Vitamin C: What to Apply on Your Skin First Thing in the Morning
Image Source: IG @jeannedamas
We all want a positive start to our day, and having a proper skincare routine is key to achieving beautiful, glowing skin. After consulting with dermatologists, we've discovered the secret to kickstarting your day: vitamin C. It's the first thing you should apply to your face after cleansing and toning. But why is this ingredient so highly recommended and why do some products with vitamin C come with a higher price tag? We got the answers from an expert, so keep reading to find out everything you need to know about incorporating vitamin C into your daily routine.
How vitamin C works in cosmetics
Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that is easily synthesized in the body of almost all animals, but unfortunately not in humans. Therefore, it is important to ensure its constant intake through food, supplements, and skincare products. Vitamin C has a wide range of beneficial effects on the skin, including:
- Participating in collagen synthesis, which is essential for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness.
- Reducing the production of melanin, which can help brighten and even out skin tone.
- Reducing the harmful effects of sun exposure, including photoaging and hyperpigmentation.
- Boosting the skin's natural defense mechanisms and reducing the intensity of inflammation.
When applied topically, vitamin C can penetrate the skin and provide these benefits directly where they are needed most. It can also work in synergy with other skincare ingredients, such as vitamin E and ferulic acid, to enhance its antioxidant effects and provide even greater protection against environmental stressors. Whether used in a serum, moisturizer, or spot treatment, vitamin C is a versatile and essential ingredient for anyone looking to maintain healthy, radiant skin.
Vitamin C is an essential ingredient in anti-aging products and skincare for oily and problematic skin. It is also found in products designed to brighten and even out skin tone, as well as reduce pigmentation spots. Although it is used in sunscreens, it is dosed carefully as it can increase skin sensitivity to UV rays.
Which Skin Type is Suitable for Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is suitable for all skin types, but it's important to choose the form that will best meet its needs (stable forms for daily care, pure vitamin form for intensive courses). However, it's recommended to use pure vitamin forms with caution if you have sensitive skin. To ensure formula stability, they are made very acidic, which can cause irritation. Additionally, vitamin C is especially beneficial for those with oily and problematic skin due to its ability to regulate sebum production and reduce inflammation. For those seeking a brighter, more even skin tone, vitamin C can also be found in products specifically designed to target pigmentation and promote radiance. Overall, vitamin C is a versatile and essential ingredient in skincare that can benefit any skin type when used correctly.
Why Using Vitamin C Tablets from the Pharmacy is a Bad Idea for Your Skin
Vitamin C should be used in a specific form and concentration, as well as be evenly distributed on the skin. It will be difficult to achieve these conditions independently. Using vitamin C tablets from the pharmacy is not recommended because they are not formulated for topical use. Taking high doses of vitamin C orally can cause adverse effects such as diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. In addition, the tablets may contain other ingredients that are not suitable for use on the skin and can cause irritation or allergic reactions. Therefore, it is best to use skincare products that are specifically formulated with stable and safe concentrations of vitamin C for topical use.
Different forms of Vitamin C used in skincare products
When looking for vitamin C in skincare products, it is important to know the different forms in which it can be found. Vitamin C is used in three main forms.
Pure ascorbic acid is the most active form of vitamin C, but also the most unstable. It is typically used when fast and noticeable results are desired.
Most daily skincare products (creams, serums) contain stabilized vitamin C, which is less active compared to pure vitamin C, but more resistant to light and oxygen. It works more gently and provides a cumulative effect. The most studied and commonly used forms are sodium/magnesium ascorbyl phosphate or its derivatives with fatty acids, such as sodium ascorbyl phosphate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate, and ascorbyl TIP.
Sometimes, plant extracts are used as a source of vitamin C in skincare formulas.
The Optimal Concentration of Vitamin C for Skincare
Advocates of orthomolecular medicine, followers of Linus Pauling who used high doses of vitamin C to treat various diseases, claim that this vitamin penetrates the skin best at a concentration of 20%. However, there is a high risk of skin irritation at this level. Therefore, at Payot, experts believe that the optimal concentration of vitamin C in home care should not exceed 15%. If pure vitamin C is applied to the skin at this concentration, it immediately begins to work and provides fast, visible results. On the other hand, if stabilized forms are used at the same concentration, they must transform into ascorbic acid before they can take effect, and their concentration will noticeably decrease. In other words, at the same concentration, the degree of impact of pure and stabilized forms of vitamin C will be different.
Factors affecting the cost of vitamin C skincare products
The cost of vitamin C skincare products can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the form of the vitamin, its purity, concentration, other ingredients in the formula, and the packaging design. For example, smaller bottles of 10ml designed for short-term use can be significantly more expensive than larger jars of 50ml intended for daily use. This is because the small bottles contain a highly active and bioavailable form of vitamin C, usually at a concentration of 15%, which can deliver visible results in just seven days. In contrast, regular creams with a lower concentration of vitamin C may take three to four weeks to show any noticeable effects.
Other factors that can affect the cost of vitamin C skincare products include the stability of the vitamin C before and after opening, which may require special packaging to maintain its potency. In addition, the presence of other ingredients in the formula, such as plant extracts, may also affect the price of the product. Ultimately, the effectiveness and quality of the product, as well as the convenience of its use, will also influence its cost.
Creating Vitamin C: Methods and Sources
When is the best time to use vitamin C skincare products?
When it comes to using vitamin C products, the best time to incorporate them into your skincare routine is in the morning, after cleansing and toning. This allows the vitamin C to provide antioxidant protection against environmental stressors throughout the day. However, if you're using a vitamin C product with a high concentration of ascorbic acid, it's recommended to start by using it only once a day and gradually increasing the frequency as your skin adjusts to the product.
It's important to remember that during periods of active sun exposure, vitamin C can increase skin sensitivity to UV rays. Therefore, appropriate sun protection is necessary during the day. This rule should be followed when using almost all forms of vitamin C. However, if a product contains ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C) in high concentrations (10-15%), the rule becomes mandatory even if you only use the product at night.
It's also important to note that vitamin C is a highly unstable molecule that can degrade quickly when exposed to light, heat, and air. As a result, it's best to store vitamin C products in a cool, dark place and use them within the recommended timeframe to ensure maximum efficacy.
In summary, vitamin C skincare products can provide numerous benefits for the skin, but it's important to use them at the right time and in the right way to avoid potential harm. By following the guidelines for sun protection, storage, and usage frequency, you can safely incorporate vitamin C into your daily skincare routine and enjoy its many benefits for your skin.