Why You Should Use Vitamin C, And How To Choose The Right Kind

Today I want to talk about one of the cornerstones of my skin care routine: Vitamin C. A good product with Vitamin C is something that should be on everyone's bathroom shelf. Today I'm going to give you a couple of pointers and product recommendations.

PS Huge shout-out for the lovely person who gave me a generous tip a couple of weeks back! It was much appreciated!

Why use Vitamin C?

Basically it is an extremely effective, well-researched ingredient that is good for all skin types. It's a one-stop for your anti-aging, anti-pollution and skin brightening needs. Here are the benefits in short:

* This extremely effective anti-oxidant counters free radicals. Free radicals not only make our skin age faster, the can also lead to serious medical conditions such as skin cancer. be it from cigarettes, alcohol, pollution, medication or hormonal contraception ......

* Prevents hyper-pigmentation by inhibiting the production of melanin. It however cannot reduce existing hyperpigmentation.

* It brightens the skin. Unfortunately the effect is temporary, so it only lasts as long as you are using the product.

* It helps reduce post-acne marks.

* Reduces sun damage by encouraging healthy cell turnover, helps to heal the skin in case of sunburn, neutralises the free radicals from UV rays, and prevents discolouration.

* Lightens fine lines and wrinkles, by boosting the skin’s collagen production and decreasing loss of water from the skin.

Vitamin C is a very important part of a healthy diet, and it's important to always include foods rich in it into our meals. However the skin is at the end of the queque when it comes to distribution of nutrients, so it's a good idea to include it in our skin care.

Counterindications: Some people are allergic to vitamin C, in doubt do a patch test in the crook of the elbow.

How To Use:

  • Wear the vitamin C product under your sunscreen to boost its effectiveness.
  • Apply it right after cleansing and toning, and let it work for 15 minutes before applying the next product. Vitamin C is pH sensitive, if you use another product immediately, it might change the pH level and destabilise it.
  • Use within 3 months, as after that the vitamin C is probably not stable any more.
  • Store it in the fridge to keep it stable longer.

What to look for in a Vitamin C product

* Look for opaque glass bottles, as Vit C is easily destabilised by light. If your bottle turns out to be clear, you can try to tape it over with masking tape. A medicine dropper type of bottle is better than an air pump.

* Vitamin E increases the effectiveness of vitamin C.

* Ferulic acid stabilises vitamin C and increases the effectiveness of both vit C and E.

* There are many types of vitamin C out there, and some are better than others:
Whole Vitamin C is found naturally in sources such as rosehips, cloudberries, sea buckthorn berries, amla berries, citrus fruits, marula oil, pomegranate seeds, etc. These contain ascorbic acid as well as all of the other natural components of Vitamin C including natural enzymes and bioflavonoids.
L-Ascorbic acid is most effective synthetioc form of vitamin C as it penetrates the skin barrier most easily. However it is extremely unstable,and changes when it comes into contact with light, water and heat. For this reason many brands prefer to use other forms of Vitamin C, and frankly it is really difficult to get an overview of which ones are the best. For this reason I like to switch up my Vitamin C serums, until I find my holy grail.
Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is non-irritateing, extremely good at boosting collagen,
Ascorbic Acid Polypeptide in low concentrations and Ascorbyl Phosphate may convert to ascorbic acid once absorbed into the skin.

* Concentration is key. If you are looking for something really effective, go for 8%-20%. Many manufacturers don't disclose the concentration of Vit C in their product, in that case I look for products where the Vit C is one of the first three ingredients. If it's lower down, there is too little of it in the product do make much of a difference.

Product recommendations:

I find it very hard to find an affordable vitamin C product that are organic (or at least free from problematic ingredients).I generally don't like to spend much on skin care, but if you want to splurge somewhere a well-formulated and thoroughly tested vitamin C product is a great place to do it.
My favorite haunt for Vit C serums is TK Maxx, they always have several there that are either certified organic or with good ingredients (few is best, free from silicones, propylene glycol, butylene glycolparabens, etc). Always look for the orange packaging.

Affordable vitamin C product recommendations:
  • The best solution is to make your own, it is really simple and easy. 
  • Daytox Serum Vit C (10% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate), DM (Vegan, Cruelty Free)
  • Provida Organics Mille Fleurs Protecting Vitamin C Serum  (Ascorbic Acid), Demeter certificate, cruelty-free, vegan)
  • Junglück Vitamin C Serum (5% Ascorbyl Glucoside) (Vegan, Cruelty Free)
  • Satin Naturel Vitamin C Serum Hochdosiert (25% ascorbic phosphate and ascorbic acid). vegan, cruelty-free
  • Lanoline Vitamin C Serum (ascorbyl phosphate) 
  • Fitocose Jalus Vitamin C Serum and Jalus Vitamin C Anti-Age Fluid (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate und Ascorbyl Palmitate), Fitocose C10 Jalus Facial Serum (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate)

Do you have a favourite Vitamin C product that you use? Let me know in the comments!

Photo credit: VenusianGlow

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