My Ultimate Guide to Vitamin C
It's summer which means we will probably be spending a lot more time in the sun, especially with Christmas holidays around the corner - yippee! But with sun comes unwanted pigmentation. Let's dive into this lovely ingredients benefits, how to use it and what types you get.
What does Vitamin C do?
Vitamin C in skincare offers benefits including antioxidant protection, anti-ageing and even skin recovery. Understanding the different types and concentrations of Vitamin C will go a long way in addressing your individual skin concerns. It assists in the formation of new collagen and to restore healthy protein fibres. Provides antioxidant protection against environmental damage by defending from free radical activity. It has the ability to shield the skin from ageing and DNA damage caused by pollution. Promotes skin repair and wound healing. Brightens the skin and reduces uneven skin tone and Improves hyperpigmentation by regulating melanocyte functioning... the list goes on. When using Vitamin C you need to be patient as it takes time to work and you'll gradually see the results. But something I love is that radiant glow almost immediately.
What is the difference between L-Ascorbic Acid & Vitamin C Esters or Derivatives?
L-Ascorbic Acid is known as the most researched & purest form of Vit C. It is the gold standard when it comes to Vitamin C. It is a multi-functional ingriendent having the ability to protect, correct and prevent. It acts as a potent anti-oxidant that offers both internal and external protection when formulated & stored correctly. L-Ascorbic Acid can penetrate directly into the dermis to stimulate collagen synthesis. Versus other derivatives have to be converted to ascorbic acid in the cells before they can help to stimulate new collagen.
Alternatives and other stable forms are those that are lipid-soluble. They can be more gentle on the skin i.e safer and more comfortable for sensitive skins. A combo of an ester and L-Ascorbic Acid can be very effective!
What are the alternatives on the back of the bottle?
Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate- strong antimicrobial effect in reducing which P.acnes
Phosphate Magnesium - hydrating effects and helps to decrease transepidermal water loss.
Ascorbyl Glucoside - less potent version of vitamin C, it’s a good option for all skin types.
Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate- It works well when used together with other forms of Vitamin C in anti-ageing products.
How to use a Vitamin C:
When it comes to starting with an L-Ascorbic Acid it's important to introduce It slowly and at a lower percentage. Stepping it up according to your own skins tolerance levels and needs as you go. The higher you go too quickly can result in irritation especially if your are prone to sensitivity or rosacea.
"Research has proven that specific combinations of antioxidants, when effectively formulated, perform synergistically and provide far more superior results than single antioxidant formulations." So look out for ingredients like Vitamin E & Ferulic Acid on your products ingredients list.
What form of Vitamin C should I use?
Don't just think serums! Vitamin C is found in so many products and you don't have to only
use it in the form of a serum. If you’d rather not add an extra step to your regimen, know that you can also get Vitamin C in cleansers, moisturisers, and even sunscreens. So to answer this question; for the best results look at something like a serum, but if that's not in your budget or an extra step is too much for you to do, then look at alternatives like cleanser or masks etc.
5 Favourites I've Tried
Biolumin-C Serum by Dermalogica
This product is known for is high-performance Vitamin C that works with skin’s own defenses to brighten and firm. It has an advanced bio-technology which fuses ultra-stable Vitamin C and Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, helping to dramatically reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I love the texture and lightness of this product. A gel like serum that sinks beautifully into the skin, instantly brightening the skin.
2. VITA-C Lipid Serum by Lamelle
A firm & old favourite! This was my very first vitamin C serum I ever purchased many years ago and it honestly is so beautiful. It is oil based which gives the skin lovely nourishment and a radiant glow. It lasted such a long time too. Lamelle Vita-C Lipid Serum is a high-potency Vitamin C Serum that brightens and hydrates. Suitable for most skin types, except oily, acne-prone skin. It is especially beneficial for those with dry, sensitive, and intolerant skin.There is also added benefits from Ginger Root Extract which assists in moisturising the skin by keeping the lipid barrier replenished, whilst supporting skin suppleness, smoothness and making this product very pleasant to use.
3. Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Peptide-c Anti-aging Ampoules
I love these ampoules! I think its such an easy and fun way of applying and keeping consistent with Vitamin C. Think of them as your concentrated, daily anti-wrinkle dose. These ampoules have a cocktail of dermatological ingredients including 10% pure vitamin C, natural origin hyaluronic acid and bio-peptides, encapsulated in a protective glass ampoule. Each ampoule contains exactly 1.8ml of concentrated formula as part of your 10-30day expert ageing regime. The idea is to keep consistent and use them leading up to any event for that ultimate glow!
R840 for 10
4. Avene A-Oxitive Defense Serum
A more affordable and amazing option! This serum is lovely as it has a combination of very popular ingredients that we are always on the hunt for. It includes their Antioxidant Shield Complex of Pro-Vitamins C & E which synergistically have shown to help neutralize free-radicals. GP4G is a cell energizer that reinforces and stimulates the skin’s natural defenses. It then has their soothing & anti-irritating thermal spring water as well as a high molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid.
5. BIODERMA Pigmentbio C-Concentrate
This has been my latest addition in my skincare routine.
It is a lightweight, nighttime corrective brightening serum that targets discoloration and pigmentation. #yes
It is suitable for most skin types with pigmentation concerns, except intolerant, sensitive or barrier-impaired skin. It has beautiful brightening ingriendents like 8% Glycolic acid which helps to resurface skin texture, improving skin luminosity and dullness. 2% Vitamin C in the form of Ascorbyl Glucoside (well-tolerated antioxidant and skin brightener.) It also contains 2% Salicylic Acid (BHA) which helps exfoliates, refine pores and helps to reduce the formation of acne. Niacinamide, Azealic acid, Licorice root, vitamin E and kelp extract can all be found in this product.
I'm looking forward to seeing the results over time, but I am loving the texture and lightness on my skin.
I hope this helps! There are many other brands that have some exceptional Vitamin C serums, creams, eye creams or gels. You don't have to get your dose of Vitamin C by a serum either. You do you! ;)
Other brands that I know have great vitamin c products: SkinCeuticals, Endocare, La Roche Posay & Obagi.
If you have any questions- pop me a DM on Instagram (@amandafromafrica)
Lots of love,