What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C (AKA Ascorbic acid) is very important for us to digest as it assists in the healthy functioning of the body. Most importantly, to maintain a healthy immune system, skin, blood vessels, bones, and cartilage. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is best taken on an empty stomach in the morning around 30 minutes before eating for optimum absorption. When vitamin C is ingested it is mostly absorbed into your body by the proximal intestine (small intestine). For this reason, not much of the vitamin C we ingest is absorbed into our skin and that is why we have skincare products that include vitamin C.
What are the benefits of Vitamin C on the skin?
Brightens the skin
Fights free radicals
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and they create a shield on our skin to combat free radicals which are found in air pollution, damaging sun rays, Stress, a busy lifestyle, poor diet and alcohol, smoking and drugs (both pharmaceuitcal and non pharmaceutical), Illness, pregnancy, UV penetration – sunlight, pollution
What we apply to our skin – harsh skin care products
Free radicals have negative repercussions on the skin and can speed up the ageing process of our skin through skin damage, skin sensitivity and irritation.
How to use Vitamin C serum
Vitamin C is a well-tolerated skin product however all skincare products have the potential to cause side effects. Irritation from vitamin C is unlikely, however, ensure you do a skin patch test prior to full application. Ensure you do a patch test by applying a small amount of product onto an area of skin you can easily conceal such as your arm. Assess your allergic reaction risk. If there is no reaction then ensure you follow the instructions on the product’s label.
If you have sensitive skin then consider using water-soluble vitamin C, Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. This form of Vitamin C is less irritating than the most concentrated form of vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid.
To increase the ability for Vitamin C to be absorbed into the skin it is best to use an AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) or BHA (beta hydroxy acid) cleanser before application. The routine of Cleanse > Tone > Apply vitamin C serum > Moisturiser > Sunscreen is generally a good skincare routine to follow for Vitamin C. Ensure that you apply sunscreen after vitamin C to block out the free radicals.
Vitamin C storage and stability
Vitamin C is an ingredient that needs to be taken care of a little more than your average skincare product. Ascorbic acid is very sensitive to air and light and can oxidise very quickly once exposed to them. Keep an eye on the colour of the liquid. If the product oxidises it will turn a brown or dark orange colour. If you continue to use the product your skin might have sensitivity and irritation issues and the formula won’t be as effective as it could be.
One way to preserve a highly concentrated vitamin c product is to keep it stored in an area with a low temperature and very low light. When you use it try and ensure that the liquid has the least amount of exposure to the air as possible. Also, refrain from contaminating the liquid by touching the inside of the product bottle or any part of the internal dispenser if there is one present.