best things you can apply to your skin. But what does vitamin C do for your skin, exactly? Also, are all vitamin C products created equal? Keep reading to discover why and how you should incorporate this impressive, scientifically-backed ingredient into your skin-care routine.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is an active ingredient that plays a critical role in controlling infections and healing wounds. It's also a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize harmful free radicals— molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to smoke, UV radiation from the sun and other environmental aggressors.

Too many free radicals in the body cause cellular damage and oxidative stress, which can lead to premature ageing of the skin. However, Vitamin C limits the damaging effects of free radicals through its antioxidant capabilities.

Besides that, Vitamin C stimulates the biosynthesis of collagen, a fibrous protein that helps keep our skins healthy, plump and firm.

Not sure what "active ingredients" are or want to learn more? Read: Medical-Grade Skincare Vs. Over-the-Counter

Benefits of Vitamin C for Your Skin?

Vitamin C has a wide range of protective and anti-ageing effects on the skin, especially when applied topically in serum form. Serums typically offer the highest concentrations of active ingredients and have better skin penetration than other vitamin C products, like creams and cleansers.

Here are a few of the numerous benefits you can get from Vitamin C:

1. Fights lines and wrinkles

When fighting off tell-tale signs of your skin’s ageing, vitamin C is a handy tool to have in your arsenal. By promoting collagen production, Vitamin C helps strengthen the dermis, diminish fine lines, and support firm, youthful skin,

2. Revitalises sun-damaged skin

Prolonged sun exposure is the most damaging factor on your skin. Luckily, there is a wealth of scientific evidence from clinical studies demonstrating the efficacy of Vitamin C for providing photoprotection and reversing photodamage. 

3. Minimise redness

Research shows that redness may be caused by blood vessels that dilate too easily. Therefore strengthening these blood vessels with Vitamin C can counteract the inflammation. This is thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C, which help mend the damaged capillaries that cause this discolouration.

4. Improves elasticity

When applied topically, vitamin C accelerates collagen and elastin production, which help keep the skin plump and firm. Since the body naturally makes less and less collagen as it ages, using an ingredient like vitamin C can help slow down skin ageing.

5. Reduces hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation refers to darker areas on the skin that come about when the body produces too much melanin (the pigment that gives your skin its colour). While generally not harmful, many people are self-conscious about how hyperpigmentation makes them look. Vitamin C has been shown to counter hyperpigmentation as it inhibits the production of tyrosinase, an enzyme that contributes to melanin production. With consistent use, you can have a more even skin tone.

Potential Side Effects of Vitamin C

The most common side effects of using a vitamin C serum are skin irritation, redness, and itching. Mostly this affects people with sensitive skin. That’s why we recommend for you do a patch test before you try any new product, especially a potent one like a Vitamin C serum. 

To carry out a patch test, apply a small amount of Vitamin C serum on your inner arm for a day or two. Observe to see how your skin reacts. If there's no adverse reaction you can move on to topical application on your face.

Remember, Vitamin C serums come in different formulations. Stronger formulations can sometimes pose a high risk of irritation. We recommend starting with a gentler formula at first—one that contains less than 5% vitamin C—and then working your way up from there. 

How Do You Use Vitamin C in Skincare?

Here are a few guidelines to get the most out of your Vitamin C serum:

  • Vitamin C serum is typically applied once or twice per day. If you read our post on product layering, you know that you should cleanse, tone, then apply vitamin C serum, and finally moisturize.
  • Vitamin C is an acid that shouldn’t combine with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) like salicylic acid and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) like lactic acid. You also want to avoid using benzoyl peroxide simultaneously with Vitamin C. Doing so will make your Vitamin C less effective, beating the purpose of using it in the first place. Instead, use one at night and the other in the morning or use them on different days. 
  • Experts advise against using Vitamin C together with retinoids—vitamin A derivatives. Both encourage skin cell turnover, and to derive the full benefits; you should use them at different times. Typically we recommend using vitamin C products in the morning and retinoids at night. Retinol products can increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV rays and are best saved for the evening skincare routine. 
  • During the summer months use the vitamin C serum paired with a hydrating broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen.

What’s The Best Vitamin C Product (Our Top Recommendation)

The most efficient way to deliver Vitamin C straight into your skin for best results tends to be with a potent, targeted serum. Look for one with the scientifically-backed form of vitamin C—L-ascorbic acid—on the ingredient list. L-Ascorbic acid is bioavailable, which means that the skin can easily use it for cellular benefit. If it’s paired with other antioxidants like vitamin E or ferulic acid, even better!

EverActive C&E™ + Peptide from AlumierMD meets all these requirements and then some. This potent antioxidant serum combines vitamin C (15% L-ascorbic acid,) Vitamin E (tocopherol acetate, which boosts the efficacy of Vitamin C) and Matrixyl Synthe 6®️ (a powerful, anti-ageing peptide.) 

AlumierMD employs a unique delivery system that ensures that the Vitamin C is always optimally active. Many vitamin C serums oxidize in their bottles while they are on the shelf or at home. When oxidized, vitamin C is no longer offer any benefits to the skin.

That's why AlumierMd Stores the vitamin C crystals separately in a sealed cap while the serum is kept in a different glass bottle. You only add the crystals into the serum when you are ready to use it. This helps to ensure your Vitamin C serum is fresh and active until the very last drop. 

Using this Vitamin C serum, along with other recommended AlumierMD products will completley trasnform your skincare jounrey.

Learn more about EverActive C&E™ + Peptide from AlumierMD here.

Post Reviewed by: Dr Baldeep Farmah
Medically Reviewed on: 30th April 2022
Dr Baldeep Farmah is the Medical Director and lead Doctor of Dr Aesthetica, a Medical Aesthetic Clinic.

"We want to empower everyone who walks through our clinic doors, to be able to look in the mirror and see a happier, brighter version of themselves."

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