How Can Vitamin C Benefit Your Skin? Here's What You Should Know
If you don’t live under a rock, then you probably have heard a time or two just how good vitamin C can be for you. Whether you incorporate it into your diet or — like us — use it as part of a sworn-by step in your skin care routine, the same remains true: happiness is to be had. Gotta love vitamin C, right?
While we all know just how good vitamin C can be, how many of us actually know the true good that it does? To help shed a little light on the subject, we tapped board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dendy Engelman. Read on to discover all the complexion-boosting benefits of everyone’s favorite vitamin.
THE BENEFITS OF VITAMIN C
Ok, let’s talk benefits of vitamin C. That’s what you’re really here for after all, isn’t it?
BENEFIT #1: VITAMIN C IS A POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANT
You’ve heard of how important antioxidants are for your skin, but do you know what ingredients are considered antioxidants? Hint: Vitamin C is one! Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can be used in skin care products to help address changes associated with visibly aging skin.
BENEFIT #2: VITAMIN C CAN HELP PROTECT SURFACE SKIN FROM FREE RADICAL DAMAGE
In order to understand just how beneficial this truly is, you’ll have to understand the role of free radicals. Need a recap? “Free radicals are highly destructive molecules that can wreak havoc on your skin,” says Dr. Engelman. “These unstable compounds are in search of a missing electron. When they ‘steal’ electrons from other molecules, it leaves those molecules unstable as well.” Super science-y, we know. The point is, free radicals can create negative chain reactions on the surface of your skin. “This domino effect further weakens the skin barrier, leaving it vulnerable to premature aging (fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin texture),” Dr. Engelman adds.
So, how does an antioxidant like vitamin C help save the day? “An antioxidant helps protect skin against free radical assaults by neutralizing oxidative stress that can cause cell damage,” Dr. Engelman says. “Antioxidants, like vitamin C, pair with free radical scavengers in search of a missing electron, so it neutralizes the damage a free radical can do if it were to pair instead with an electron from a skin protein.”
HOW TO USE VITAMIN C IN YOUR SKIN CARE ROUTINE
If you’re looking to add vitamin C into your skin care routine, Dr. Engelman notes that a serum is the best vehicle in which to do so. “A vitamin C serum will be most effective in delivering to the cellular level,” she says. “Serums have the highest concentration of active ingredients, and they have smaller molecules which allows actives to penetrate further.”
Start your morning routine with face wash to help remove dirt and impurities, follow with your vitamin C serum and finish with a moisturizer formulated with broad-spectrum SPF 15 or higher. By pairing vitamin C with SPF on your skin, you are creating an an anti-aging force to be reckoned with! Learn more about how well vitamin C pairs with sunscreen, here.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A VITAMIN C SERUM
When it comes to picking a vitamin C serum, there are certain factors you should keep in mind. Vitamin C destabilizes when it comes into contact with the air, changing color and becoming less effective. That said, when purchasing vitamin C products, be sure to keep the quantity small and ensure that the cap is tightly screwed on after each use to prevent any air from seeping in. Also, reach for a vitamin C serum that’s stored in a dark bottle to help avoid exposure to light.
INGREDIENTS THAT PAIR WELL WITH VITAMIN C
Sunscreen is not the only product you should pair with your vitamin C. According to Dr. Engelman, there are quite a few ingredients that also make for a good match. “Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and peptides are all great ingredients to pair with vitamin C,” she says. “These ingredients help to hold cells together. With vitamin C working to reduce environmental stress, these other ingredients create a barrier for the skin, lock in moisture, and ultimately work to improve texture long term.”
A VITAMIN C SERUM THAT CHECKS OFF ALL THE BOXES
Are you looking for a vitamin C serum that can help neutralize free radicals, boasts a high concentration of vitamin C, is stored in a dark bottle, and combines skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid into the mix? We have the ideal vitamin C serum for you! Check out our review of Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum for more information on how the formula—with 15% pure vitamin C plus powerhouse hydrator hyaluronic acid—can benefit your skin without breaking the bank!
Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum, $28.50 MSRP