If you’re new to skincare, it can be overwhelming to choose among an array of products. Each has different active ingredients and targets different skin problems, from acne to hyperpigmentation. One of the ingredients you should include in your skincare arsenal is vitamin C. Products with this active ingredient have become popular due to the benefits it gives to the skin.
A Closer Look at Vitamin C and Its Benefits
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient your body needs. It contributes to forming and maintaining blood vessels, bones, and skin. It also serves as an antioxidant. This nutrient can be found in many fruits and vegetables, but you can also get it as a supplement.
Since vitamin C is water-soluble, the body doesn’t store it. That’s why you need to consume food packed with vitamin C to maintain adequate levels of this nutrient and enjoy its benefits.
Vitamin C helps the body produce collagen, which is a vital component in fibrous tissues like skin. Collagen, together with elastin, helps keep skin plump and firm. Using vitamin C topically increases collagen production, which protects the skin against premature aging.
This nutrient also has a property that prevents melanin production in your skin. It causes skin discoloration, including dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Using products that contain this ingredient continuously can prevent dark spots from developing.
Using Vitamin C as a Skincare Regimen
There are several ways to incorporate vitamin C into your skincare routine. You can find various products that have vitamin C as the active ingredient, from serums to underarm whitening gels.
Before you add this ingredient to your skincare routine, it’s best to identify the right concentration for your skin type to make sure the ingredient works effectively. For example, if you have oily or normal skin, it’s ideal to use L-ascorbic acid, which is the most potent form of vitamin C. Magnesium or ascorbyl phosphate, meanwhile, is best for those with dry and sensitive skin. This form of vitamin C is water-soluble and less irritating.
Another factor to consider when using vitamin C topically is the pH level. It affects how your skin absorbs this ingredient. For those with normal skin, use a product with a low pH of about 3.5 for better absorption. On the other hand, a higher pH of 5 to 6 is ideal for those with sensitive skin.
Once you have identified the right concentration and pH level of vitamin C for your skin type, you can start adding it to your skincare. When adding any active ingredient to your regimen, it’s best to start slowly. Start by using the product three times a week and work your way to daily use. But don’t expect to see instant results. It may take weeks of continued use before your skin tone improves.
The basic skincare routine consists of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Some people, however, use other products to keep their skin healthy. Knowing at what point of your skincare routine you should use your vitamin c products is crucial. It depends on what product you’re using. Vitamin C serums, for example, should be applied on freshly cleansed face before the moisturizer. You can also find moisturizers that contain this ingredient.
Moreover, other products in your regimen can affect the effectiveness of your vitamin C products. Some skincare products should not be used together at the same time. Vitamin C is generally safe to use. For those with sensitive skin, however, might experience some sting.
When using vitamin C products, avoid using products with benzoyl peroxide. This ingredient can oxidize vitamin C and make it less potent. You can still use both actives in your skincare routine but not at the same time. For instance, use the vitamin C products in the morning while using the other in the evening.
The same is true when using retinoids. Vitamin C and retinoids have similar effects on the skin. Using vitamin C products with retinoids at the same time, however, makes both ingredients less effective. If you use them in the same part of your routine, you might experience irritation. It’s ideal to use vitamin C in the morning and retinoids in the evening.
Lastly, proper storage is vital in keeping your skincare products effective. Topical vitamin C products are sensitive to light and air. Exposure to these factors can oxidize the ingredient to dehydroascorbic acid, a less stable and less efficacious form of vitamin C. Store these products in opaque, air-tight containers to keep them in their proper form.
Skincare is part of many people’s self-care routine. It helps them keep their skin healthy and treat different skin problems. But it’s important to learn about the active ingredient first before adding it to your regimen. Some ingredient works for others but not on your skin. Consult a dermatologist to help you find the right skincare products for your skin type.