It’s officially vitamin C season! That means brighter, more even-toned skin is on the horizon. This powerful ingredient should be a staple in everyone’s routines as it has a multitude of benefits and is suitable for all skin types. Before you integrate it into your daily routine, it’s important to understand why it’s such a holy grail ingredient and how to use it properly. Thankfully, we’ve got all your questions covered.
What Does Vitamin C Do?
Vitamin Cuses its power as a natural antioxidant to combat free radical damage that results from everyday exposure to harmful UV rays and environmental pollutants. The effect is reduced inflammation and reorganization of the skin’s structure to mimic younger skin which helps rebuild lost collagen. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen production directly as well.
How to Use Vitamin C
In a multi-step routine, vitamin C should come before products with thicker formulations since vitamin C products tend to be on the thinner side. If using a serum, it should be applied under your moisturizer.
When to Use Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a versatile ingredient, meaning that there’s no rule on when it should be applied.
Vitamin C reverses some of the oxidative stress and free radical damage that affects your skin during the day, so it makes sense to use it at night when your skin natural works on regeneration.
Keep in mind that retinol, AHAs and BHAs are popular nighttime ingredients that should not be mixed with vitamin C, making this brightening product a popular morning routine staple.
If you prefer your vitamin C during the day, just make sure you’re still using SPF. While vitamin C aids in reversing the effects of sun damage, it’s not sun protection. SPF should still be a priority in your routine, applied after your vitamin C, to keep your skin healthy and protected.
What Are Its Benefits?
- Helps maintain and repair damaged skin
- Helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Helps rebuild collagen
- Can brighten your complexion and even skin tone
- Helps reduce the appearance of dark spots
Potential Side Effects of Using Topical Vitamin C
Most skin types react well to vitamin C, but it’s never a bad idea to start with a serum that contains a lower concentration (5-10% rather than 15-20%), especially around the eye area where your skin is especially delicate. If you do experience any redness, dryness or overall irritation after applying your vitamin C, layer a go-to moisturizer over top—this should relieve any of those side effects. Those with skin prone to breakouts don’t need to worry about vitamin C making flare ups worse. It doesn’t clog your pores and can actually help improve acne by calming inflammation and aiding in the reduction of the effect free radicals have on your skin.
That being said, there are certain ingredients that you shouldn’t use in tandem with vitamin C, such as AHAs, BHAs, glycolic acid, salicylic acid and retinol. Mixing these with vitamin C can cause potential irritation, inflammation and dryness. Be sure to read product labels carefully and ask your dermatologist for recommendations if you have any concerns!