We all know that there are 2 ways to deliver Vitamin C to your skin. We can eat it via food or use a topical Vitamin C serum that delivers it directly to your skin. Both methods have their own benefits and by understanding how Vitamin C works in your skin via scientific data, you can make a more informed choice about how to maximize these benefits for yourself.
In this blog:
- What is Vitamin C?
- Which is the best way to deliver Vitamin C to my skin?
- How do I use Vitamin C products?
- Vitamin C side effects
- Products and Recommendations
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and an essential nutrient involved in the repair and maintenance of your body’s connective tissues with several impressive benefits including hydrating dry skin, reversing aging, repairing sun damage, and speeding up wound repair. Meanwhile, It is a key cofactor for enzymes involved in making collagen (keeps your skin plump), carnitine (helps the body turn fat into energy), and catecholamine (neurotransmitters, or hormones that help deliver signals to your brain), and plays a vital role in several immune system functions.
Topical application of Vitamin C has shown improvement in pigmentation and texture to reversing age and sun damage like melasma and wrinkling. Vitamin C serums can help even out your skin tone, protect it from sun damage and pollution damage, help improve hydration in your skin. And paired with regular sunscreen use, Vitamin C can slow down aging in skin both by reversing existing damage as well as preventing future damage.
Which is the best way to deliver Vitamin C to my skin?
Studies show that eating Vitamin C rich foods and applying Vitamin C on your skin surface both have beneficial effects for the skin, both internally and on the visible surface.
However, our bodies cannot make Vitamin C and so we must eat it every day to get enough for our body processes.
Besides, aging causes a decline in vitamin C content in both the epidermis and dermis. Excessive exposures to UV light or pollutants (eg, cigarette smoke and ozone) may also lower vitamin C content, primarily in the epidermis.
So, which way is the best?
In two human studies, oral vitamin C supplementation alone did not significantly increase Minimal Erythemal Dose (MED), a measure of photoprotection from UV light in the skin.
However, multiple studies have found that oral supplementation with a combination of vitamin C and vitamin E effectively increases MED and decreases erythema-induced blood flow to damaged areas of skin. Thus, interactions between the two antioxidant vitamins may be necessary to achieve UV protection by dietary means.
Topical application of vitamin C, alone or in combination with other compounds, may result in greater photoprotection than oral supplementation because of the more direct route of administration. In one mouse study, topical application of ascorbic acid delayed the effects of chronic high-dose UVB exposure on the skin, including a reduction in skin wrinkling and the development of skin tumors. In pig models, topical application of vitamin C reduced the number of sunburned cells, decreased erythema response, and reduced DNA damage induced by UVA exposure.
Topically applied combinations of vitamin C and vitamin E are more effective in preventing photodamage than either vitamin alone. In particular, this combination of antioxidant vitamins decreased the immunosuppressive effects of UV exposure, increased MED, and decreased cell damage.
- Dietary Vitamin C does not offer the same photoprotection benefits.
- Eating both Vitamin C and Vitamin E seems to show similar results as a topical Vitamin C application.
- Topical formulations that contain both Vitamin C and Vitamin E are also more potent than Vitamin C alone.
Consuming Vitamin C has a lot of other benefits aside from photoprotection, but if your goal is to increase protection from the sun and its UV light, then applying vitamin C to the skin is a more efficient and direct way to deliver it to your skin.
How do I use Vitamin C products?
The general rule for skincare order of operations is to work thin to thick.
Apply formulas with a thinner consistency first so they have a chance to absorb into skin before applying thicker products.
Step 1: Wash your face with a low pH and non-irritating cleanser.
Step 2: Apply your serum.
Step 3: Wait some minutes to let your skin absorb the serum.
Step 4: Continue with your skincare routine and feel free to layer on more products like moisturizer or sunscreen.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your vitamin C skincare formulas:
- Use regularly. If you only apply once in a while, you won’t see results.
- Be patient. Don’t give up just because you don’t see immediate changes.
- Store correctly and adhere to use by/expiration dates to ensure the potency hasn’t been compromised.
- With vitamin C serum, start with a lower concentration, something in the 10% range. See how skin reacts and adjusts to this level before moving up to the higher concentrations of 15-20%.
- Do a patch test before using a new product. Apply a small amount to the inside of the wrist or behind the ear, and wait 24-48 hours to make sure you don’t have a skin reaction before applying it to larger areas.
Vitamin C side effects
Vitamin C is usually less irritating than acids like beta hydroxy acids (salicylic) or alpha hydroxy acids (lactic, glycolic) or Vitamin C (retinoids), but can still have some side effects.
Some people can experience side effects such as redness, stinging, peeling, or even over-exfoliation after using a Vitamin C serum. Vitamin C is a very acidic active so these side effects are not surprising.
To avoid these side effects, we recommend starting off with a lower concentration of Vitamin C and/or starting off a serum by only using it once a week and building up after 2-3 weeks.
Products and Recommendations
0.30mm Derma Roller
The stratum corneum is the primary obstacle to efficient vitamin C absorption from external sources. Removal of the stratum corneum by Neutriherbs’ 0.30mm Derma Roller can effectively enhance Vitamin C absorption. This at-home facial tool stimulates a healthy glow with 0.30mm titanium micro-needles. Includes 1 comfort grip handle, 1 micro-needle roller, and plastic storage case. We recommend using the serum after rolling for the best experience.
Studies show that skin maximal absorption was achieved with a 20% vitamin C solution, with higher concentrations showing lower absorption. Neutriherbs’ Vitamin C Serum combines the effective-strength (20%) Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid, help to grab onto moisture and bind it to the skin. Capable of holding over 1,000 times its weight in water to help hydrate and plump skin. Helps improve penetration in the skin and helps your skin retain moisture.
Neutriherbs Vitamin C Sunscreen enriched with multi protection essence, Vitamin E and Vitamin C, which helps anti-oxidant and anti-dullness, it can brighten your skin for a more luminous complexion. It protects skin from external aggressors and helps protect skin from sunburns and signs of premature skin aging.
- 100% physical broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection
- Water resistance
- Non-greasy, No fragrance
- For face and body
- No white cast
This Vitamin C face cream uses a stabilized Vitamin C formula that is less likely to degrade before being absorbed by your skin. That’s why our Vitamin C cream delivers restorative moisture and antioxidants to renew the tone, texture, and appearance of your skin.It rejuvenates the skin, making it appear more youthful while reducing signs of aging such as uneven tone, discoloration, and fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C also helps guard your skin against the damage that can be caused by the sun’s UV rays. By promoting collagen health, Vitamin C for skin is transformative, creating a complexion that looks bright and vibrant.