Ingredient 101: What You Need To Know About Vitamin C

Hands up if you think of a plate of orange slices every time someone mentions “vitamin C”. Yeah, us too.

We often know vitamin C as an immune booster, and some of us are also aware of its antioxidant properties. You’ve probably seen it splashed across your favourite skincare store, and your bestfriend also swears by it as a miracle ingredient. Yet, how much do you really know about the benefits that vitamin C has for your skin?

We at SocietyA believe that you should always be equipped with the right product knowledge, because we want you to not only enjoy a beautiful and radiant complexion, but to be empowered with the knowledge of what you’re applying to your skin as well.

To help you better understand vitamin C and its properties, here are some need-to-know points and star products that are a chockful of zesty goodness.

What Is Vitamin C?

A naturally-derived acid, vitamin C is a strong antioxidant found in various food products. It’s also known as ascorbic acid, L-ascorbic acid or ascorbate, and it’s a wonder ingredient in the world of skincare.

“Vitamin C is an essential nutrient in tissue repair and the enzymatic production of various transmitters,” says Dr. Patricia Wexler, a New York-based dermatologist. Because it isn’t produced by your body, many skincare brands incorporate this acid into their products to help you reap its many benefits.

By now, we all know that you can introduce vitamin C into your diet with fruits or a dietary supplement. Yet when it comes to skincare, studies have shown that external application is far more effective in reaping its rewards, hence explaining why so many products use it as one of their key ingredients.

What Are The Skincare Benefits Of Vitamin C?

The benefits that your skin receives from vitamin C are plenty. Firstly, it promotes collagen production within your skin, which diminishes fine lines and gives you the appearance of firmer, younger-looking skin.

Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant. Over time, free radicals build up in your system that can cause all kinds of health and beauty problems. Vitamin C acts as a barrier to neutralize these havoc-wreaking free radicals. It also offsets UV damage and the harmful effects of airborne pollutants, and slough away the dead skin cells that accumulate on your skin’s surface. The result: a brighter and more radiant complexion.

As if all of that isn’t enough, vitamin C also inhibits melanin production. A quick refresher: melanin is that substance that causes dark spots to form on the top dermal layer of your skin. With prolonged use of vitamin C, not only are dark spots and hyperpigmentation lightened, vitamin C helps prevent future spots from forming.


How Should I Use Vitamin C?

Most skincare experts will agree that the best way for your skin to receive vitamin C is through a serum, but according to Kristina Goldenberg, a dermatologist based in the US, the magic isn’t in the medium, but in the product itself.

“The key is in the form of vitamin C that is being applied,” she advises. You want to look out for anything that contains ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid, as they are the most stable and effective forms of vitamin C.

As a general rule of thumb, vitamin C is best applied in the morning, as it helps combat the UV radiation that your skin faces the minute you step out the door. However, given that vitamin C also breaks down in the presence of sunlight (which explains why most vitamin C products come in tinted bottles), you should apply it and allow it enough time to set into your skin before you leave the house.

Also, it is important to avoid mixing vitamin C products with retinol, as this mixture can cancel out the benefits and cause plenty of topical irritation. Instead, use your vitamin C in the morning, and save your retinols for your evening regime.

Lastly, in deciding whether a vitamin C product is suitable for you, always remember to do a patch test. This is particularly important for users with sensitive skin, as vitamin C is still an acid and can cause a stinging sensation if the concentration of the product is higher than your skin’s threshold.

Sounds Good, Give Me Some Recommendations!

To help you incorporate vitamin C into your skincare routine, here are some of our favourite products that deliver you a daily dose of this do-it-all ingredient!

1. Calming Toner by Re:erth

Re:erth, Calming Toner

The first step to getting smooth skin is to always apply your toner. Not only does it prepare your skin to absorb the benefits of your skincare products, it also helps minimise the appearance of your pores. Re:erth’s Calming Toner contains stabilised vitamin C to also help promote brighter-looking skin. Furthermore, ingredients such as the Japanese white turmeric extracts help promote a firmer and more supple skin texture.

2. Vit C Natural Glow Face Serum by Mellow Naturals

Mellow Naturals, Vitamin C Natural Glow Face Serum

As mentioned previously, serums are the best way to enjoy the benefits that vitamin C has to offer. This affordable find from Mellow Naturals boasts an intense concentration of the vitamin to leave you with a brighter and smoother complexion. Plus, it does not contain any harmful ingredients such as sulfates, parabens or phthalates, so you can be assured that your skin is receiving the best and most natural form of vitamin C.

3. The Face Oil Moisturiser by WANT Skincare

WANT Skincare, The Face Oil Moisturiser

Why stop at a vitamin C serum, when you can top it off with even more vitamin C! Before you step out the door, decant a few drops of WANT Skincare’s face oil onto your palm, rub it between your hands before gently patting it over your face. Beyond the goodness of vitamin C, the face oil also contains vitamins A and E, as well as essential fatty acids to help trigger regeneration within your cells whilst retaining moisture in your skin. The result? You’ll notice that your skin will have a natural glow after a few uses.

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