Last Updated on August 23, 2021
Vitamin C serum has become a highly sought-after skincare product due to its multitasking abilities. But knowing how to buy and use Vitamin C serum in your skincare routine will make sure you get your desired results.
Because every serum in the market has a unique formulation. Hence, picking the right vitamin C product or serum can often be confusing.
But don’t worry because I have a detailed guide to help you pick and use Vitamin C serum in the right way to get maximum results for your skin.
5 Reasons To Use Vitamin C in Your Skincare Routine
- Brightens Skin
One of the most popular reasons to use Vitamin C in skincare is its skin brightening capability. Vitamin C can help even out your skin tone by reducing discolouration caused by sun exposure.
- Fights Oxidative Stress
Being an antioxidant in nature, Vitamin C helps neutralizes free radicals in your skin which would otherwise damage healthy skin cells by altering their DNA.
- Protects from Environmental Damage.
Vitamin C being an antioxidant helps protect your skin from damage caused by pollution, cigarette smoke etc. It also improves sun protection when paired with a sunscreen.
- Boosts Collagen
Vitamin C plays a crucial role in the synthesis of collagen in your skin. Hence, it a useful ingredient in helping your skin stay firm and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
- Fades Scars
Vitamin C helps lighten hyperpigmentation and even reduces inflammation on your skin caused by acne. It also helps in the wound healing process by aiding collagen synthesis.
Types Of Vitamin C Derivatives
L-Ascorbic Acid is the biologically active form of Vitamin C. But it is highly unstable and easily oxidises when exposed to light, air or heat.
Hence, most brands choose to use a stabilised derivative of Vitamin C to formulate a product for skincare. These derivatives also tend to be less irritating on your skin as they work at a pH level that is skin-friendly.
Of course, not all of them are as potent and effective as LAA. So here is a small breakdown on a few forms of Vitamin C used in the Vitamin C serum formulations.
- L-Ascorbic Acid(LAA)– A natural form of Vitamin C which is water-soluble. It works at a lower pH and hence tends to be irritating for some people. It also oxidises faster due to its unstable nature and has to be used up quickly(under 3 months). This should be your first preference when choosing a formulation.
- Ascorbyl Palmitate– This is an oil-soluble Vitamin C derivative mainly used to prevent oxidative damage caused by free radicals due to sun exposure or pollution. Not as potent as LAA though.
- Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP)- This water-soluble derivative works at higher pH and hence is less irritating for your skin. Again, it is not as potent as LAA but much more stable. MAP helps with pigmentation and increasing collagen synthesis.
- Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP)- Similar to MAP, SAP also works at a higher pH and is hence less irritating. It will help you with pigmentation, UV damage and collagen synthesis.
- 3-0 Ethyl Ascorbate: Not much is known about this derivative when it comes to collagen synthesis or UV protection. But it works in reducing pigmentation in your skin.
Which Serum To Buy?
A serum with LAA is your best bet while choosing a Vitamin C product. It is the most potent form and also absorbs better into the epidermal layers. But other forms of Vitamin C will also help address your skin concerns.
Tips To Pick A Good Serum
Vitamin C serums have become so popular lately that every other skincare brand is coming up with one. But being an unstable ingredient, there are certain aspects you need to keep in mind when buying a Vitamin C serum for your skin.
- Pay attention to the packaging first. Look for Vitamin C serum that is sold in an opaque or tinted bottle as it protects it from light. (Even better if it has pump dispenser).
- Check if Vitamin C is within the top 5 ingredients or ask the brand for % of vitamin C used.
- Start with a lower percentage (around 5%) and let your skin get used to it before you move to a more concentrated formula (10-15 % is a sweet spot).
- Look for a formulation that has other antioxidants like Vitamin E or ferulic acid in it as it will help reduce oxidation.
- Don’t pick a serum simply because it is inexpensive. Formulating a stable Vitamin C serum is challenging and hence costs are usually higher.
- Use up the serum within 3 months from the date of purchase to avoid any chances of oxidation.
How To Include Vitamin C Serum In Your Routine
You can apply your Vitamin C serum after toning and follow up with a moisturizer. But if it is in oil form, layer it over a light water-based moisturizer/serum.
Vitamin C can be used both in AM and PM routine. However, use a sunscreen if you are using it in your morning routine.
Yes, you can use it everyday unlike other active ingredients.
If it doesn’t irritate your skin then yes. It’s best to check with the respective brand for usage directions though.
I would recommend using them alternately as too many concentrated products can irritate your skin and cause redness.
Avoid such DIYs as Vitamin C is a highly unstable ingredient and works at a certain pH only. Pick a proper Vitamin C formulation instead to avoid irritating your skin and get your desired results.
You may experience some tingling sensation when you use highly-concentrated formulas with low pH. But this usually goes away after a few uses.
This is why it is important to start slowly and gradually build-up the dose.
Apart from serums, you can also use ingredients rich in Vitamin C in your skincare routine. These take longer to show results but are apt for a more holistic and natural approach to skincare.
Juicy Chemistry has a Vitamin C Rich facial oil made with Kakadu Plum oil as a key ingredient. Kakadu plum is one of nature’s most potent sources of Vitamin C.
So if you like using organic products in your skincare routine, do check this out. (Use code DEMURE10 to get 10% off)
Vitamin C Rich Ingredients For Skincare
- Orange Peel
Orange peels contain a good amount of Vitamin C. You can add orange peel powder in DIY ubtans, scrubs, face masks, etc. for lightening hyperpigmentation and evening out your skin tone.
- Seabuckthorn Oil
Seabuckthorn berries are small orange-coloured fruit rich in Vitamin C. Its oil is used in various formulations for anti-ageing, skin brightening, and skin nourishing.
You can buy this from Tattvalogy Use code “RUTUD10” for 10% off.
- Amla Powder
Amla or Indian gooseberry is a popular ingredient in natural hair care. But you can also use amla powder in your DIY skincare due to its rich vitamin C content.
Hint: Mix it with some clay or oatmeal and apply it as a mask 2-3 times a week to even out your skin, fade scars and reduce oxidative stress.
- Rosehip Oil.
Rosehip oil is non-greasy which helps fades acne scars and provides antioxidants to your skin due to its vitamin content. If you have acne-prone skin, this is a good choice.
In my next post, I will share recommendations for Vitamin C serums available in India. Until then, if you have any doubts regarding using vitamin C in your skincare routine, drop a comment below and ask away.
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