Vitamin C is one of nature’s most effective beauty products – it banishes wrinkles, makes dark spots disappear, and keeps skin looking and feeling healthy. While we get a lot of vitamin C through food or supplements, it is significantly more effective in treating skin problems and blemishes when applied topically.
Learn about the benefits of vitamin C and why it should be incorporated into your daily routine, and check out our favorite vitamin C serums to find out which ones are best for you.
It attacks free radicals
Free radicals from pollution, smoke or ultraviolet light can damage healthy cells and can even change their DNA. These toxic compounds start a chain reaction causing cells to function poorly or die, which can in turn cause mutations and disease.
Antioxidants, like vitamin C, neutralize these damaging free radicals. They interact safely with the free radicals and halt the chain reaction. While vitamin C is naturally present in our skin, ultraviolet light from the sun significantly reduces the amount. Using a topical formula is the most effective way to deliver antioxidants to these affected areas.
It makes brown spots fade
As we age, accumulated years of sun exposure can cause dark or brown spots, from skin-coloring melanin, to appear. Vitamin C significantly lightens these spots and prevents the formation of new ones by safely interfering with abnormal pigmentation. It does not interfere with skin’s normal skin tone, making it a safer alternative to the skin-lightening agent hydroquinone, which has been shown to have questionable side effects.
Vitamin C serums promote cell recovery to improve the appearance of uneven skin tones, making way for brighter and clearer skin.
It reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles
Vitamin C increases collagen production in our skin cells, causing the skin to plump and appear firmer and less wrinkled. Serums with high levels of concentrated vitamin C boost collagen renewal by sloughing off old skin cells, causing the skin to increase its collagen production which in turn fills in lines and wrinkles and increases skin elasticity.
Use it wisely
Reap all the benefits of vitamin C by following a few tips:
- Get the right concentration. The amount of vitamin C in a product should be at least 10 percent; 15-20 percent is even better. The highest concentrations might cause mild dryness or redness on sensitive skin, so speak to an esthetician about what level is right for you.
- Store it correctly. Vitamin C deteriorates easily in sunlight or heat, so be sure your container is dark or opaque, and keep it in a cool place. If your serum has turned brown, that means it has oxidized and is no longer safe to use. Discard it and replace immediately.
- Use it every day. Pure vitamin C doesn’t last long when exposed to air or light, so use it up—it works best when a light layer is applied to skin daily. Dermatologists recommend applying it after cleansing your face, before applying a moisturizer.