Ingredient Spotlight: Vitamin C

By Lauren

  • Vitamin C is the one of the most researched skincare ingredients
  • This essential micronutrient, when added to skincare products such as serums, can help improve elasticity, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, combat dark spots and help soothe inflammation
  • Basically, a skincare rock star!   

You’ve seen Vitamin C advertised and listed on a plethora of skincare products, usually fancy serums. You’re also aware of the importance Vitamin C plays in your diet as a micronutrient but, why is it an important ingredient to consider adding to your skincare routine and how do you know when you might benefit from adding Vitamin C to your approach? 

Signs such as fatigue, brain fog, hair loss, low immunity or digestive stress are often signs that we could benefit from dietary supplementation but, our skin also shows signs such as inflammation, acne, dehydration, and a loss of vibrancy. So, if your skin is showing signs of needing extra support, consider adding a Vitamin C rich serum to your skincare routine. 

Also, if your skin tone generally is looking blah, you’re worried about sun spots or hyperpigmentation issues, or even if you’re just in the market for a solid serum, Vitamin C can be a welcome addition to your skincare routine.  

Why Vitamin C? Well, Vitamin C is the one of the most researched skincare ingredients. Research has shown that this essential micronutrient, when added to skincare products such as serums, can help improve elasticity, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, combat dark spots and hyperpigmentation, boost collagen production and help soothe inflammation. Basically, a skincare rock star.   

Plus, during the hot summer season, Vitamin C’s proven ability to help protect against environmental stressors while hydrating your skin is especially timely. 

If you’re going to use a skin product with Vitamin C, be sure to look for two key ingredients: L-ascorbic acid and 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid. L-ascorbic acid is the most researched form of skin-related Vitamin C, is the most effective type of the nutrient and has been proven to help give the appearance of firmer, younger and more even looking skin.  The problem is it’s highly unstable and sensitive to air and light. 

This is where 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid comes in. 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid is considered a newer generation of Vitamin C derivative that is one of the most stable forms of Vitamin C. A Vitamin C serum that combines both L-ascorbic acid and 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid becomes much more stable so choosing a product that has both of these two key ingredients will help its potency last longer and prevent early oxidization. 

 As always, with any new product, try a test patch prior to applying it to your face and if no irritation occurs within 24 hours, you can proceed with using more broadly. If irritation occurs, you can also start by using it 2-3 times a week then work your way up to daily use.  

The sweet spot for the concentration level is between 10 and 20 percent. Going over 20% has been shown to increase irritation but not much on the benefits side.  Remember everyone’s skin is different, so try experimenting with the percentage that works best for you.

 Again, since Vitamin C is a highly unstable ingredient, look for a product that comes in a dark or opaque glass bottle featuring an air-tight delivery system.  In addition, if you apply Vitamin C as part of your morning routine, sunscreen is a must.  Sunscreen will help prevent the Vitamin C from oxidizing on the skin, thereby protecting its efficacy. 

Fruits, such as those high in Vitamin C, contain minerals and anti-inflammatory compounds which helps encourage healthy aging and reduce the risk for chronic disease. Add this essential nutrient from the inside-out and the outside-in to boost your overall vibrancy and well-being.